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Video:Tips for Photographing Tall Buildings

with Katie Bauer

Photographing tall buildings can be tricky because of a number of different factors. This video from About.com will offer some tips on taking photographs of tall buildings.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tips for Photographing Tall Buildings

Hi, my name is Katie Bauer and I'm a professional photographer. I'm here today with About.com to talk about how to photograph tall buildings.

Photographing Tall Buildings: Composition

The first thing you want to keep in mind is how to capture the architectural elements of the building, while also capturing the size and shape of the building. For traditional shots of a tall building, you'll want to center the building in the middle of frame and have surrounding elements, such as other buildings, cars and people in the foreground to give the viewer a frame of reference. 

Photographing Tall Buildings: Lens

The second tip to keep in mind is the type of lens you want to use. If you want to capture the detail of the building, your best option is to use a telephoto lens, which has the capability to highlight the details of the building. For a more traditional photo, you can use a wide-angle lens or a standard 55mm lens. For artistic shots of the building, a fish-eye lens can add a unique dimension to the shot. 

Photographing Tall Buildings: Depth of Field

Depending on how you set up the composition of your photo, you may need to use a lot of depth of field. This basically means that you will need a large portion of the photograph to stay in focus. This is especially true if you choose to shoot the photo upward. Set your f/stop to the highest setting possible, such as f/16. This will ensure that the foreground and the background are in focus. 

Photographing Tall Buildings: Lighting

Taking a photograph of a large building means that there may be drastic light differences throughout the building. For example, if the building is beside another tall building, the other building's shadow may cut across half of the your subject. If you want drastic shadows, this may be a cool concept, but if you want to entire building to be equally lit, attempt on a sunny day when the sun is behind you, shining directly on the building. You can also shoot on a cloudy or overcast day for evenly distributed light. 

Photographing Tall Buildings: Use a Tripod

Lastly, you want to use a tripod any time you're taking a photo of a tall building because it will give you the most control and options. Using a tripod will help give you the assurance that your photo will turn out exactly as it appears in your viewfinder. 

For more information on photography, go to About.com. 

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