Photography orientation is all about an architectural subject’s positioning in relation to the sun — and it makes a big difference in photo results.
The direction the building faces, or its orientation, (in this case, to the west), can be used as a natural advantage in architectural photography.
When creating any image, a solid starting point is to ask two questions: “Where is the light?” and “Where is the subject?” With these considerations under your belt, the sunlight and the building meet up, and as a photographer, you get the correct exposure on the mark.
The PRO shot at the right is inviting: the foreground, middle and background are all well balanced. This is achieved by getting up off the ground, changing one’s perspective as a photographer. Shooting on a lift or ladder allows a architectural photographer to look eye-to-eye at the storefront, creating a more pleasing image. With an untrained eye, a viewer can’t tell that the image was created from a point of elevation; they just know that they like the shot more than the other!
In addition, the diagonal point of view (POV) is more dynamic in the PRO shot (right). Shooting closer to the building and getting inside the walkway light poles removes that distracting element from the image. It moves the viewer’s eye away from looking at the poles, as in the DIY shot on the left. It also minimizes the bland foreground taken up by the front walkway in the DIY shot, and replaces it with landscaping details that add color and interest.
In this project, the client asked that it not feature people or cars, resulting in a timeless quality so the image has a longer life of usage. These factors can quickly date an image. This consideration, along with a focus on an architectural photograph’s orientation creates a composition that delivers high quality and optimal results.