in Architecture

Architectural Lighting | Architectural Photographer, Bend OR

Have you ever wondered what makes an image really stand out from the rest? Or, perhaps, how to get your home or space to photograph well for an advertising campaign? Well, I won’t give away all my trade secrets as an architectural photographer here, but I will show you a quick comparison that will help train your eye to see light differently, as well as how to become a discerning client when needing to hire a professional photographer that will make your building/residence/commercial space really shine.

The two images below are the exact same residence, the exact same angle, the exact same day. Sure, you can probably see that. Will it surprise you then to learn that the two images were photographed only 22 minutes apart? A bit more intrigued now?

I photographed these two images to showcase the dramatic difference that lighting can make in a photograph. The first image was taken at the end of the day with no additional lighting equipment used. The sun was still the main lighting source. Because of the nature of the home’s architecture, beautifully designed by Scott Gilbride Architecture, the sun didn’t do a very good job reaching to the inside corners of the patio. In order to compensate for that, the exposure either gets longer, or the depth of field gets shorter (not ideal for architecture) and the sky, then, gets whiter. Indeed, you can see for yourself the overall dull appearance the home had.

In comparison, for the second image, I waited only 20 more minutes for the sun to go below the horizon, (becoming the ambient (or fill) light for the photo shoot). The main light source became my photography lights that I added with strategic placement to add light where needed as well as add a more dramatic feel overall to the photo. The home then became lit from the inside and outside, giving it a warm glow in appearance and a well deserved contrast from the rich blue sky from the dusk evening.

When searching to hire a professional architectural photographer, or even a professional photographer for other subject matters, please remember that lighting ALWAYS matters. It is important to find a photographer that is going to make your product, home, or business really shine, and that lighting is one of the very best ways we are going to do that for you!

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  1. It was the great Ansel Adams who once said: “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”
    As a viewer, it is truly amazing to see how you can see the world that we all see, day to day, and make it beautiful…
    It was that same photographer who went on to say that “Photographers come before reality tenderly and a photograph to them is an instrument of love and revelation.”
    Keep seeing the world differently.
    Amazing work Watts.

    You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
    Ansel Adams