Focusing on Architectural Photography

Lately, I’ve taken a break from capturing sheep & camels and instead have been focusing my energies on capturing various architectural styles. Even though I don’t consider myself by any means to be an expert architectural photographer, I enjoy architectural photography and feel it’s important to add this string to my photography bow. Plus, it makes for good stock material when done at a high level.

Architectural photography requires a high degree of technical excellence, including being able to correct distortions (in post-processing) when shooting at wider angles. This also applies to panoramas, when stitching together multiple shots.

The following are some examples of the work I’ve captured lately. If you’re an architectural photographer, I would appreciate any tips on improving my craft. Nevertheless, in some shots I try to add my own style even if it means breaking a few rules, as you’ll see shortly.

Tre Torri District

Tre Torri means Three Towers in Italian, but there’s only two so far…wtf? Well, there’s a third one in its way, expected to be completed in two years. As this is a new district, it’s commercially-valuable stock since there’s obviously less competition, in contrast with let’s say the Duomo Cathedral.

CityLife modern district of Milan, Lombardy, Italy in monochrome fine art style
Fine art & Long exposure of the Tre Torri District

Hadid Tower

Allianz Tower

allianz-tower-is-a-50-floor-209-metre-tall-skyscraper-in-milan-italy-KKXEGE

I shot the above in both vertical and horizontal to give the buyer enough choice to add text, if they wish to do so. They were uploaded to Arcangel Images to be potentially used on the cover of suspense novels.

Tre Torri, Milan, Italy-10
Hadid Residences in the Tre Torri complex. I’ve included people walking their dogs on the foreground to add a human element

Capturing Old World Architecture

Interesting old-world architecture in Milan. These were taken a few minutes’ walk from where I live.

Nov2
The Casa di Riposo per Musicisti is a home for retired opera singers and musicians in Milan, northern Italy, founded by the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi in 1896
Art noveau buildings in Milan's Wagner district during Autumn
Breaking one of the rules of architecture by shooting against the sun!  Local Milan people call these charming buildings: “the Kremlin”
National theater, Teatro Nazionale, Milan, Italy
One the same piazza is the Teatro Nazionale
Milan rustic architecture-2
Check out those curves!

Art Nouveau Architecture

Shooting and keywording architecture means learning about the different styles. One such style which is prominent in Milan is Art-Nouveau, which flourished in the city between 1900 and 1920. Locals call this type of architectural style, “Liberty”.

Art Nouveau is characterised by a desire of architects to humanise and decorate facades with the natural world in mind, introducing colours and curves. They believed that the greatest beauty could be found in nature. This was to counter the traditional Baroque architectural style of the late 19th century, consisting of more bland symmetrical & box-shaped and impersonal-type facades, as well as extensive uses of religious themes such as angels.

Nov2-6
Example of Art-Nouveau style in “The Villa”, Buonarotti district

Naughty naughty me for looking up her skirt!

Art-nouveau style is about going back to nature, which also means exposing the curves of the human body as per the above example. These sculptures are known as “Stones of Scandal”, since they caused an uproar in 1913, when they were originally displayed at the entrance of Palazzo Castiglioni in Porta Venezia. Following a public outcry, they were transferred to this villa in suburbs and placed at the back-entrance away from the public.

Nov2-20
The use of nature is prominent in this architectural style, in this case the sculpture of bees on top of an entrance post

Are you an architectural photographer? What’s your favourite style to capture and why?

Until next time!

Alex

2 comments

  1. Hi Alex! Congratulations on such a fantastic site, I have just discovered you thanks to Steve Heap’s blog.

    I have been twice in Milan, but I didn’t get to know the neighborhoods you visited. They look really interesting though.

    I consider myself an architectural photographer, and I really enjoy it when I’m traveling, but I wouldn’t dare giving you advice! I am here to learn, and your blog is very useful for us people starting in Microstock photography 🙂

    Best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hola Joaquin,

      Thanks for your compliment 🙂

      Happy to help you earn some money from stock photography. Trying to improve my architectural photography skills and since I’ve just started following you on Instagram – I hope to pick up some tips!

      To be honest, I need to invest on a tilt-shift lens before I really get serious about architectural stuff.

      ——

      If you’re looking to really discover Milan’s Art-Nouveau style, I would recommend on going on a tour (I did and really liked it):

      http://www.libertytour.it/milano_liberty.html

      Gracias amigo,

      Alex

      Liked by 1 person

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