INSPIRATION: Mission Architecture

I always have a long-term personal commission running while working on my regular photographic assignments. My current mission is to photograph the architecture and old structures in the area where I live. This region is heavily wooded with rolling hills creating valleys rich for farming. The older buildings and farmhouses built of fieldstone and wood appear to merge seamlessly into the landscape.

Photographing older structures is a special interest of mine. They document how things were done long ago and provide all of us with the opportunity to learn about the time when they were built. Along with various historic properties in the area, many of the old buildings have been restored and are now used as a place of business or a private residence, preserving them for future generations. And the textures of stone and wood yield many possibilities for interesting subjects and compositions.

I like to shoot at various times of the day, since the direction of the light and the color temperature changes, giving a different look throughout the day. Using a wide angle lens can alter the way the building appears and offer a surreal look, or can encompass the building and its surroundings. Using a zoom lens may help eliminate distracting elements in a composition or isolate a particular aspect of the architecture. I look for leading or intersecting lines along with colors or patterns to add interest.

Photographing architecture at night can produce stunning photos. You tend to see more dramatic shadows and highlights cast across the face of the building from spot lights or streetlights.

As an alternative to my current quest, you may be interested in photographing modern buildings. I have found that subject to be just as fascinating. By getting up close to exaggerate perspective or changing your position from the typical viewpoint can add drama. Or even the sensation that the building is imposing itself on its surroundings. The glass and various metals used in contemporary structures can offer interesting reflections and patterns, sourced from streetlights or the sun.

So, find your personal quest and make it a long-term project. Explore those subjects that have a special interest to you. Whether they are man-made or built in nature, as long as they speak to you, the images you create will reflect your mission.

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  1. October 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    You’ve given me fodder for new shots. Just have to find the building/s to do it with. Very cool!

    • October 5, 2011 at 8:38 am

      Well there are certainly plenty of them out there…your mission, should you decide to accept it…

  2. October 4, 2011 at 6:52 am

    I love shots of architecture – new and old. This building looks SO interesting; I would like to see more of it!

    • October 5, 2011 at 8:36 am

      It really is a neat little tiny house that was built around 1810 or so. I will have to post another photo of the whole house.

  3. October 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Dear David, I love architecture photographs, especially as you, the older structures… To be honest they fascinate and impress me much more than the modern buildings. In this photograph the colours hit me, first time, especially this window, this orange window! Standing so nicely… and for me it makes this photograph more interesting. Make me to think or to imagine the story of this orange window. I loved it. But I also loved the gray edge of the frame/roof too, like a lace… Once upon a time there was in every houses… Thank you dear David, with my love, nia

    • October 5, 2011 at 8:31 am

      Glad you enjoyed it Nia. I will have to post a photo of the entire building. It is a small house that was built around 1810 or so.

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