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Architectural photography: post production workflow

Layers that make up an architectural photograph

Post production for architectural photography

Architectural photography is not just planning the shoot, nor is it only photographing the building. After the shoot is finished, the jobs not done. Now the assembly begins.

Architectural photograph of the Dilido house

Layers that make up an image file in today's architectural photography

Some layers in this architectural photograph exploded.

All the RAW files captured get fine tuned in Capture One, in my opinion the best image processor out there. Color balance, contrast, brightness, perspective, ect. are adjusted. Then the architectural photography files are processed and are retouched, where small imperfections and outlets are cleaned up.

Paths around all image details in my architectural photography.

Sky, building and window paths combined.

Then the images go through Photoshop where the individual layers are created and assembled into a master file. Each layer has detailed masks around the building parts, the vegetation, the sky, ect. which allows us to composite the image out of the separate exposures taken on location. In the image to the left you see a simplified view of some of the main layers: vegetation, garden and interior through the glass wall, outside walls lit by a strobe, house and sky. That’s how architectural photography is created today.

Finalizing the architectural image files

Then it’s a round trip back into Capture One, where perspective is adjusted, highlights and colors are tweaked and the final files are prepared to be delivered to the client. Metadata is added and the files are  uploaded int my photoshelter account and delivered to the client via password protected web gallery.
My favorite part of the whole shoot, is an excited client, who loves the images taken of her design. This image has taken quite some time to build, from scouting to shooting to spending time in post production, but the transformation from the scouting shot is a far cry from the final shot, don’t you think?

Scout snapshot to Final architectural photography

The snapshot I took on the scouting trip and the final constructed image on the right.