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6 Ways to Perfect your Architectural Photography with a Kit Lens


Architectural photography can be challenging – but don’t let it get in your way of capturing some amazing shots. That’s because when you get it right, it can be rewarding. Here are 6 tips pointers to get you started, with the help of Canon EOS M50 mirrorless camera and the EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens.

heritage building windows

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/10, 1/400sec, ISO100, 23mm


1. Start with research 

Preparation is key before you photograph a building. Do your research on the building; read up on the history and find out why it exists, to fuel inspiration for your photos. This then helps you focus on a relevant story or idea that captures the essence of the building.

Understand the fundamentals of capturing photos of buildings with Architectural Photography #1: Basic Concepts.


2. Get the lighting right

rooftop orange tiles

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/10, 1/400sec, ISO100, 45mm

black and white alley way

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/6.3, 1/400sec, ISO250, 15mm

We know lighting is paramount in photography. Not only does good lighting help to emphasise a space, a specific structure or atmosphere, it also plays a big role in shaping your understanding of what is important about that building. But sometimes you can’t avoid but shoot on overcast days. Thanks to its (Image Stabilisation) system and 3.5-stop shutter speed advantage, the EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens enables you to shoot even under low-light conditions.

Discover how to control and play with lighting when photographing buildings in Architectural Photography and Lighting Techniques.


3. Experiment with different angles

bottom up angle of building

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/7.1, 1/250sec, ISO100, 15mm

black and white angled building perspective

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/5, 1/400sec, ISO125, 15mm

top of building corner

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/9, 1/400sec, ISO100, 21mm

Exploring various angles helps to reveal an overlooked part of a building’s detail that may give rise to another level of beauty and appreciation for its form. Try placing yourself as close to the foot of the building and shoot straight up. Or add scale to your image by incorporating everyday objects such as trees and transport.

When shooting buildings in its entirety, you’ll need a lens with a wide-angle focal length range, whereas to capture details from a distance, you want a lens with a telephoto focal length range. Enjoy a broad focal range with the EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, measuring 24mm at the wide angle end to 72mm at the mid telephoto end. This comes in handy when shooting buildings as you get extremely sharp images at its mid-range with a maximum aperture.

Find out how effective composition helps your building stand out in Architectural Photography #3: Effective Composition Techniques.


4. Add a human element

black and white man with building

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/6.3, 1/400sec, ISO100, 30mm

lady silhouette with building in background

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/9, 1/160sec, ISO100, 45mm

Include people in your photos to help add a point of interest, which juxtaposes well against the building you’re trying to capture. Thanks to its swift AF (autofocus), the EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens is able to capture fleeting moments that translate to interesting photo opportunities for street photography.

Learn how establishing the focus can help you convey the story behind your photos better.

5. Explore the details

spiral staircase bottom up

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/8, 1/200sec, ISO100, 29mm

close up of spiral staircase details

 EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/7.1, 1/125sec, ISO100, 45mm

When it comes to photographing buildings, explore details as much as the whole. That’s because capturing intricate details can reveal something new about the building, which would be lost if you had captured its entire facade in one frame.


6. Invest in accessories

If you’re serious about pursuing your passion for architectural photography, consider investing in a few accessories to help you achieve even better results. Include a tripod to enable you to stop down your exposure, creating a wider depth of field and ensures most of your scene is in focus. You can also consider getting a polarising filter to help add contrast and makes your images more brilliant.

To learn more about our featured lens, refer to:
EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Review: Enhanced Photographic Possibilities within Lightweight 130g Body

If you’re looking for more inspiration on architectural photography, check out:
A Guide to Minimalist Photography in Architecture



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