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Kav’s Way of Architectural Photography

Sam Optic glasses-shop, Sam Center, Tehran

Sam Optic glasses-shop, Sam Center, Tehran

Ways of photographing can be discussed from two views: the viewpoint on the subject and the photographing technique.

Viewpoint on the Subject

Kav’s perspective of architectural photography is derived from an architect’s viewpoint on building and architecture which is gained through years of experience in designing.

All in all Kav’s approach in architectural photography has an architectural perspective which is gained by professional photography and knowledge of architecture. Surely, to capture the building properly, enough knowledge and true understanding of the space are needed. An architect’s viewpoint of architectural space, affected by enough knowledge and experience in designing makes this understanding better. An architectural photography with this knowledge produces a unique result and Kav guarantees that. In addition to having thorough knowledge of the architectural space, Kav applies high photographing techniques and professional equipment to create a better high quality pictures.

Photographing Techniques

There are many photographing techniques from which a photographer chooses, according to the subject and the project. One of the most important aspects of these techniques is light controlling which has a major role in architectural photography.

We believe that in architectural photography, light, whether artificial or natural, reflects the space as it is seen. So adding temporary lights or industrial lighting to improve the picture harms the essence and quality of the space and produces an unreal picture of the structure. In architecture light, shade, darkness and lightness with its other characteristics have different roles in the quality of the space which should not be neglected. Then what can be used as light in architectural photography is available environmental light which is diverse in various situations and different hours of the day. But using this light has its own problems and the most important one of all is dynamic range.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range is the amount of light difference between the brightest and darkest areas of the picture which has recognizable details. Human eye with a high dynamic range can detect light in a situation with high contrast. For instance, when you are sitting in a room with a window, you can easily see the details inside the room and outside the window at the same time, while cameras don’t have this capability and this means that a part of the pictorial information is lost and won’t be recorded. A contractual specific number is set for cameras and human eyes.

Taking a detailed elucidative picture of the whole space is one of the greatest challenges of all in architectural photography. There are different ways to compensate for this loss. One of them is using industrial lighting to reduce the contrast but as said this changes the shades and lights of the building and affects its quality which is not accepted.

Another way is to take photos with a high dynamic range. This goal is achieved by taking many photos in different lighting situations and then combine all these photos using software; this way the photo will have a high dynamic range. Actually in this process by keeping the contrast between dark and bright areas, a picture is made in which dark and bright areas have all their details and no information is lost.

A house of niche, Najaf Abad

A house of niche, Najaf Abad

There are different combination methods. Those programs which do this job automatically, usually make an unreal unprofessional fast result. “Photomatix” is one of the most famous software packages of all.

We believe that combining raw pictures manually and masterly is time consuming but has a much more natural and professional outcome. Though this takes time, experience, expertise and effort to be produced, the result is more satisfactory and the picture is more real and closer to what our eyes see. 

Also to improve the frame, colours and light, different software utilities such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Camera RAW, Capture One Pro and   Digital Photo Professional are used. It is worth mentioning that each software package is used in its strong points. Moreover, photos are shot and saved as a raw file or Digital Negative. Their vast shades of colours and 16 bit light help them be edited better in software processes.

Since editing the picture as cited is pricey and time-consuming, to picture the buildings better a lot of photos from different angels and with various frames are taken and then the bests of them which show the structure more efficiently are selected. These chosen frames are edited via the software utilities until the final product is prepared.

Additionally, Kav’s professional photographic equipment like full frame cameras and various lenses (such as flat wide lenses that are proper for architectural photography, or other lenses with different focal lengths and depths of field) tries to capture the structure more proficiently under all circumstances.