Impact of Removing Cables from Architectural Photography

One big challenge found in architectural photography comes in the form of cables or hydro lines distracting from the project. Removing cables from architectural photography can have a great impact while still maintaining the integrity of the architecture. In this short post, I want to show you a recent photo of LIFT, a project here in London by Nicholson Sheffield Architects, which helps to illustrate the challenge of cables in your photo. 

LIFT with problematic and distracting cables in the architectural photo
Cables on Cables on Cables


The first plan of attack would be to remove the cables in camera. This means I’d find an angle or vantage point that removes a lot of cables and other distractions (done in the photos of The Cube for example). This wasn’t possible for this shot. Removing the cables in post became necessary.

Now, some of the cables are quite simple and quick to remove using Photoshop features or using a slightly shifted 2nd photo to work off (hint: the cables above the building). The way you remove them can come down to your Photoshop skills or tool preference. I have a few more photos of LIFT to edit out the cables and I’ll try to record it if you’re interested (drop a comment). I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the best when it comes to “Photoshopping” my architectural images because I enjoy as natural of a look as possible. However, you can see these cables are ridiculously distracting and removing them should have a huge impact on experiencing the architecture. 

This image is super challenging in that you see some of the cables are covering details that a tool like “spot healing” in Photoshop is not going to do anything helpful. Most of the tutorials on YouTube seem to be quite basic and don’t get into complex images like I’m showing you.

While not perfect, I’m really happy with how it turned out overall. 

Removing Cables

Cables completely removed from architectural photograph of LIFT
Cables have been removed and makes a big impact


This is the furthest I’ve taken my photos in terms of post-processing and altering my images. The more I do this, the quicker I get and my skill level improves as well. For architects, people working within an architecture studio, or general contractors, I believe your time and money is much better spent on your specialization instead of taking on the photography work and post-processing as well. Some projects can take a few days to a week to simply capture the images. For instance, with LIFT, I have another photo to edit out the cables but due to fast-changing atmospheric conditions, the photo isn’t as intriguing. I know the view for the photo is the desired view, so I’ll spend time wisely removing the cables from a shot with better atmospheric conditions and weather.

Never Just One Challenge

This site and morning posed a number of other challenges that architectural photographers have to be ready to deal with or handle. I’m going to try and cover these obstacles in other journal posts and potentially on-site video clips or Instagram Stories. In 2018, I want to share more behind the scenes content and be as transparent as possible as an architectural photographer. I believe the content could help other photographers trying to improve and show more of what goes into the work. In essence, I want to document more of my architectural photography work. 

Extra info:

Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. received an honorable mention for LIFT in the buildings category in the 2010 London Urban Design Awards!

Gear used:

Sony A7ii camera, Metabones V adapter, Canon 24mm Tilt-Shift Lens

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