Flughafen Luxembourg - Foto von Dominik Berg - busy places

How to take pictures in busy places?

This is the airport of Luxembourg.
Like every airport it’s an absolute busy place, which is a common problem in architectural photography.
There are different options to deal with unwanted people, cabs, constructions sites or anything else that doesn’t belong in a proper architectural image.

I. Retouching

It takes a bit of practice to keep the image realistic, but you can really retouch a lot in Photoshop.
Don’t get me wrong, there are limitations and you should know them, before you waste time and energy to make an image you can’t save in post.
In my opinion, retouching is a very unpleasant work and can take hours. Try to get as much as you can perfect in camera.

II. Composition & long exposure images

You can retouch moving objects quite effectively with a photo composition or in case you just want to use one image, with a long exposure shot.
Now, how does that work?
Your camera sits on a tripod and you take many images while objects like people or cars are moving. If a car is blocking your view, you just wait till it leaves and take another shot without the car. It might take a lot of patience and images until you have every bit covered without anything disturbing in frame, but it is the best way to get rid of unwanted stuff. In Photoshop you just put all the images on different layers and mask out the unwanted stuff.
Another approach is using an ND Filter and take a long exposure image. The shutter speed must be long enough that cars and people have a chance to disappear while taking the image.
Personally, I’m not using this method very often, because it can cast nasty ghosting.

III. Get a different angle and crop everything else out.

Like I wrote in my caption before, go for a different angle!
This image is a perfect example.
I just didn’t have the time to make a nice composite image of this building. I took another approach and thought about taking a detail shot, instead. Boom, no retouching necessary.
So why not use the saved time in post to get a bit creative and change the colour of the writing to yellow.
Do you like the yellow writing or do you think it’s too much?

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