How to shoot pictures of high rise buildings

It’s the skill of every good photographer to know how to include lots of details in a single picture. But how can you fit everything inside the frame when dealing with high-rise buildings?

These monsters can have dozens or even hundreds of stories to them, yet the average photographer is somewhere between five to six feet tall with an even smaller camera. Yet in a classic David and Goliath tale, a tiny camera and a tiny-in-comparison photographer can take staggering pictures of buildings far up in the clouds with the right know-how.

Gauging the distance of the buildings

It’s true in most other areas of photography, but here it becomes that much more pronounced: getting the high-rise architectural picture you want requires pretty much perfect positioning, both relative to the building and the sun.

Ask yourself the following: what do I want this high-rise building picture to look like? If you’d like to make the building seem menacing and nearly endless, opt to stand closer to it. This will produce a picture of an up-in-your-face towering structure. Being so close will also remove other objects in the area from the picture, making viewers ponder the building’s actual size.

If, on the other hand, you’d like to showcase the building in its environment, feel free to stand further away and get other structures and objects into the fold. This works best when you’re trying to showcase either a great high-rise building or a lousy one that looks much worse than its surroundings.

Minding the weather

Unlike many other kinds of pictures, high-rise building ones can turn out great in virtually any weather. For best results, you’ll need to know what type of mood you’d like to invoke in viewers of the picture.

If you’d like a gloomy and industrial tone, try and catch the building when it’s cloudy or raining. For a more everyday appearance that makes the structure seem accessible, wait for a sunny day and position yourself in a way that lets you capture the building being illuminated by the sun’s rays. And if you’d like to showcase the nightlife in the area, take a nighttime picture – the building will serve as a beacon of sorts. The possibilities are endless, but you might have to wait for the weather to run its course if you’re looking for that perfect shot.

Encompassing the buildings

To deal with the size disparity mentioned above, photographers resort to one or two techniques: a fish eye lens or panoramic imagery.

A fish eye or wide-angle lens is a terrific way to encompass more stuff in a picture, but has a very distinct look that doesn’t always go well with different desires of photographers.

If you’d like a plain-looking picture that still captures the entire building from afar, go for a panoramic format. This involves taking pictures on several levels in succession and then having them joined together to create a large, detailed picture. For a truly effective panoramic picture, you’ll need the perfect location to take the photos from as well as a tripod to ensure they’re all perfectly aligned.