Architectural photography

Die-Bar Chandelier at Tramonto's

I believe in pushing the limits of what I produce when I collaborate on a project. Jockimo was thrilled with my exploration of video for their project @ ING-Direct.

Here we are using a dolly rig to use motion around the Glass Chandelier to give detail to it's form and depth to it's setting at Tramonto's Steak and Seafood.

As with all things technical, the more experience built, the more innovation. In this case I have already identified a few additional methods to improve the quality of the motion for future projects.

No Flash Support?? Check it out here.

Let me know what you think. 

If any photographers are interested in learning more, please leave a comment or question.

Chicago Safari

So in my downtime, I try to find things that inspire my vision both architecturally and photographically. While at the University Oregon, I used to walk around downtown Portland for hours, just observing (I used to walk 2 miles to my Studio from the Pearl District routinely).

My most recent safari to hunt for inspiration took place in just a portion of downtown Chicago. Here are 11 Images from the walk that I'd like to share. I'm not familiar with these buildings so it will be an adventure to dig up the names. If you have insights on any of these, I'd love it if you left a comment or sent me an email.

#1 Old Faithful

The bridge near Calumet Photo looks like it could use a little Rust-Oleum

#2 Old/New Chicago

Part of the struggle of fitting into the fabric of a city with so much diversity in styles, this new building is trying to capture both the scale of the old while using some very contemporary elements. Hence why I rendered this image into something that feels like it has a little more history.

#3 Wall Street

A 180 degree turn from the last shot. This streetscape was wonderfully scaled for the size of the buildings on these two blocks. This is combined with a street that seemed over sized for it's traffic load provided for a great vantage point of this very flat facade leading to the intersection.

#4 Lady on the Corner

Photo walk Tip #1 Look for Parking Ramps. They provide great vantage points. It may not have the versatility of renting a cherry-picker, but it can still provide some surprising shots.

#5 K.I.S.S.

This cylendrical portion of seemed stylistically disconnected from the rest of the building it was connected to. Perhaps an addition trying to distinguish a change from past ideology?

#6 Subtle Curves

This row home caught my eye for two reasons. #1 It was the best looking car on the street. #2 The balcony and facade give the impression of barrel distortion in the camera, but they are actually bowed out to the street. I'm sure if I caught this house earlier, some morning, there'd be some great tonality cast by subtle shadows to accent the curve.

#7 Tower of the Times

A residential tower just completing construction, just off a park on the Chicago Canal. One can only hope their prices match this economy.

#7 Standing Apart

This spire just jumps out at you. It's just far enough away from many of the other towers, that it must provide some great views from all sides.

#8 Simple and Subtle

The same tower as #7. The form of this tower is actually very simple, but it's subtly detailed in a way that reveals much more as you focus.

#9 British Invasion

Have you ever been to Vancouver B.C.? Change the glass to green, shift the concrete to grey, and your there. I love how the balconies break up the mass of the north side.

#10 Above the past.

I am fascinated by the way the old and the new intersect, overlap, and weave together. The challenge is how much do you acknowledge the past or do you simply give it new definition by separating yourself from it.

#11 The Commute.

Which do you prefer: 20 minutes in the car, or 20 minutes in the train?

6 Elements of Architectural Photography

While there are many technical aspects to producing high quality Architectural Photos, there are a few soft skills that are important to develop in conjunction.

Understanding Architecture is the first key to approaching Architectural Photography and what an Architect looks for in capturing their design intent. Here are 6 Elements I look for on every Architectural project. 

1 - Form

Massing and materiality of archtiecture identifies unique opportunities to capture the various qualities that give meaning to how it’s built. How a project reacts to various environmental conditions, and how a user defines approach


Finding meaning in moments that define your space or place with users engaged in the environment generates a personal relationship to scale and usability that is otherwise less tangible. 


Sometimes what tells the whole story extends beyond the 1 block radius of the site. Other times, it may be defined solely by the form of the land it sits on. Identifying how the project either complements, challenges, or blends with context tells the broader story of how you approach the whole of a project.


The combination of all the elements above provide relative relationships to scale. In addition, understanding that sometimes even the most intimate details like hardware and handrails create a complete user experience.

5 - TIME

Architecture is something that is dynamically affected by time of day, season, & weather. Just knowing how light approaching from one side of your project will dramatically change its character from another is just one example.


To capture a place or space, one must be able to experience it beyond a single 2 dimensional image. Movement through a space provides a deeper sense of the relationships between form, function, context, and scale.

The Power of Photography and CG in Architecture

This Animated movie shows the power of three professions combined into one. I can't help but republish this work. You have the stay to the end of this, you won't be disappointed!

As a student of architecture, 3D, and photography, I am just blown away at the craft and quality Alex Roman created in this piece. Personally I think the power of this will inspire people in all of these fields and dramatically alter the way Architects design and document the spaces and places they create.

The Third & The Seventh from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

Oakdale Nature Center

I've recently completed some initial processing for two photo shoots.

This is Oakdale Nature Center, in Oakdale, MN. These will eventually be reduced to the final selections. Which would you choose?