Architectural Photography at Boston’s Commonwealth Museum

Our first week back at school focused on architectural photography, both interiors and exteriors, and may I say, it was a blast!

I’ve always loved architecture, whether old, historical buildings or new, crazy modern ones. The detail and thought that goes into buildings is incredible and so impressive. Almost all of my travel photography naturally hones in on architectural detail, so this module was something I was very excited to delve into!

To learn about shooting architecture, our class visited The Commonwealth Museum in South Boston.

Now, the Museum is no great beauty, but that was a lesson in itself. Once again, it was proved that there are so many interesting things to see, if only you look for them!

The Museum documents the history of the state of Massachusetts and also houses the Massachusetts Archives and Department of Records. We got to visit the Records area, and take photographs, but we were sworn to secrecy (with penalty of jail time) about what we saw there, so I shall speak no more! Photography, opening doors for me into state secrets already!

The main thing about photographing interiors is lighting, and lucky for us, many architects and museum curators are excellent lighting technicians; they take into account how they want their creations lit, and execute their visions well. We didn’t have to do any additional lighting in the Museum. Everything was gorgeous as it was.

Architectural photography is a slow process, because there is so much to take in and shoot on a location. We spent all day at the Commonwealth Museum, and there were hundreds of shots I didn’t take. Everywhere I turned there was something else to admire!

It was great to be on location. I love our classroom time, too, but nothing compares to getting out there on assignment. Your mind is so busy, constantly searching for intriguing compositions, reading light and exposure, making decisions that incorporate all of the information you take in about your surroundings.

Photography takes a lot of thinking! I love that it is such an active profession, in so many ways.

My favorite shot of the day, one that I did a bit of HDR on, was of the entrance hall and the ship exhibit:

I was so excited to discover this vantage point! I worked really hard to get this image where it is, and print-ready, too. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Thanks, Commonwealth Museum, for letting us explore!



Filed under Architecture, Boston, Photo Assignment, School

2 responses to “Architectural Photography at Boston’s Commonwealth Museum

  1. Pingback: Keeping Your Verticals Vertical: More Architectural Photography | Julie Sterling

  2. Pingback: Location Portraiture #2 | Julie Sterling

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