Architectural photography is the photographing of commercial, public or private residential buildings. Architecture itself can be viewed according to the wide array of cultures that build such structures. Architecture can also be viewed from a historical perspective considering all the various styles that have arisen from each culture over time.
If you’re photographing a building because you’re interested in its architectural and cultural heritage, then you’re also connecting with the people who designed and built it. The architect designed the structure to meet the requirements of the people or institution that paid for the building’s construction.
The architect will consider the purpose of the building. A warehouse may have minimal opportunity for creativity and cultural significance because it’s purpose is considered to be utilitarian and most people won’t pay attention to the design beyond its functionality.
The architect will often have an immense latitude for creativity when designing museums, office building, and many types of public buildings. In this type of situation, it will be the role of the architect to honor the needs and wishes of the owners while insuring that the new structure makes a positive visual and environmental impact on the neighborhood.
The architectural photographer will have a goal to identify and present the unique and interesting features of a structure while making it recognizable in the whole. She’ll want her images to be aesthetically pleasing and accurate representations of their subjects.
Architectural photographers are usually skilled in the use of specialized techniques and equipment. Photographing buildings includes some unique considerations. It will often be necessary to represent the large size of the structure while selecting the angles and features that make it significant and interesting.
The taller the building you’re photographing the greater the issue of perspective. As the building rises lines converge like they do when you’re standing on a railroad track looking far down the tracks. It’s sometimes called the problem of converging verticals. When this issue in unavoidable, because you can’t back up far enough, there are two basic solutions. A perspective tilt shift lens and perspective transformation through image processing software.
The Manheimer Building is a four-story building on Seventh Avenue between West 30th and W. 31st.