How Tone Creates Depth in Architecture Fine Art Photography

How Tone Creates Depth in Architecture Fine Art Photography

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Creating a fine art architecture photography is obviously not an easy task. In fact, you need a lot of time to at least, be decent enough. And even the great ones sometimes didn’t even realize the biggest mistake that was right in front of them. Now I want to tell you what I mean by mistake and I think you already know what I mean, but never think about it. That is the tone and how tone creates depth in architecture fine art photography.

Before we start, I want to know if you have ever seen architecture fine art photography? If you haven’t checked my images.

If you already see it, that means you already know at least what fine art architecture photography looks like.

A few weeks ago, someone on Instagram contacted me and asked for my critic about her photography. It seems that person’s photo was inspired by my photos (I’m blushed, hehe). So anyway, I did exactly that and what I see wasn’t really good.

Now, I’m not gonna show you the photo, since I’m afraid I could offend her. So what I gonna do is replicate the mistake in my photo.

It seems that she followed the tutorial that I gave in my previous blog post. But not good enough.

Read More: How to Create Black and White Architecture Fine Art Photography

So I told her, that she should understand “tone and depth.”

That is the mistake that she made, the lack of “depth” in the photo. Since she told me that is her first time, it’s quite understandable. But the truth is, many who are already experienced in architecture fine art photography still make this mistake.

The deeper look of the “Mistake”

Let’s try to compare it side by side:

For now, I want you to ignore the light on the upper left corner of the photos and only focus on the building.

Let’s call this photo A And this photo B

I think you already see the difference. Let’s try to describe it.

If you see photo A, it looks like the entire building has an equally same tone, excluding the background of course. Whereas photo B has a different tone for different parts of the building (see some part is brighter and some part is darker).

Remember “tone?” If not, also read: Why Contrast Really Matter in Black and White Photography

And so that’s the “mistake” and differences between those two, the tone. More specifically the placement of the tone.

Photo A looks like a cheap photoshop where you place a flat building image on the black background as if the building looks 2 dimensional. But with the right placement of different tones, you can create a photo with a building that looks 3 dimensional, just like photo B.

How Tone Create Depth in Architecture Fine Art Photography

Photo with equally same tone gonna look like the image below:

But with the right placement of tone, you can create a building photo that looks like the image below:

Since that’s what we want an architecture photo looks like.

Such a thing is probably alright if it is just a simple snapshot since it actually looks naturally like that. But it’s gonna look totally weird when you trying to make fine art architecture since it is naturally impossible to happen.

And so this is how we have to do to fix this mistake, by adding a tone, we create the “depth” into a fine art architecture photo so it can look 3 dimensional.

So that’s how tone creates depth in architecture fine art photography. But how to do it? The easiest way to do it is by remembering the law of nature. Don’t get it? You will later on.

But if you don’t want to wait you can check my architecture photos or my Instagram and figure it out yourself.

At least you understand one of the biggest mistakes and really common happen in creating fine art architecture photography, that the photo looks flat when it suppose to look 3 dimensions.


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