Using a Professional Architectural Photographer is the same as why you would bring in a professional for any number of specialist services. Well, would you seriously consider not using an architect, a solicitor, a chartered surveyor, a doctor, an accountant, and on?
Why use a Professional Architectural Photographer? The simple answer is that he or she would have received training with a studio over some years or studied photography at University, both to achieve an understanding of Composition, Light and Perspective. These considerations apply to becoming proficient in all fields of photography. However, to a Professional Architectural Photographer, mastery of Composition, Light and Perspective are the three key elements needed to all come together at one time in making the decision to capture a particular aspect of a building, at a given point with the verticals all correctly aligned. These elements take time to come together; however, the results of patience far outweigh the ordinary.
Good composition in Architectural Photography comes about after deciding on a particular aspect to photograph. A lot of time would be spent looking for elements in the aspect that provide balance, depth and linking one element to another by guiding the eye through a scene towards creating an image that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. In the image above, the eye follows the curve from the top right-hand corner all the way to the fountain, picking up lots of detail on the way.
Light, in all it’s degree of brightness is what makes photography possible. When deciding on the aspects of a building to photograph, the position of the Sun is paramount in calculating the best time of day for the optimum amount of light to fall on a particular elevation. For example, an easterly facing elevation would benefit from being shot during early morning or even as dawn breaks, flooding the elevation with a golden light as the Sun rises from the horizon.
Perspective is the relationship between one object and another, as looking along a straight railway line the tracks appear to meet the further away you look. The same effect occurs when photographing a building from the ground looking up, the walls appear to converge, while the brain knows that the walls are upright., photographers use special “tilt and shift” lenses to combat this problem, which allows the lens to be tilted gradually to correct for the effects of perspective. As the lens is tilted parallel to the building, the lines will move apart from one another, and the dimension of the building will appear more correct. Alternatively, the verticals can be correctly aligned post-production on the computer in for example Photoshop.