In the final edition of Creator Stories, Marcel Wiest explains why he sees a unique beauty in buildings and architecture.
Creator Stories is a series in support of the Adobe Creator Collective, a new collaborative hub intended to inspire others. In this edition, Marcel Wiest explains why he sees a unique beauty in buildings and architecture.
There’s a romantic aspect to photographing buildings: attempting to capture their essence, their context on the landscape, and – in some cases – their awe-striking man-made beauty.
Marcel Wiest is a photographer based in Berlin, and when it comes to buildings and architecture, he dedicates his time to hunting down the angles that no one else sees. His work is unique in its simple, warm clarity, and encapsulates a celebration of human endeavour, but also of the aesthetic possibilities of the photographic frame.
As a member of the Adobe Creator Collective, Wiest is able to share many of the tips and tricks he’s picked up over the years. The collective – which connects a diverse network of artists from across Europe – regularly offers tips and advice to Adobe users, with Adobe providing free assets for up-and-coming creators to get started themselves.
For Wiest, buildings are just another tool with which to paint a picture. We sat down with him to find out how exactly he does this.
When did you first get into photography? Tell us about your journey.
In 2017 I quit the military and went backpacking for eight months, and that’s when I bought my first camera. I started taking photos almost on a daily basis, mostly to share with family and friends back home. But then I was hooked and continued taking photos after I finished travelling. After a while I moved to Berlin and worked full-time at a studio for a year, before making the jump as a fully independent photographer in 2019.
What sparked your love for architectural photography?
I really love exploring and shooting with natural light. I’ve tried my hand at a load of different photography styles, and architecture felt the best. Finding compositions and playing with perspective fascinated me from the beginning.
Where’s your dream shoot location? A city or place you’ve not been to yet. And what excites you about that place?
That would have to be the biggest metropolis in the world: Tokyo. Never been but I’ve seen a bunch of photos. The culture, size, and architecture all amaze me.
What equipment do you use? Any tips on lenses for your style of photography?
I often hit multiple locations in the same day and so I prefer a pretty light camera bag. I’ve been using the Canon EOS R for over two years now and it’s my favourite camera so far. I mainly shoot handheld and I use zoom lenses like the EF 16-35mm F2.8 or the EF 24-70mm F2.8.
Do you retouch your own photos? Please explain your process for post-production.
Yes, I do! I shoot in RAW format, which looks flat but contains all the necessary information for editing. I rate the photos first and select my favourites. Next step is applying one of my presets — I’ve created a few for every occasion. The preset is a good base and from there I start editing each one individually. I tweak the settings a bit, correct the perspective, and clean up the image. I compare the before and after a few times while editing. At the end I take a break and check the edit again a few hours later. This really helps me to see more detail. I do some minor changes and then it’s finished.
How did photography change for you over the past year with the impact of COVID?
I would usually be travelling quite a bit, so when that wasn’t possible anymore my photography became all about Berlin. I explored a lot and familiarised myself with the city way more.
Describe your work in three words.
Bright. Vibrant. Diverse.
What are some of the creative blocks you face? How do you overcome those challenges?
I tend to overthink. Taking breaks and doing something fun helps a lot. Meditation is also beneficial.