The point of view in architectural photography


Which is the best camera position for architectural photography? How do you choose a specific point of view?

The point of view is the only factor responsible for the appearance of the building in perspective and the distribution of the elements in the photographic frame: any alteration in the camera position dramatically changes the appearance of the architecture project in its photographic representation by transforming the spatial proportions of the elements of the picture.

There are many possible options in finding a particular point of view on location besides the more evident ones that deal with annoying elements that obscure the interpretation of the project and that have to be avoided by all means.

All of these alternatives are always generated from a dialogue between the architect and the photographer in order to completely understand the essence of the architecture project, the idea in an architect’s mind that give shape and meaning to a building or an interior space and that the photographer has to absolutely capture in his pictures, and from the communicative needs an architecture firm has to serve with these photographs to successfully diffuse its works.

Passeig 40 Pastry Shop  |  Agustí Costa  |  Berga, Barcelona

Ramon Llull University Campus  |  Dani Freixes  |  Barcelona

The point of view is quite a decisive choice for an architectural photographer because, depending on the camera position, the space that the architecture project proposes may have a completely different appearance in perspective despite of being the main subject of the photograph the very same one, resulting in that the weight of the different elements in the frame will vary and that the same space can be represented and interpreted placidly from a specific point of view and aggressively from another one.

Whatever choice of point of view, it has to always reinforce the ideas that you and your client want to portray and that you as a photographer have to clearly communicate in images for the viewers to immediately perceive them.

Taking as a starting point the selection of different points of view and an idea on how to render a building, architectural photographs are created as harmonically composed frames with an appealing and direct visual language: a good architectural photograph attracts the viewer by its simple, clean and clear visual language to awaken in him a sense of familiarity with the project.

This is how the photographer, by using a careful selection of different elaborated points of view, influences and guides the viewer's vision and the way the architectural project is actually interpreted without the viewer even noticing it.


David Cardelús