Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Architecture. Black and white photography.

I intentionally chose an architectural monochrome photography for the first posting simply because it was always one of my favorite types of visual art. It involves a great and inspiring time spent walking around the cities, searching for interesting buildings, places & environments, as well as creative post work at home, fun and highly productive. I’ve used different film cameras, compact cameras with autofocus and digital SLR cameras. I find that success in shooting architecture depends mostly on how good is your eye with composition (although framing can be somewhat corrected afterwards), how well you know the abilities of your camera, lenses, filters and flash units, how good you are with analyzing the best conditions for your photo session, how well you pay attention to details.

Personally I love working with old structures, new buildings and the mixes of old and new (you can find that in many large cities). Black and white with its dramatic effect perfectly fits to the picture of architecture and urban environment, while in color it often lacks variety of colors. If you carefully and lightly color your grey/black tones, it might help to create the specific mood you are trying to deliver to the viewer. Monochrome photography is bold and will repeatedly serve to emphasize the massiveness of the buildings you capture, keeping focus on technicalities of construction. Unless you use black and white film, I would recommend consistently taking pictures in color before turning it into monochrome. It will assist you with self observation and skill development, in addition with benefits for your imagination and originality.

According to my experience, morning is a perfect time to take photographs if you are looking for a soft light and multi-tones, long shadows, ... and not too many people on the way. Evenings are priceless for the urban scenery, if you wish to inject the pulse of life into your photos and panoramas. Day is an appropriate time for taking a high contrast pictures, or if your camera is weak. Night pictures are always impressive because of their unique play of city lights, yellow and blue glowing windows, christmas decorations, fireworks and car signal lights.

The advantage of taking photographs of an architectural structures is that they don't move. The buildings will patiently let you experiment with your angles, zoom, how the picture will look in different hours of the day or different seasons. Cropping is also an extremely powerful tool, so I'd advise to shoot in raw with the lowest ISO possible to avoid graininess after cropping.

Black and white photography potentially looks more like art work, you can make it crisp or create a motion. You can create stunning effect and demonstrate your point of view on the subject you are shooting. The quality of your work will certainly improve as you gain experience. I wish you the best luck with exploring your inner abilities and thank you for your attention.


I hope you will enjoy to view my photographs below: