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Lightroom Architectural Photography

Getting The Most

By Jane Grates

Working on topics that demand a specific focus while containing a great amount of detail can be a challenging task, but the topic of Architectural Photography adds a whole new dimension to this category.

One of the most misguided assumptions we encounter regarding Architectural Photography is the belief that anybody with a good DSLR camera can take good architectural-themed photographs. That is nowhere near accurate, not to mention that it is disrespectful to those who dedicate their time and passion to creating amazing architectural photos.

In order to succeed in this endeavor, you should first have a considerable amount of knowledge under your belt regarding composition rules, lighting conditions… and even the history of architecture, so you will be aware of the style of the building you are shooting, as well as recognize the main features of interest that will catch the attention of your audience right off the bat.

Assuming that you already have that part down, now it is time to enhance the fruits of your labor by using the amazing post-production software that is Adobe Lightroom.

Primary Adjustments

For architectural photography, the first thing I tend to do is make an adjustment by going all the way down the panels of tools provided by the Develop module and locating the area where it says Lens Corrections.

Next, we will move to the Manual area and compensate for the distortions that may have been caused by your camera lens.

Now, we move back to basic, and where it says Upright we have to select Vertical in order to adjust the position of your image plane to the vertical edge.

Now, we go to the Basic panel and locate the area where we can adjust White Balance. As you can see, there are three possible outcomes of this tool:

  1. Via the presets made by Lightroom where it displays As Shot – Only available for RAW files.
  2. Via Temp/Tint sliders – Universal method.
  3. Via Dropper tool – Sampling at an area of equal R, G, B values, which stands for neutral gray.

I am going to work with the second method by making the image look a bit warmer in general.

Increase contrast for this image the very same way I am doing it here.

Then move to the display for adjustments to be made on different parts of the Histogram. As you can see, the Highlights in the image look far too intense, especially in those areas where the sunlight seems to be stronger. Reduce those values to almost -100, and reduce a great deal of the values for Whites as well.

Increase the Blacks by moving the slider towards the negative values, as this will enhance the atmosphere in this image.

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