- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Amphoto Books; 51526th edition (August 18, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0817424555
- ISBN-13: 978-0817424558
- Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.5 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,623,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Architectural Photography: Professional Techniques for Shooting Interior and Exterior Spaces Hardcover – August 18, 2009
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About the Author
NORMAN MCGRATH's photographs have appeared in Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, Domus, Interior Design, Interiors, HG, New York, Life, and Art in America. His clients include the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Philharmonic, Schlumberger, and many others.
Top customer reviews
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Sad to say I didn't learn much because this book is more organized as a collection of wonderful images with complementary text instead of the other way around. In each chapter the author starts with a bit of general text and quickly moves into showcasing pictures and explaining how they were shot. Most pictures come with plenty of details. In fact that's where I found few useful techniques, buried in the small text.
One such technique I stumbled into for example is that including more floor in the frame gives a sense of greater space in interior shots. That is the kind of technique I was looking forward to learning, but sadly this book doesn't offer much.
Overall, the book is easy to read and full of interesting pictures, but comes short on the main topic, technique. If you are looking for something about photography to read for entertainment this book might be for you. Otherwise if you aim to get a solid understanding of architectural photography consider Architectural Photography: Composition, Capture, and Digital Image Processing by Adrian Schulz.
The layout is somewhat confused compared with the earlier book, with the section on equipment not coming in until page 63 and even then being mixed up with HDR and shooting for websites. However, at least he scopes the digital options and is not a diehard who still insists that professional architectural photography must be done on 5" x 4" large format. His chapters on interior and exterior photography have many useful tips for the working professional.
However, when it comes to the nitty gritty of new technology, the coverage is mostly quite thin and relies on reference to other texts for the practical detail. In some ways this is good as the last thing a book on architectural photography should be is just another photo editing software primer. However, there are a few glaring omissions. HDR is not explained in any detail, with the reader instead enthusiastically referred to another text, one that is arguably not the best or most popular on the subject. Correcting converging verticals using photo editing software is mentioned but even simple instruction on the use of the transform-perspective and free-transform tools in Photoshop is not included. The author still obviously uses strobes quite significantly in his work, despite the advent of HDR, but there is little if any real guidance in their use. Much of what he has to say is contained in the captions and text attached to separate examples of his work. While most of the examples are excellent and inspiring, this approach is at the expense of continuity in the overall book and not much help when you are looking for help on a particular topic.
Overall, the book is still a worthwhile reference for the serious architectural photographer, if for nothing else because it demolishes the mantra that all professional architectural photography must be done on large format equipment, even though the majority of it is never published much bigger than A4. The photographs are excellent but not superior to those in his earlier book, but then fine photography never was and probably never will be solely governed by technology
The reason I gave it such a poor review is that some of the images, incredibly, look like they're just the low-res jpeg preview for the photo. It's as if the publisher somehow just sent the layout to press without the actual files. Blotchy, artifacty, blurred, nearly illegible.
It's unbelievably unprofessional and a real blemish on not only the book but Mr. McGrath's reputation. I'm frankly shocked that he let it get out into the world, if he's as big of a stickler for quality as he seems to be.