How Photography Can Enhance the Professional Practice of Architecture, Urban Planning, and Design

Photography can enhance proposals, provide more accurate site and context evaluation, clarify and improve all kinds of communications, reduce time and construction costs, record progress, assist post-occupancy surveys, and help win awards. This course provides a basic understanding of how people visually perceive the environment around them and illustrates how photography can improve your skills and final product.

Currently not available for registration.

For campus-based courses, registration may close up to one week before the course begins.  

For online offerings, registration may close up to two business days before the course begins. Your course begins on the first date listed and ends six days after the last date listed. The interim dates/times are not your actual online class times.

What will I learn?

In this course, you'll learn to do the following:

  • Learn about cinematic visualization and still photography so you can take better photographs for promotion and publication
  • Learn the basic elements of photographs that draw initial viewer interest and how that assists in design
  • Explore the elements of distance, perspective, scale, and clarity of composition
  • Appreciate “pre-visualization” as a pre-curser to successful image making
  • Explain how people see the constructed environment versus how the camera sees it
  • Effectively photograph interior and exterior portions of buildings and urban landscapes
  • Use basic camera design and lens optics to help evaluate and review contextual and as-built photo analyses of projects
  • Explain how focal length and angle of view can more accurately document or distort the environment
  • Demonstrate how colour and tone in design can make objects appear to come forward or recede
  • Anticipate the direction of natural light and the effects of shade and shadowing in documenting the built environment
  • Learn to use natural and ambient building lighting to create more realistic photographs

How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Small group discussions
  • Field trips — bring your camera
  • Constructive critique of selected digital images — students may send images to instructor for review during class.

Who should take this course?

This course is for planners, architects, landscape architects, designers, and urban photography enthusiasts.

Textbooks and learning materials

We will provide custom course materials.

Professional development credits

AIBC CES participants, PIBC members and BCSLA members may self-report for continuing education learning unit consideration.

What are other people saying about this course?

"One of the most informational and entertaining speakers I've seen. I learned a ton."

“Rick opened our eyes to a new way of looking at buildings...He was generous with his time and his comments were helpful.”

"His presentation profoundly changed (improved) the way many of us in the class shoot. The useful takeaways from it are too numerous to list."

“Rick has a gift for teaching, a very helpful way of critiquing submissions and, most important, what he teaches is immensely useful. His visuals are excellent and can be very thought-provoking.”

"It was one of the best photography classes I have taken. He has a real knack for teaching. His lessons and feedback have really allowed me to grow as a photographer. He encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and gave me much more confidence in my abilities.”

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