Architecture Articles

Dealing with Location Conditions as an Architecture Photographer!

In this article, I’ll talk about a tip for  Dealing with locations conditions as an architecture photographer to get your photos. 

I’m fresh off an architectural shoot where I was photographing the Victoria Hospital Heating Plant at sunrise. The key word to that sentence is, sunrise. It could very well be sunset though too. 

We were under heat alert warnings and dealing with temperatures that feel like 42-45 degrees Celcius. 

Going out at sunrise was the coolest temperature I saw all day and yet the conditions around the heating plant were crazy for this forgetful London architectural photographer

But, there was no way I was going to bail on the epic sunrise emerging over and behind the building!

Dealing with Location Conditions

It’s probably not just architecture photographers that deal with unfavourable location conditions. Any photographer chasing light at sunrise or sunset will deal with them, but I’m just speaking from my position.

So, what were these conditions I was dealing with on this shoot?

The Victoria Hospital Heating Plant is pretty much surrounded by fields, other than the commissioner road side of it. 

I parked my car and had to make my way into the weeds to capture the images I had been planning in my head for a long time. 

Well, within these fields of weeds, I was breakfast for many, many mosquitos. I wish I had been recording a time lapse of me as it would have been comical to see me dancing around. 

I believe I was eaten the most, as I captured this photo of the plant:

Victoria Hospital Heating Plant at Sunrise in London Ontario
Victoria Hospital Heating Plant at Sunrise in London Ontario

Was it Worth It for the photos?

I’m seriously paying for these 3 photos now. The number of mosquito bites I have on me kept me up all night, unable to sleep. 

But, it was worth it for these photos. They turned out as I pictured them, but the sunrise really showed up. If I ran back to my car because of all the mosquitos, I would have missed the shots and missed watching an epic sunrise in London.

Don’t worry, I learned something valuable that needs to be in the kit for architecture photography! And, I’ll share what this item is…maybe you’re already on to it.

But first, here’s the 2nd photo framing those smokestacks.

Victoria Hospital Heating Plant Smokestacks Framed by Trees
Victoria Hospital Heating Plant Smokestacks Framed by Trees

Eventually, You Don’t Notice Those Mosquitos

For my final photo, I don’t remember dealing with any more mosquitos; however, I’m sure I was still being eaten up. At this point, I just didn’t notice any of the bugs anymore. This lack of awareness could have been because I was so into getting this final image of the heating plant. I had to take the shot with the final edited image in mind because of essentially shooting through a fence and barbed wire. If interested, I can share a before and after of this image.

Sunrise and the Victoria Hospital Heating Plant by Architecture Photographer Scott Webb
Sunrise and the Victoria Hospital Heating Plant

How Could This Issue be Prevented?

Simple, if you’re going out around sunrise or sunset, you should have bug spray or maybe you carry around a citronella candle if you’re extra hip.

Whatever fits in your camera bag, right? Or on your cart! I swear I’m carrying more and more gear every week. 

The mosquito issue was something I dealt with for sunrise photos in Mexico, years ago. Thinking back, I really recommend carrying bug spray on your early and late photo shoots.

It’s something I’m getting right away so that I’m always prepared for locations conditions like I just experienced. In fact, I’ve already got some from the store today!

The light at sunrise and sunset is usually top quality. It can make all the difference in creating more dynamic architectural images in London Ontario.

Battling the bugs is one of the aspects we architecture photographers deal with as we chase light during the summer months. I half wonder if it would have had better conditions if I scheduled photography at sunset instead.

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