Architecture Photography in Autumn


In the middle of the autumn season, we'd like to have a closer look at architectural photography. In this time of the year, nature turns our surroundings into an impressive set of dominant colours. This is an excellent occasion for taking pictures of building and interiors using the soft light of the changing nature.
Today we are talking today with Joe Withmore about architectural photography and how to use the advantages of this time of the year to present your buildings in the best possible way.
Joe Whitmore is a London based photographer. With a passion for fashion, he uses light to help shape his subjects as a way of adding contrast and mood to his images.   

Fransworth House / Mies van der Rohe, Copyright   Roland Halbe

Fransworth House / Mies van der Rohe, Copyright Roland Halbe

1. What are the advantages of the light in autumn?

You start to get lovely crisp mornings when the autumn draws in, this makes for really nice photos when shooting property with large amounts of land as you can capture the chilled autumnal colours while the sun rises on a clear day.


2. What is the best day time to take exterior pictures?

For me I’d say that the best time to take these kinds of photos are in the early hours of the morning while the sun rises or during the glorious ‘golden hour’ of a clear evening, while the sun is low it creates long shadows and you’ll get a great depth and contrast to your images. You’ll be able to catch some really nice lens flare to add to the exterior photographs, along with the striking saturated golden colours.


3. And the best time for interior images?

Personally I’d say mid afternoon, so around 3 or 4pm. The sun is on it’s way down so you’ll get more directional light through the windows in the property, this will help to give depth to your images creating dynamic shadows as the light won’t be ‘flat’.


4. How to use best the autumn colours in the images?

For interior photographs, I’d recommend styling the image with props that are in a similar colour pallet to the autumn colours, this will tie the whole image together with small pockets of colour throughout the image.


4. How to avoid the floating lines?

There are a few ways to avoid this problem. If you are photographing a tall building from a low angle looking up at it, the chances are that you’re too close and need to distance yourself from the building. This will help straighten up the perspective.

Another way to help is by using a specialist camera lens that allows the ‘Tilt’ and ‘Shift’ movements. This type of lens is commonly used within architecture and interior photography as these movements help to straighten out perspective within an image.

5. What is the right angle for exterior—frontal, around the corner, from above?

I’d say one of the best angles to shoot the exterior of a property would be from a corner, this will then give you a great perspective of the building and also help to show it within it’s surroundings a lot better than shooting it from the front. Front on photographs are great but I only think that they work with graphic style builds, otherwise it can make the image feel quite 2D and less interesting to the viewer.


6. Interior photography? - from the corner catching the whole room or just one detail?

Personally I would always chose to photograph details of the interior that the whole thing. Choosing to photograph architecture this was adds a sense of luxury to the image, only focusing the viewer on one aspect of the room rather than trying to show them the whole thing at once and in tern losing detail in the elements at the other side.


7. What kind of equipment one can use?

I’d use a long telephoto lens with a shallow depth of field. Used in the correct way, it condenses the perspective of the photograph, minimising distortion and helps to maintain proportions of the interior images. You can also use Tilt & Shift lens’ as these help to keep perspective lines under control.


8. How to make it look more interesting?

Having an interior stylist on your team will bring a whole new element to your images. A stylist can dress up the scenes, using their creative knowledge in colour co-ordination and selective propping to really bring scale, and pockets of colour to your images. 


9. Some secret tips you would share?

Always carry a large white reflector while shooting interior photography, it’s the best way to make use of the natural light by bouncing it back into the photograph to fill the slightly darker areas.

And now use this gorgeous time to take beautiful pictures of your current projects! If you need assistance or professional advice, please feel free to contact us.