Architectural photography by Benny Chan | Phase One IQ180 digital back
Architectural photography by Benny Chan | Phase One IQ180 digital back

What makes a good architectural photographer
is really to have a sense of space. The surfaces that we photograph
create a perception of space because we cannot photograph air. My name is Benny Chan.
I’m an architectural photographer. My company name is Fotoworks. Hi, Fotoworks.
This is he. My name is Benny Chan. I’m an architectural photographer
primarily working in Los Angeles. What kind of building is this?
It’s a hospital, okay, great. Most hospitals are designed
over a long period of time. When I walk through with a client,
often the designer of the architectural firm has left the company. I always try to do a scout. The scout really helps me figure
out the sequence of the shot. Which shot to go for is based
on the orientation of the building. The information they send me like drawings,
plans, and the exterior elevations help me understand the building better and therefore arrange the
sequence of the shot better. The type of project always affects
what kind of equipment we use, how the setup will be. Here we have the Alpa XY camera
attached to the Phase One IQ180 back. It’s an 80 megapixel back. You can blow out the pictures 6 feet by
8 feet and still retain a lot of details and also give me the amount of perspective
control I need for architectural photography. One great thing about this digital
back is that it’s the first back with an integrated high resolution screen and you can actually shoot it
without tethering to the computer you can really see the detail
and judge whether you are in focus. The back also has a tremendous amount of dynamic
range so we don’t have to use as much lighting. It’s really beautiful, the file looks
really clean and really smooth. What makes a good architectural photographer
is really to have a sense of space and the surfaces that we photograph
create a perception of space. The buildings speak to me. When you walk into a space
you can feel how open it is. The volume of space is created by walls
and closures are what create a space, what defines a space. I set up the shot here because it
is based on the scouting shot I did. It was pre-elected by my client. This is the shot we picked out
of all the scouting shots we did. For architectural photography the linear line
really gives that perfect painting like composition. If you look at some of the old Da Vinci’s
paintings and some of the Piranesi drawings, we try to replicate that look and feel. Once we have shot the image, we bring it
back to the studio to process the image. I use Capture One Pro. It’s a great software that
comes with the digital back. It allows me to make a lot of minor
changes before going into Photoshop. After I finish an image,
I normally send it to the clients and ask if they have any comments. Sometimes they want to remove simple things
in a shot like a fire sprinkler or smoke alarm. They will actually red mark it for me
in a jpeg file and send it back to me. Then I can do the Photoshop for them In the end I will just download all the images
to them and they can get it from there.

13 thoughts on “Architectural photography by Benny Chan | Phase One IQ180 digital back”

  1. Nicolas Meier says:

    Can somebody please explain to me how a medium format digital back, ban be fully utilized on a large format camera…?? This really puzzles me :/

  2. wirelessg14 says:

    If you go to the Large Format Photography Forum and search through the discussion thread you will get a lot of insight from people who have used/tried to use medium format digital backs with large format cameras. To summarize: it's usually not a good experience. The camera in this video is an Alpa, which is a technical camera but not like traditional large format cameras; the Alpa works well with digital medium format backs. Also: Arca Swiss makes a technical camera that can also handle 4×5.

  3. Nicolas Meier says:

    Thank you! I'll look into it ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Christopher Getts says:


  5. Alan Ho says:

    Cool man

  6. CSMedia says:

    Excellent Benny! We are looking at investing in equipment for Architectural work and wondered what was best to invest in. We could not see how an SLR would cover such specialism, any recommendations? PS, can see that there is a lot of flare on the lens despite flag recommend something like a Sinar 2 lens shade, best wishes,

  7. Felix Mizioznikov says:

    Beautiful work and detail Benny. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Nikko R. says:

    What's the name of the graphics tablet that he was using in the video at 3:00 onwards?
    Great video, by the way!

  9. dario photography says:


  10. Roberto Grillo says:

    Nice work! Really ๐Ÿ™‚
    Please, what is the macbook hood? Thanks!

  11. Pixinity says:

    Just bunch of fancy expensive gears for the sake of the video. In reality you can simply shoot it without all that stuff.

  12. Ross Holmes says:

    Nice work Mr Chan, very nice work!

  13. Patrick Biller says:

    Do you find the dynamic range on the Phase One is much better for interiors for exposure bleeding along the edges of windows?

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