Seeing Digitally

TEXT AND PHOTOS GERRY KOPELOW

This is a great time to be a professional architectural photographer. However, today’s digital imaging technology has completely changed my working life.

I have been liberated from having to lug around hundreds of pounds of photographic gear. Happily gone is my old 4” 5” technical view camera, and all that film (both conventional and Polaroid) needed to operate it. Also happily gone are dozens of film holders, my light-proof (but not dust-proof) film-changing bag, cases full of high-power lighting gear, and a monster tripod. Today, everything I need to produce superiorquality architectural work on location can be carried onto an airplane.

Every architectural shooter can now make images that are more interesting, more true to life, and more useful than ever before. My book,

Architectural Photography the Digital Way

(Princeton Architectural Press, 2007) tells the whole story, but the basic information necessary to take advantage of the new technology doesn’t require a book-length dissertation. The following paragraph provides a compact overview.

To begin with, we need to consider something called the “digital workflow.” Sounds intimidating, but this is simply a list–ordered in the most sensible way–of the things one has to do in order

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