How to Be Really Good at Architecture Porn

Molo Mansion, Iloilo

Photo from ChoosePhilippines.com

Going on a trip to another part of the Philippines or even overseas? Or simply want to go on a walk around the city? Then it’s the prime excuse to go on an architecture porn binge—and taking photos of that place’s landmarks and iconic buildings is a must.

Sure, a building may be stationary and be hard to miss due to its size. But that doesn’t mean that taking an exceptional photo of it is easy. Hence, here are 5 things to keep in mind when shooting, all illustrated by different photos of one building: the Molo Mansion (Yusay-Consing Mansion) in Iloilo City.

  1. Look for symmetry.
    Symmetry is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as the “beauty of form arising from balanced proportions.” By keeping the concept of symmetry in mind, you can find other angles to shoot from.

    To find this balance, you can draw an imaginary vertical or horizontal line through the middle of the picture. If the picture from one half of the line is the mirror image of the other half, then you’ve got a symmetrical photo. The photos below are great examples—draw a vertical line in the middle and see them match up:

    The beauty of Spanish architecture. ??? #molomansion #retrofitting #igs #cool

    A photo posted by Chill Lacuesta (@tsartsil) on



     

  2. See the building in a different light, literally.
    If you have the time, take pictures of the same site at different times of the day (or night). Due to variations in lighting—both natural and artificial—separate parts of the building will be highlighted in the morning than at night.

    Take a look at the two photos below. The first photo, taken on an overcast afternoon, highlights the façade of the house. Meanwhile, the second photo and third photos were taken at dusk. The house’s lights draw your attention to the center then inward, specifically the second-floor balcony, instead of outward. You can also experiment with your camera's flash or other lighting sources for photos taken at nightthe Knog Qudos Action Video Light is a good accessory for the task.

    Molo Mansion, formerly known as Yusay-Consing Mansion, is one of the many heritage houses in Iloilo City. Built in the 1920s, the mansion was originally owned by Doña Petra Lacson-Yusay. It was later handed down to the family of Timoteo Consing Sr., who served as Iloilo governor from 1935-1937. The mansion was said to be where Presidents Manuel Quezon and Sergio Osmeña were hosted and stayed in when they would visit Iloilo. It was located in the front Town Plaza im Molo, Iloilo City. And currently, the mansion was bought by SM Lands Inc. and was successfully turned into a heritage museum. Not only preserving what’s inside and outside the house, it also showcases local delicacies, products and arts made by Ilonggos. The mansion-museum also has a cultural retail shop while the façade is made into a public garden plaza. #MoloMansion MOLO | Iloilo City

    A photo posted by Marky Manzano (@bloodmark07) on



    A closer look at The Molo Mansion The Molo Mansion (previously known as the Yusay-Consing Mansion) is located just across the Molo Church (St. Anne Parish Church). It houses Kultura (a retail affiliate of SM City) on the ground floor. On the second floor, you'll find local products of Tinukib. Furnitures and home decors are also displayed on the second floor. Cafe Panay is also serving Ilonggo favorite delicacies such as fried Ibos, turon and pancit molo on the second floor. At the back of the mansion, there's a gallery for Ilonggo visual artists. Near the gallery there's Sabor Ilonggo selling affordable Ilonggo snacks and there's this juice bar called Table Matters near the Balete Tree at the mansion's backyard.

    A photo posted by Michael John Sabido (@maikelsabido) on



    Hello from the land of Pancit Molo. #MoloMansion #ilonggo #iloilo

    A photo posted by Alvin John Juliano (@ajjuliano) on

  3. Create a “frame.”
    By creating a “frame” from other elements in the picture, you draw attention to the subject of your photo, and lend more character to an otherwise ordinary shot.

    In the photo below, the tree branches form a frame at the top of the photo. This differentiates the picture from other images of the Molo Mansion, taken from a similar angle:

     

  4. If possible, do a bit of research first.
    It pays to know more about the structure you want to take a photo of, such as the architectural style of the day. This will help you find which parts of the building to capture, such as unique features or details.

    In the case of the Molo Mansion, it’s the intricately designed carvings that serve as ventilation shafts to aid in the flow of natural air. This feature is usually only found in the traditional Filipino bahay-na-bato and are not commonly found in more contemporary structures:

    This building speaks of its time and place, but yearns for timelessness. ??? #molomansion #igs #architecture

    A photo posted by Chill Lacuesta (@tsartsil) on

     

  5. Feel free to use a tripod.
    If you have shaky hands, there’s no shame in mounting your camera on one. If you have a GoPro, you can get the stand-alone 3-Way Mount or the GoPro Tripod Mount so you can attach the action camera to a standard tripod.

Clara Buenconsejo
Clara Buenconsejo

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