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#1 Jonathan Bryant

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 06:21 PM

What are some of the fundamentals of lighting for architecture rather than people?
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 01:39 AM

What are some of the fundamentals of lighting for architecture rather than people?


That question's quite broad. But whether you're lighting people or architecture, you always have to be conscious of the same things. Form, dimension, motivation, etc etc etc...
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#3 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 01:39 AM

What are some of the fundamentals of lighting for architecture rather than people?


A good place to look at well-lit interiors is to start with some of the high-end architectural and interior design magazines; look at the shadows and figure out how it was lit. Interiors are very hard to light properly but I personally love interiors.

You don't say what look, feel or emotion you are trying to evoke so I'll just deal with a basic daylight residential interior and a few things that tend to stick out in my eye / opinion after 28 years in the business. And everyone has their own opinion; this is just mine.

* Many interiors are over-lit and unnatural. I personally prefer lighting in "pools of light" to move your eye through the room.
* The windows are either completely blown out, or they are dead-on perfectly exposed. IMHO, a "natural looking" window view outside would be slightly "hotter" maybe + 1/2 to +1 than a perfect exposure for the outside
* The sunlight / 10k streaking into the room through the window should throw a slight downward shadow/streak, not upward unless you're on a really high mountain ;-}
* Practicals that are too hot
* Lamp shades that are crooked or the seam is showing to the camera
* Wood is like a light sponge, it just soaks it up. Lighting dens, bars and restaurants with dark mahogany type wood paneling or furniture is very challenging to open up the grain of the wood, yet not over-light things around it or not create a hotspot/glare off the finish.

It's late, so that's it for me right now. I'm sure there are others here who can offer additional suggestions or opposing views to mine. There's really a lot more to it than can be answered in a forum posting.

All the best!

Robert Starling, SOC
Steadicam Owner/Operator
Las Vegas
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#4 Jonathan Bryant

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 02:06 AM

I have had trouble recently in rooms with huge glass aquariums, dark mahogany wood with a thick coat of polyurethane,etc.. It seems like the best solution is lighting with a large source then flaging it alot, then maybe use a few fresnels to fill in or draw attention to elements. I have also been in huge stores with a mix of warm fluorescents, vapor, halogen, and etc.. that I have no control over whatsoever. These areas can be 50 feet by 100 feet and I need a a lot more lighting power that I have now. I am working with mostly 1k tungsten fresnels and Totas which have no control but you can fit alot of them on a plane. I am looking at grabbing a few 2k Altman Soft Lites. Thanks for your suggestions.
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#5 Michael Nash

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 06:26 PM

Sometimes in rooms with a lot of reflective surfaces like your aquarium/wood scenario it's better to use multiple small instruments that are well-wrapped and snooted, to minimize the size of the reflections. In general, the larger the source (surface area) the bigger the flags have to be to control spill and reflections. In a small space this can really start to crowd the room, if you can even get all the reflection. Egg crates on large soft sources can help too.

For large areas with mixed-color lighting you're usually best off picking a predominant color temperature and filling in with that color. Unfortunately with the light kit you have there's really not much you can do, especially when you have to substantially gel your tungsten units to match the ambient colors. Sometimes you can mitigate the color mix by simply turning off one color source and filling in with something that matches the remaining color.
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