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Author Topic: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?  (Read 25116 times)
Willow Photography
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« Reply #60 on: March 01, 2013, 09:17:31 AM »
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One more time, thanks for all the good input here.

I read it and process it.

Iwan Baan's work doesnt speak to me, but Chris Barrett's does.

Thats important to me when I choose witch path to go.
Maybe Chris could use 35mm and shoot the same pictures that speaks to me.
I do not know - yet.

I think I have to try the different approaches and see what suits me.

And when it comes to Fred.... I do not read his posts anymore.
In the beginning ( some months ago ) they were read with interest.
Now it is just noise/propaganda.

Its sad because I think he has a lot of knowledge and experience.



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Willow Photography
TMARK
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« Reply #61 on: March 01, 2013, 09:34:01 AM »
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I look at this with shooting styles and what you are willing to make sacrifices on.  Iwan Baan's shooting style means that the best camera system for him is a DSLR.  But what about those who shoot slow and methodical, in that case a Tech Camera is the best solution.  You can lie to yourself or say yes, but DSLRs do the trick as well for less money.  

But I ask, if you are so content to sacrifice here, where does it end.  Are you now more likely to sacrifice with the amount of lighting you need,  or the staging, or getting the best composition?  I think eventually yes; life wears you down and if you allow that mind set to develop, it will rule you.  The best shooters I look at all shoot with the best cameras for their style.  (Look at Chris, he does not make a living from shooting video and already owned a 5D II, but he bought a Red.  Why, because it is the best.)  Sure, no client will ever tell the difference, but they have that mind set of never compromising regardless of how small the issue is.  Maybe that is why they are the best, because of that mindset.  

Personally I never want to get into the mind set of settling for good enough.  I know I would never want someone to look at my work and say "he is good enough."

This is true.  You have to approach every job with the intention to make the best image possible, even if the client doesn't know or understand th difference.  This means using the best gear that enables you to get the shot and within production costraints, be it an Arca and an IQ180 or an FM2.  Even when the client doesn't care. 
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TMARK
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« Reply #62 on: March 01, 2013, 09:39:14 AM »
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Maybe Chris could use 35mm and shoot the same pictures that speaks to me.
I do not know - yet.


I think he could, its just not how he works.  I don't think using a D800 would benefit him over his Phase/Arca set up, from what I understand of his working process.  And that is what it comes down to, whether the benefits of using a DSLR with live view and ease of set up would in practice benefit someone like Chris. 
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pixjohn
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« Reply #63 on: March 01, 2013, 01:59:15 PM »
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I shoot 98% my architectural projects  DB/Tech camera and maybe 2% with a Nikon.  Since you already own a P65 and Nikon, you are the best person to do a test. Rent a Cambo or other camera  and see how you like the work flow. I come from shooting 4x5 and 8x10 and like the slower workflow of a tech camera. I just hate all the bugs I have had to deal with over the years. Plenty of high end architectural shooters shoot with canon/nikon and some with digital backs.  My original post was more about someone starting out, but you already have a big part of the investment.

I see the style of architectural photography changing to more available light, because of budget more then anything else.

It also depends on the tyoe of work you shoot? Interior rooms? Exterior only? Dusk shots?  people posted lots of samples but very little was interior rooms. How many shots in a day?

Lots of variables and no correct answer.
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ChristopherBarrett
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« Reply #64 on: March 01, 2013, 02:18:34 PM »
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Thanks for the kind words, people.  To add my own thoughts to the pile...  I think it all comes down to your methodology.  For some people, it's thrilling to run around a building grabbing snapshots then editing them down to a collection of keepers.  For me, it's all about crafting the images rather than capturing them.  If you take the time to develop the necessary skills and experience, there are things you can do with lighting that can never be done with retouching.  That's why I check 600lbs of gear onto every flight I take.  Since we take our time on set with every photograph, there's no reason for me to use a fast camera.  And if I'm going to spend a minimum of two hours creating every image I shoot, you can bet your ass I'm going to capture it with the best gear I can lay my hands on.  This is how I work... it's not for everybody.  I can afford great gear, I dig cameras... there ya go.

There's no reason I couldn't shoot everything with a DSLR, it wouldn't affect my process.  I basically work from the laptop, the display screen has replaced the ground glass.  I just find it a pain in the ass composing without independent x and y shifts.  There also seem to be so few lens options.  Then you have the Canon <> Nikon issue.  The D800 has a great sensor but Canon has the good Tilt/Shifts.  What the hell Nikon???  Make a goddamn 17mm!

To simplify all the bullshit above:  If you need to work fast, untethered and travel light use a DSLR.  If you have the luxury or working slower, want the best quality you can buy and can pay cash for it, go tech cam.

CB
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Willow Photography
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« Reply #65 on: March 01, 2013, 05:58:20 PM »
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Thanks for the kind words, people.  To add my own thoughts to the pile...  I think it all comes down to your methodology.  For some people, it's thrilling to run around a building grabbing snapshots then editing them down to a collection of keepers.  For me, it's all about crafting the images rather than capturing them.  If you take the time to develop the necessary skills and experience, there are things you can do with lighting that can never be done with retouching.  That's why I check 600lbs of gear onto every flight I take.  Since we take our time on set with every photograph, there's no reason for me to use a fast camera.  And if I'm going to spend a minimum of two hours creating every image I shoot, you can bet your ass I'm going to capture it with the best gear I can lay my hands on.  This is how I work... it's not for everybody.  I can afford great gear, I dig cameras... there ya go.

There's no reason I couldn't shoot everything with a DSLR, it wouldn't affect my process.  I basically work from the laptop, the display screen has replaced the ground glass.  I just find it a pain in the ass composing without independent x and y shifts.  There also seem to be so few lens options.  Then you have the Canon <> Nikon issue.  The D800 has a great sensor but Canon has the good Tilt/Shifts.  What the hell Nikon???  Make a goddamn 17mm!

To simplify all the bullshit above:  If you need to work fast, untethered and travel light use a DSLR.  If you have the luxury or working slower, want the best quality you can buy and can pay cash for it, go tech cam.

CB


Chris, what lenses do you use with your P65+?
What lens do you use most?

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Willow Photography
ChristopherBarrett
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« Reply #66 on: March 01, 2013, 06:08:56 PM »
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Schneider 35 (has about 10mm of usable shift) I should probably replace this with the 32mm HR-W, but it's a lot of cash for a focal length I don't even like
Schneider 43 (has maybe 14mm of usable shift)  about 85% of my work on this glass
Rodenstock 55, 70HR-W, 90HR-W  (all these have more shift available than the RM3D can do)

Even the 35 feels too wide for most of my work but on the rare occasion that I need even more, I'll do the 5d2 17mm TS-E.
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Willow Photography
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« Reply #67 on: March 01, 2013, 06:19:29 PM »
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Thanx for the answer.
Why did you end up with Arca Swiss in stead of Cambo or Alpa?
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Willow Photography
ChristopherBarrett
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« Reply #68 on: March 02, 2013, 09:41:31 AM »
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Well, I've used Arcas for over 20 years...  
F Line 4x5
F Line Metric 6x9
F Line C 6x9
M Line 2 6x9

yada yada

I have the M Line 2 now and I can swap lenses back and forth with the Rm3d.  I can also mount my DSLR on the M2 for long lens stuff.  I use the M2 with my 135mm and 180mm.  
No sliding back on Alpas.  I like sliding backs.  
The Rm3d focus system has about 7 times the resolution of the Alpa focus system.  Also, since the Arca focus is on the body, not the lens... it seems that whenever I'm changing lenses on interiors I never have to change focus... unless it's a big jump in focal length.  
Built in tilt.  
Modularity and access to the humongous Arca system.
Cheaper than Alpa

If you haven't already seen my Rm3d blog post...  http://christopherbarrett.net/blog/?p=1350

The Alpas are beautiful and I love them.  If the Rm3d didn't exist, I'd be shooting an Alpa.  The Cambo is... um... not an Arca or Alpa.

CB
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 09:44:42 AM by CBarrett » Logged
ACH DIGITAL
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« Reply #69 on: March 02, 2013, 10:48:39 AM »
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Thanks for sharing Chris. Important thoughts coming from experience.
One thing I might add. When you intent to work slow or craft the image as you mention, one have to have the train eye and confidence to stick to that angle and composition. ACH
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Antonio Chagin
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« Reply #70 on: March 02, 2013, 12:56:55 PM »
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I see the style of architectural photography changing to more available light, because of budget more then anything else.


I think it has more to do with a tendency for architects to show how their work looks like in reality.
How the structure looks in the natural light that is in in the real world. How structure are designed to
live in natural light is very important and IMO it's more important to showcase that natural look.
Many architects go to great lengths to include lighting design in their work. Both how natural lights flows
over their designs and how the building own lighting (artificial) looks.
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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #71 on: March 02, 2013, 01:34:39 PM »
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I think it has more to do with a tendency for architects to show how their work looks like in reality.
How the structure looks in the natural light that is in in the real world. How structure are designed to
live in natural light is very important and IMO it's more important to showcase that natural look.
Many architects go to great lengths to include lighting design in their work. Both how natural lights flows
over their designs and how the building own lighting (artificial) looks.
I have to ask how many architects do you work with on a regular basis?  How many of them do you pick their brain about lighting?  Because many architects I have spoken to about lighting do not really understand how it works.  I work with a few lighting designers in NYC and Philadelphia and all have told me that they have never worked with an architect that really understood lighting.  

Additionally, there are several different lighting styles.  Some people light a shot and you know it was lit, but still looks awesome.  Then some, like me, strive to light the interior to show space and form but in a way that it does not look lit.  I know another photographer in my area that lights his images so the colors pop (he use to be a painter) but does not look unnatural.  

Sorry to the others reading this, but I am getting annoyed at the implication that there is only one true style to shoot with, that the only way is with small fast cameras, no lights and a ton of time spent in post making the image look good.  

Is it just more, or do others hate sitting in front of a computer as much as I do and would rather be on my feet getting it done on location.  
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Joe Kitchen
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
"Try not to be just better than your rivals and contemporaries, try to be better than yourself."  William Faulkner
adammork
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« Reply #72 on: March 02, 2013, 02:18:00 PM »
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This is very depending on your location - here in Scandinavia and for most part in Europe, if you photograph directly for the architect and you lit the space in the traditional American way - that could be your last asignment for that architect - and for a good reason IMO.

I'm an architect by training so I always try to be faithful to the space I'm photographing - and since space are created with light and shadow, I find it to be the architects job to light it through daylight and/or artificial light - it's my choice of timing that can make my images different from others - and you can say that I'm "lighting" the space that way - but I'm not adding more light than already been given to me by the architect - It's now up to me to get the best out of it.

It's impressive too add 100 lights and controlling them technical perfect - but from my point of view as an architect, it's like turning architectural photography in to product photography - and make architecture looks like perfect beautiful images of jewels in a catalogue.

You can not find a single image on my web site with additional lighting from my hand, beside carefully timing of the day....

But as said before it's a cultural thing.

/adam
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 02:20:28 PM by adammork » Logged

tesfoto
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« Reply #73 on: March 02, 2013, 03:30:26 PM »
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Iwan Baan's work doesnt speak to me, but Chris Barrett's does.


Good for you, then you know what to do. I have the opposite opinion, perfection bores the hell out of me.

For some people, it's thrilling to run around a building grabbing snapshots then editing them down to a collection of keepers.  For me, it's all about crafting the images rather than capturing them.  If you take the time to develop the necessary skills and experience, there are things you can do with lighting that can never be done with retouching.  That's why I check 600lbs of gear onto every flight I take.  Since we take our time on set with every photograph, there's no reason for me to use a fast camera.  And if I'm going to spend a minimum of two hours creating every image I shoot, you can bet your ass I'm going to capture it with the best gear I can lay my hands on.  This is how I work... it's not for everybody.  I can afford great gear, I dig cameras... there ya go.

Well I am not impressed by your work (sorry to be so frank, but I think you also just insulted Iwan Baan), for me it does not have any kind of poetry, it looks more like a rendering - much too perfect, too little feeling. I think IB is crafting his images too, he just works faster.

I have to ask how many architects do you work with on a regular basis?   

So what, FredBGG have some very valid points, that might conflict with your ideal.

Because many architects I have spoken to about lighting do not really understand how it works.  I work with a few lighting designers in NYC and Philadelphia and all have told me that they have never worked with an architect that really understood lighting.  

Many more Architects would argue that lighting designers, never understood the concept of architecture and natural lighting ;-)


This is very depending on your location - here in Scandinavia and for most part in Europe, if you photograph directly for the architect and you lit the space in the traditional American way - that could be your last asignment for that architect - and for a good reason IMO.

Yes - Correct, IMO too

You can not find a single image on my web site with additional lighting from my hand, beside carefully timing of the day....

Impressive work........

Cheers

TES


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rethmeier
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« Reply #74 on: March 02, 2013, 03:45:57 PM »
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Being based in Australia, I have to agree with Adam Mork.
There is a difference in what clients want and get in the USA versus Europe and Australia.
I use either no extra lighting or very little.
Also,for what I shoot I've been using a DSLR for the last 7 years.
Before that I used a Fuji 680  and before that Mamiya and before that Hasselblad and Sinars with roll film holders.
I would shoot color neg and scan the film on my Imacon scanner.

I have a feeling that the budgets are much larger in the USA.
Hence taking 300 pounds of lighting gear on a plane like CB.

Anyway,at the end of the day,whatever works for you and you get repeat work you must be on the right track.

Happy shooting!
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Willem Rethmeier
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« Reply #75 on: March 02, 2013, 04:51:37 PM »
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I like CB's work because it doesn't look lit. I don't care how long or how many lights it took, but I can't see U.K. Budgets covering that kind of set-up from speaking to the few architectural photographers I know and the interior/furniture clients I have with similar budgets.
There's Definately a difference in approach and budgets between U.S and Europe.
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rethmeier
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« Reply #76 on: March 02, 2013, 05:27:40 PM »
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Correct!
Chris Barrett images don't look lit, I never said they did.
He carefully lights each image he shoots and he does it very well.
In the nineties when I was shooting hotel interiors, I did light them as well and I probably still would if I had that sort of work.
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Willem Rethmeier
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jsch
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« Reply #77 on: March 02, 2013, 05:41:19 PM »
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CB and IB do a good job photographing architecture. You have to admit it even if you don't like their images. But, you can't compare them.

CB has the luxury of big budgets which allow him his working style. He worked hard, consistent and with a special quality for many years to be there. This is my interpretation after all what he posted here and what I saw on his website.

IB is lucky that OMA accepted him in 2005 to photograph the OMA project for the CCTV. If he hadn't got that chance, who knows whether we would know him today. Perhaps he would have got a job by another superstar architect. He knew what to look for. This is my interpretation after what I saw his website.

Both are not unique. Architectural photography is an interesting field, because you photograph the man made structures on our planet. So I feel very bad if we start bashing each other. Watch this: http://www.markushattwig.de , as far as I know this very young man started with architectural photography last year with an old sinar f and only one 90 mm lens, if I remember that right.

In my opinion it is difficult to split the architectural photographer form the architecture he photographs (that is true for all professional photography). The client wants to have his building photographed in a certain way and chooses the photographer who is working in that style.

Now I stop before I write more pathetic BS.

Best,
Johannes
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rethmeier
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« Reply #78 on: March 02, 2013, 05:57:17 PM »
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I have to agree with you Johannes!

Also it's much harder to photograph an un-photogenic structure than something that inspires you.

I think that's why IB chooses his clients and knocks back jobs he doesn't find interesting or to say it bluntly,
not worth shooting or to hard to get some good images.

Cheers,
Willem.
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Willem Rethmeier
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« Reply #79 on: March 02, 2013, 07:36:43 PM »
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That's why I check 600lbs of gear onto every flight I take. 

Dang.

Let's see: from Delta Airline's (just an arbitrary airline) current charges:

Bags 4-10: 200 USD each (each way; 10's the max per person)

Restrictions:
weigh 50 pounds (23 kg) or less
not exceed 62 inches (157 cm) when you total length + width + height

Overage Charges (each way, PER weight OR size):
90 USD/CAD* for bags weighing 51-70 lbs.
175 USD/CAD* for bags weighing 71-100 lbs.
Bags exceeding 100 lbs. are not allowed.

So reading the post literally ("I check"), that would be 10 x 60lb bags, assuming they all fit within the dimensions (which they most likely don't). So, 10 bags @ $200 each, plus 10 overweight at $90 each = $2900 each way. So $5800 total round trip, for the checked bags.

More realistically, let's assume the load is distributed across at least the photographer and one assistant. So that would be 12 x 50lb bags, which is still $200 x 12 = $2400 each way, or $4800 round trip.

That's without counting the overage charges for exceeding size limits (things like stands and booms eat up those inches really quickly). Of course, maybe other airlines have cheaper rates, or maybe there's some special VIP membership with better deals or whatever. But still, damn. Nearly $5k per job just for baggage charges.




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