Tip of the Day: Lenses for Architectural Photography

Tilt-Shift LensesA tilt-shift (abbreviated to TS and also called a Perspective Correction lens) lens enables your SLR camera to operate like a bellows or view camera (in a restricted sense though). Essentially, the problem with taking pictures of tall buildings from the ground is that as their height increases, the top of the building gets further away from the camera, introducing ‘perspective’ into the photograph. The work around is to keep the camera pointed parallel to the ground; but the pro

Architectural photography requires equipment the average photo enthusiast might not have in his or her bag. If you are serious about trying architectural photography, consider renting or buying some specialty glass. Here are three types of lenses that will be helpful:
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Tilt-Shift Lenses
A tilt-shift (abbreviated to TS and also called a Perspective Correction lens) lens enables your SLR camera to operate like a bellows or view camera (in a restricted sense though). Essentially, the problem with taking pictures of tall buildings from the ground is that as their height increases, the top of the building gets further away from the camera, introducing 'perspective' into the photograph. The work around is to keep the camera pointed parallel to the ground; but the problem with doing this is that you more of the ground into your photograph and you may end up cutting off the top of the building. The TS lens, helps by allowing you to keep the camera perfectly horizontal but 'shifting' the view of the lens upwards.

Ultra Wide-Angle lenses
Architectural photography also includes pictures of interiors. Often the areas that need to be photographed are narrow or small, but need to be shown in their entirety. This calls for another breed of special lenses. Ultra Wide-Angle lenses, like TS lenses are expensive playthings for people who have no need for them, but a necessity for those who do, 14-21mm prime lenses fit the bill for professional photographers who make a living out of photographing interiors. However, for the enthusiast who prefers to have a more usable range of focal lengths and does not 'need' the ultra-high quality that the prime lenses offer, the ultra-wide zoom lenses that various companies offer are a good option.

Special Effects lenses
Fisheye Lenses bring a very different view to any photograph. A fisheye lens brings in a totally different aspect when it comes to architecture. It enables the photographer to explore architecture as patterns and shapes, distorting them - sometimes beyond recognition - so that the viewer is also forced to look at architecture in a new way.