Lightweight Approach to Architecture


Nantes Cathedral
Nantes Cathedral

It wasn’t that long ago that if you wanted to do architectural photography that you needed to be looking at cameras or lenses that would provide tilt and shift facilities. How the world has changed. Yes, correcting convergence and shift problems is better within the camera but it’s also very costly, especially when compared to the capabilities of Photoshop.

It’s now possible to shoot with your average camera and lens before correcting the problems in post production. It also becomes very easy to apply different levels of adjustment and experiment more. If you don’t get it right first time, just open up the image and apply some more adjustment using Photoshop’s Transform feature.

The image above was shot on the Olympus OMD using a 14-45mm Panasonic lens at 14mm focal length. The adjustments were applied using the Transform – Distort adjustment in Photoshop CS5. No visible softening of the image took place, even when viewed at 100% magnification on screen. The subsequent “artistic look” to add a vignette and soften the area outside the doorway was added using OnOne Perfect Photo Suite 7. The conversion to Black and White was made using Nik Silver Efex Pro. Most importantly, the amazing doorway is Nantes Cathedral in France.

4 thoughts on “Lightweight Approach to Architecture

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    1. Thanks Paul, I think it’s the combination of a couple of things. Firstly the Panasonic 14-45 lens is superbly sharp on the Olympus OMD. How they ever made any money selling this as a kit lens is beyond me – it’s too good. The other is the excellent Nik Sharpener Pro plug in.

  1. To me this looks tilted and skewed – notice the asymmetry towards the upper part of the image – not what you’d expect from a professional.

    1. Well Jon, it is still showing an element of convergance which was left in deliberately. The walls of the Cathedral also aren’t entirely straight at this point and the area is undergoing extensive restoration. My decision was not to correct everything and make it perfect, certainly not for a building of this age. I also wanted to leave a hint of the scale of the doorway which is best served by the small amount of convergence. Had it been a new building with lots of straight lines then I would agree that all the distortion would best be removed. This was an artistic approach (also hence the vignette) and not an attempt at perfect symetry. Incidentally, have you tried out the DXO Viewpoints 2 software? That’s pretty impressive if you want to straighten out everything.

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