Photo Notes A place to talk about making images.

August 16, 2010

Understanding New Equipment

Filed under: Architectural Lighting — John Siskin @ 2:33 pm

Last week I was testing some new equipment. If you don’t know what it does I’m going to be able to use it effectively. Being able to predict and control your results is critical to being a good photographer. You need to know what your actual results are in order to do that. A pro may not take the best picture of a subject, but a pro had better always take a really excellent picture of the subject. For instance I have been at friends’ weddings, not as a shooter but as a friend. There are times when I took a picture the bride liked best, but I didn’t take a picture of the bride and groom and the bride’s mother, nor of the bride and groom and the ring bearer and so on and on and on. Shooting the event, if that is your job, means not one great shot but dozens of good shots. Shooting a home means, not a great shot of the living room, you should get that, but shots of every room. Anyway, I spent time on Saturday shooting with my new reflector, with a live subject. I included a couple of shots here. The device gives a very bright hard light, which mixes in an interesting way with softer light.
I’ve also been working on my next book, about lighting interiors. I really like the challenges of this kind of lighting. I’m going to attach a couple of paragraphs and a picture or two:

When you first look at a room, what forms your first impression? For some it will be color, and others will see the space, still others will be impressed by the contents. When you photograph a room you effectively miniaturize the room, so you need to pay attention to the original feel of a space, or you’ll lose the effect in the photograph. Architectural photography requires a great sensitivity to the feel of a place, in addition to an appreciation for detail.

Architectural photography is most often client driven photography, that is you find yourself working for a client. So in addition to your perception of the space you need to be concerned with the way the client sees the space, and what particularly interests the client. If your client is an interior designer he/she may see a room differently from a painting contractor. Consequently communication is one of the most important skills an architectural photographer will need. You will have to get your client to understand what can be done and what choices will need to be made.

I teach a class in commercial photography , as well as classes in lighting and portraiture at I hope you will check out the classes soon. My first book: Understanding and Controlling Strobe Lighting: A Guide for Digital Photographers will be published in the fall you can pre-order it. I have a new magazine article coming out in September about strobe power. You can see it in Photo Technique Magazine.
Thanks, John
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  1. !…

    I’m not sure that I agree 100% with your post, but I did find it somewhat interesting….

    Trackback by Kevin Williamson — June 4, 2011 @ 5:37 am

  2. Major thanks for the article post. Will read on…

    Comment by Ariana — June 27, 2011 @ 8:45 am

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