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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Frank P. Luongo
Contact Frank
Frank's Gallery
francislphotography.com

member since: 6/7/2004
 

How to Shoot Architecture in a City


I live in New York City, and love photographing architecture - especially churches. How do I create a composition of a church without coming in close with a wide-angle lens, thus creating linear distortion, or using a longer focal-length lens while trying to maintain the entire church, steeples, and all in the composition. Also, the adjacent buildings are distracting. I use conventional film. I do have Photoshop - however, I wish to create an unedited gem. How about photographing parts of the church -i.e., steeple, windows, doorway - that will adequately fill the frame? What are your thoughts on PC lenses?

6/8/2004 3:25:43 PM

 
Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  Wide-angle prime lenses (like a 24mm f/2.8) will have less barrel distortion than a wide angle zoom. To minimize keystoning, you need to get the camera up off street level - for example, shooting your subject/building from several stories up in a nearby building. The clutter of passing cars and pedestrians can be eliminated by setting a very long shutter speed (measured in minutes, using very slow film) so that they are never in the scene long enough to register on film. PC (perspective control, aka tilt/shift) lenses are perfect for eliminating linear distortion and controlling depth of field, but they are very expensive (~$1100 for Canon TS-E 24 f/3.5L).

6/9/2004 6:28:04 AM

 
Michael Kaplan

member since: 5/27/2003
  There is another way which is more work for you, but I personally find it more fun. You can shoot it as a panorama. You take multiple pictures and piece them together to make 1 larger picture. They can be made up of just horizontal shots or vertical or both. There are also benefits to this. You can have a picture with much more resolution available; sort of like using a much higher resolution camera. This is best of course if shooting with digital as there are many programs available to help you splice these shots together.

If you are interested, you can see my first attempts on my photo site http://www.pbase.com/mkaplan . Look under the Panorama section. The best place to find out how is to scour the internet as there are many examples and explanations & how to's.

Here are a couple of sites to get you started:
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/j.houghton/panos.htm
http://www.caldwellphotographic.com/
Look especially under mosaics and see some of his work from N.Y. - for example, where he does many single building shots.
Michael Kaplan
Canon EOS-10D
http://www.pbase.com/mkaplan

6/23/2004 5:50:56 AM

 
Sreedevi  Kashi

member since: 6/10/2003
  If you're interested in large format photography at all, try using a 4x5 view camera. You can get a good one cheap off of ebay. The film is more expensive, but you're able to correct for any distortions. This is the best way that I know of to get what you're looking for. Using a view camera really makes it easy to straighten the lines of a building and get an entire building in view from just across the street.

6/23/2004 6:26:47 AM

 
Peter K. Burian
BetterPhoto Member
PeterKBurian.com
Peter's Photo Courses:
2-Week Short Course: Boot Camp for New Digital SLR Owners
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Canon EOS Digital Rebels
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
 
 
 
Great suggestions. Or try this if it is possible in that location: Use a longer lens and move further back - across the street, at least. Try to fill the frame with the subject, without tilting the camera upward. Granted, in a busy city, that might mean taxis and pedestrians in the foreground. But it works well in other situations.

Cheers!

6/24/2004 12:47:26 PM

 
Peter K. Burian
BetterPhoto Member
PeterKBurian.com
Peter's Photo Courses:
2-Week Short Course: Boot Camp for New Digital SLR Owners
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Canon EOS Digital Rebels
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
  Great suggestions.

Or try this if it is possible in that location.

Use a longer lens and move further back - across the street, at least. Try to fill the frame with the subject, without tilting the camera upward.

Granted, in a busy city, that might mean taxis and pedestrians in the foreground. But it works well in other situations.

Cheers! Peter Burian

6/24/2004 12:50:21 PM

 

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