Architectural Photography Book Review
Rocky Nook's Architectural Photography by Adrian Schulz is a 229-page soft-cover book entirely devoted to the photography of architecture, both exterior and interior. It covers this topic end-to-end, starting with camera and equipment choices and going through composition, technique and even image processing. As a specialty book, this one logically assumes the reader is already comfortably with the art of photography and that it needs to teach only the specifics of architectural photography.
The second edition, published earlier this year (2012), is a book with the luxury of covering a type of single photographic subject with great depth. This means that every facet of the topic is precisely covered to minute details, similarly to actually performing architectural photography. It may be that buildings do not move but that very fact demands greater effort and thoughtfulness from the photography in order to produce exceptional images from such common subjects.
Architectural Photography is written in easy-to-understand language, using simple terminology and explaining itself well along the way. The book contains a great number of images, diagrams and illustrations to visually support the text. Full color example of architectural photography appear on most pages, many times with variations on the subject to make the reader understand better.
Architectural Photography is available for purchase from Amazon.
Architectural Photography aims to be a complete stand-alone guide to - obviously - architectural photography. As such, it really has a lot to cover despite the apparent simplicity of its subject. It even covers the peripheral topics such as choice of camera and lenses, as well as image processing for architectural photography.
The book is divided into 4 large chapters, each with between 4 and 14 sections which are further broken up into sub-sections. The organization is clearly chronological and quite logical. Chapter 1, Foreword, puts things in context by defining architectural photography and going through its history.
Chapter 2, Camera Technology, is all about understanding the choice of equipment for this type of photography. It starts by contrasting digital and film cameras and then starts breaking down camera types. Here it clearly shows the book to be modern with references to some of the latest mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, also know as SLD for Single Lens Digital. With any interchangeable lens camera, the lens is of tremendous importance and so an entire section is devoted to all types of lenses suitable for taking pictures of architecture.
No camera setup would be complete without accessories which are also covered in the second chapter. Tripods and heads are given great emphasis, as they should of most photography subjects but particularly so with architecture were utmost precision is required while composing. There are subsections for remote, hoods, filters, adapters, focusing screens and more. The only things missing are camera bags which you can read about in our Gear Information articles.
The core of the book is chapter 3, Shooting Techniques. In you have not guessed it, this is the chapter with 14 sections. This is also where it becomes clear that this is a very specialized book as it covers basic aspects of photography but from the perspective of architectural subjects. A lot of very familiar topics such as perspective, focal-length, image formats and even camera settings are given their own sections. Reading though all these familiar topics make the book seem rather slow. The level of writing is very simple, perhaps too simple in parts, yet every detail gets covered.
For those not sure about taking on architectural photography, it is important to know that photographing a static subject demands much more discipline and attention to details than many other types of photography. Events and photojournalism are completely different where the moment is fleeting and takes more important than the art. On the other hand, buildings are not moving and require a much more disciplined approach to photography. The visual is the entire message in architectural photography and any flaws will immediately affect impact.
The final chapter is devoted to Image Processing. It starts with an explanation of RAW files and compares them with JPEG images. Like the rest of the book, this comparison is done almost clinically without the usual opinions surrounding the debate. Another section is devoted to RAW conversion before leaving the topic behind. A section on post-processing follows.
The two sections after are considerably more interesting and particular to architectural photography. The first one is about panoramic photography which is a very useful tool for this topic considering the size of subjects and frequently tight spaces to photograph them. While some of this is generic, architecture poses a tough challenge for stitched panoramas because such images easily introduce distortion which affects perception of geometry and therefore architectural features of buildings. The second one covers the creation of HDR images in both Photomatrix Pro and Adobe Photoshop.
The final section of the fourth chapter is entitled Tips and Tricks and covers several miscellaneous topics such as Graduated Filters, Black and White images and even Fake Miniatures, all there for complete coverage of architectural photography.
Neocamera Blog is a medium for expressing ideas related to digital cameras and photography. Read about digital cameras in the context of technology, media, art and the world. Latest posts links:
Panasonic Lumix GX850 Review
Highly compact mirrorless with 16 MP Four-Thirds CMOS sensor capable of 4K Ultra-HD video. Fast 10 FPS drive and 1/16000s-60s hybrid shutter. 4K Output for 30 FPS bursts, Post Focus and built-in Focus Stacking.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Review
Olympus professional Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless with 20 MP sensor, built-in 5-axis Image-Stabilization, 121-Point Phase-Detect and Contrast Detect AF, 60 FPS Drive, 18 FPS with Continuous AF, Ultra-HD and Cinema 4K Video. Large built-in 2.4 MP 0.45" EVF with 100% Coverage, 0.74X magnification and Eye-Start Sensor in a freezeproof and weatherproof body with dual control-dials.
Fujifilm GFX-50S In-Depth Review
In-depth review of the Fujifilm GFX-50S Medium Format Mirrorless Digital Camera, a groundbreaking 50 megapixels camera with large 44x33mm sensor and unique modular EVF system. ISO 50-102400 range, 3 FPS drive and 1080p video.
Fujinon GFX Lens Roundup
Roundup of reviews for GFX Medium Format Mirrorless lenses: Fujinon GF 23mm F/4R LM WR, GF 32-64mm F/4R LM WR and GF 110mm F/2R LM WR.
Nikon D500 Review
Full-review of the ultimate Nikon flagship APS-C DSLR. The Nikon D500 offers a new 20 MP CMOS sensor with incredible ISO 50-1638400, 10 FPS, 4K Ultra-HD and a 153-Point Phase-Detect AF system sensitive to -4 EV. Built for professionals into a weatherproof body with dual control-dials and large 100% coverage viewfinder with built-in shutter.
DxO ViewPoint 3 Review
Review of DxO ViewPoint 3. Perspective, distortion and horizon correction software.
Nikon D5 XQD Review
Nikon flagship professional DSLR with 20 megapixels Full-Frame CMOS sensor. All-new 153-point Phase-Detect AF sensitive to -4 EV. ISO 50 to unprecedented 3,276,800! 12 FPS Drive for 200 JPEGs or 180 RAW. First Nikon DSLR with 4K Ultra HD video.
Olympus Professional Lens Roundup
Roundup of Olympus Professional and Premium lenses: M.Zuiko 7-14mm F/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 12mm F/2, M.Zuiko 60mm F/2.8 Macro.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Review
Olympus second generation base OM-D with an anti-alias-filter-free 16 MP Four-Thirds CMOS sensor mounted on a 5-axis in-body stabilization system. Speedy 8.5 FPS drive, full HD @ 60 FPS and a wealth of features in a compact and lightweight body. Offers a 2.4 MP 0.45" EVF with 0.62X magnification and 100% coverage, plus dual control-dials and a highly customizable interface.
Fuji X-Pro2 Review
Fuji flagship XF-mount mirrorless with 24 MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor. 273-Point AF with 169 Phase-Detect points. 8 FPS Drive, 1080p video. Dual control-dials, direct dials and a hybrid viewfinder in a weather-sealed freezeproof body.