Geisel Library BW



I have sporadically done blogs on my processing, mostly because of emails and requests.  I thought I would give a go at a series on my architecture photography from beginning to end.

So without further comment I will jump right into it.


Planning for the shoot:

When I first started photographing architecture it seemed easy.  Jump in the car head to Los Angeles and shoot away.  I ran into a few problems right off the bat and then later I ran into a few more.

1st:   Traffic, parking and people.  I learned rather quickly that the best time to go and shoot for me was early morning and then it became early morning weekends eventually becoming early morning Sundays.  Driving into LA during the week the only thing you want to do by the time you got there is shoot something and I am not talking with a camera.  Hours on the freeway, did not make for any type of a creative enlightened moment.  So weekends and Sundays became the norm.  For these reasons:  No traffic, no parking issues and no people.  Part of photography for me is the peace that it brings me and even in the city I can find that peace if left alone.


But with only one day of photography I had to make it count, many a time I would just drive into the city, walk around and be able to find interesting architecture to photograph. After a while you start to run out of interesting buildings and angles.  So before even going to photograph I would get on Google and search (Los Angeles Architecture, San Diego Architecture, Orange County Architecture…) you get where I am going and then I would search the buildings I found interesting for addresses.  Write all of them down and map out a course that would make the best use of my time.  I would also use the “street feature” on google maps or google earth to find interesting angles of buildings and cityscapes.  Preplanning and calculating saved major time and frustration when planning my shoots.  Some of the buildings such as the one in this article are tucked away out of sight but once googled, very easy to find.



Coming from a background of shooting just about everything and specializing in nothing I had some of the gear that was needed, some that needed to be sold and of course other that needed to be added.  So after a few outings and some reading I adjusted my kit to reflect the necessary items.  Here is what my kit entails:

Manfrotto Tripod and Ball head

Canon 5D Mark ii (Full Frame Camera)

Canon 17-40L Lens

Canon 24-105L Lens

Canon 24mm Tilt shift Lens (Most favorite lens)

Wireless remote-Canon TC-80N3 Timer remote

Canon 90 degree angle finder

2-6 stop ND filter

10 Stop ND Filter

16 Stop ND Filter

72mm-77mm step up ring (24mm T/S fits a 72mm filter all my filters are circular 77mm filters)

Black Beanie to cover camera on long exposures

Long Exposure quick reference Chart


Not all of this equipment is necessary, but it is what I have found to make my life a little easier when photographing and for me to get the desired results I need at the various times of the day that I do photograph.

Try doing a 5 minute exposure at midday without a 16 stop ND filter….good luck with that.

I am all about in camera results to make post processing results easier.  Because the fun is being out there taking the photo.  Sitting in front of a computer doing post processing isn’t fun but it is necessary which we will go into further later in the series.


I hope that you have found this helpful.

Next in the series is about my favorite part…location shooting visualizing black and white.





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