have shades or blinds, they should also all be in the same
position.
INSPECTION AND SURVEY
PHOTOGRAPHY
As with the other types of architectural
photography-buildings or facilities-inspection and
survey pictures play an important role in the Navy. The
Naval Investigative Service (NIS) may need pictures of
a building to point out weaknesses in physical security.
The fire department uses pictures of the station theater
to train the fire fighters in evacuation measures. And the
safety officer certainly needs good pictures to show the
extent of damage or existing hazardous conditions to
buildings or personnel.
Exterior Photography
Buildings must be photographed pretty much as
they exist. With portraits, for example, you can ask the
sitter to smile and pose, and with still life you can alter
the arrangement. You cannot do either of these with a
building. The main controls you have over the picture
are the viewpoint and the lighting.
For exterior architectural pictures, the position of
the sun in relation to the subject is a very important
consideration. Which sides of the building are lighted
and at what time of day? Where are the shadows cast?
Architecture is dead without light. Like the sculptor,
the architect shapes forms in relation to lighting. The
lighting at a site is often studied long before the first
plans take shape on the drawing board. The lighting
becomes a deciding factor in determining the character
of a building, the choice of materials, and the location
of the building.
The nature and direction of the light are the two
main components of our concept of lighting. "Normal
lighting" is often preferable for perfect reproduction of
materials; that is, light from a slightly overcast sky. This
diffused light reduces contrast in the texture of the
material just enough to create a good balance between
the highlights and shadows. A building as a whole is
often depicted better in direct, angled sunlight from a
cloudless sky. Filters are used to control the contrast
between subject and sky. Direct sunlight often produces
contrasty pictures with simplified lines that may
sometimes be preferable as an illustrative effect. The
light in cloudy weather is the worst kind of lighting for
architectural photography. Try to avoid making pictures
of a building in cloudy weather. The direction of the light
on sunny or slightly overcast days governs the form of
the building and the ability of the photograph to bring
out its characteristic features. Since the position of the
sun in relation to the building constantly changes, there
is only one way to determine the best lighting-study the
building at different times of the day. Only then is it
really possible to identify the best lighting for the
building. Moreover, you should be prepared to study the
lighting from different angles. Do not be content with
your first camera angle. You should always check to see
whether there is a better angle.
A building should be depicted so the viewer
experiences its volume and materials. This is often
impossible, except with side lighting. The greater the
angle of the light, the greater its ability to produce a
forceful re-creation of materials and shapes (fig. 6-21).
Also to be considered are the surroundings. Is there
construction going on in the background? Is there a
distracting landscape or unrelated building that must be
concealed? What is the best camera position for making
this particular picture ? Can I get far enough away to
present an undistorted image? Should I have a ladder to
stand on or can I make this picture from on top of another
building or must I arrange with public works for a bucket
truck? What number of viewpoints are required? What
focal-length lens is best for each view?
Viewpoint
The greatest difficulties in photographing buildings
is converging verticals. When you hold the camera so it
is pointing horizontally, you often find there is too much
uninteresting foreground included in the picture, and
you may be "chopping" the top of the building off. So,
tip the camera back to eliminate most of that foreground
and get the top of the building back into the picture.
Now, look what has happened-the vertical lines are
converging; they are no longer parallel; they are sloping
in at the top of the picture. The picture is distorted. A
good architectural photographer does not produce such
a picture. Instead, he uses a view camera and does it
properly.
Interior Photography
Photographs of interiors can be grouped under three
headings:
Public interiors of all kinds, such as assembly
halls, places of worship, libraries, galleries,
auditoriums, and theaters
Residential interiors, both large and small
6-36

Basic Photography Course












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