Before and After

Before & After: CCPV

Before and After Series: Architectural Photography of CCPV

Happy to say there was a good response to last week’s inaugural “Before and After” piece, revealing some of the process and thoughts behind my architectural photography. That means I’d like to carry it on and show you a photo, shot at dawn, of the CCPV building.

Dawn is an amazing time for shooting architectural photography. There are a number of obstacles to overcome, but I believe the biggest comes in terms of time. It’s much like shooting a Twilight, but this shot doesn’t include lighting on within the building. Usually, we’ll need to arrange to light to be on within the building and evening seems to always work better. Either way, time is the obstacle. Here, we’re getting amazing morning light coming through the building anyways.

Time is of the essence and can become an issue if you’re trying to get multiple views of the architecture. I am considering the idea of a second photographer or the idea of a 2nd evening depending on the shoot requirements. Right now, I’ll go back as many times as needed for my clients. I look at the job as a full project and not based on shooting limited hours. Dawn and dusk can look similar, but really we’re dealing with completely different light placements and I love showing the building at these different times.

With this week’s photo, I wanted to share how an image can be transformed easily and only within Adobe Lightroom. There are no crazy tricks or lengthy editing requirements. The big trick up this photo’s sleeve is that it started as a RAW image. This means it contained a lot of digital information within the photo that could be brought out in the editing process.

I simply adjusted the sliders accessible to us all to bring out or bring back the colours and details. I did shoot multiple exposures at the time, but there was no need to mix them into one image.

Before & After: CCPV

What Was Done?

In the above before and after, I hope you can see there wasn’t anything wild done to show off the architecture. The star is the building: CCPV.

My view is to try and make the scene feel like it did while I was there experiencing the architecture at the moment.

The most work I did on this photo is actually unseen. In the before image, it’s very hard to see the dust spots that occurred. Dust spots are weird spots that occur of your photo because there is dust on the sensor of your camera. They help to remind you to clean your camera’s sensor. Since you can’t see much at this resolution, here is what the photo looks like within Lightroom as I removed all the spots:

Cleaning spots on architecture photo by scott
Lightroom Regular View
Lightroom Overlay for removing dust spots
Lightroom Overlay Tool View

This work is tedious, but I am grateful for the tool to make cleaner images. It was my issue shooting at a high Fstop and thus learning to clean the camera sensor asap. These spots only really emerge when shooting to keep that shutter open longer. I had it open a big longer because I hoped to get a little bit of movement in the foreground grasses.

Polished & Natural & Saturation

If you take anything from this, I want you to understand I’m not doing something you couldn’t do, but for some reason, many people still struggle with creating. Where a professional architectural photographer comes into play is that we have the confidence to try our best to get the image right in the camera. As well, we’re trying to make the image as polished as possible while still conveying a natural portrayal of the architecture.

If you’d like to see more photos from the shoot of CCPV, you can find them at this link.

If you see a photo on my site and would like for me to cover it in the Before and After Series, let me know. Drop a comment, contact me, or even hit me up on Twitter.

PS. Shot using:

Sony A7II –
Sony 16-35mm FE –

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