Contrasts – Shadow vs Light

555 California St san francisco

Contrasts are one of my favorite themes to look for when making images. There are many to consider – old/new, warm/cool, smooth/rough, and today we’ll discuss shadow/light. Subtle Variations It can be subtle and can take a very straightforward image that might be dull in flat lighting conditions more interesting. In this shot, I’ve centered […]

Architectural Composition Tool: Filling the Frame

When creating architectural images the biggest consideration in composition is isolation, meaning what to include and exclude within your frame. The two basic ways to go about this are filling the frame, which we’ll discuss in more depth today, and negative space, which we’ve discussed in the past, here. As opposed to the negative space […]

Using Layers to Add Depth to your Architectural Images

We’ve been writing about compositional tools (like Negative Space, Triangles or Leading Lines) that can help you improve your architectural images. Today’s theme is layers! It’s a common element of photography, think foreground/background in landscape images. With architecture, you don’t always see what’s between the different layers, as oftentimes one building is hiding part of […]

Drawing the Viewer in with Leading Lines

pantheon, paris

Leading lines are probably one of the most basic composition techniques in any genre of photography. In terms of architecture, this is easier to come by in mid-range and cityscape shots. Though not impossible for abstracts, it is a bit more challenging. One of the best subjects for leading lines is the spiral staircase. Simply […]

Using Negative Space in your Architectural Compositions

lake point tower

When photographing architecture, you’re often presented with two choices: fill the frame with your subject or leave some breathing space around it. The latter is called negative space and can be a great tool for your compositions. Filling the frame creates a busy composition, often resulting in dramatic, intense, sometimes overwhelming images. Leaving some negative […]

Using Framing to Create More Interest in Your Architectural Subjects

lincoln park pavilion, studio gang architects, angie mcmonigal photography

One of our favorite ways to compose architectural subjects is to frame them. There are many ways to do this, from abstract takes to cityscape views. Let’s go through a few examples to give you an idea of what we mean. Starting with an abstract perspective. One way is to use a portion of the […]

Using isolation to compose architectural images

geisel library

“The art of photography is about directing the attention of the viewer.” – Steven Pinker Composition is probably the most important element of creating an effective photograph. Having a great subject sure helps, but even something mundane can be made interesting if you know how to compose your shot. In terms of creating architectural abstracts, […]

Urban Angles

trump tower, ibm building chicago, langham hotel, ama plaza garage

In my last post about Aqua I mentioned I met up with some photographer friends over the weekend. While we spent a good amount of time photographing Aqua we also wandered past Trump Tower, the riverwalk and the Lake Shore East neighborhood. One of my favorite buildings from the afternoon was the Blue Cross Blue […]