Capturing Large Structures through Your Camera’s Lens

I don’t know about you guys but I love capturing large structures – be it the Statue of Liberty or one of the stunning modern architectural structures we walk past on the streets on a daily basis. It could even be the giant imperial staircase winding its way upstairs at a hotel or an ancient, peculiar-looking silo standing in the middle of nowhere.

When you’re out capturing huge structures through with your camera, there are a number of things that affect its composition and consequently the end results that you manage to obtain. While some of these factors are uncontrollable, there are other that when paid attention to, can make a huge difference to the way your photographs turn out.
Let’s discuss how these things work.

Photo of statue of liberty at sunset

Size Matters – Don’t Compromise On That
One of the elements that make capturing large structure fairly easier is the fact that your subject isn’t moving – much like landscape photography. It stands its ground and there’s no possibility of it walking away while you try to capture it unless it’s struck by a natural catastrophe. So, basically, you have all the time in the world to take advantage of it.

The two major constraints that may hold you back from delivering a good photograph of these large structures are:

  • You lose a dimension (structures are 3D and have to be translated onto a 2D photograph).
  • It is often difficult to project the scale of the structure on a small sized photograph.

This is why having ample time on your hands is important. You need to explore the structure and experiment with the angles and perspectives that work best in projecting your subject appropriately in the image.

Including foreground objects like a person or a plant can help establish a comparison, which gives an idea of the actual scale of the subject to the viewer. Similarly, shooting the subject up close will help you make the most of the vertical distortion that makes these structures appear massively looming! Be experimental and creative.

Pay Attention to the Composition
When you’re capturing structures like buildings, architectural elements, or man-made wonders – it’s not just about the structure as a whole. Take a centered photograph of the Burj Khalifa and it will come out to be a mediocre looking photograph people probably wouldn’t want to look at again. The building is beautiful, but your shot lacks composition.

In order to make your subject structure look compelling in the pictures, you need to focus more on the series of shapes and lines that pull it together as a spectacular structure to look at. Consider the colors of the structure and the things around it, see how the light falls on these elements and create a pattern that makes for an interesting subject.

Photo of the london bridge

Beauty Lies in the Details
When you’re looking to capture the enormity of your subject structure, everything else tends to get neglected. However, there are times when even the largest of structures contain intricate detail that makes them a vision worth all the praise. It could be the ornate railing of the circular staircase, the hand-carved doors of an ancient fort, or the sturdy brickwork of a medieval castle –the smallest details add the finest dimensions to your photographs.

So, get close to them and capture the careful design that catches your eye. The geometric patterns in large structures help make them look interesting and eye-catching. Without them, your image is as good as bland.

Whether you’re an amateur or a seasoned photographer who loves to click away at everything they find “interesting”- you’re always attracted by large structures. Capturing them may not be as easy as it seems, but sharing useful tips can definitely help us all improve our skills for the better.

What tips do you have in your bag of tricks? Share them with us in the coments below!