Architectural Photography - Artificially Lit Rooms

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by neil_poulsen|1, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. Architectural photographers carry a set of hotlights for rooms that
    are illuminated only by incandescent lights.

    What are the arguments for and against placing 85B filters over
    daylight corrected strobes to supplement light in these
    artificially lit rooms? It seems like a reasonable idea, yet photographers still carry hotlights.
  2. There are many ways to deal with daylight/tungsten/mixed lighting situations, and experienced architecture photographers are likely to use them all, depending on the individual situation. I took a workshop with Steve Rosenthal, who used tungsten film for everything and corrected for daylight; and another with Norman McGrath, who worked mainly with strobe. But the situation will determine the response, and I've found myself inventing new solutuions, as often as not.
  3. Shooting interiors well is one of the most challenging specialities in all of Christendom, as the problems can be nearly endless. I've assisted pros on these gigs several times and have spent from 2 to 4 hours just setting up lights,testing, and shooting a single room. This stuff takes knowledge, experience, and proper equipment, as I'm certain you are finding out.
  4. There are several different answers and I will tell you from my
    professional experience.

    1.Hot lights are less bulky- I can use dinky stands- you don't see
    many interior photographers carrying Mole's on a shoot.

    2. What you see is what you get- when lighting a large area it is
    easier to use hotlights to determine where everything falls- you
    will see a lot of car photographers using hot lights also.

    3. Less to go wrong- one cable- If you are using a pack and a
    head- you have three cables- the power cable, head cable and
    pc cord. Add more heads and more packs, you have more
    cables= more things to go wrong and more things to hide and
    more things to worry about. Even with monoblocks, you still have

    4.If (almost) everyone is doing it, think about it. There could be
    arguments why you should bring an 8x10 Sinar P2 to shoot
    landscape photography where you have to hike 5 miles, but
    does anyone do it???

    5.Just choose the right tool for the job- if you are shooting a
    space that is mostly daylight and you need some fill- use strobe.
    If you are shooting a room that is lit with incandescent lights, use
    hot lights. the KISS formula goes a long way here.

    6.Remember, you are there to supplement the lighting- not
    "create" lighting for the space. With lighting being a big part of
    interior design these days, your client will not be happy if you
    blazingly lit the room like an avedon portrait. You are using the
    lights to lessen the contrast levels in the space so the film can
    reproduce the designers vision.

    I can't speak for others, but this is how it has been with my work
    and the others I have assisted.
  5. James, no, I bring a Cambo 810N. It's cheaper so it feels like less weight on my back.

    I don't do that much architecture. Next time I do, I'll use hotlights. Why? They're all I have, they're cheap, and my 64T expired last month.

    But seriously, from the standpoint of someone just starting out, you can rent a Speedotron pack, or you can BUY a hotlight. If you're new to the game, they make sense financially.
  6. As James said, and also there are light levels to consider - flash has limited effective power, tungsten lighting does not, so if you need to use f45 and a long exposure you just do it, the room isn't going to move during the exposure.<br>Where people are included of course it does get more difficult and flash can be a better option
  7. Hot lights tend to give a more dramatic look than strobes.
    However, a drawback is that views through windows are either
    blown out, or if the photographer has the luxury of waiting till
    dusk, the green foliage becomes blue. Apparently this doesn't
    bother the experts, because you often see it in Architectural
    Digest, which is presumably the state of the art in architectural
  8. While I use both flash equipment and hot lights for professional work, I prefer to
    work with flash. But then again I'm carrying up to 12,000 watt-seconds of pack &
    head systems and monolights. electronic flash is simply much more powerful &
    versatile than "hot lights' are. If I need more power I simply use miultiple pops to
    match the interior levels to exterior levels or to get the f-stop I need. Flash gives me
    much more control of when I shoot and it is a good match with daylight light. I use
    hot lights when i want that look, and they certainly are easier to carry. If a room is
    already lit wit hincandescent lights alone, I would tend to use just hot lights --
    includingthe modeling lights in my strobes. I don't tie my shoes laces together, so
    why should I tie my hands and insist on doing things only one tecnological way? Pick
    your tools for the job at hand.

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