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Ant Smith
Creativity is an action not an attribute... Photographic Skill: The Book - now available CLICK HERE



My camera is my companion, my pal, my reason for seeing!

I'm not really into getting up at the crack of dawn to chase the golden hour at some 'ideal' location. In fact I don't really approve of such behaviour! It only encourages one, idealised, view of what photography is. To my mind nowhere is more photogenic than anywhere else and there is no such thing as 'bad light'.


So for me photography is more about looking closer at the things around you than rushing off to find the beauty of some distant land.

My architecture photography is more about the encounters I have with buildings, than portraits of great edifices. This means I photograph 'with attitude'; I have an opinion or an emotional response to the environment - which I think is important. But, such things are not just magicked up, rationally chosen. They arise from action. From deliberately experiencing the place. Inside, outside, walking around; touching surfaces even. As far as possible. Until something other than pure visual appeal occurs. Sometimes, though, it does just come down to visual appeal. Of course.

The problem with simple visual appeal though, is that it gives no impetus for onward discovery. If it's just a pretty picture people will look at it, maybe press 'like' on a social platform, but then move right on to what ever the next drip in their feed may be. With a deeper story (or intent), some greater intrigue, people might just look and then look for more (click through on the link say).

Some approaches that help me to choose an architectural shot

  • What do people usually miss about this place? What can I show them to help them appreciate the beauty of the mundane?

  • Just like people, buildings have their 'best side'; the point of view the architect particularly wanted to present - which would be the worst available shot but is a fine starting point in experiencing a place.

  • What seems a little off-key, or missing? Especially where are the suprising non-symetries? Cathedrals for example are always wonderfully asymmetric.

  • A single step can dramatically change the projection of the building onto the sensor. Oh and lying on your back is often better than simply looking up.

  • Timing always matters. Sometimes it's less critical with certain architetcural shots, but rarely is the precise moment of exposure an irrelevance.

  • With architectural detail, or abstract, shots contrasts matter: big/small, straight/curved, smooth/rough, light/dark, etc...

  • It is position and point-of-view, not the lens, that determines perspective.

  • Geometry is key. Circles shouldn't be oval and lines shouldn't unintentionally lean.

The following section provides more thoughts on my approach to archtectural photography in the context of these images, including technical shooting data:

About The Images