Is it a Rendering or a Photo??

Phot vs Rendering (002)

JL Architects provides high quality renderings for projects we work on, sometimes they are even mistaken for a photograph!  While theses renderings should look like the completed project, there are always some differences:

  1. Color:

We use paint pallets and samples supplied by manufacturers to create accuracy using our rendering software. Color looks different on every computer screen and in almost every photo due to differences in lighting.  Recently we looked at a material and compared (reference above picture) the day light version to the shadowed version to the brochure of the manufacturer.  Each of these images gave us a slightly different color to render the same material.

  1. Foliage and environment:

While rendering we add various site elements to the project to give the space more life.  This is depicted with images such as foliage, cars, birds, bikes, and people. In comparison to a photo, location, and the quality of the image in a rendering is controlled.

  1. Backgrounds:

In renderings it is difficult to match the accurate environmental lighting of a site, and this effects color and overall composition of the rendering.  A photo will have the true lighting throughout (as best captured by a camera).

While renderings are an important tool for our clients to visualize their project, photography remains an important tool of comparison, and always used to capture the completed project in its entirety. Want to learn more about how we can help you envision your next project? Contact us at

-Alex Schleicher, Architectural Designer