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Petronas towersModern architecture invites photographers to adopt bold approaches. The clean, thrusting lines that are features of so many modern buildings are often best captured by using linear perspective. Vertical lines converge when a camera is pointed steeply up or down. This effect can be exaggerated by adopting a viewpoint close to the building so that vertical lines appear to converge almost to a point.

Large multi-storey hotels and office blocks usually feature repeated elements which, when isolated, create interesting images. Try to identify sections of buildings that make attractive patterns, and don’t be afraid to go in close and eliminate unwanted elements. Also, look for interesting colours and reflections within patterns and place them in key compositional positions.

The use of glass for exterior surfaces also offers a number of possibilities. Interesting reflections of other buildings may be apparent, particularly when the glass is mirror-like and tinted. The lines that form the matrix of windows also appear to converge, diverge and even bend as lens focal length and camera angles change. It is also possible to create depth by looking through glass panels and roofs at other parts of the a building.

Some modern buildings have wonderful shapes that were impossible to construct until recent times. Others have photogenic exposed structural elements highlighted by different colours, or may be built “inside out” with bold external beams positioned outside exterior walls. Look for interesting combinations of straight and curved lines, diagonals and strong colours, and use wide-angle lenses to transform straight lines and regular patterns into audacious divergent curves.


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