In my previous blog, I talked about my experience of setting up my equipment for architectural photographs, taking into account the use of light, and the intended style. In this blog, I’m going to talk about the specialist lens that a professional photographer can use for photography architecture.  This is a tilt-shift lens.

What is a Tilt-shift lens?

Basically, it’s a lens where the optics can be tilted or shifted in relation to the image sensor inside the camera.  They also rotate which allows the lens to tilt or shift in a wide range of directions.

These type of lens are useful to correct perspective, and can also maximise or minimise depth-of-field and can be used for panoramic photography.

At present they are very expensive, and are only available with autofocus.

What does the lens actually do?

By using one of these lens you can imitate photographing the subject from a different camera position. The use of the shift feature helps to create an architectural image without converging vertical lines. As the photographer, keeping the camera level, I point it directly at the building I’m photographing. The lens is then shifted upward to include the top part of the building.  Because the lens is levelled, the vertical lines don’t converge. Therefore, the image created looks as though the camera was placed much higher than it actually was.

I’m sure you’ve often seen or taken photographs yourself of a church tower, or a tall building and the resulting photo appears that the building is falling backwards, leaning away from you. The problem is the height, and the fact that the top is further away from you – hence the leaning effect.

This is the perfect occasion where a tilt-shift lens is invaluable, because they correct the distortion of those converging verticals.

As a professional photographer, it’s important that I provide perfect images for my clients. They have to be precise, and falling over buildings would not impress them!

Alongside using the lens, I also need to fully understand what the lens is capable of, and then use my knowledge and skills to create the best architectural images.

Tilt-shift lens are also useful for photographing interiors.

As you can see on my website, I photograph kitchens, home interiors, as well as architectural buildings. When photographing interiors, this type of lens keep everything vertical.

Quite often, I’m stuck in a corner of a room where, being able to use this lens helps no end.

Along with toppling buildings, I’m sure you’ve also seen pieces of furniture seeming to fall out of an image – because of the distortion. Again, the tilt-shift lens helps out in this situation too.

I can help you with your images, if you are a kitchen designer, a furniture maker, or as I mentioned in the last blog, someone who rents properties and wants to show their products/rooms at their best, then please contact me: