A unique feature of Architectural photography is that buildings and similar structures should be captured in a way that are both aesthetically pleasing and be accurate representations of their subjects.
In this respect, most architectural photographers employ large format cameras, which has both the advantage of superb resolution and image quality, and also the essential ability to raise or lower the front standard to keep the verticals straight and parallel.
For DSLR cameras, one essential piece of equipment is the Tilt-and-Shift lens, which has the ability to shift the viewpoint in order to capture the verticals as they should be.
Our instructor Larry Haydn uses such a lens to capture the architecture of a fastfood restaurant. The image was a blend of three shots in RAW format.
A polarizing filter is a neutral grey glass filter with two independant rotating layers. Known as Circular Polarizers (or CP), the back layer screws on to the lens, while the front layer is free-rotating. Rotating the front layer varies the amount of polarization, which reduces reflections by varying degrees.
Reflections: Polarizers are also employed to "see through" reflective window displays, giving the image a clearer view, improved contrast, and deeper saturation.
Sky: Polarizers are most famously used for darkening the sky, giving the clouds better definition against a bluer sky. Maximum effect can be achieved when the sunlight is at a 90 degree angle to the camera. If the sunlight is directly in front of or behind the camera, then the polarizer has no effect.
Studio: In the studio, polarizers are employed to reduce reflections on products and food, thus preventing hot spots from studio strobes.
Landscapes and seascapes: Polarizers cancel our reflection from foliage and water, preventing the inadvertant underexposure caused by the bright reflections.
Polarizer is ineffective against metallic surfaces.
During the Asean University Games 2016, I was assigned to shoot the swimming competition at OCBC Aquatic Centre, which is located within the Sports Hub in Singapore.
A typical day begins at 8am, where the athletes begin their warm ups, followed by heats at 9am. After a number of heats, the competition takes a mid-day break. At 5pm, the finals take place.
The heats and finals are conducted very quickly and efficiently - everything is timed right down to the minute. The challenge for photographers is that the different events should ideally shot from different vantage points. For example, Butterfly is best shot from the front, Backstroke can be from back or top, Freestyle can only be seen from the catwalk (that is, directly above the pool).
It has been an enriching experience for me, and in the process also made many new friends from different countries, not to mention meeting and sharing experiences with other photographers.
-- Larry Haydn