Urban & Architecture Photography


Posts tagged Glasgow Architecture
Urban Exploration Photography in Glasgow: Springburn Park Winter Gardens
Springburn Park Urbex Photography

I have to admit I do not much urbex photography.  To be brutally honest, I’m too unfit to go clambering around old buildings that may crumble and fall at any time - I enjoy the use of all my limbs too much for these types of risks.

Truth be told, this was not really an urbex shoot per se.  I have walked around Springburn Park countless times and for some bizarre reason I had never got round to photographing this wonderful building.  Luckily for me, the previously padlocked gates and security fences had been prised open which meant I could walk the site.

There is something gloriously beautiful about this type of derelict building.  I think it is the fact that it is so easy to visualise them in the former glory; beautiful iron work, blooming flowers, the visitors ambling around the interior, resting for tea and cake.

Springburn Park Winter Gardens Glasgow
Springburn Winter Gardens Derelict Glasgow
Springburn Park Green House
Urbex Glasgow Springburn Park
Urbex Glasgow Greenhouse Springburn
Springburn Winter Gardens Architecture Details

I decided to use a couple of vintage Canon nFD lenses on this shoot – the Canon nFD 24mm 2.8 and the Canon nFD 100mm 2.8.  I have used the 100mm 2.8 on many occasions but this was my first outing with the 24mm 2.8 and which I have to say I found the lens handled very well and captured lovely colours.

These images are the first photographs I have processed using Capture One.  I finally decided to give it a proper try out because Lightroom is just becoming turtle slow for me.  It is early days but so far I am very happy with what I can achieve in Capture One.  The speed difference alone makes the program worthy of consideration.

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Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art lens for Nikon: first impression review

After what seems endless hours researching different lenses for my Nikon APS-C system I finally taken the plunge and purchased the Sigma 18-35mm Art lens.

I have been using only Nikkor 35mm and 50mm prime lenses for the last year but my increasing interest in architectural photography found me wanting to go a wee bit wider, but with some flexibility too.  Really, I wanted a lens that would work wide and at 35mm and the Sigma seemed to fit the bill for me.  Also almost every review I have read about the lens raved about the quality and sharpness (see DPReview or SLRLounge) so I felt this was a good bet for me.

I will provide a more in-depth review of the lens when I have had some time to use it extensively and come to an informed conclusion.  For now though I discuss some first impressions in using the lens briefly during my visit to The Lighthouse in Glasgow.

Build quality

The lens looks professional and the build quality is excellent.  The zoom ring is slow but smooth, however it does turn in the opposite direction to my Nikkor lenses which is a little annoying.. One nice touch is the the focal length numbers are marked clearly on the zoom part of the lens making it easy to choose desired focal length. 


This a hefty lens.  I would say it seems too heavy for me to use as a walk around lens - I'll reserve judgement for now though.  It was my intention to sell my Nikkor 35mm 1.8 after buying the Sigma so I will see how I feel about this in the future. 

Image quality

Raw files look fantastic.  Clear and amazingly sharp (see below).  A real move up in quality compared to the Nikkor primes I have been using.

f5.6, 1/125, ISO 400 at

f5.6, 1/125, ISO 400 at

Last bit

One minor grievance I have had using the lens is that the lens does not seem to clip on properly a lot of the time.  Admittedly, this is a minor quip but for a lens that costs around the £600 mark it does seem a bit of an oversight.


With only limited use the Sigma 18-35mm is already proving to be a great lens.  The image quality is fantastic and I am pretty sure I can overcome the minor inconvenience of the zoom ring turning opposite to the Nikon lenses and the ill-fitting lens cap.  I will write a a full review after more prolonged use with the lens but of you have any questions please ask via the comment section below.

Hunting out architecture photo locations in Glasgow

I have written previously about the importance of scouting locations using a minimum of kit so I decided to take some of my own advice and get out and find some buildings to photograph.

Inovo building on George Street

Inovo building on George Street

Glasgow has an abundance of Edwardian, Victorian (and earlier) architecture but when I am looking for locations I am always drawn to modern buildings.  I like the shapes and different materials used.

The Inovo building (above) is another frequent visit of mine.  With fantastic angles and mixture of glass and steel on the exterior it is well worth visiting to photograph.  I really like this shot and will return fully kitted for a finished shot soon.  Aready made for a long exposure I reckon.

Strathclyde University on Cathedral Street

Strathclyde University on Cathedral Street

Strathclyde University have lots of buildings scattered all around Glasgow.  The buildings on Cathedral Street are a good mix of old and modern styles - plus, there are lots of other new buildings popping up on Cathedral Street too.

The shot above was taken looking down Cathedral Street toward Glasgow Cathedral.  The building in the foreground has an almost building block look about it - only squares and rectangles used in this part of the building. Again, I think this is worth revisiting to photograph properly.

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How to make better cityscape photos: look for layers

First things first, I know this isn't a 'killer' shot.  Its nice enough but hardly likely to win any awards.  What I do like about though it is that it doesn't look like Glasgow.  It has a bit of a Parisian feel I think.  The mix of different architectures gives shot a timeless look. 

View from Macintosh Tower, The Lighthouse, Glasgow

View from Macintosh Tower, The Lighthouse, Glasgow

What interested me the most about this shot before I took it is the different layers which can be seen within it.  Each of which adds depth to the image.  Fore example:

  • Layer 1: Victorian architecture in the foreground

  • Layer 2: The black tin building on the roof tops

  • Layer 3: A glimpse of 'old Edinburgh' - similar to layer 1 but more aged

  • Layer 4: Modern blocks in background and sky

What do you think, would looking for layers in your cityscape images help you?  Do you have any other techniques for cityscapes to share?

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