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Architectural Rendering & Photography

Architectural visualization and Architectural photography are very similar. Creating an interior rendering is basically shooting an architectural photograph of an interior. The only real difference is that in the case of the rendering, the artist is building (digitally) the space and the objects in it. Both artist and photographer light the scene and stage it to create a visually appealing image.  Both need to understand light and form in order to bring out the subtle and essential details in the design. 

These days photographers are more digital artists than photographers. Taking as many as thirty shots of the same view, in order to composite them together in post production. The photographer is spending more time “creating” the image than “capturing” it. There is no right or wrong to this approach, however there is something to be said for being able to get the shot right “in camera”. This means that little post production work is needed other than basic image adjustments similar to what one would do in a dark room.

Rendering too can sometimes rely heavily on post production work to create the image. In some cases this approach can be quicker, however it often locks the artist into one view. In many cases trying to change the view during the revision process can mean essentially starting over. Getting the rendering right in the render engine is not unlike getting the photograph right in camera.  A new angle means placing a new camera and generating a new render, but knowing it will turn out identical in feel and look to the original means that there will be less work in post production.


Churchville Nature Center


No Matter where you are in Bucks County, you’re only a few minutes from a great outdoor space. I had planned to get up and shoot the sunrise, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Completely white sky, no clouds, no sun,  just a lot of wind. So, I went back to bed. An hour later the weather had changed (slightly) and though I had missed sunrise, I still wanted to get out and shoot. 

My original location was no longer going to work. Instead, I drove 5 minutes over to Churchville Nature Center. The preserved space is on Springfield Lake in Southern Bucks County. There are a few trails, but nothing difficult. There is a boardwalk that can accommodate a wheelchair and most of the trails are flat with very little obstacles. Great for kids, but no dogs allowed.  

The nature center itself is pretty cool with a lot of info on the local wildlife and plantlife. Behind the center is a bird blind. I don’t know much about birding, but there always seems to be a few people hanging out with binoculars and little bird identification books. 

I walked around the top half of the lake to get the shots shown here. All were taken on the opposite side of the lake from the nature center. The boundaries of the preserve are not that well marked and if you keep going, you run into “no trespassing” signs. I think I wandered along a game trail that may not have been part of the trail system. Looking at satellite images of the area there is a lot to explore, but it’s not clear what is public land and what is private. 

I found a deer skeleton near where I was shooting and incorporated the skull in one of the shots. I’ve seen a few of these in this area over the years.  Elm Ave runs along the northern border of the center’s trails. Deer get hit by cars and stumble a few yards into the woods before falling near the edge of the lake.

When the light is still good, but there is not much color, black and white images can bring out the details and textures.  


Indian Run Reservoir

I used to moutain bike to the dam at Indian Run as a kid. The distance between the trail entrance near the road and the dam itself is much longer than I remember. Being on foot didn’t help either. I never made it all the way to the dam that day, but did manage to take a few shots on the walk. 

The photos were all taken along the Gordon Nagle Trail in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. I haven’t seen trains on the tracks often but they do run occasionally. The area has seen quite a bit of development over the last few years. The shot of the hillside being clear cut and excavated is somewhat concerning as the area was great for hiking.  

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