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How to Photograph an Airport

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

Creative Sources Photography | Atlanta Architectural Photographers

What's Special About Airports?

As architectural photographers, our number one mission is to honor the designers’ vision and assure that we bring life to images of their masterpieces. Every shoot poses its individual challenges, but airports can be especially challenging beasts to tame. Have no fear though, dear client, Creative Sources Photography is here to give you a peek behind the curtain and show you our methodology to orchestrate an airport shoot that sings!

Step 1: Prepare

Exterior twilight view of the terminal and concourse at the MSY North Terminal - credit: Creative Sources – Atlanta Architectural Photographers

Lights, Camera...

Your next tactic will be to evaluate lighting needs within the space. Camera and lens technology have made incredible leaps, but even the best optics still are no match for the human eye when perceiving detail and contrast.  To avoid blown-out highlights and blocked-up shadows:

First, add supplemental lighting throughout the space to mitigate contrast issues. Due to the aforementioned masses of humanity, and the transport carts moving just a little faster than is comfortable, it’s unwise and unsafe to have lighting cables strung throughout the airport.  We use battery-powered lighting, handheld by an assistant, to mitigate this. Second, take multiple exposures for the different areas within the space.  These can then be blended into one cohesive composite image in post-production.
Interior view of the central hub at the MSY North Terminal
A view of the expansive and sunlit terminal ticketing area at New Orleans International Airport

We're Done Now, Right?

“Whew! That’s a lot, but that seems to cover it, right?” Wrong! Remember those masses of humanity who don’t jump at the chance to be in your photo?  The legal beagles tell us that photography in public spaces does not require people appearing within to be unrecognizable.  To be sensitive to others, however, utilizing a slow shutter speed, and blurring faces in post, are tools to help assure scale-figure anonymity.
Exterior twilight view of arrivals and parking at the MSY North Terminal
So, that’s how you craft a magical airport shoot.  Be warned, however, if you choose not to collaborate with Creative Sources Photography, mileage may vary!
A view of the curved ceiling forms on the concourses at MSY Airport
Interior aerial view of the central hub at the MSY North Terminal
Atlanta architectural photographers Rion Rizzo and Creative Sources welcome a conversation about how to create dynamic visuals to tell the story of your next project, and further enhance your brand.

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