The Beauty and Challenge of Architectural Photography (with Tips for Gear and Composition)

by | May 21, 2021

Article by Faraz Razzagh (@farazrazz)

Edited by Mike Simpson (@mikesimpson.ms)

In a beautiful and bustling city like Toronto, there is no shortage of inspiration to draw from for your camera to capture. Luckily in a metropolis that is home to the iconic CN tower, one such source of inspiration is, of course, architectural photography.

The beauty of architecture is inherent in itself. It’s beautiful, because artists design these buildings. As a photographer, not only do you want to show this, you want to also incorporate your own creative elements to showcase your skills and talent.

Gear and Picking Your Vantage Spot

Just a quick note on gear, usually for many scenes you will want to use a wide angle. The wider the better for architecture photography. Maybe a telephoto lens is something you want to bring along for building details. Don’t limit yourself with just wide angle however. Play around!

When identifying a building as a subject, you want to check out the vantage and surroundings. Do a little survey, walk around the block, check it out from across the street. Check it out low. Check it from a higher vantage.

Choosing Unique Perspectives

In the first photo, Old City Hall can be seen from a hidden perspective with the use of other structural elements. The architecture here stands out with the help of framing and leading lines that help to highlight our subject. Something that might look mundane on the street can look absolutely phenomenal when taking this approach.

Old City Hall, Toronto, as seen from Nathan Phillips Square at City Hall.

Framing for Composition

Framing buildings using other buildings is another great way to compose your architectural subject. This shot is famous in Toronto as it features a reflection of two of the TD Centre office buildings sandwiching the CN tower with a sliver of space in between. The reflection itself is on the bank pavilion at TD Centre. This office complex offers many unique spots for capturing classic modernist architecture.

TD Centre and CN Tower architecture photography by @farazrazz

CN Tower as seen from a window reflection at the bank pavilion of TD Centre

Improvement through Repetition

Lastly, the best thing about architecture photography is that you can keep shooting it over and over again. As the weather changes, you are given endless creative opportunities with the change of season, sunrise or sunset, rain or shine! These buildings look great all year round. Take a walk around downtown Toronto. Here you have a great platform for shooting amazing buildings in one of the most architecturally rich cities in the world!

Gooderham building, with famous flatiron architectural style in Toronto by @farazrazz

The iconic Gooderham building, is a flatiron building in historic downtown east St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood.

 

Thank you to our author for sharing the article and photos!

Be sure to follow @farazrazz

 

Tdot Shots

Tdot Shots

Author

Tdot Shots is a website and IG page supporting photographers & artists in Toronto, Canada. Check us out at tdotshots.com and @tdot_shots on insta!

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