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Thread: Architectural Photography Tips?

  1. #1

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    Architectural Photography Tips?

    I have a project to photograph a bunch of local historical biuldings. I'm just going to shot the exteriors. The images are going to be used on websites, and also archived. I'm very familiar with landscape photography but haven't done much architechural photography. I'm planning on using my toyo 4x5 field camera. I have a 90mm and 210mm lenses. any suggestions as far as other lenses, films.. transparancy or negative, technique. thanks!

    brian

  2. #2

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    Architectural Photography Tips?

    Regarding lenses, nuch depends on how much room there is around the subject buildings. It is much easier to photograph when you are not cramped.

    Another factor is whether realistic or dramatic views are desired. For historical buildings I would guess straightforward recording would be wanted. In this case, if you have enough room to employ your 210mm, the job should be a piece of cake.

  3. #3

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    Architectural Photography Tips?

    You should read Photographing Buildings Inside and Out by Norman Mcgrath.

    You may not have room for the 210 and the 90 may crimp the bellows too much for the movements you need.

    Are you doing this in black and white or color? Color negs may not be as archival and if this is for historic purposes you need something that will last.

    Are you getting paid for this?

    steve simmons

  4. #4

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    Architectural Photography Tips?

    steve,

    So you think that I might want to get a mid range lens, like a 135, or 150 to add to my 2 lenses I have now? Also, I'm definaltely going to shoot in black and white, but color also. Which is more archival, color neg or transparancy? I'm not getting paid for this. I'm doing it as a volunteer for the local historical society. They approached me, and I'm happy to help out. Thanks!

  5. #5

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    Architectural Photography Tips?

    I use a 90, 135, and 210 as my standard architectural kit. The 135 gets used the most. My little Caltar II has plenty of room for movements and is a sharp little lens - won't break the bank neither. (Or rent one - obviously always an option.)

    Tho I have not seen actual numbers to back it up, my guess is Color Negative film will age more gracefully than Chromes.

    Make sure you get some sort of credit - if not payment, a thank you and a donation write off might be nice.

    Anyhow, sounds like a nice project. Have some fun with it.

  6. #6

    Architectural Photography Tips?

    I recently photographed a historic building for a client and I used lensed ranging from 58mm to 150mm. Most of the images were done with a 72mm and 90mm. I had a 240mm and 305mm but they never got used. You will probably find the 90mm seeing a lot of use. The Toyo barely can do much with the bellows cramped, can you use a camera better suited to the task? I used my Ebony 45SU and on one shot with a 110mm I had to use full rise (70mm) to get the image required.

  7. #7

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    Architectural Photography Tips?

    Something in the 120-135 range would be a nice mid range lens. I too am concerned about the camera allowing enough movement with a 90mm.

    Check with your color lab for their suggestions re color neg or transparency film. It might depend on the final output product and if there is a possibility for any type of reproduction.

    Good luck. I have done this type of thing a few times and I enjoyed it.

    steve

  8. #8
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Architectural Photography Tips?

    For many years I used only a 90 and a 210 on a Tachihara while I was a stringer for Architecture Magazine. That tool kit worked fine and I had many covers in those years.

    You might want to check out the arch. photo manual for the National Trust for Historic Preservation that I wrote many years ago.

    http://www.preservationbooks.org/showBook.asp?key=23
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
    WEBSITE

    LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)

  9. #9

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    Architectural Photography Tips?

    I have room for movement of a 90mm lens on my Toyo, but my 90 is an f/8. This image circle doesn't allow for much movement. What other options do I have other than to buy a wider aperture 90 lens?

  10. #10

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    Architectural Photography Tips?

    When I was working for Architectural Record in the 70's my three lenses were 90, 150 & 250 on Calumet cameras, the wide and the longer rail. For the exterior work you propose perhaps a 125 would work better with the Toyo Field. I have that camera and for extreme movements it may be a bit constricted. Give it a try, it really depends on your distance from the subject. Enjoy your project and do not worry too much about the archival aspects.

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