Your credibility as an architectural photographer does not reach its zenith until you have mastered the art of capturing architectures at night. If you express it in cricketing terms, it’s like a batsman with bags of records under the belt but without any century at the coveted MCG! So for someone looking to win accolades as an architecture photographer, mastering the art of night photography is imperative.

Here on this page, we discuss a few tips from the seasoned experts about clicking architecture photography at night.

Composing the shot – Sticking to the Fundamentals

If you are shooting upwards, expect the structure to slope inwards from the two edges toward each other, as your vision crawls upwards, more so when you are using a wide-angle lens.  Hence, you need to move to an elevated position to negate this optical illusion that will act as a distortion. Alternatively, you can use a specialised shift lens that is designed to correct the perspective. However, if you are an architecture photographer in Brisbane who has just started, this may be an expensive option. Thus, shooting from a higher platform is much more feasible. Include the entire structure by using wide-angle lenses or get back to a more appropriate viewpoint. That will give you a much better angle.

Shoot the building head-on, maintaining an angle of 3/4, or by using a telephoto for capturing a section to give it a more graphical feel. Do not skip zooming, and when it comes to focusing on the subject, opting for manual is the best option.


After the nightfall, light changes in two different ways. Firstly, the required time for exposure increases, and secondly, the light colour gets warmer.

When light is low, the shutter speed that is needed to ensure a good exposure will be too long to avoid the shaking of the camera, when it comes to clicking by holding the cam in your hand. In this case, the use of a tripod or any taking any support will help you to keep the camera stable and keep the jerks at bay, thus helping you in a seamless and distinctive architectural photography with lower noise.


Low light can very well fool the meter of your camera, and this occurs as the meter looks at the listless void of black and tries to compensate, turning it mid-grey. When that happens, you get a too extended exposure time for every illuminated part of the structure you are shooting. Thus, the lighted areas within the frame and the on the subject will get overexposed. 

Balance of Colour

Illuminated structures standing against a dark, vacant sky would look great, but you need to be careful with the colour. You might encounter hints of an orange or yellow cast, which may be an eyesore. Structures that are illuminated by artificial light can pose problems, the extent of which depends upon the nature of lights used and the extent of illumination they cause. The two most common terms are Tungsten and Fluorescent. While Fluorescent lights are used in office interiors, Tungsten is used for illuminating buildings. Thus, when it comes to shooting under these conditions you need to take a hard look at the colour balance and alter the white balance setting that you are using. Cloudy conditions will make your shots warmer and tungsten will give images a more bluish tinge.

Thus, when you are looking forward to night photography of architecture, you need to follow these tips for excelling.

Author's Bio: 

The author is a renowned architecture photographer in Brisbane who conducts photo trips and workshops on architecture photography. The author is also a regular blogger.