The Composition in Architectural Photography – A guide to a more contemplative approach of creating architectural photographs

Having presented several workshops at Chicago’s Lake County Camera Club’s PhotoExpo, as well as teaching classes for the nationwide Digital Photography Academy, I wanted a broader audience to benefit from the materials provided during my classes. My goal in this 47 page treatise is to give you some initial food for thought on the rather complex topics that outstanding architectural photography requires to understand, practice and apply. The approach to and interpretation of energy, space and design coupled with a heightened awareness of and attention to detail. We all do a lot of looking, but do we really “see”? Truly seeing can be a meditation, a way of getting into intimate touch with the visible world around us, and through it, ultimately…with ourselves. Much of the material covered here can be easily applied to photography in general as it deals with some of the essential building blocks of visual interpretation, design and composition.

What I wish to be bringing closer to you in this guide are my interpretations and experiences, gathered along my journey of being a full time interior architectural and fine art photographer since 1999. By no means do I proclaim to have any exclusive knowledge on the topics discussed. But having learned through my practical “on the job” experiences, trials and errors, I oftentimes believe to be speaking of acquired common sense knowledge on the following pages. These aspects are not only pertinent to good, creative, artistic photography, but to being an enthusiastic and compassionate human being. So, take from this what you like and leave the rest. Experiment with those aspects you resonate with, contemplate and re-experiment with the results.

Following please find excerpts from the guide. Examined and defined are visual building blocks such as contrast, balance and dynamic tension, rhythm, visual weight & complexity vs. simplicity, graphic elements such as lines, curves and much more. I also share in depth tips on how to interpret and “read” as well as prepare an interior space that is about to be photographed. Ideal tips for anyone who wants to create technically sound, stronger and more compelling images.

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According to Zen, the only life we have is that which is found in the present. Everything else is memory or anticipation. We must be awake to really live. Mindfulness, or waking up to the present, is not easily mastered yet extraordinarily important and fulfilling. And to be truly sensitive to the unique visual offerings of the moment, and not be lost to and in the myriad of our every day distractions, is also highly effective for seeing and photography. If our minds are quiet and not preoccupied with agendas, we will be able to respond to the intuitive and spontaneous reactions of our inner being as it responds to the awesome beauty and wonder of life. So there….welcome to where you are.

Enjoy and be well,

Marian Kraus

1 Comment

  1. Hi Marian,
    Now I see the rule of thirds in your compositions. Your compositions have an impact of unexpected surprise in the clarity of your Spirit. I really appreciate you taking the time and effort in sharing your peaceful Spirit with me–to release energy within me which I need to do to proceed. I will be doing yoga again to help improve my physical and spiritual energy with your wonderful example.

    Peace Be with You,

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