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Architectural Photography Tips: Scott Norsworthy

07 May 2016
Image Credit: Scott Norsworthy
Architectural Credit: PanAm BMX Track, Kleinfeldt Mychajlowycz Architects Inc.
Every year from April to October, as part of Doors Open Ontario, communities across the province celebrate their built heritage - both historic and contemporary - by opening the doors of some of Ontario’s greatest architectural treasures to the public – many of them for the first time ever. These unique community events are a great opportunity for residents and visitors alike to explore our province’s rich built heritage, and provide the perfect excuse to get your camera (or smartphone!) out and capture the beauty of Ontario’s architecture.

To help you capture that perfect shot during your next Doors Open excursion we asked some of Ontario’s architectural photographers – the talent behind many of the photographs featured on this blog - to share three tips. During the next few weeks we will be sharing their advice as part of a blOAAg mini-series on architectural photography!

Our first set of tips come from Toronto based architectural photographer and OAA Intern Architect, Scott Norsworthy. Holding an undergraduate in architecture from McGill University and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Toronto, Scott’s personal pursuit of exploring and documenting architecture has grown into a passion for making images that capture what he feels is important, unusual, or remarkable in the world. He has worked with numerous practices across Canada and his work is featured in leading publications including Azure, Canadian Architect, and the National Geographic Traveller Magazine.  

From the Photographer:

1. Don't try to capture the whole building, but look for details and moments that you find beautiful. Get closer to things than you think you should and position yourself to isolate what you're shooting against a clean background. Look for unusual light and shadows. Try to eliminate visual clutter and any other elements that distract from your subject.

Teeple Architects - Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics - Waterloo, ON  
2. Consider the foreground. Understand the building you're shooting not just a solitary, isolated object, but as something that sits within, and relates to, its context - whether it's a busy urban street or the Canadian wilderness. Look for angles that say something meaningful about your subject and depict it in a way that highlights what you find important and special about the building.

Victory Soya Mills Silos, 1943, Toronto ON 
3. Look for the right people in the right places. Instead of trying to eliminate people from your shots, use them as a way to tell a story and bring some life into the image. Human figures are also helpful to provide a sense of scale in photographs of a building. Crowds can be distracting but being patient and waiting for the right moment when crowds disperse can be very rewarding.

Moriyama & Teshima Architects, with Maki & Associates - Aga Khan Museum - Toronto ON 
Heading out to a Doors Open event in a community near you? Share your pictures on Twitter and Instagram with us using the hashtag #OntarioArchitecture!

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May 17, 2016 07:40 by Anonymous
Stunning photographs! Thanks for sharing these tips!

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