We’re celebrating architectural photography on World Photography Day by looking at how its different genres help us explore and visualise the world.
World Photography Day on the 19th August, is a day dedicated to worldwide photography. The date is historical, as in 1839 the French government purchased the patent of the invention of the daguerreotype – a photographic process – and announced it a gift “Free to the World”.
Every year images are posted across social media with the hashtags #WorldPhotographyDay and #WorldPhotoDay. These images can be of anything, but themes often include landscapes, nature, and architecture. To honor World Photography Day 2020, we have focussed on the power of architectural photography.
Why is architectural photography important?
Architecture photography is globally so respected that it has its own specific prize in the Professional Sony World Photography awards, as well as the Open category.
The importance of architectural photography has increased throughout recent years as photographic images have taken prominence on the internet and across social media platforms. Often the images of architecture are more widely known and seen than the actual buildings themselves.
Photographs influence how buildings are perceived globally and for this reason architects have realised the importance of photographing and documenting their work effectively.
Architecture also provides an important subject for photographers. Structural graphic lines lend themselves well to abstract photography, Whilst the complexity of urban spaces can translate to make interesting forms for photography. Photographing architecture is however not only about structures as it also gives an insight into how communities live and function around the globe.
Cultural Architectural Photography
Instantly through a photograph, we can find ourselves in a different architectural landscape, sometimes complex and sometimes very simple, but all telling us a story.
This is shown through the work of Sony Professional Architect photography winner for 2020. Sarah Herber focuses on the ice fishing huts on Lake Winnipeg, Canada. Each structure simply sits in an ice-filled backdrop, but each has been personalised by the owner. These buildings are very specific to remote regions of Canada and these images give us an insight into the communities living there.
Photographs have the power to instantly take us to different parts of the world, through using distinct architecture such as this from the Middle East.
Abstract architectural photography focuses on details, be it reflections, colour, overlapping buildings, or shape.
This works beautifully with the dramatic lines and shapes of contemporary design as well as with classic and historical structures.
The images taken by Jonathan Walland, who won second place in the Sony World Photography Awards, juxtapose the folk architecture in Sarah Herber’s work. The striking photographs of skyscrapers accentuated by light and shade provide a clean, minimalist take on contemporary buildings.
Professional architectural photographers succeed in capturing the essence of a building through unusual angles, and a focus on the abstract.
From overhead, drone footage can give a bird’s eye view of an urban landscape and a city’s architecture.
Drone photography can also capture the overhead detail and shapes of a specific architectural style such as the distinct white forms in Santorini.
Time-lapse photography is a medium that can showcase in just a few minutes a whole architectural project, from the groundwork right through to the last cladding. With the right angle, the progress of a build can be striking and compelling. This allows the whole architectural build of a structure to be captured and then condensed into just a few minutes. It provides an informative yet mesmerising view of how a construction has evolved.
Or it can show how a building grows and fits into an urban landscape.
So we can see the importance of architectural photography in all its forms on World Photography Day. It allows us to view how others design and ultimately live their lives amongst their surrounding architecture. Maybe it’s time for you to step out, photograph your nearby environment and architecture and take part in #WorldPhotographyDay.