Smart Photography
Photographing Places Of Worship Image Credit: Smart Photography
Photographing Places Of Worship Image Credit: Smart Photography

Photographing Places Of Worship

Places of worship almost always make interesting photos. Places of worship are found everywhere, whether you are in a city, town, village or some remote corner of the world.

Rohinton Mehta

The first thing to keep in mind when photographing such places is to respect the sentiments of the worshippers and ensure that your photography does not in any way disturb their ceremonies/rituals/prayers. Do also keep in mind that a person who is paying his respects to the Almighty, does not like you to block his path/vision to the deity that he is praying to.

So, if you have decided to photograph a place of worship, what are the possible shots you could take? What are the ‘do’s and don’ts? Here are a few suggestions:

1 The outdoor shot

An establishing shot – one that shows the structure with the surrounding area can be your first shot. Places of worship often have beautiful exteriors, with intricate details. Select the angles that show the magnificence of the structure. Try different viewpoints – low angle, eye-level, top view if possible. Remember the guidelines for composition and put them to good use; for example, you could have a small interesting statue in the foreground along with leading lines that guide your gaze to the monument behind; or a reflection of the structure in a pool in front; or a line of devotees leading to the monument.

2 Straight verticals or leaning?

Tilting the camera to include the entire structure can cause vertical lines to bend backwards – the typical perspective distortion. To my mind, this often adds to the beauty of the frame. If you can correct for this distortion – by using a tilt & shift lens or by any other means, that would be nice too. This advice holds true for the interior shots as well. Don’t forget to take shots in bo


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