Spotlight On – Peter Li

How did you get your start in photography?


I started shooting with DSLR camera back in 2013 when my first daughter/child was born. Like many dads out there, I wanted to document my growing family. Having a wife who studied Art, she has a very artistic eye and I am very lucky to have someone who would give me an honest critique. In the early days, I was independently studying/self-teaching photography every day and practising on a daily basis.


What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?


In 2015, I met 2 aspiring photographers who shared their passion for architecture photography with me. Through their inspiration, I have learnt to be attentive in achieving symmetry and be mindful in my composition and line work. Living in London, we have all sorts of architecture; we often find a classic gem nestled amongst modern skyscrapers. I owe London for fuelling my passion for this genre.



What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?


One of the biggest challenges is to photograph a space completely empty, and often it’s the hardest thing to do, so to prep for the best conditions I try to plan my visits on the days that are least busy, and getting up early to be the first person there. In London, interiors can be tricky because often they would not allow the use of tripods. But on the positive side, photographing around London I had trained myself to have a steady hand for a slow shutter exposure.


Who and/or what inspires you most?


I often look for inspiration from paintings, movies and games. I started gaming from a very young age, and I think it has impacted my photography more so than any other art form.


What is your approach?


Is there anything in particular you try to achieve during a shoot (for example triggering certain feelings, etc.) or are there any specific techniques you use?


My work sits between realism and fantasy. Historical buildings such as Cathedrals or music theatres are often reminiscent of our history – they are intrinsically timeless and, in many ways, otherworldly.


With vertical panoramic photography (Vertorama), we are able to observe a three-dimensional space in its entirety, giving us a view/perspective beyond what the eye can see. It breaks us from reality, plays with our perception of shape and form and creates a sense of another world.


Through my photography, I hope to impart fragments of fantasy to the viewer and encourage them to take a momentary step out of their reality.



Why is accurate color important within your workflow?


I print my work regularly, colour accuracy is very important, having a screen that could accurately render the colours will make the process much easier to manage. The subtle tonal difference of an image can convey a very different mood / message.


Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?


Even though my main body of work are architectural centric, I enjoy photographing cityscapes and street photography. Panorama are something I learnt through shooting landscapes. The techniques we learn from other photography genres can apply anywhere, I think experimenting with various forms of photography will keep us evolving and be creative.


Peter is calibrating his monitor with a SpyderX Elite


About the Author – Peter Li


Peter Li is an award-winning photographer based in London. His architectural artwork received 1st place in the Architecture Category at the Epson International Pano Awards 2018 and was Commended at the Sony World Photography Awards 2018. His work has been featured in The Times, Time Out London and in various photography and art publications.


Photography Type: Panoramic Architecture


Articles from Peter Li