Building Editing Ottawa Architectural Photography

Getting to the finished picture of the World Exchange Plaza in Ottawa.


Space

The intersection of Queen and Metcalfe has a lot of backup room, by using a 20mm lens I was able to get the full view of the entire building from the opposite corner. 

Note: When in tight areas I will take a series of pictures and stitch them together later in photoshop. The 20 mm lens can have a lot of distortion so, later in Lightroom and Photoshop, all of the vertical and horizontal lines were straightened for a well-defined drafting table effect.


Lighting

It was an overcast, but bright morning, so the exposure was set for keeping the details of the building and especially the top edges of the building. This meant losing the details of the sky and shadows crossed along the lower 1/3 of the building in shadow. This was addressed in Photoshop by blending in a layer of sharp brightness to the lower third.


People and Powerlines

Streets are rarely empty in downtown Ottawa, and powerlines really mess up the view, so a series of pictures were made to minimize the number of people and cars. However, cars add life to the empty streets so I kept them in (obscuring their licence plates) and removing the people (but left the dog in). Powerlines were edited out one piece at a time and windows edited to look natural. 

Note: Sometimes I will keep the people in and just blur them - this works best when there are a lot of people.


Lighting and White Balance

After the core edits were completed I tackled the lighting and white balance with a variety of layers of light and dark areas blended to make the shadows less extreme and then balance the colours for the final step.


Skies

Skies are important in the framing of architectural photographs - by adding a subtle darker sky we draw the viewers’ eyes to the subject building.


See below for the “pre-edit” World Exchange Plaza.



Using Format