Until now, I think I have photograph more than hundred of architecture. Road, building, house, bridge, and many other kind of architecture. There is no problem in taking architecture photography. Maybe just some people looking weirdly at me with camera. But nothing wrong with that. But not always, though.
There were the times when I was stopped for whatever reason, by security. They told me I am forbidden to take a photo and ask me to leaves. Sometimes I just obey and sometimes I refuse to leave. Of course, it will lead me to even more problem. But I stand my ground for the reason that I did nothing wrong.
They just argue it’s their security policy to not allow any photographing of a building. But I found it is not good enough as a reason for me to stop photographing. Since it is not even illegal.
This experience happens does not only happen to me. But also many photographers, especially architecture photographer. Some dude with SLR and long lens look suspicious. Especially in this paranoid era, where the first thing in everyone mind is,
camera + directed to a certain architecture = threat
Photography tips - UK laws and your rights - YouTube
But in my mind I found something that even more suspicious and treathening (in this context), Drone.
Just think about it.
It is controlled remotely
Hardly from know where or who controlling it
Drone has far more access and freedom to roaming any part of architecture
I’m sure there are more. But just based on that three points, you can see that why, in this context, drone is threatening.
Gatwick airport: How can a drone cause so much chaos? - BBC News - YouTube
So here a question if you’re a security guard, tasked to protect a building and you see two things, one with SLR and one a drone. Which one do you find as primary threat?
It’s been a while since I posting anything. Not without reason. I’ve been busy continuing an old project that I have been postponing for several months, the guide for creating a black and white architecture fine art photography. Now I want to share a little teaser of this book. Part of the first chapter, an Introduction to Black and White Photography.
Fill with little history of black and white photography, clarification of many misunderstanding about it, and also the purpose in this 21st century. The main point of this little part of the book is to tell you what “Black” and “White” mean in black and white photography.
This is only a really small part of the ongoing project of mine. Available for download right now for free on the link below.
You know the feeling when you found out about something and can’t wait to tell someone about it. This is what happens to me right now. When I surfing the internet, doing my stuff (you don’t need to know). I also search something related to photography contest and I found something interesting and irritate me a bit. Also when you think about it, it actually quite normal, but still irritating. There is something really wrong with a photo contest and we just ignore it.
Before we begin, I must say that I won’t mention any name of a person or party for a simple reason. I don’t like insult others by name. And also I don’t want to get into a problem. It’s a pain in the ass.
There is Something Really Wrong with a Photo Contest and We Just Ignore It
So let me tell you what happens.
So an hour before I write this article, I was surfing the internet and look back at some of the photography contest I have enter. Some won, mostly lose. Sad but normal. It’s alright, I’m still young and in college.
So anyway, I also look at some winners, the one I really like. More like starring and wondering, how in the hell they are so good at it (a bit jealous, if I’m being honest). Nothing wrong at the time, not until around 50 minutes later when I realized something.
Usually, any photo contest has at least two categories based on their level of expertise, professional and non-professional (or open). A professional contest is a contest for professional, who actually use photography as their way of living. A non-professional contest is an open contest for anyone with a camera, it can amateur, student, and anyone with a camera.
In one of the photo contest that I entered, I was on non-professional category (for the obvious reason). But in this specific photo contest I entered, they also have a Student category, which gives a student discount. So that category for student fit right to me.
Then I saw the winner of this contest. In this contest winners, there are only two categories, professional and student. I just assume they just merge the non-professional category and student category into one, the student category.
Then I saw some of the winners who won in the same level of expertise category as me, that’s when I realize.
“I know these photos.”
Indeed I know them. I friend them on Facebook. Really great photographer, really great photos. There’s no doubt about it. But why is he in non-professional category. I’m pretty sure he’s a pro. So I want to make sure, is he really a non-professional photographer?
Before I look for it, I want to know how this photo contest defines professional and non-professional. So here what I found:
“…professional photographers those who earn or have earned the majority of their income from photography. Also, those who sell or publish their work regularly, and belong to professional photography organizations.”
“All students are eligible for the student discount, regardless of the concentration or major in which they are studying.”
Now the contest doesn’t define non-professional so I just assume its the opposite of professional definition.
So there you have it. That explains enough. Then I try to look whether or not he is a professional photographer. Look at his Facebook profile, it appears he won a lot of photo contest. But not enough to determine he is a professional.
So I google his name and found his website, which every professional should have. Same name, same photos, same guy. But still not enough. (I have a website and I’m not a professional).
Then I found his bio and that’s where I see the first sentence,
“…*** is a professional photographer…”
WHAT THE HELL, MAN!!!
Now I know for certain that he is a professional that enter a non-professional photo contest.
And it occurs to me. I’m sure he’s not the only one. I’m sure there are many out there.
But in my heart, it doesn’t even matter and I have no interest in reporting. I simply don’t care to the extent to make it an issue. Still, it opens up a conversation.
Should we now?
Let’s recap. A professional photographer who entered a non-professional or open category when there is a professional category.
No explicit rule that says they can’t. But is it a right thing to do?
I always assume that non-professional category is created so any amateur with a camera can shine. If a professional, which is far better and far experience, entered the same category, it defeats the purpose.
Just like playing a game. One online game competition can only be entered by gamers level 1-20. What happens when gamer level 200 enter the same game competition? Who do you think gonna win?
It’s a totally different story if the opposite happens, a non-professional enter a professional category contest. We will say that person is awesome. Especially if he wins.
So how to solve this problem, I can think of two things.
First is the photo contest vetted their participant. But it actually impossible to do that. With hundreds of entry. Even more when it’s online.
So the second solution is for the photographer him or herself, to be honest. Yeah right!!! Forgive me that I’m being skeptic about this.
So based on that, I don’t actually have a good solution.
The idea of post-processing is editing, create metadata, export photo into JPEG, then upload to the Internet. It’s an easy thing to do. But when it comes to uploading photo, it can become quite complicated. Because you probably use different setting (like size) for a different website. Adobe understands that frustration, and give you a way to upload a photo to the internet without leaving Adobe Lightroom. In this article, I will explain an easy and quick way to upload a photo without leaving Lightroom.
Easy and Quick Way to Upload a Photo Without Leaving Lightroom
On this post, I’m gonna explain how easy it is to upload your photo to the internet. Well, to be precise a specific website on the internet.
Open Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software then click on the Library Module. From there, check the left side and look for a panel called Publish Services and open it.
The Publish Services panel is from where you can direct your photo to a website. On a basic Lightroom, there are 4 publish service that is available, Hard Drive, Adobe Stack, Facebook, and Flickr. Each of them designed to export and sent to a specific place as the name is. Like Facebook Publish Service is to upload a photo directly to Facebook without leaving Lightroom.
Let’s try to set Flickr. Before we begin, it is important to have an actual Flickr account first. If so, then we can continue.
First, double-click on the Flickr tab which will open the Lightroom Publishing Manager window. Then click the Authorize box which you need to have to connect Lightroom to your Flickr account. Follow the instruction, then your account is connected with Lightroom.
Go back to the Lightroom Publishing Manager. And check the many options on it. All of it is the setting of a photo which you later will upload. Or you can just ignore it and click Save.
Basically, the other publishing service works in the same way.
That is how to set your connect your website account to your Lightroom. Now is how to actually upload it. We will use the Flickr again.
On the Publish Service panel Flickr tab, you can see photostream album. You need to move your photo to that album by dragging the photo.
After that open, the photostream album and you can see your photo is there. Click on the photo then click on the Publish box on the bottom left of Lightroom. Your photo then will be uploaded.
You probably notice this when you see the first image. It has more publish services than a basic Lightroom. It’s because that is not an official Lightroom service. But a third-party plugin. Which you can download and install in Lightroom. Many websites have their own Lightroom plugin for the same purpose.
Let’s try the Publish Service plugin for Instagram. (BTW, Instagram never create Lightroom plugin. So this is not official).
First, you need to download the plugin. There are few plugins for the same purpose so I’m not sure which one best for you. You can just google “Instagram lightroom plugin” or something.
After that extract the file and move it to your Lightroom Installation Folder (usually C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Lightroom…).
Go back to the Lightroom and open the Lightroom Publishing Manager windows. Click on the Plug-in Manager box on the bottom left. It will open the Lightroom Plug-in Manager.
Click on the Add box and choose the LRInstagram.lrplugin that you previously put in Lightroom installation folder. With that, the plugin is installed in Lightroom. Then click Done which will lead you back to Lightroom Publishing Manager. Do the same thing as before to set your account and photo’s setting. Now you’re set.
Inspiration is a simple thing to feel. You can walk around with no sense of purpose and see one random thing you find an inspired thing. It’s so easy that anyone can do it. But right now instead of feeling it, I want you to think about it. What actually do you think when finding something inspiring. There is where it gets a little tougher. So for this article, I want to talk about inspiration and the reason for inspiration.
The Reason for Inspiration
Let’s try to understand first the definition of inspiration. According to an encyclopedia, inspiration defines as the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
It’s quite simple to understand, I think. Here are the words I found interesting in that definition, “mentally” and “feel.” Those two words related to emotion. In psychology, we like to refer it as affect.
The affect stimulated us to create an idea and form it. That is how inspiration work. You feel that you like something and you want to do that thing and probably evolve it. You just feel it, there’s no need to think about it. But I want you to think about it now.
Here is the question: What makes you feel that way? If you think about it, what is the significant factor that something can become an inspiration for you?
Quite a headache now, right?
Since I’m in psychology, I’ve been told to not just feel something but also understand it and analyze it. What makes me do this?; What makes me feel this?; What makes me think this? And based on that, I can figure out a little bit about inspiration, for me at least.
Let me tell you my story.
At first, I fascinated by landscape photography. When I see them I keep wondering if I can take those amazing photos myself. So I did and I think it’s pretty good. I love it. But then I question myself, why I like it in the first place?
Back then, I realize that I like it because that is the only thing that looks good that I could see. It’s so popular that I never even try to look for any other kind of photography. Most of my friend like landscape photography, most of my SNS feed are landscape photography, and I rarely see anything besides landscape photography. So I decided to look deeply on another kind of photography and that’s how ended up here.
Total change. 180º change. The complete opposite of my first time. Let me say that black and white fine art is not as famous as landscape photography. And yet, I found beauty in it. Something that totally different than any I have seen before.
Based on that, I can think of two reasons of where my inspiration came from. First, because it’s popular. If it popular, that means it a great thing. Another reason is that it fits me, that inspiration totally fits me. You can say that it really match with me.
Now all of it just what I think about my own inspiration. Obviously that everyone has a different way to think about it.
So I ask the same question to you. What is your reason for inspiration?
Hey, I suddenly have an interesting idea. Well not really that sudden. Actually, I have the idea for a while but never really thought about it. So here goes. I want you people to show your photo and I will berate it as much as possible.
A few days ago, I saw someone who asked my opinion about their photo. I haven’t give it, because it gave me the idea.
Here’s the fact (my opinion actually):
Most of them lied when they told you that your photo is good. Most of them don’t care when they like your photo on social media. Most of them don’t even know the very reason to like your photo.
It gives you confidence. But can it give you improvement?
The last time I made a video is about how to create a B&W architecture fine art photography in 5 minutes is just a teaser (You don’t actually believe it would be that easy, right?). But it’s still shown at least 1/3 of my post-processing method. But this time I’m gonna show you my complete workflow, from the photo imported to the finished result, in video nonetheless. This is a black and white architecture fine art photography post-processing workflow video.
Black and White Architecture Fine Art Photography Post-Processing Workflow Video
Before I begin, let me tell you that this is a fine art photography, a very subjective photo genre that unique only to one photographer, ME. I don’t know if other people do it in the same way or not (never know, since I develop this method on my own), except for selection. I just want you to understand that at least.
So, on this video, the photo I use is a straight shot of the center of Jakarta Fatahillah Museum. This is a dutch style building built as the City Hall of Batavia during Colonial Era. Here is the RAW photo:
And hereafter post-processing:
So here is the outline of this video, in case you want to know what I did in this video:
1. Showing the photo and metadata (00:00-00:10).
2. Fix lens distortion (00:10-00:19)
3. Fix perspective distortion (00:19-00:32)
4. Remove lens dust (00:32-01:41)
5. Convert to black and white and create a darker mid-grey tone (01:41-02:06)
6. Move to Photoshop (02:06-02:06)
7. Create selection for the architecture (02:06-08:00)
8. Create a dark and contrast tone sky with Silver Efex Pro 2 (08:00-08:50)
9. Create a darker controlled tone architecture with Silver Efex Pro 2 (08:50-09:38)
10. Fix the white line on the edge of architecture (09:38-11:34)
11. Create a darker tone on the windows of the building top (11:34-12:52)
12. Create a more contrast to the name of the building (12:52-14-12)
13. Save and switch back to Lightroom. The saved photo is automatically imported to Lightroom (14:12-14:30)
14. Dodge & burn (14:30-17:00)
15. Change the overall tone (17:00-17:22)
16. Sharpening & noise reduction (17:22-17:37)
17. A bit of vignetting (17:37-17:50)
Black and White Architecture Fine Art Photography Post-Processing Workflow Video - YouTube
Here you can see the comparison:
That is my 2017 version of black and white architecture fine art photography post-processing workflow video. If you see the video you can see that I speed up the video to around 17 minutes. The total time it took for me to create it actually around 48 minutes. Even that is to fast since it usually took me around 3 hours to post-processing a photo.
You probably also realize that there is no sound. Like my previous reason, I still don’t have a microphone. A decent one is more expensive than I thought. Still didn’t feel worth buying one.
There are two type lighting, natural lighting, and artificial lighting. Natural lighting is lighting sourced from the sun and it uncontrollable. Artificial lighting is lighting sourced from a manmade object and controllable. In this article, I will explain about the biggest light in this earth (I don’t know about another universe, lol) and how we can use it in photography. This is 4 types of lighting for architecture photography.
Before we begin I must say that these lightings do not only work for architecture photography. But also any other kind of photography that uses natural light as it only lighting.
4 Types of Lighting for Architecture Photography
In Lighting, we can rate and categorized lighting as a good and bad lighting. So here goes:
Sidelight is when light directed from the side of the frame. This lighting is the ideal form of natural lighting because of many reasons:
Sidelight creates the strongest form of shadow that gives a three-dimensional view to the photo.
Sidelight has many colors (red, orange, yellow) which are nice for color photography.
Sidelight gives a solid impression to an object. the sun that creates more contrast shadow gives impression to an object. It also shows texture to object.
To achieve sidelight, the photo has to be taken around morning or evening when the sun still around the horizon. The direction of the camera has to be around north or south (or anywhere as long it beside the sun).
#2 Front Light
The front light is when light directed from the front of the frame. This lighting is quite complicated and can go both ways, as a good lighting and also as a bad lighting.
It bad because the front light hardly creates shadow on an architecture that makes the architecture looks three dimensions on a photo. It also reduces contrast, which is bad if you want to show a different part of the architecture. If it did wrong, a photo with front light might end up flat and boring.
It can also be good if front light did in right way. Front light can create solid color to object. It can also give a solid impression form object if that what you wanted.
To achieve a good front light, the photo has to be taken around sunset or sunrise, when the sun still around the horizon. Avoid the time when the sun rises enough (usually around mid-morning to mid-afternoon). The direction of the camera is behind the sun.
#3 Above Light
Above Light is when light directed from above the frame. This is considered not only in architecture photography but also much other photography as the worst time for taking photograph.
The reason is that above light is the hardest light. It also creates the smallest shadow to object, which is bad because it hardly shows three dimensional to object. It also has a little color to the sky, which also creates boring and flat sky.
But in a specific case, architecture photography can be done in this situation. By doing some things:
Use Polarizer filter. By using this filter, it can give more contrast and color to the sky and reflective object.
Doing black and white. Boring photo sometime is a good excuse for making black and white photography (that’s how I first doing black and white photo). Since shadow can’t create contrast, we can use tone (which is shown more in black and white) to show a contrast of form in architecture.
Above light situation can be achieved as a long photo is taken around midday when the sun can be seen above the head.
#4 Back Light
Back Light is when light directed from behind the frame. This light quite popular because it creates the most dramatic light and also creates a great shadow from behind. That is if we’re talking about landscape photography. But in architecture photography, I consider backlight as a bad light.
The reason is that backlight will reduce the appearance of detail in the architecture. And in most cases only show a solid outline of architecture, which good if that’s the only thing you wanted. Even if you want to show the detail of architecture, that means you have to increase the exposure which causes overexpose in the background.
There are few things that I can think of in this lighting situation. Like, you can take 2 or 3 photos with different exposure then combine them in post-processing. Another way is to take the photo at a higher altitude than your subject. It can show the dramatic lighting and shadow in architecture.
Backlight condition is achieved when the photo is taken around morning and afternoon. And the sun is behind the subject and in front of the camera. The camera is directed around east in morning or around west in evening.