Urban & Architecture Photography

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Looking out for line, shape and texture in architecture and urban photography

Anyone who sees my work would surely know that I am a sucker for shapes and composition.  Truth be told it is often the shapes with in image that attracts to taking the photo in the first place.

I think the image above highlights that clearly enough.  I took this shot because I was attracted to the triangular elements at the top and bottom of the shot as well as the strong diagonals of the grey concrete.  I was also attracted to textures within each element - the horizontal lines in the dark brick work against the strong verticals in the grey concrete and the diagonals within the gold metal elements show a nice interplay (if that is the right word) of the materials used.

What do you think? Do you see similar elements when you create your photographs?  What is your approach when creating shots like this?

Great Glasgow photo locations: the Glasgow Science Centre

Sunny day photography can be a bit awkward.  The harsh light and shadows can make it difficult to get any decent shots.  However, it is possible to use this light to your advantage and make some good photographs.

The Glasgow Science Centre affords some neat opportunities for sunny day photography, especially if, like me, you are a lover of all things architecture and abstract.  The steel buildings and their shapes can provide some great shots.

Domes-Glasgow-Science-Centre

Many photographers just do not go out in this type of light.  To be honest it can be a challenge.  However, with a little thought and a polariser filter – an absolute must for reducing glare and boosting colours – it is possible to make some great shots.  Architecture is especially good to photograph in these conditions provided you navigate away from the worst of the reflections.

Close up of Armadillo building, just across the river from the Science Centre. As you can see you can use the harsh sunlight to create shadows in your image.

Close up of Armadillo building, just across the river from the Science Centre. As you can see you can use the harsh sunlight to create shadows in your image.

What do you think, do you enjoy photographing harsh light or do you avoid it all costs?  Got any suggestions for other photography locations?  Get in touch.

How to Split Tone in Adobe Lightroom

Split toning in Lightroom is simple and effective technique to boost colour in your photography.   It can be used in all types of photography.  I find I get the best results in my travel images, especially when boosting sunshine colours.

The shot above was taken at the entrance of the Kafka Museum in Prague, nothing special but it is ideal for highlighting how easily you can improve your images with this split toning technique.

Adobe Lightroom Split tone settings

In order to add a bit of summer sunshine to your photo you need to add yellows and oranges to your split toning.  Simply click the box next to Highlights and Shadows and choose our colour.  You don’t have to be too accurate with your choices as you can use the saturation and balance sliders to fine tune.  I should say that I very rarely go over 20 in saturation - I mostly use between 5 and 15 saturation as the intensity can be too overwhelming.

After spli toning: the image nowlooks has a a summer sunshine feel. Note the increased orange and yellow tones on the walls and ground

After spli toning: the image nowlooks has a a summer sunshine feel. Note the increased orange and yellow tones on the walls and ground

Want to speed up Lightroom with two simple clicks?

Even on the fastest computers Lightroom can slow down to a crawl, so any tip to keep the program running as fast as possible is a must.  This is a very simple tip but I can guarantee it works.

All you have to do is keep lens correction and sharpening/noise reduction OFF while you are editing and click it back on when you are done.  That’s it.  Believe it or not this can really speed up screen redraw times in Lightroom. 

Turn ssettings OFF and ON by clicking tabs marked above

Turn ssettings OFF and ON by clicking tabs marked above

The difference in performance is noticeable.  For example, using the image of the cart above, with these settings ON the redraw time for the photograph was 7.3 seconds when I zoomed in to 100% but with settings OFF that time was reduced to 1.2 seconds.  That is a lot of waiting before undertaking any edits.

This might seem minor but these seconds add up, especially on complex edits where you are constantly dodging/burning and moving to different parts of an image.  Hopefully this tip will speed up your workflow, let me know in the comments below.

Want to know more about Lightroom?  Have a specific request?  Leave your comments below.