Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Fine Art Photography - Needing advice on lighting system  (Read 6217 times)
jsw_nz
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 22


« on: December 24, 2012, 11:52:46 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi People

I am looking for advice on a lighting system (good but not super pricey)
- to complete a digital print studio workflow - whose goal is limited editions prints
of original artwork:

Here is the setup so far:
NEC 301W-BK-SV Monitor - Calibrated with SpectraView II
i1Publish Pro 2 - Calibrated across devices and ipf8400 Canon printer
Nikon 800E - Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8 - for shooting (35MB capture)
???Lighting System???

General Goal of the Lighting System is to create
diffuse evenly distributed light across artwork's entire surface
(artwork could be up to 72" wide maximum)
Is going with (vertical) soft boxes - and strobes the way to go?
Color temperature an issue - D50 a likely target.

I do have two Nikon Speedlights - but I am steering away from using them

cheers and thanks in advance for any advice from the experienced members of the forum
(jsw_nz)
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 11:54:24 PM by jsw_nz » Logged
langier
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 647



WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2012, 11:12:46 AM »
ReplyReply

If I was starting fresh on lighting in the studio, I'd go with LED and for the artwork, run the Colorchecker to calibrate the camera (most LEDs will need some sort of correction, too).

A good place to start on LED lighting is Kirk Tuck's book on the subject.

LEDs seem to be getting better, brighter and less expensive all the time and there's no guesswork as to glare on the artwork as there is with placement of flash. Other people use high CRi fluorescent lighting which is less than LED and should also give you broad and soft lighting.
Logged

Larry Angier
ASMP, NAPP, ACT, and many more!

Webmaster, RANGE magazine
Editor emeritus, NorCal Quarterly

web--http://www.angier-fox.photoshelter.com
facebook--larry.angier
twitter--#larryangier
google+LarryAngier
SangRaal
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 77


« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2012, 12:39:41 PM »
ReplyReply

Rather than give you direct advice on lighting systems (since I am struggling with similar issues) my suggestion is to view a tutorial webinar on this topic on the Datacolor(spyder) website it's about 50 minutes long and fairly advanced and iis the best tutorial I have found on the net.
Logged
jsw_nz
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 22


« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2012, 08:15:02 PM »
ReplyReply

Langier
I took a look at Kirk Tuck website on LED lighting (thanks) - seems the high CRI versions of LED systems are still a wee pricey for me (2K+)
 - so needing actual examples of high CRI fluorescent lighting as a solution - Based on the artwork I am planning to photograph, two large soft boxes (50" Westcott) - are in order. Is there a way to safely mount arrays inside them) - Not being near a good well stocked camera
store leaves me guessing as to hardware - issues of temperature - size of bulbs - and overall compatibility.

SangRaal
Thanks for the info
- there is a great 1:12 video on photographing artwork on that website - really thorough - lots of good advice
Here is the link (color-management-for-fine-art-reproduction)

Cheers guys
jsw_nz
Logged
K.C.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 653


« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2012, 07:42:04 PM »
ReplyReply

I shot for a number of high end galleries in L.A. for over a decade. A pair of tota lights with polarizers and a polarizer at the lens, 4X5, an inclination vial and drum scans did the job just fine.
Logged
jsw_nz
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 22


« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2012, 10:56:40 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi KC

Thanks - been considering this - but Tota-light lamps are rated at 3200K. How serious an issue is this
insofar as a 5000K D50 Polarized light source is the goal. I know I could use ColorChecker to get the
final white point and overall color correction - (I am sure you have used as well). I do like (1) the ability
to control the throw light (can they be positioned vertically?) and use the frame to mount diffusion filter
and polarizing gel (can they be sandwiched - guessing so) - My conundrum is that I am in New Zealand
so the 120V standard version of the bulbs will not work without a step-up transformer....

Your thoughts - particularly on the 3200K issue.

Thanks in advance
john

Logged
Chris_Brown
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 801



WWW
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2012, 11:50:27 PM »
ReplyReply

Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8

I recommend prime lenses such as the Zeiss 50mm makro-planar and the 100mm makro-planar, with circular polarizers.

For lighting I use four heads attached to a 4800ws power pack. Each light covered with a polarizer. Each pair mounted on a single stand, separated as needed for the work at hand. I've copied artwork up to 16'x16' on location with this setup.

Either paint your studio neutral black or get plenty of Duvateen, too.

Oh, and make yourself the best camera profile you can.
Logged

~ CB
jsw_nz
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 22


« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2012, 12:26:03 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi Chris

16' x 16' (even light) - wow - with respect to heads - are you referring to tota-lights - not sure here.
And yes - you are absolutely right about a dedicated lens - I am looking at the
Micro-Nikkor AF-S 60mm f/2.8 G ED N (FX) - similar to the Zeiss you mentioned.
Nice idea about stacking - guessing an extra piece of hardware/gear needed here - can you suggest

Still sorting this out in my mind - I am an painter first of all - still learning about the photography ropes.
Great that there is this kind of a forum - a real world learning environment.

thanks,
-j-



Logged
K.C.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 653


« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2012, 05:07:08 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi KC

Thanks - been considering this - but Tota-light lamps are rated at 3200K. How serious an issue is this
insofar as a 5000K D50 Polarized light source is the goal. I know I could use ColorChecker to get the
final white point and overall color correction - (I am sure you have used as well). I do like (1) the ability
to control the throw light (can they be positioned vertically?) and use the frame to mount diffusion filter
and polarizing gel (can they be sandwiched - guessing so) - My conundrum is that I am in New Zealand
so the 120V standard version of the bulbs will not work without a step-up transformer....

Your thoughts - particularly on the 3200K issue.

Thanks in advance
john



You match the film type to the color of the light source. So if you're shooting tungsten light you use tungsten balanced film.

Tota lights have been a standard in the film and video industry for a couple of decades. A 220v bulb is readily available. You CANNOT position a Tota vertically.

http://www.filmandvideolighting.com/80em22buemfc.html

Why do you think you need diffusion ?

Take a look at typical gallery lighting, a small point source light pointing directly at the artwork. Just the opposite of diffuse.
Logged
K.C.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 653


« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2012, 05:13:59 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi Chris

16' x 16' (even light) - wow - with respect to heads - are you referring to tota-lights - not sure here.
And yes - you are absolutely right about a dedicated lens - I am looking at the
Micro-Nikkor AF-S 60mm f/2.8 G ED N (FX) - similar to the Zeiss you mentioned.
Nice idea about stacking - guessing an extra piece of hardware/gear needed here - can you suggest

Still sorting this out in my mind - I am an painter first of all - still learning about the photography ropes.
Great that there is this kind of a forum - a real world learning environment.

He's referring to using four heads, in pairs on each side of the art. Stacking one above the other some distance to create even light.

The reason you want a Macro lens is for the flat field of view and the close focussing capability. The Micro Nikkor will be fine.

Logged
jsw_nz
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 22


« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2012, 05:56:36 PM »
ReplyReply

I guess there is still another school of thought regarding lighting.

I have been reading stuff over a dpreview that suggests using only 'one-sided' lighting (at a significant distance) is better if you want to preserve the relief of that which you are photographing. One guy who has a lot of professional experience at photographing quilts suggests:

If you get the single direct head far enough away and use a silver-pebbled or white bounce card on the dark side....results are better (and the evenness of lighting will be good). Remember the LARGE bounce card does not create a cross shadow problem.

He suggest the same would hold true for painting (particularly the kind that has evidence impasto/brushwork)
As far as I know Digital Juice produces 5'x7' Collapsible Reflector.

Soft boxes and umbrellas are not recommended - rather directed light with a polarizing sheet for the lamp head and circular polarizer on the lens. At 30 feet and using a polarizing sheet - guessing a lot of light would be needed.

Another option would be using a bank of Solux Halogens (Black Backs) a little closer in. I am looking into the only because their spectrum is the most even around (no spikes). Solux now offers a Snout attachment - which gets rid of warm halo at perimeter. Not sure about this
but have ordered a set of bulbs for color proofing prints anyways - so may experiment with this.

KC and Chris - thanks for your advice on the lens issue - definitely going in this direction.

cheers
-john-

Logged
K.C.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 653


« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2012, 11:02:31 PM »
ReplyReply

Well as you're discovering there are endless opinions. Many of them worth exactly what you paid for them.

I've shot professionally for over 30 years. Well over a hundred gallery catalogs. Toured the art restoration and documentation facilities at several museums. I've never heard of anything as stupid in my life as a single light and bounce card being superior. Direct light versus bounced light will give you two different qualities of light, irregardless of what some would like you to believe.

Have you tried the local library for a good book on photographing artwork ?


So if I want to learn to paint ? Do you think I'll be able to learn how from opinions garnered on the internet ?

Will they all be valid ?
Logged
jsw_nz
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 22


« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2012, 01:25:45 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
So if I want to learn to paint ? Do you think I'll be able to learn how from opinions garnered on the internet ? Will they all be valid ?

Certainly not.
I have been painting for as long as you have been photographing – and texture is an issue for me...

Having said that – consider me a ‘student’ of photographing fine art (my own), with an open mind to your Tota-light approach and your obvious industry experience.  (as a matter of fact I used to hire pros like yourself to get the job done for me). To preface – I am coming from this from a digital perspective (not film) – so just trying to make a smart purchase with regards to lighting. Since this forum category is about gear - check my shopping list based on your advice.

(1) Lowel / Adorama Tota-Light Kit - link (http://www.adorama.com/LLBTK.html)
(2) EMF 800 watt 220/240V Quart Halogen Lights
(2) Lowel Tota-frames
(1) Hoya 62mm HD2 Circular Polariser - for 60mm Micro-Nikon
(1) Roscoe Linear Polarizing Filter - 17"x  20" roll

Only question I have is how well the Roscoe Linear Polarizing Filter will hold up to the heat?

Interested in your thoughts......

« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 01:29:25 AM by jsw_nz » Logged
K.C.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 653


« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2012, 03:17:20 AM »
ReplyReply

It's important that the filters at the lights be flat and both oriented in the same direction. You might consider these http://www.adorama.com/LTP8.html?gclid=CMzE9qngvLQCFal_Qgodw2IA3Q

Gel filters are designed for hot lights. Still you want to keep an eye on them and make sure they don't start to curl.
Logged
jsw_nz
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 22


« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2012, 03:40:47 AM »
ReplyReply

Cheers KC

Since the Lowel Tota-frame is 10" x 12"
- guessing the larger version of that product (12" square) from Adorama might work
- might need to trim it down.

thanks Smiley
Logged
LKaven
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 832


« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2012, 04:33:18 AM »
ReplyReply

I use the Rosco Cinegel, twice as much for the same price.  And not back-ordered.

http://www.adorama.com/RO7300.html
Logged

John Nollendorfs
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 330


« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2012, 11:59:58 AM »
ReplyReply

The trouble with using "hot lights" in copying, is the need to keep the lights on for a only a short while, (because of the heat) and the polarizers fading rather quickly. Yes, it is easier to see how your lighting is effecting the painting, but with digital, you can can have a preview so quickly, I see no advantage at all.

You can buy a fairly cheap set of strobes for not much more than you are paying for the Tota lights.

Logged
jsw_nz
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 22


« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2012, 01:05:33 PM »
ReplyReply

Cheers John

Thanks for your input - and yes - I am considering other options before any purchase - although Tota-light is - as KC pointed out - a pretty much industry standard. I was looking at Interfit brand (compatible with 220v here in New Zealand) - but not sure about all the particulars.

Since I am a newbie to lighting - might you suggest specific brands and models. Guessing I need a good amount of light - if using polarizing filters - so watts/second rating would need to be up there (750 - 1200w/s)

your thoughts - thanks in advance
 Smiley
Logged
Chris_Brown
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 801



WWW
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2012, 01:17:03 PM »
ReplyReply

(1) Lowel / Adorama Tota-Light Kit - link (http://www.adorama.com/LLBTK.html)
(2) EMF 800 watt 220/240V Quart Halogen Lights

Interested in your thoughts......

I recommend strobe lights because they provide a full color spectrum and are not heavily biased towards the orange (3200K) frequencies. While it's possible to provide a white balance for this, you will find noticeable noise in the blue channel, especially if any painting contains dark blues, navy blues, or blue paints mixed with blacks.

The heat that Tota lights emit is also a drag, especially if you work in a confined area. Those things get hot. In addition, they "spray" light everywhere, which can cause localized color bias of the light falling on the painting due to light reflecting/bouncing off nearby objects & surfaces (thus the need for Duvateen).

Regarding the desire to show texture, I find it best to photograph an entire painting using even, polarized light to give the best representation of the complete artwork. Then also provide detail photos using a pleasing form of side light to show texture & brush work.
Logged

~ CB
jsw_nz
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 22


« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2012, 01:46:56 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi Chris

Thanks for chiming in again - between yours and John's reply - I am convinced that I need to dig a little deeper - problem is
I am new to strobes - just not sure what brand and model to target (I mentioned Interfit to John).
BTW - Thanks for your insight into the color spectrum issues - that's really important - I am all ears on that.

BTW - you mentioned:
Quote
Then also provide detail photos using a pleasing form of side light to show texture & brush work.

I guess you would call that a 'rake light'  - no?
So you are saying three strobe lights - 2 at 45 degrees
- and another (at a tweaked power level) and at a tighter angle
- would this require a modifier - ie vertical strip or slit
-seems you would run into issues of being hot on one side?

Another question that comes to mind is the new fluorescent lights out there - (those with a high CRI index)
- again I am still learning - so not too familiar with brands and models of fluorescent lights
This would be ideal - in at least in a WYSIWYG sense - and the lights running cool is desirable to preserve polarizer gel

I must say I appreciate all the input I am getting here on the forum.
Been like taking a photography course - but better - learning a lot.

Thanks to all,
 Cheesy
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad