A blog that focuses on the photography of Dean J. Birinyi, an interior and architectural photographer based in San Francisco, CA.

Tricks of the Trade: Abstracting the Image in Architectural Photography

Master Bedroom
Private Residence
Santa Cruz, CAGina Viscusi
Viscusi Elson Interior Design
Today’s Tricks of the Trade article is another example of the benefits and use of previews.

This master bedroom in Santa Cruz, California was shot in 2008 for Gina Viscusi of Viscusi Elson Interior Design.

When composing a photograph on my computer I will quite often convert my images to black and white. Removing the element of color when evaluating the composition helps focus the eye on the flow, or visual line of the image.

In the past when using the 4x5 view camera during in the chemical era of photography I always used B/W Polaroid test film and reviewed my compositions absent the color element. This allowed me to more effectively focus my attention on the visual motion and compositional structure of my images. I still convert the previews of my preliminary shots to B/W when working in the field, and quite often will turn them upside down to further abstract the image in my own mind. I’m told turning the image upside down to judge the composition is a very old technique employed by painters as well.