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How to Shoot a Building

Architecture photog Nick Ulivieri shares his secrets

Building
Photo: Nick Ulivieri Photography

Show up early or late

“You don’t want to shoot when the sun is directly above because then you’re looking at this dark, detail-less building.”

Observe light patterns

“I was shooting the park in front of 150 North Riverside (pictured). Most of the day it’s in shadow, but there are a couple of hours in the afternoon where the sunlight bounces off a building and floods the park.”

Deconstruct the building

“It isn’t always about getting the whole structure in one frame, but telling its story through details. Some older buildings have really ornate finishes that make cool photos.”

Head to the Chicago river

“A great place to practice is near Wolf Point East and River Point. You can cross the river and get far enough away that you don’t have to go crazy with wide-angle lenses.”

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