Go ab­stract with ar­chi­tec­ture

Cre­ate great ab­stract im­ages us­ing build­ings as your sub­jects

NPhoto - - Contents -

There’s no one ‘magic bul­let’ for ab­stract ar­chi­tec­tural pho­tog­ra­phy. Some ex­tra lenses will help, and you need a lo­ca­tion with in­spir­ing ar­chi­tec­ture, but most of all you need to be able to see lines, shapes and per­spec­tives in a par­tic­u­lar way.

These shapes and lines are the real sub­ject, not the build­ings them­selves. You can make a great pic­ture out of some­thing as mun­dane as a row of win­dows in a con­crete of­fice block. With ab­stract pho­tog­ra­phy, it’s not the sub­ject it­self that makes the pic­ture, but the way you shoot it.

How do you train your eye to see in­ter­est­ing shots in de­tails? This is where chang­ing lenses will help! We took a trip to Cardiff Bay armed with a Nikon Df and 50mm lens, but we also took a 14-24mm su­per-wide-an­gle and 70-300mm tele­photo. While usu­ally you use su­per-wide lenses to ‘get more in and tele­pho­tos to shoot dis­tant sub­jects, they do more than that. They change the re­la­tion­ship

These shapes and lines are the real sub­ject, not the build­ings them­selves. You can make a great pic­ture out of some­thing as mun­dane as a row of win­dows in a con­crete of­fice block

be­tween near and far ob­jects, they al­ter per­spec­tives and can make or­di­nary ob­jects look very dif­fer­ent.

You should also break the rules. Clas­si­cal ar­chi­tec­tural pho­tog­ra­phy re­jects ‘con­verg­ing ver­ti­cals’, but in ab­stract pho­tog­ra­phy you can turn these into a fea­ture, angling a su­per-wide-an­gle lens up­wards to pro­duce strongly con­verg­ing lines. You can use tele­pho­tos to make dis­tant ob­jects big­ger, sep­a­rat­ing de­tails in build­ings from their sur­round­ings so that any sense of scale or con­text is lost.

Fi­nally, the sim­plest com­po­si­tions can be the most suc­cess­ful. A shot of a sin­gle de­tail can work re­ally well.

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