Wed. Inspiration – Architectural Photography

I’ve been studying Architectural photography a lot lately and I’ve come across some really great websites. Thomas Grubba photography is one of them. He’s got a great portfolio of both interior and exterior photos. Plus, I really liked his Kitchen section as I’m a sucker for a really well designed kitchen (not that I cook) :) As I looked through his site it made me want to do two things: 1) I kept trying to dissect the lighting. Most architectural photography is a mixture of available light and some type of continuous or strobe lighting and I like to see if I can tell which is being used where. 2) It made me want a new house. Don’t get me wrong, I love my house but some of these places are absolutely gorgeous.

Next, one of the leaders in real estate photography, Scott Hargis, has a great portfolio as well. He’s got some beautiful exterior and interior stuff. Plus, if you’re interested in this type of work I dug up an interview with him that I thought was a great read. Here’s the link.

Finally, here’s a link to Randy Van Duinen photography. Randy’s been a friend of mine for a few years and he’s just got an awesome portfolio (as well as being a really nice guy). Randy helps out at Photoshop World and I see his photos every time I’m there and I always have the same response – “I’m following you next time we go out on a photo shoot!”. Seriously, he’s very talented and I’m hoping to accompany him on some projects in the coming months to see what tips I can pull from him when it comes to architectural photography.

All in all, I think this type of work is great and I’ve been exploring it more and more lately. I actually have a few shoots set up in the Tampa area so I’ll keep you posted. Enjoy!

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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14 Comments

  1. Matt,
    You mentioned analysing the mix of available and artificial light. Another very useful way of dealing with extremes of dim and bright natural light (for example, a shot of an interior but which includes a window view) is to take a number of shots (on a tripod) at different exposures (varying the shutter speed, not the aperture) and either merge them in HDR in Photoshop or just manually layer them with masks to use the optimum part of each image. Looking at Thomas’s interior shots, I would guess this is what he’s done.

    Cameras can’t cope with the dynamic range of the eye (yet!), so this is just a way of exending the range to achieve a correct exposure throughout the image.

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  2. I find a lot of the regular architectural work to be like so many real estate displays, competent and descriptive, but not exactly in tune with the ‘architecture’. Randy’s was certainly the most interesting of the three.

    The Portugese work of Fernando Guerra however was really good to see – thanks ZM for pointing that out.

    I’m still in awe of some of the work of the Swiss photographer Hélène Binet http://www.helenebinet.com/. Although her own web site is not the best, you can get an idea of her breadth here: http://www.arcblue.com/search/helene-binet/12/1/.

    From the UK, Tim Soar has some good work also: http://www.soarportfolio.co.uk/

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  3. Hey Matt!

    Thanks for the links to Scott Hargis Portfolio and the interview! Nice portfolio and lots of information in the interview – great!

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  4. Matt,

    Once again —thanks! you guys are a well spring of info!

    Another photographer you might check out is my friend (and former employer) Alan Blakely. He does great architectual work!

    http://www.blakelyphotography.com

    jk driggs

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  5. Matt,
    When you get more info about shooting architecture will please share what you learn? Maybe do some step-by-step tutorials on set-up ,lighting and exposure.

    -Thanks

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  6. Hello Matt,

    Thanks so much for the recognition. With all the hours I put in I’m glad someone noticed.

    As for Martin’s comment – I shoot a mix of ambient and strobe, mostly SB-800′s. If you or anyone else wants to view more of my work and some details on the lighting, please visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7442799@N08/ for my personal profile or: http://www.flickr.com/groups/photographyforrealestate/ for the Photography for Real Estate Group. They have some excellent members and discussions about lighting interiors and HDR.

    Thanks again,
    Thomas

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  7. Matt–

    Thanks for a really great post recognizing some fellow real estate photographers. Scott and Thomas both involved in a phenomenal online real estate photography community which is a great learning resource at:
    http://photographyforrealestate.net

    And the associated Flickr group where members of the community display work at:
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/photographyforrealestate/

    A number of real estate shooters also post setup shots (which Scott Hargis did on a recent shoot of his) which help others learn good positioning technique for using multiple off camera strobes as I and many other real estate photographers typically do.

    Another really excellent architectural shooter is M. James Northen whose portfolio is at http://jnorthen.com/.

    I’ve used the Kelby 7-Point System (usually a few of the points) on a number of my images with nice results. Keep up the good work “Photoshop Guys”, Photoshop TV rocks.

    Doug Cranmer
    http://CityLifeImages.com

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  8. Martin (and others)

    I happen to know that both Thomas and Scott’s work is all in-camera – no HDR, no multiple exposures combined in Photoshop.

    They’re actually coming out with a DVD soon that will explain their techniques.

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  9. Excellent post and is good to see a few names from The photography for real estate group posted here. Photographyforrealestet.net is what got me into the business over 2 years ago now. I quit my job and become a real estate photographer!

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  10. UGH!I did a crazy long response to your post but my internet cut out and I lost it all! Oh well, just wanted to say that it was a great article! Awesome!

    Post a Reply

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