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80 Amazing Abstract Architecture Shots (And How to Shoot Your Own)

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Architecture is an incredibly fascinating area of design. The seemingly impossible physics, the play of light, the masculine textures, it all comes together to create an incredible sense of fantasy and wonder.

The magic of great architecture is highlighted and even amplified significantly when presented by the right photographer. Today we'll take a look at five quick tips to keep in mind to help you shoot better abstract architecture shots followed by eighty stunning examples.


5 Tips for Better Abstract Architecture

Tip 1: Find the Fantasy

abstract architecture photography

When you approach a structure, try to find a crop that makes the reality of the building seem impossible. To illustrate, consider how the image above feels like an optical illusion. It's as if Escher himself took a photo of one of the fantastical places that occupied his mind.

Also notice how the hard lines are positioned in such a way that it feels like the building is immense and could continue forever. For all we know the edges of the building are right outside the crop of the photo, but that illusion of infinite potential is strong.

Tip 2: Master Symmetry

abstract architecture photography

The idea that symmetry is beautiful is an inescapable notion. When we see it in creatures, plants, art, architecture or anywhere else we are mysteriously drawn in and captivated. Whether it's that our brains enjoy the fun of spotting repetition or that there's just less information to process, we can't help feel that symmetry is good and right.

When you're shooting architecture, the simplest place to start is with the symmetrical aspects. Find something that repeats, stick two or more of them tightly in the frame and you'll have the potential for a great shot.

Tip 3: Look Up

abstract architecture photography

Some of my favorite architecture abstracts instill a dramatic sense of vertigo not by looking downward, but upward. Impossibly tall structures have a tendency to fascinate and terrify us at the same time and images like the one above bring that fear to the surface. If you stare long enough to really let yourself get taken in, you almost feel as if you're going to fall into the sky.

Any time you're up against a tall structure, whether it be man made or natural, try taking a shot looking straight up from the bottom. Make sure to adjust your ISO and aperture so that the sky detail isn't blown out, it's often the texture and drama in that vast cloudy background that really makes the photo.

Tip 4: Twist that Camera

abstract architecture photography

When you're shooting any sort of abstract, resist the tendency to level the camera as you would with a typical shot. Instead explore every angle and rotation to make the image that much more captivating.

The photo above uses an extreme rotation to add a lot of visual interest. It makes you want to twist your head to find the proper viewing angle, which isn't always obvious and can leave you wondering.

Tip 5: Lighting is Everything

abstract architecture photography

Whenever you have the opportunity, come back to an interesting building at different times of the day to watch as the sun plays across the surface and shadows envelop or escape the crevices.

Consider the lighting exactly like you would in high and low key portrait situations. Sometimes you'll want strong prevalent shadows for a dramatic look while other times a bright, almost flat appearance will make a more powerful statement.


80 Amazing Abstract Architecture Shots

Abstracting Contemporary Architecture

abstract architecture photography

Abstract Architecture

abstract architecture photography

Concrete windows (Brussels)

abstract architecture photography

Abstracted architecture 2009-02

abstract architecture photography

The Prada Building Close Up

abstract architecture photography

Sunday afternoon's abstract

abstract architecture photography

191430_067

abstract architecture photography

Abstract Lights

abstract architecture photography

New York Architecture

abstract architecture photography

London building abstract

abstract architecture photography

Abstract 3D Wave Design

abstract architecture photography

Chicago Abstract

abstract architecture photography

Roof abstract

abstract architecture photography

Frank Gehry Architecture - Windows

abstract architecture photography

Abstract white

abstract architecture photography

Abstract - architectural detail

abstract architecture photography

Pritzger Park Abstract

abstract architecture photography

Retro 80's office building architecture

abstract architecture photography

Skyscraper abstract

abstract architecture photography

Getty Museum #9

abstract architecture photography

Architectural abstract

abstract architecture photography

union station abstract

abstract architecture photography

Big brother watching over your shopping

abstract architecture photography

Milan, Italy, 24 may 2010

abstract architecture photography

Otto Lilienthal Memorial in Anklam

abstract architecture photography

Selfridges

abstract architecture photography

Ceiling

abstract architecture photography

perception is reality

abstract architecture photography

By the Year 2000 All Our Food Will be in the Form of Tiny Pills

abstract architecture photography

Abstract

abstract architecture photography

Tubular Hive (after)

abstract architecture photography

Curve 3

abstract architecture photography

Skyscraper Abstract

abstract architecture photography

Happy about homework

abstract architecture photography

A Preview of Coming Attractions

abstract architecture photography

Urban Wanganui

abstract architecture photography

the point

abstract architecture photography

L'Auditori Barcelona

abstract architecture photography

vancouver 563

abstract architecture photography

Corrosion of Conformity

abstract architecture photography

Circles

abstract architecture photography

pixies:down to the well

abstract architecture photography

Warehouse

abstract architecture photography

Abstract (Light beyond the grids)

abstract architecture photography

FLW Unity21

abstract architecture photography

Abstract

abstract architecture photography

Abstract: Glass

abstract architecture photography

ceiling abstraction #1

abstract architecture photography

Alberta Sky

abstract architecture photography

Cinémascope

abstract architecture photography

Inmersión

abstract architecture photography

Architecture / blackwhite

abstract architecture photography

Spiral

abstract architecture photography

Ronnie's Tune

abstract architecture photography

Guggenheim abstract #2

abstract architecture photography

the eyes are its informers

abstract architecture photography

Abstract (Staircase)

abstract architecture photography

You were above me, but not today

abstract architecture photography

iPhoneography: 'Under the Roof'

abstract architecture photography

Disney 1

abstract architecture photography

Do not glue on, Neumarktstr., Wuppertal

abstract architecture photography

Abstract (reflection in a pillar)

abstract architecture photography

Bug Eye

abstract architecture photography

Angled Architecture

abstract architecture photography

Scripps Bridge, Remixed

abstract architecture photography

Ascension

abstract architecture photography

trying to explore this world underneath...

abstract architecture photography

Stefan Georgi

abstract architecture photography

Xerxes

abstract architecture photography

Black and White Science Museum

abstract architecture photography

SCAT

abstract architecture photography

futuristic design

abstract architecture photography

Mirror Image

abstract architecture photography

Skylight

abstract architecture photography

The Pressure's On

abstract architecture photography

Railings

abstract architecture photography

Repeat the

abstract architecture photography

Edinburgh Parliament

abstract architecture photography

Heart of Darkness #2

abstract architecture photography

The State Art Gallery

abstract architecture photography


Show Off Your Work!

I hope the images above have inspired you to look at architecture in new ways and to think about how you can capture the beauty of the mundane structures you see every day.

As always, we want to see your examples. Leave a link below to a few of the abstract architecture shots that you're most proud of capturing. Also let us in on any techniques or special insight you have for taking this type of photo.

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