Travel Architecture Photography
This session I wanna talk about the mindset the philosophy I have when I'm in the field, when I encounter various kinds of situations, how does that change the way I think, how does that change how I use the settings on my camera and just everything. So, I'm just gonna show you a bunch of situations I might encounter, show you this is what would be going through my head. And just know that this is just how I think it doesn't mean it should be how you think. It's just a matter of hopefully it'll be helpful and if so you find it to be useful and aligned with the way you think then use those ideas. If it doesn't, discard it, on any parts of this. So, let's start, let's start with architecture. You know, there's gonna be a bunch of buildings out there. When I mean architectural I don't mean you're like taking an architectural shot. I mean there's a building in front of you regardless of what kind of situation you're in. There are a lot of things that I think about that happens. And the fir...
st thing I think about is if I take my camera and I tilt it upward in order to include the top of the building in the shot, then the vertical lines that make up the sides of the building are going to look like they start to converge as they get closer to the top of the building. Then when you do that, that's great for tall buildings. In this case, I'm in Moscow and that's a tall monument. And I made it look even taller by tilting my camera up which made the top look a lot smaller than the bottom and it just makes it feel really tall. But if I do the same thing to a short building it doesn't feel so great. What happens with a short building if I tilt my lens up then it can often feel like that building is about to fall over. As if it's almost like a facade that's just one thickness of wood thick and it can just be knocked over. And so I try at all instances if at all possible to not tilt my camera up with short buildings. Now if I need to then what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna shoot the building at an angle. So instead of being lined up with the front surface of the building, I'm gonna walk way over to the left or way over to the right so that my front lens, the front of my camera lens is not lined up with the front of the building. Instead it's at an angle compared to it. And I find that in doing so when I tilt up it doesn't feel as much like the building's gonna fall over, it just feels like oh, you're capturing this at an angle. And I expect to see angles when shot that way. And so that's one thing. But back to this image, let's see what I could've done in that situation. While I took this shot but then I thought oh wait a minute I'm tilting my camera up so I took it as vertical because with a vertical I did not need to tilt my camera up to get it and therefore the verticals on the building could be nice and straight. And then I was patient enough to wait until something happened which would be this guy going through the bicycle which was nice. I should mention not all the images I'll be showing you during this session are fully processed. Being this isn't necessarily the way I would show these images, some of them will be but some of them will be straight out of the camera 'cause that's how you experience it when you're out shooting. So, I'm not gonna limit myself there. But let's look at other ideas. Now I will often shoot at off angles because in doing so it ends up giving me more diagonals in the image but notice when I shoot at this off angle look at the verticals on the building that are still nice and vertical. I'm being very careful not to tilt that camera and often times that has to do with either backing up further than you're used to or sometimes shooting an image in a vertical format. Even though later on you might decide to crop it into a different format, that type of thing. But if you look at any time you see things like doorways, look at how straight the side of that doorway is. Left side you notice how it perfectly lines up with the left side of the frame. What I find is if it doesn't then my brain gets drawn to that, anytime I have diagonals in my image it's kind of makes it more dynamic and it calls my attention to it. And so if I just sloppily shot that by not caring about it the angle on the left side wouldn't be straight and it would draw my eye to that. And I just don't want that to distract. So let's look through a few others. Here I'm shooting away from an angle to get this guy but the verticals are still vertical. Guy in a doorway, I have a series of people sleeping. (laughs) And but notice the verticals, vertical and so I find that whenever I do that it just takes any energy that was in those verticals and diffuses them so you can concentrate on everything else in the scene. Again verticals, vertical, even here. Now some of that we can correct for in light room. If I tilt up slightly I can correct for it in light room but if I know I'm tilting up to get the top of a structure I always zoom out just a little bit. Because anytime you correct for it within light room you're gonna have to crop in a little bit. Because if you think about it if you happen to be able to see my hands, if the building is doing this to start with and then we're gonna correct for it by doing that it's gonna have to take those sides and kind of pull them in, we're gonna end up with some empty stuff down there in the corners that we'll have to crop in to get rid of. And so I usually zoom out a little bit anytime I have to tilt up and I know I wanna correct for it later. But you see how often verticals stay nice in vertical, even this one. And if I'm gonna tilt up often times I do it at an angle and if so I find I don't mind it as much. In this case this is an extremely tall building. This is one of the tallest in the world. I don't know if it is the tallest or not, I don't keep track of those things. But at one time I think it was. And but still at an angle I seem to enjoy the angles more. But other ideas when it comes to shooting. Yes?
Can I ask you a quick question from E and T Photography, do you ever use a tilt shift lens for architecture to shoot the building.
I do have a tilt shift lens, I like shooting wide when it comes to a lot of things and so I have a 17 millimeter tilt shift. I find that I don't travel with it as often. Just because I find the more lenses I have the more cumbersome they become and it just slows me down and also makes me look like a photographer the more lenses I have. And so for me in order to shoot it, to be versatile and just not look as much like a photographer I don't bring as much gear when I travel. But I do use a tilt shift lens quite a bit when I'm traveling in a different way, when I'm in my motor home, where I have my camera bag on wheels, the motor home sitting there, I'll often grab a tilt shift for architecture.
It takes the perfect combination of gear, exposure, and creative thinking to produce travel images that stand out from the rest. Learn the how to bring the critical ingredients together in Travel Photography: The Complete Guide with Ben Willmore.
Fresh off a seven-country, two-month international trip, Ben will share everything it takes to create exciting and memorable travel images. You’ll learn how to:
Ben will cover everything you want to know about selecting, packing, and protecting gear. You’ll also develop an efficient digital workflow that fits the fast-paced lifestyle of travel shooting. Don’t go on your next travel adventure without the insights and skills you need to capture high-quality images, fast processing – join Ben Willmore for Travel Photography: The Complete Guide.
- Deal with everyday tourists in your shots
- Select the best lens for each situation
- Organize the chaos of a scene into a compelling image