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How to Photograph Buildings Situated In Narrow Streets

Restricted space is one of the most common issues faced by architectural photographers who mostly work in large cities. Large buildings situated in relatively narrow streets are difficult to photograph.

How to Photograph Buildings Situated In Narrow Streets
Photo by: Ulrich Kersting

In most cases, surrounding structures restrict the photographer from shooting from the ideal angle. Also the choice of focal length is dictated by the size of the building and the amount of space available. A relatively large building nestled in a narrow street could only be photographed from an oblique angle using a wide angle lens.

The larger the building and lesser the space, the shorter the focal length one need to use. Remember the shorter the focal length, the greater the distortion. The important thing to remember in such situations is that the shorter the focal length the less oblique the camera to building angle should be.

One alternative to minimize perspective distortions and the obliqueness of the camera angle is to shoot a panorama. Shoot different frames that slightly overlap each other (say 25%) and stitch them together in image editing programs like Adobe Photoshop to get a single shot that resembles an ultra-wide angle of view without the distortion. If you are stitching images together you can afford to use longer focal length lenses and that is part of the reason for distortion free images. Tilt shift lenses with their ability to make cross shift movements make such stitching much easier.

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