Saturday, March 31, 2012

Learning: Photographing Historical Buildings


Photographing Historical Buildings


Historical buildings often provide golden opportunities for ideal photographs. These constructions fascinate a photo artist deeply. A few points can help us portraying these buildings beautifully:

1. Good equipment is a vital aspect. We should choose a camera with all necessary features. The most important thing is selection of right lens. A normal lens is always ideal because this assists avoiding distortion in our results. In some cases (in the condition when there is a lack of space) a wide angle lens is of great use. But this lens distorts photographs on the edges. This problem can be conquered by maintaining distance between the camera and the subject. A perspective correction lens can also help us avoiding unnecessary distortion. Moreover photo-editing softwares (Like Adobe Photoshop) also help us eliminating the distortion from our subject.

2. Good Lighting is always a requirement. Early morning and late evening light of sun is ideal for our intention. This light creates long shadows by falling on a subject at low angle. This boosts depth to a building and shows up the dimensions. Furthermore this light brings out the details of the subject. The results are superior when such light falls on the structures from one side.

3. Proper composition is a very important facet. Our composition should be simple and full of aesthetic value. Shooting a building in a straight line is not sufficient. A photograph should look interesting. We have to involve the environment also in company with the major subject. Involving trees, plants, human beings, etc. in the frame adds sense to our image.

4. We have to use a small aperture (22, 16 or 11) to show maximum parts of a building in focus with ultimate depth.

5. At times, a specific part of the building can provide a good image. The presentation depends on our approach. Few buildings are rich in artistic forms. If we document these forms artistically, we can get exceptional pictures.

6. Sky has an important role in architectural photography. We should avoid flat and dull sky. Blue sky is always ideal and if the sky has clouds too, we are lucky enough to get a decent shot. Flying birds (if we luckily get) in the sky or around the object also give strength to our photograph.

7. We can get good pictures of buildings during night also (if they are enlightened well). In such situation we should always rest our camera on a firm tripod.

8. Some times a low view point can give amazing results by depicting the buildings more grand.

9. Since these buildings are our heritage, this is our duty to not to harm them.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma


  1. This is really a very useful write up with nice quality illustrations. Thanks for sharing Sir..
    Leena Chaturvedi-Lucknow

  2. Thanks for sharing such valuable article, Dr. Sharma. You are always a source of inspiration for beginners like me.
    -pranav saxena

  3. Wonderful and helpful tips. Attached images are nice.

    Sitanath Paul.
    West Bengal

  4. Nice article with beautiful illustrations.

  5. Very useful Tips,Pankaj Ji
    Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Thank u sir for such a nice tutorial on photography of Historical buildings. .
    Loved the photographs...
    Akhilesh Singh

  7. superb sir....

    Kamal Khawar,
    ALMORA (Uttarakhand)

  8. Thanks to you for this helpful article.