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Stairs - a wider view

Staircases in context and form

Staircases can be compact and difficult to photograph.
Extreme wide angle shots need careful attention to image geometry and composition.


Here you see a range of images of stairs - in domestic and commercial settings, and under construction.

Staircases are an integral part of many designs - and are often a striking and well considered feature of the architecture. Often, however they are difficult to photograph, mainly due to space restrictions, lighting conditions or angles.

The examples here showcase a wide range of technical photographic solutions that give a real feel for the space, design and purpose of a variety of staircases in very different building types.

At Northlight Images a favoured approach to the problem of photographing stairs is to use multi shot stitched images taken with a tilt-shift lens and using horizontal as well as vertical fall. This gives us the ability to then redefine the image projection geometry using advanced post production software.

Two of the 3 black and white shots are of the steps up to the Chapter House at Wells. They are a re-imagining of Frederick H. Evan’s “Sea of Steps” image (1903), using - in the first photo - a modern wide angle shift lens, whilst the second example shows just how wide a view you can get with transforming the geometry of a fish-eye lens (see also the blog article ‘Vertical lines in wide views‘)

Our aim when photographing stairs is always to take interesting shots that retain the integrity of the design and render the view true to the viewer’s experience. Capturing the design effort and results for such structures can be tricky - but we love a challenge...

You can learn more about our architectural interiors photography elsewhere this site.