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Author Topic: Interior Lights  (Read 27408 times)
Craig Lamson
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« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2009, 08:18:40 AM »
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Quote from: JoeKitchen
I did some research and that lubercant can work well up to 350 degrees C or 662 degrees F.

Thanks, I'll check it out.
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« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2009, 08:21:49 AM »
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Quote from:  Abdulrahman Aljabri
most of those pictures are nice, but they don't have the "wow" factor.


I disagree as well.
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stevesanacore
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2009, 08:29:30 AM »
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Quote from:  Abdulrahman Aljabri
most of those pictures are nice, but they don't have the "wow" factor.


I too think the shots are excellent. I have clients that want me to use all my lights, and other clients where I don't use any, (if possible). All depends on what illumination is there to work with and the feeling you are looking for. My philosophy is composition is key, then lighting where you need it. But back to the question:

I usually bring the following:

Daylight- 12 monolights (Profoto), a Profoto 1200b, four dynalite 1000s, and usually one 3200ws pack and head.
Tungsten - Arri 150's, Arri 650's, Mole Inky's, Mole Tweenie's, Micky Mole's, Lowell DP's, and a dozen small sockets with an assortment of practical bulbs.

And I use as few as possible :-)

« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 08:40:55 AM by stevesanacore » Logged

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CBarrett
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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2009, 09:41:16 AM »
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Quote from: Mr. Rib
Judging by your statement, one could get the impression that you'd gladly dive into the world of candy/disneyland photography.




I'm sorry but you are mistaken. Architecture IS about lighting and composition.. If someone doesn't realise it then I don't know how can someone shoot architecture and be proficient in it.

Well, I think you can certainly achieve impactful images without resorting to fantasy.  And while much architecture does make lighting a strong consideration, most designers are concerned with the actual light levels necessary as appropriate to the environment while trying to maintain efficiency in energy usage.  When you take that in conjunction with the fact that no lighting can be designed to be optimal for a single point of view (camera) then the best lit spaces in the world might not be photogenic at all.

I have seen lighting design get much better in the last 20 years, and that has made my job a little easier, but I've yet to meet a space that couldn't use a little help, and while I find Marc's pictures quite good, I can't help but feel that a few lights here and there would of added extra richness and sparkle.  

Edit: Regardless of any criticism, Marc knows I think very highly of his work.

I regret that I never save my initial captures of a space to compare a heavily lit interior with the scene in it's natural state.

Here is a job, though, that employed substantial lighting on every shot...Image links to site.


I do try to be open to other points of view, and other ways of working, but it seems the more pictures I look at the more committed I become to dragging all my crap to every shoot.

We all have our own markets, and our approaches have to find equilibrium with those markets.  I am fortunate that my clients expect me to take the time that I like to take.  In that time, of course, we are missing numerous other photos that could be shot if I just showed up with a camera, but in the end the client and myself have to ask what has more value in selling their design, several photos that are just ok or a few exceptional ones.  I struggle with that balance on every shoot... making sure the projects are thoroughly documented without compromising my standards and WHILE STAYING ON BUDGET!!!!!

-C
« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 11:39:25 AM by CBarrett » Logged
Craig Lamson
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« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2009, 10:09:53 AM »
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Quote from: CBarrett
Well, I think you can certainly achieve impactful images without resorting to fantasy.  And while much architecture does make lighting a strong consideration, most designers are concerned with the actual light levels necessary as appropriate to the environment while trying to maintain efficiency in energy usage.  When you take that in conjunction with the fact that no lighting can be designed to be optimal for a single point of view (camera) then the best lit spaces in the world might not be photogenic at all.

I have seen lighting design get much better in the last 20 years, and that has made my job a little easier, but I've yet to meet a space that couldn't use a little help, and while I find Marc's pictures quite good, I can't help but feel that a few lights here and there would of added extra richness and sparkle.  

I regret that I never save my initial captures of a space to compare a heavily lit interior with the scene in it's natural state.

Here is a job, though, that employed substantial lighting on every shot...Image links to site.


I do try to be open to other points of view, and other ways of working, but it seems the more pictures I look at the more committed I become to dragging all my crap to every shoot.

We all have our own markets, and our approaches have to find equilibrium with those markets.  I am fortunate that might clients expect me to take the time that I like to take.

-C

Did the designer of the space shown above feel your additional lighting had destroyed the character he or she had envisioned when creating the design?

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CBarrett
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« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2009, 10:21:51 AM »
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Quote from: infocusinc
Did the designer of the space shown above feel your additional lighting had destroyed the character he or she had envisioned when creating the design?


Ha!  That's a good point Craig.  No matter how much I light, I do it with sensitivity to the design and I haven't dealt with a client yet that didn't feel I was lighting the space the way the wished they could have.

I think the Atticfire stuff, while dynamic has no sensitivity to the architecture.

That's the real key, isn't it?  Being sensitive to design, and more importantly YOUR client's design... listening and interactivity are so important.

I never ask, "how should this space be lit?"  I ask "what do you want to convey?"  It's MY job to translate that into lighting using my experience, knowledge and tools.  If we're good at our jobs, we know way more about lighting architecture than architects do.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 10:26:17 AM by CBarrett » Logged
Craig Lamson
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« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2009, 10:30:20 AM »
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Quote from: CBarrett
Ha!  That's a good point Craig.  No matter how much I light, I do it with sensitivity to the design and I haven't dealt with a client yet that didn't feel I was lighting the space the way the wished they could have.

I think the Atticfire stuff, while dynamic has no sensitivity to the architecture.
I agree on the atticfire stuff.  But I guess its a matter of taste and application. If for example the atticfire stuff was done with advertising in mind, the property to a retail customer, the photos might be perfect for the application.

However done for some designers it might be overkill.  

Horses for courses.

You made another good point upthread that lighting for photography is generally designed to look good from a single positon.  Designers don't have that luxury.  

Case in point. Years ago when I was the in-house photographer for Starcraft, I would build a set, light it, take my image and then the in house video guy would try and shoot video of the set.  He had great luck from the still camera position but usually he was totally hosed when the moved the camera.  

My boss at the time noted it was somewhat of a waste of time for both of us to build lighitng sets for the same product, and asked me to light for video guy when I was setting up my shots.  You need to understand I was creating 15-20 spotlight sets, and they were camera location specfic.  I told the boss he was not going to like the results but he was interested in saving time, not quality.  So I did it, with flat, crosslit and diffused light.  The boss was happy, the video guy happy, the company president very unhappy.  He wondered why his cool stills had become flat and boring.  I was never asked to do it again
« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 10:43:10 AM by infocusinc » Logged

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Abdulrahman Aljabri
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« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2009, 10:38:42 AM »
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Quote from: Mr. Rib
Judging by your statement, one could get the impression that you'd gladly dive into the world of candy/disneyland photography.

lol, what exactly is that world?

Quote from: Mr. Rib
I'm sorry but you are mistaken. Architecture IS about lighting and composition.. If someone doesn't realise it then I don't know how can someone shoot architecture and be proficient in it.

I am not mistaken in that statement and you have not explained why I would be.

Consider the following example, you can be a very good photographer that's working very hard to take an amazing shot of a crappy sloppy space. As much as you try the end result will depict the reality of the place and in this case will be boring. Perhaps the results of your effort are amazing relative to the setting and you could win an art/creativity contest with that shot, but the final image for the common viewer is nonetheless boring.  On the other hand you can be a casual photographer taking a shot of an amazing place. You put very little effort and thought and technically your picture is ok but the content makes the shot so interesting. Obviously, if the better photographer shoots the same scene he will go beyond making an interesting shot, he will make an amazing shot.

The moral of the example is that photographers are more or less bound by the reality of the scene they are photographing, unless of course they are after abstract/sureal pictures. I have experienced this first hand when I started architectural photography. My first project was photographing a very beautiful restaurant. I did many composition mistakes but still the pictures were very interesting and people signaled their appreciation with the comment "wow". The second project was an average hotel. By then I had learned allot and was much better in taking interior shots. The end result was good given the setting, but was less interesting then the less technically correct pictures of the restaurant.

To think that architectural pictures are all about lighting and composition is unfair to the architectural designer that created the scene to be photographed in the first place and frankly that view just comes across as arrogant.    



With regard to people who disagree with my initail comment I pose to you a question, what is it that you find amazing about the lighting in those pictures? I am very curios to know.

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Mr. Rib
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« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2009, 11:46:16 AM »
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I didn't write that architectural pictures are all about lighting and composition. I wrote that ARCHITECTURE is about lighting and composition. And if you want it explained, here it goes. Composition- because an architect thinks about the form in an abstract way but in the same time obviously keeps in mind  all of the project assumptions (I should quote CBarrett's "form follows function" here). Lighting is somewhat defined by the 'light' of the form. By light we understand all of free space in a solid architectural form. Good design is always related to lighting, as an architect you cannot ignore it and approach an architectural project without thinking about the light of the form and lighting (there is obvious correspondence of light of form and final lighting of free space). CBarrett made a very good point- well-designed architecture not neccessarily means well-lit in terms of photography, because we shoot from one point, not move around as a person which actually uses the designed space. And that's when you add lighting- with respect and sensitivity to the architecture you shoot, you have to understand the designer first and grasp the idea he had for this space. You can interpret the scene in your own way but you have to respect the designer and his thought. Obviously you can make a statement and do the opposite- neglect it, change the space with composition of your shot and lighting, but if you do so, do it all the way..and I think that this kind of projects are generally an exception, it's more like a personal project, 'I show you what I think and what's my feeling of this space'. For me, Cbarrett is a good example of a person who understands the design he is shooting and adds his lighting keeping all the things I mentioned in mind.
Since good architects think about this 'light' of the form hence lighting, you can shoot it without additional light. It's your choice and if the subject is shot in a good way it's just the matter of your taste to add the lighting or not. Not using additional light may be regarded as beneficial because the shot MAY have more real look and feel. Take a look at Rainer work, he doesn't use additional light. It's just the matter of how good you are.
And if you are not sensitive enough you can fall into the thing I'd call disney/candy shooting. Unreal, over-lit spaces which for my taste remind me of candies.




Quote from:  Abdulrahman Aljabri
lol, what exactly is that world?



I am not mistaken in that statement and you have not explained why I would be.

Consider the following example, you can be a very good photographer that's working very hard to take an amazing shot of a crappy sloppy space. As much as you try the end result will depict the reality of the place and in this case will be boring. Perhaps the results of your effort are amazing relative to the setting and you could win an art/creativity contest with that shot, but the final image for the common viewer is nonetheless boring.  On the other hand you can be a casual photographer taking a shot of an amazing place. You put very little effort and thought and technically your picture is ok but the content makes the shot so interesting. Obviously, if the better photographer shoots the same scene he will go beyond making an interesting shot, he will make an amazing shot.

The moral of the example is that photographers are more or less bound by the reality of the scene they are photographing, unless of course they are after abstract/sureal pictures. I have experienced this first hand when I started architectural photography. My first project was photographing a very beautiful restaurant. I did many composition mistakes but still the pictures were very interesting and people signaled their appreciation with the comment "wow". The second project was an average hotel. By then I had learned allot and was much better in taking interior shots. The end result was good given the setting, but was less interesting then the less technically correct pictures of the restaurant.

To think that architectural pictures are all about lighting and composition is unfair to the architectural designer that created the scene to be photographed in the first place and frankly that view just comes across as arrogant.    



With regard to people who disagree with my initail comment I pose to you a question, what is it that you find amazing about the lighting in those pictures? I am very curios to know.
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gdwhalen
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« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2009, 12:22:33 PM »
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Honestly, there is no point in arguing taste.  Unless an image is just dreadful with absolutely no understanding of photography or light it is almost always about personal preference and/or personal taste.  Frankly, I am very glad it is that way.  There is room for many many different styles.
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« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2009, 12:43:21 PM »
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and workflows as well.

Quote from: gdwhalen
Honestly, there is no point in arguing taste.  Unless an image is just dreadful with absolutely no understanding of photography or light it is almost always about personal preference and/or personal taste.  Frankly, I am very glad it is that way.  There is room for many many different styles.
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K.C.
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« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2009, 02:50:20 PM »
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I think the Atticfire stuff, while dynamic has no sensitivity to the architecture.

A disney ride in every image and affront to good taste.


And yes, arguing taste or style is mute, unless it clearly overwhelms the architecture.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 02:51:05 PM by K.C. » Logged
AlanG
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« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2009, 05:07:26 PM »
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I'm not sure which of these two commercial shots is more "true" to the architecture. But the one where the sunlight came through is surely "better."  Even interior architecture can be affected by natural light. So there is nothing wrong in my book with altering the lighting in an interior to give it more impact. My clients are generally ad agencies, builders, developers, and property owners rather than architects and interior designers.  So they may be open to more impact and interpretation.

I like to use Alien Bee lights because they are small and lightweight. Their shape allows them to be hidden more easily than other monlights. And their power can be adjusted from the camera position. They also use all of my Balcar modifiers.  I don't use tungsten lights much anymore because I often shoot interiors that are mixed with daylight. And may commercial interiors use unusual use energy efficient ligthing rather than tungsten. So I can gel my strobes.

I think some shots certainly work without adding lighting as in my example above. But in general, I like to establish a mood with lighting.

Here is an example of a residential interior where I used some lights from the outside through the windows along with some lights inside.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 05:20:22 PM by AlanG » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2009, 05:12:06 PM »
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Quote from: CBarrett
, and while I find Marc's pictures quite good, I can't help but feel that a few lights here and there would of added extra richness and sparkle.


agree full heartedly!
just too lazy to bring them to each job!
and am in the process reconsidering which way to do so.
it would add extra strain on my already busy schedule.
anyway an extra sparkle does not mean candy/disneyland!

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shelby_lewis
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« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2009, 05:16:06 PM »
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Quote from: Mr. Rib
I didn't write that architectural pictures are all about lighting and composition. I wrote that ARCHITECTURE is about lighting and composition. And if you want it explained, here it goes. Composition- because an architect thinks about the form in an abstract way but in the same time obviously keeps in mind  all of the project assumptions (I should quote CBarrett's "form follows function" here). Lighting is somewhat defined by the 'light' of the form. By light we understand all of free space in a solid architectural form. Good design is always related to lighting, as an architect you cannot ignore it and approach an architectural project without thinking about the light of the form and lighting (there is obvious correspondence of light of form and final lighting of free space)....

As an architect myself (and professional photographer)... i have to say you are throwing a wwiiidddddeeee blanket over what a "good" architect does. I'm not going to get into an argument about what a good/non-good architect is, but suffice it to say that the majority of project time is not spent on composition and lighting (don't I wish it were). In this day and age of sub-disciplines... lighting is the domain of the lighting designer (if there is one on a project) and/or electrical engineer. Said designer is generally not even in the architect's office, so it is rare indeed that the actual architect does lighting design. Do they have input? Sure (sometimes). Generally, cost has the final "input"... so when an architectural photographer can come around and create a somewhat hyper-real version of the project (not AtticFire "hyper") that adds back some of the sparkle envisioned originally... that's often good.

In the end though, I've never known any architect who spoke of the "light of the form"... but that isn't to say they weren't thinking along those lines. As a matter of fact, in these days of sustainable design... the form is often a byproduct of the natural function of the space, and as such the architect can be way less enamored with form than with the biological functioning of the space within a larger ecological context. But I digress.  

My post isn't a commentary about the quality of any photography... but about what architecture is. I think one should be sensitive characterizing an entire creative discipline in such simple terms.
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Mr. Rib
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« Reply #35 on: November 22, 2009, 05:55:57 PM »
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Sorry for generalization, but my statement was not describing the architecture as a whole, but that it is also about composition and light- "Light" of form can be regarded as free space enclosured by the structure. That's a direct translation from my native language so I guess it might be misleading.. I don't know what's the proffesional term for it in english. I'm in no position to argue since I'm not an architect. What I can say is that's where the emphasis was put in the best arch. projects of last 10 years in Warsaw- "light", composition. From my observation I can tell that it's not just Poland, but a whole lot of great award-winning and innovative designs are about same things. But yes, that's definitely a minority of projects..
« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 05:57:45 PM by Mr. Rib » Logged
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« Reply #36 on: November 22, 2009, 06:43:20 PM »
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Quote from: marc gerritsen
agree full heartedly!
just too lazy to bring them to each job!
and am in the process reconsidering which way to do so.
it would add extra strain on my already busy schedule.
anyway an extra sparkle does not mean candy/disneyland!

The Process:

Get to job and pull around to the loading dock.  Throw all the stuff up on the dock (with cart of course) and go park while assistant wheels stuff up to space.  Walk in the door to find assistant and client waiting for me.  Announce, "The shoot may now begin!"

You, my friend, need to get some young punk to move all that crap around for you.

Even airports are not that big a deal once you've got a system down.  When we get to O'Hare, the assistant goes to park the car while I get skycap to take the gear.  Skycap goes inside with my ID and credit card and comes back with boarding pass and receipt.  Once he gives me claim checks I go inside and have some coffee while I wait for my assistant.  Easy peasy.

Then again you shoot a lot more than I do.  I do 50 jobs a year, about 375 images.

-C
« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 06:56:29 PM by CBarrett » Logged
David Eichler
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« Reply #37 on: November 24, 2009, 06:30:49 PM »
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Quote from:  Abdulrahman Aljabri
Ashley Morrison's work for example goes beyond beautiful scenes, it demonstartes awesome lighting: http://www.ashleymorrison.com/


By the way what I am stating above really goes beyond stating opinions. From studying many amazing interior pictures I came across a common theme to amazing lighting: direction. Directional light gives definition to a scene, flat light on the other hand kills a scene.  There are exceptions, of course, like the shot CBarrett posted where the general lighting mood is flat but still offers definition by smart placement. Looking at the naturally lit shots in question my first impression was "ok". Later as I looked at them I thought the light was flat and that's why I thought they were ok but not amazing.



I know this is not in response to you CBarret but if you are reading let me ask you, was the original scene lit like the picture? There are beautiful lights coming from the bottom of the bar and computer tables. You placed those there, correct?

I don't know a lot about this business (yet), but I will hazard a guess. It looks to me as though Ashley Morrison is oriented toward  advertising while Marc Gerritsen seems oriented more toward documentation. I would guess that Morrison's clients tend to be advertising agencies, marketing departments and magazines oriented toward general consumption; and I would guess that Gerritsen's clients tend to be architects and magazines that cater to those who are specifically interested in architecture.  However, when I say that Gerritsen's style tends to be documentary, I don't mean that he does not present his subjects in an appealing way or that they are not worthy of use for general marketing purposes.  I have to wonder if different styles of marketing in different countries play a part as well, but I don't know much about marketing styles outside the US.


David Eichler
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« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2009, 06:55:27 PM »
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Quote from: CBarrett
The Process:

Get to job and pull around to the loading dock.  Throw all the stuff up on the dock (with cart of course) and go park while assistant wheels stuff up to space.  Walk in the door to find assistant and client waiting for me.  Announce, "The shoot may now begin!"

You, my friend, need to get some young punk to move all that crap around for you.

Even airports are not that big a deal once you've got a system down.  When we get to O'Hare, the assistant goes to park the car while I get skycap to take the gear.  Skycap goes inside with my ID and credit card and comes back with boarding pass and receipt.  Once he gives me claim checks I go inside and have some coffee while I wait for my assistant.  Easy peasy.

Then again you shoot a lot more than I do.  I do 50 jobs a year, about 375 images.

-C

I hope you re-read this one day and it makes you sick to your stomach.
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Jonathan Ratzlaff
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« Reply #39 on: November 24, 2009, 06:56:22 PM »
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Lighting has to compliment the subject.  Given the second image in Ashley Morrison's portfolio.  A couple is admiring the sunset on the balcony and there is a bright white light shining in through the door.   Your intent should be to balance and augment existing light not add something that is completely foreign.   There are other interiors that are perfect and the lighting just blends in which is what it should be doing.  Good lighting does not draw attention to the lighting itself.
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