Between shooting for clients, teaching my kids photography class, family obligations, and all of the non-photography activities essential to running a photography business, Life has a way of not letting me shoot just for me very often. So, when I do get a chance to get out and shoot for myself, I find that I gravitate to architectural subjects. I live pretty close to a busy downtown area with a lot of history, so there’s never any shortage of interesting buildings to photograph. Much has been written about the technical aspects of architectural photography. Everything from perspective-correcting tilt-shift lenses to reflection-reducing polarizing filters have been suggested by some of the best in the business for capturing compelling images of buildings big and small. Don’t fall into the trap, though, of thinking that you need lots of expensive accessories to take interesting architectural photos.
Architectural photography, like every other genre, has its share of cliches, and I’ve probably shot them all. Skylines? Check. Laying down on the sidewalk and shooting straight up the side of the city’s tallest building? Check. So, if you believe (as I mostly do) that there is no such thing as an original idea, how do you capture something original and unique? Step #1 is to not care whether somebody else has taken a similar photo before you. If it’s original to you and you like it, then go with it. Print it big and hang it proudly. But if you’re still looking for an original, unique perspective, start concentrating less on the big picture and more on the details.