10 of the most photographable staircases and where to find them
I think it’s fair to say that at PhotoHound we love a beautiful staircase! Here are 10 of our favourite staircase shots that have been shared by PhotoHounders. To discover where to find them, plus get some great creative tips and local advice on how best to photograph them, just click on the link below each image.
Renaissance Hotel, Kings Cross, London
We asked our PhotoHound Pros to share some of their top tips and techniques to help you plan your own staircase shots:
Get your composition right – Jon Reid
“If possible take your time when setting up the shot. If the staircase has an obvious symmetry, make the most of this by this by positioning yourself right in the middle of and arranging your composition so that the symmetry becomes the main point of interest in the photo. Use the sweeping lines of a curved staircase to give your image a dynamic feel and think about placing the main focal point off-centre to give it more impact. A wide angle lens is great for showcasing the contours of a twisting staircase.”
Use a tripod if you can – Vojta Herout
“Check the tripod policy before you arrive. If they are allowed, consider a tripod head that allows a 90 degree vertical rotation to point straight up. If you have to shoot handheld you may well be working in low light, so bump up your ISO – you may need ISO 800, or even ISO 1,600 – to get a high enough shutter speed while still maintaining a good aperture for sufficient depth of field.”
Shoot from different angles – Luka Esenko
“I usually head to the top floor first and start by shooting down from the top of the staircase to give the best view and get a feel for the overall shape. I then head down looking at abstract details and patterns taking more shots on the way. Once back on the ground floor I shoot back up to the top of the staircase for a different perspective. Try alternative viewpoints and angles if you can and look out for nice plays of light. You could also have some fun with a fisheye lens if you have one for more exaggerated perspectives.”
Be there at the best possible time – Mathew Browne
“If there are fixed opening times, think about the best time to go to get a clean shot of the staircase – usually this would be just as the building, shop or museum opens or closes. For example the Bramante spiral staircase is at the exit of the Vatican Museums and no tripods are allowed. The only way to get the shot is to head straight for the exit as soon as the museum opens and even then you’ll need patience and some good luck to get a shot without any people in the way. After the first 30 minutes or so of the museum being open, the stairs are already way too busy for such a shot to be possible.”
So there we have it – 10 incredibly photogenic staircases that will provide endless compositional and creative challenges, all the details you need to get there plus some top tips from our very own staircase pros!
Have you photographed a beautiful staircase recently? Why not share it on PhotoHound and we’ll add it to our list of favourites.