Monday, 28 November 2011

Panoramic photography of historic houses

I love photographing old historic houses; it may be fraught with difficulty but well worth the effort. They often present the photographer with a wealth of textures and a richness of detail unparalleled in modern interiors. They also present a number of challenges.

Permission to create panoramic photographs – please!
One of the main issues is to get permission. Good panoramic photography just can't be done whilst the custodian is looking away. To obtain permission it's important to present a credible 'project'. What are you hoping to achieve? How will the images be used? What's in it for the house?
panoramic photography Anchers house in Skagen interior

You must also come across as a serious photographer. Ensure you show examples of other work you have created and supply references. This shouldn't put the new comer to photography off - an honest explanation of intentions to create a portfolio, or practise skills etc. is often meet with a willingness to help. Ensure you research the property's history and can work within the constraints of the house 'as is'. A request for a permission followed by a list of 'demands' rarely goes down well.

panoramic photography Michael and Anna Anchers house interior

The trouble with panoramic photography in Historic Houses
Historic houses are often museums, they hold valuable collections that must be cared for and protected and they are open to the general public. This may require you to work in low level light conditions, within barriers and with the risk of people getting in your way.

Historic bathroom interior panoramic image

Research the property before the day of the shoot. Get a clear idea of the shots you want, so you don't spend too much time setting up in the 'wrong' location. Talk to staff about busy periods so you can avoid those. Travel light and agree an area where you can safely 'dump' your things. Take out public liability insurance!

Kitchen interior of historic house paniramic photograph

The crucial bit is to get the first images done although they may not be perfect due to restrictions imposed on you. But, you will soon find a willingness to 'extend' your permission if you supply the House with images they can utilise on their website or in brochures.
  • Do your research
  • Get permission
  • Avoid busy periods
  • 'Travel light'
  • Take out public liability insurance
  • Give something back

No comments:

Post a Comment