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Lighting kit for studio shooting architecture models?
  
 
jsw41953
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Lighting kit for studio shooting architecture models?


Not on a budget. Have a great dedicated studio space, a very large 2000 SF room with skylights and high ceilings. Right now we're making do with Home Depot work lights and, don't laugh, flashlights...

The architecture models range from rather small - say the size of a shoe box - up to to the size of a car - say 10' x 20' . But most of the models are in the range of a child's doll house, say 2'x3'x2'.

We've been considering some 3-light kit to start. Not sure if that will be enough but seems like a reasonable start? I've never dipped my toe into lighting. We're in LA so we can certainly rent some items first to give a go.

I would greatly appreciate any pointers, and apologies if I'm duping a prior thread. Tried to search archives and came up short.

Thanks all,

John



Jul 18, 2017 at 09:45 PM
Paul_K
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Lighting kit for studio shooting architecture models?


I'd first look into what light modifiers you want to use/will need to buy in order to get the 'look' you want your pictures to have before worrying about what light kit to buy

Just as the time of day, and consequently position and quality (harsh, diffused, low angle vs high angle) of the sun will determine how the image of a building will look, so will the type of modifier, and consequently quality and shape of the modifiers of your lights when taking pictures of a architecture model inside a studio.
Similarly the choice of amount of DoF is a factor to consider.

With a open light and shallow DoF, you won't need (a) high output light(s). Of course an open light will also mean harsh(er) light and shadows, and with a larger model risk not evenly lighting the model

If however you have a carsize model, and want to use a large diffused light source to get a softer light (which would mean a several feet wide softbox) you'll need a high powered light source.
And if you want everything in focus (= large DoF) you'll need a (extra) high output lightsource on top of that to compensate for the (large) light absorbing diffuser/softbox

Of course you could switch of the modeling lights of the flash, black out the skylights, and select a long exposure time during which you trigger the flash several times during the long exposure
But that really is a cumbersome way of taking the picture, while I would also worry about the possible reciprocity factor - a well known phenomenon if you shoot film - and possible added noise and hot pixels when shooting digital

Obviously you'll need additional lightstands/booms in order to be able to position your light not only front, back, left or right of your models, but also, as is the case in many the images of architectural models I looked up before reacting, overhead of the model.

I assume you have some kind of background system so you can shoot the models on a continuous background like a paper background roll

Using house depot lights and flash lights when starting out in studio photography (whatever the subject) IMO is nothing to be embarrassed about.
I for years used to shoot fashion and portraits with tungsten film lights I bought for discount prices during Sales, and had plenty of those images published either as setcards for model agencies (it was back in the days when agencies would pay selected photographers for test shoots) or publications, and even won (international) photo contests with them















(Note: in the 80's/90's there was a higher tolerance/acceptation of - intentionally - softer/OoF images, as the fact these images were published/awarded show )

You'll that way IMO better learn how using lighting and be able to better decide what type of lights/modifiers will want/need to buy when upgrading
Rather then as so many debutant nowadays without any experience buying a kitset based on something some 'webexpert' (probably biased since sponsored by the manufacturer recommended) who then goes asking on the internet how to actually use those lights



Jul 19, 2017 at 10:59 AM
rico
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Lighting kit for studio shooting architecture models?


jsw41953 wrote:
We've been considering some 3-light kit to start. Not sure if that will be enough but seems like a reasonable start? I've never dipped my toe into lighting. We're in LA so we can certainly rent some items first to give a go.

Sounds like a dream assignment. Your issue is less about equipment, and more about lighting experience. Specifically, how to devise an arrangement of light sources around a model such that the viewer sees your vision—presumably with their wallet nearby. Gearwise, three studio lights can serve as the sun, the frontal fill, and the sky. You will need large white panels to control reflections and to generate fill, and really large ones for a 10'x20' model. Overhead can be controlled with a silk, available up to room size from Matthews in Burbank. I expect a blue gel will come in handy. Kill the skylights, or shoot at night.



Jul 19, 2017 at 03:09 PM







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