Six Key Points to Help You Get Started with Interior Architectural Photography

architectural photographyIt is not only limited to photographing the magnificent architectural appearance, but also the spatial layout and decoration of the interior of the building are an integral part of the entire architectural design. However, due to the influence of such factors as changeable indoor lighting conditions and complex furnishings, indoor architectural photography is often more challenging than outdoor photography, especially for the first time photography lovers who are exposed to the subject matter, they will often feel that there is no way to start. Don’t worry, let’s first learn how to take satisfactory indoor architectural photos through six simple and practical photography techniques.

1、 The tripod can not leave the body

For an architectural photographer, there are two reasons why you can’t do without a tripod. The first reason is that the tripod can give you unparalleled stability during shooting, so as to basically eliminate the shaking caused by hand-held photography. You should know that for architectural photography, the blurring of any subject scene is almost not allowed. In addition, another advantage of using a tripod to shoot is to keep your camera level at all times. The second reason why I have to use a tripod sounds a bit pretentious. That’s why I can’t find a reason not to use a tripod. You should know that architectural photography does not require you to constantly adjust the composition or track the subject by moving the camera quickly. The tripod will not be an obstacle to photography, but it can be said that 99.99% of architectural photography is still shooting, so how can we eliminate the tripod.

2、 Use flash whenever possible

In addition to tripod, flash is another necessary artifact for indoor architectural photography. If you shoot in an indoor environment without flash, you will have a high probability of encountering various shadows raging in the room, and using flash can help balance the exposure in the whole picture. Some basic key points for setting the flash include placing it a few feet away from the camera, adjusting the flash angle so that it can shine light on the ceiling, and keeping a proper distance from the space being photographed, so that the flash will not directly shine on the space being photographed, thus creating a softer and more uniform light. The flash does not need to be fully fired, but it can be manually set below one gear of full power output.

3、 Don’t rush to use super wide angle lens when shooting in large space

For photographers who have just started indoor architectural photography, one of the most easy mistakes is to strive for perfection. When facing a large space, they always want to use a super wide angle lens with a wider perspective to try to explain all the scenes in the whole space at one time. However, it is not always a good thing that too many elements are poured into the screen at one time. Another disadvantage brought by ultra wide angle lens is the severe distortion of the image edge position, which is also an unbearable problem for rigorous architectural photography. After testing several lenses with different focal lengths, I came to the conclusion that shooting with a focal length between 21mm and 28mm can achieve a balance between a wide viewing angle and low distortion. For ultra wide angles such as 14mm or 15mm, even post-processing is difficult to completely eliminate the effects of distortion.

4、 Try to present a super wide perspective with panorama

What should we do if a 21mm wide angle lens is not enough in a narrow space? Don’t worry, even if we don’t use 14mm and other ultra wide angle lenses, we can still show the indoor space completely, and at the same time avoid serious distortion problems. This way is panoramic photography. In fact, taking a panoramic view is very simple. We just need to set up the camera on the tripod in a longitudinal way, and then ensure that each photograph taken has at least 1/3 of the overlap with the previous one. Of course, when pressing the shutter, we also need to make sure that the camera is always horizontal during rotation, and find the rotation point. You should know that no matter the rotation point is too far or too close, the photo will be distorted. For example, in the picture below, the rotation point is on the camera body when shooting. As a result, the photo will have a convex deformation after composition.

5、 One photo should cover one or two walls as much as possible

In the sense of geometry, showing two walls in a photo can provide the best visual effect. When more than three walls are shot at the same time, some parts of the picture will become awkward or unnatural if we do not spend more time on composition.

The above picture is a typical two wall indoor architectural photography, with two walls at a 90 ° angle to each other. The picture below is taken in the same room. The difference is that I retreated to the lower left corner of the whole room to accommodate the next three walls in the picture.

Personally, affected by the left wall, I think the photo space of the three walls is not as natural as that of the two walls. However, there is no absoluteness in the world. Just as we also create by breaking the principle of trichotomy, it is not impossible to present more than three walls at the same time as needed. The key is to ensure that the elements in the space are geometric.

6、 Confirm camera level

Last but not least, don’t forget to check the camera level before pressing the shutter to ensure that the camera is not tilted to the left, right, top or bottom. You know, we need to spend a lot of time to correct the slight deviation in the early stage. The following two pictures show the difference between horizontal shooting and no horizontal shooting.

It can be said that whether horizontal shooting has a great impact on the final photo effect. We can use several methods to ensure that the camera is horizontal in composition and shooting. First of all, most cameras in the current market are equipped with a level gauge. When we compose through the viewfinder or display screen, we can judge and correct the camera level by the horizontal line in the center of the picture. The second method is to buy and then install a hot shoe level, and confirm the camera level by observing the position of bubbles in the level. Personally, I prefer to use the second method, because I think this hot shoe level is more accurate than the built-in one.


No matter what kind of subject matter works are taken, the most important thing for photography to take good photos is to be willing to spend time and have enough patience to confirm their composition, exposure and other elements that will affect the final effect. Fortunately, for architectural photographers, one of the great advantages is that the object we are shooting will not move, so there is no reason for us to be too hasty when shooting.