Lego House Project

10th December 2013

A little bit of fun to finish the year – an architectural photography project with a difference…. A scale model built of Lego of a semi-detached house in North Shields, Tyne and Wear. Clearly built by someone with too much time on their hands…

Oh, and should probably mention, that someone was me, and the house is mine. Was a little obsession earlier this year – my attempt at becoming an architect perhaps!

Gold Winner

7th December 2013

I’ve always struggled to call myself a purely architectural photographer, and this is why… I love landscapes too (though the presence of a castle in this shot perhaps means it is architectural in a way, no?). This has just won a Gold Award in The Societies monthly image competition. It shows Dunstanburgh Castle, just north of Craster on the Northumberland Coast, at dusk. It’s available to buy through my print shop.

Charity Christmas cards

22nd November 2013

This year I am proud to be supporting the Children’s Heart Unit Fund at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. Using my popular image Winter Angel (with a small addition!), the cards are available in packs of 10 for £3.99. All proceeds go direct to the charity. To find out more please visit the CHUF Facebook page, or e-mail  Nicola Whinham at Untitled-1

Haven Point, South Shields

11th November 2013

A recent project to photograph the new Haven Point Leisure Centre in South Shields, on behalf of construction firm Graham. The architects for the project were LA Architects, based in Lewes. The shoot involved a number of visits over a couple of days to capture the building in the right lighting conditions – not always easy in November.

Haven Point

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How to… Photograph cities at night

22nd October 2013

Welcome to my first ‘How to’ blog entry. The aim of these is to share some of the knowledge and experience I’ve built up over the last 12 years or so as an architectural photographer. I’m starting with something that is probably the aspect of my work that I still enjoy the most – getting out in a city after the sun has gone down and photographing the buildings, bridges and other architecture in low light conditions.

Take it Steady. Exposing correctly in low light conditions mean long exposures. There really isn’t much of a way round it. Sure, you can take a picture without a tripod, but it will likely be blurry, even if you have a really wide aperture, which most of the time you will want to avoid anyway. Think exposure time of 30 seconds or more.

Don’t stay out too late! Once there is no light in the sky at all it becomes more difficult to take good night-time shots. My favourites tend to be those where there is still a deep blue to the sky. Once it gets too dark your exposure time will soon shoot up to many minutes if you want to keep a small aperture and low ISO, with the result that lighting in the scene can over-expose easily. Aim to be shooting no later than 30 to 45 minutes after sunset.

Seasonal variations. Think about the time of year and the view you’re trying to capture. For example, if you’re photographing an area that is primarily office blocks, and you’re there at dusk in the summer, it’s going to be late evening (depending on your location of course), maybe as late at 10 or 11pm. Chances that the lights in the offices will be on are much lower than if you’re there in autumn, when dusk is close to the end of the typical working day. With apartments it’s the reverse.

Water and reflections. If water is involved, for example if you’re photographing the reflections of a city in a river, bear in mind that the river and the reflections will be much darker. If you’ve got a graduated filter use it to even out the exposure. This can be done in Photoshop fairly easily but I’m one of those photographer’s who prefer to get the shot right ‘in-camera’.

And enjoy it!