Professional Photo Editing Services in India: Enhance Your Images with Expert Precision

Photographing Heritage Buildings & Houses

Shooting historic buildings, tagged as heritage sites is an art by itself with its own nuances. Depending on which part of the world these buildings are and how they are placed, shooting the images might be tricky.


Most heritage houses are dimly lit and lighting becomes a critical component, be it using the natural existing light or the artificial light. One should let one’s imagination fly beyond the castles, churches, temples and forts. Not that the usual suspects don’t make perfect subjects, they surely do, but one should go beyond – old market places, souks, piers, lighthouses, ports, rivers and canal systems that served as trade routes in many regions in the years gone by.


The best time to shoot heritage sites is by far early mornings when the sun is coming up or by evening as the sun is setting. The reddish tinge adds to the overall story and to the history one wants to visually communicate. It is ideal to make a reconnaissance trip to the site or building that one has chosen to get an idea about the subject of the shoot. Ideally visit it in different light conditions and in your mind, frame shots and have a broad outline of what you want to capture and what theme you want for the whole story.


Look at the nooks and corners and accessories that accentuate the historic period and importance of the subject. Objects like chandeliers, embossments, antique clocks, phones and the other heirlooms each have a story to narrate. Gauge the light and overview the exteriors and plan the overall shoot. Understand the do’s and don’ts. Many heritage sites don’t allow certain kinds of lights and flashes. Understand what one is allowed to carry and what one is not.


Carry the right gear, strike a balance between bulky and essentials, more so if the shoot is inside. Since one might be cramped for space and runs the risks of knocking things over, find appropriate storage outside and carry the essential. Zoom lenses are an essential, so are the long lenses to capture as much as is possible indoors. Do not forget the flashes, appropriate lighting, and tripod. If the shoot is more elaborate, a step ladder could come in handy for angles and heights.


The most critical component is light, more so when indoors, many of these sites tend to be dimly lit with very natural light. Use high exposure and the dynamic range. HDR blending is likely to come into play in the post shoot stage. Shoot in varying exposure and angles ideally in the RAW format. If you can use artificial lights, take care not to make them too bright robbing the images a sense of age and history. While outdoors, use heights and angles during the early morning sun rise or evening as the sun is setting it gives you the aura that one so seeks in heritage building photography.


With taller structures one needs to be aware of getting the perspective wrong, with images looking as if the building is falling off, where in the horizontal lines are not mapped properly, rest easy this can be corrected at the post shoot stage. Frame your pictures well, at times when shooting tall buildings empty skies might not be enticing, bring in a tree or a branch into your frame and avoid including cars, people or elements that mix periods. The lighting and the angle helps create the sense of age and period one is trying to capture. Shoot the paths leading to the site, try and do it from an appropriate height, again use height and angle.


Shoot as many images as you can, experiment and explore your camera and shoot them with varying settings. You always have the luxury of picking and choosing from your stock of images and you can also edit and enhance these images post shoot.

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