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  • Writer's pictureEllen Fisch

The Art of Architectural Photography: Making Choices in Photography

The medium of photography readily lends itself to making choices. Especially in the "digital age" of photography and with a multitude of camera choices in every size imaginable (including phones and tablets), photographic devices offer opportunities that are almost limitless. Not only can you take photographs from different angles and review your photographs in computer programs, such as Lightroom, Photoshop and a host of other viewing options, you can edit right in your camera. Such was certainly not the case years ago when film was shot (and in my case worried over prior to developing: Would the photos be usable?!) and the developed images were later reviewed.

Today there are choices that are inconceivable when I worked with film. Choices I take advantage of because I am always seeking to add to my capabilities as a photographer. Technology presents an array of new tools to assist me in creating my architecturals so fast that it is dizzying just to keep up with the evolving industry. Of course, as I have mentioned before, there is a trade-off when using a digital platform as opposed to creating with film. And, during the height of film still-photography there were many changes/options in the field as well. Today, it is almost as time consuming to learn about and to apply new techniques to my craft as to actually photograph subjects. But, as well, it is exciting to learn. Most every day there is a new email in my inbox with cutting-edge apps for my arsenal.

Choosing in photography centers around the goals of the photographer. Ultimately the choices made will determine the final photograph. Some considerations are:

What subject will define the message of the photograph?

Should the photograph be taken at a specific time of day?

How should the subject be lit: natural or artificial lighting?

Black and White (or other monochromatic) or color?

Will the image be "as shot" or remastered?

What size will the finished work be?

Will digital or film be used?

If the subject is a person (people), will the individual(s) be posed or will he/she/they take a natural pose?

Will accessories be needed for the shoot, such as clothing, costumes, interior design items, signage and a host of other objects?

This is the short list! There are so many ways to shoot/construct a photograph that the opportunities for self-expression are virtually infinite! But the first and foremost choice is the photographer's decision of inclusion of self in the photograph. I put a part of myself in all of my images, whether they be commercial or fine art because the creation of a photograph is personal to me. The choice of personalizing my photography is definitely the most significant aspect of my craft.

The two black and white architectural photographs below emphasis my fascination with light and movement. The curved lines in each underscore the light's predominance as a focal point and its flow throughout the image. The choices involving composition, cropping, black and white medium, angles support the allure light has for me and the ways in which I want to express this sentiment to others.

Black and White Architectural Detail

Black and White Architectural Detail

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