In previous articles on this series about Architectural Photography I talked first about general tips and then we went into detail about how to work with historical buildings. Today it is the turn of a totally different architectural element: modern buildings. Modern architecture groups different styles that appeared in the first half of the 20th century. They have something in common though: their construction is based on new technologies and the main construction materials are glass, steel, and concrete. Modern buildings look totally different than the classic ones and for that reason, the tips for working with them are different too. Let’s dig into it!
#1. Use unusual perspectives and angles to add dynamism to the image
With modern buildings, you can keep all the classical recommendations about composition you know…or you can go wild and try new perspectives and angles. The innovative nature of these buildings makes them more suitable for nonconventional compositions.
#2. Go abstract
The shapes and materials of modern buildings suit really well for abstract photography. Here you can be as creative as you want. Look at parts of the building and try to isolate them from the whole picture. Play with textures, lines, and colors. Abstract photography can complement really well a more conventional photo and it adds to the feeling of modernity.
#3. Create tension with distortion to emphasize the size of the building
Modern buildings are usually quite big. If you want to emphasize this feature, you can do it by using the vertical distortion to your advantage. Get close to the building and just point up. You will get this convergent vertical lines that make the building look taller.
#4. Take advantage of reflections
The nature of the building materials of modern buildings might be a perfect subject to play with. Glass windows will allow you to capture nice reflections: from the sky, the floor, closer buildings… experiment with reflections and you will for sure get interesting results.
#5. Add some human in the frame to add a sense of scale and avoid sterility
A lot of the modern buildings are tall, made of glass and metal and have cool colors. They don’t usually have any statue or any other motif. This might make them look a bit sterile and far from any human emotion. To diminish this feeling, you can add a human figure to your frame to break the artificiality.
#6.Warm the colors
You can also warm a bit the colors to soften the metal- looking colors (A bit more of earthy feeling). You can do it using Lightroom by moving the Temperature slide towards the warm colors:
#7.Add a sunburst to make your building look more interesting
Sunbursts can give you a new element to the image that breaks the symmetry and artificiality of a big building and put him a bit closer to a natural element: the sun. You can check the awesome tutorial of Bill Sharpsteen to learn how to get a great sunburst in your photos.
#8. Take a photo from far to add the surroundings
Taking a photo of the building from far will allow you to include the surroundings in the frame and add a bit of context to the image. The building will appear as belonging to somewhere instead of looking isolated.
I hope you find this first article interesting!! Have a happy shooting!!!