Walking around our Scottish cities and their grade-A-property districts, we often find ourselves looking up at the striking new architectural shapes that have been added to our familiar home-town skylines. Many of these buildings that are not being newly constructed are likely being refurbished, redesigned and improved internally to meet the requirements of a contemporary office or a modern hotel.
As architectural and interior photographers we are invited into places the public don’t usually see. Whether it’s to photograph new administration suites for national blue chip companies, refurbished retail floors in prime shopping locations or newly designed and fitted city hotel rooms, it’s likely that at least one interior space – be it a single room or an entire floor – will have interesting (if not amazing) views. It’s always a surprise to see the view outward that offers up a new and unique perspective of a city.
The technicalities of taking still photos of views varies depending on the what’s in the frame. It’s often necessary to either double-expose frames or light an interior to feature both the indoors and out in a good light. Double exposing requires careful set up and additional post production so it’s not for everyone but it does reduce the time and equipment required to just light an interior to create a balance with the outside view. However, taking the view from the window without having the room in the frame is an easier prospect as the photographer may just need a lens filter to darken the sky or employ some additional post production.
Of course, in most modern high rise buildings with air conditioning, the windows do not open so reflections have to be negated and dirty windows should be avoided at all costs in a commercial image. It could be said Windowlene and a duster is an essential part of that day’s kit!
We’re lucky enough to go where the general public can’t and that includes the balconies and roofs of many buildings to produce images showing cityscapes that the majority will never be able to see for themselves. The power and drama in a high rise image that is properly framed can’t be underestimated and with restrictions on drone photography in city centres, there’s sometimes no other option but to climb out hatches and stand on ledges – safely of course. So, the risk assessments are done and the personal protection equipment is packed for that day’s shoot – along with the Windolene!
Having taken photographs from so many different structures around Scotland’s cities has given us an archive of truly unique images and we’ve been delighted to share some of our favourites with you.