When starting out, Fernando recommends lenses which strike a good balance between a relatively wide field of view and low image distortion. "I love the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM
and the Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM
," he enthuses. "They're small and unobtrusive so you can shoot unnoticed. The quality is great, and they're relatively inexpensive. I also use the Canon EF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM
because it's so versatile. I can't accept any distortion in my architectural shots but, thanks to in-camera corrections in EOS R-series cameras, it becomes a distortion-free lens."
Another gateway lens that’s particularly suited to architectural photography is the Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM
. This prime lens with 16mm focal length is not only ultra-affordable, but also ultra-wide, allowing you to get more in shot, for example, an entire bridge. Architecture enthusiasts will also love the interesting effects on lines and angles the lens offers.
Once you’ve settled on a camera and lens that suit you, and got to grips with the genre basics, Fernando advises experimenting further with your architectural photography, everything from the angle of your shot to lens filters.
"A neutral density filter is great for enabling long exposures even under bright lighting,” Fernando explains. “For shooting architecture in a busy place, a long exposure will make all the people and traffic that are moving around effectively disappear, taking them out of the shot. A circular polarising filter is great for removing reflections from glass windows. It works equally well on buildings with a glossy finish. I had to shoot a concrete building that was painted red and was super-shiny. I just gave the circular polariser a twist and all the shine was gone, letting the colour sing out."
For Fernando, shooting architecture is more than just a job, it’s a calling. And one inspired by beating hearts as much as buildings.
"Ultimately, I shoot architecture for a living, but I still feel the people who are inside or who use the building are the most interesting element," he concludes. "To me, architectural photography is about capturing life."
Are you ready to get started?
Written by Matthew Richards