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JoeyD
10-03-2007, 02:36 PM
I got this beautiful photo the other day from one of our loyal customers in AZ a few weeks ago. I have had it on my desktop and thought I would share and gather some of your thoughts on statue and sculpture lighting. I have my preferences in lighting them such as I love the cross lighting effect which is presented here. I like to place the fixtures as close to the statue as possible to graze it and show as much of the detail and texture as possible. Anyway, it is a topic i am sure has been discussed but I would love to gather everyone's opinion's here.

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb97/ulsjoeyd/OIB9.jpg

bmwsmity
10-03-2007, 02:39 PM
Pretty cool. I like the shadow effect.

Is this in some sort of courtyard or is it indoors?

What kind of bulb was used?

JoeyD
10-03-2007, 03:56 PM
I would need to verify the lamps. This statue is in an indoor/outdoor entry. Sort of a courtyard but covered.

The shadow effect here is awesome!

Chris J
10-03-2007, 05:35 PM
I really like the way this was done also. I started to contemplate the idea of down lighting it from the trellis thing, but then you would lose the interesting shadows and indirect lighting on the surrounding areas. I think it's very nice and well done.

Lite4
10-04-2007, 12:16 AM
I like the shadowing as well. Looks like two lights in the basin, they appear to be cross lighting the statue due to the opposing beam angle spreads on the back wall.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-04-2007, 02:06 AM
I like it.... simple, soft, depth filled, dramatic and yet understated. I love it when light works along with dark in a field of view. Well done.

Eden Lights
10-05-2007, 01:11 AM
Very well done, no scary shadows on the face of the statue. It is always hard for me when working on statues to achieve good lighting of the face due to shadows. I don't get to do a lot of statues.

Pro-Scapes
10-05-2007, 08:22 AM
well done... if there is to be a flaw found its the carraige lights being too bright in the back but that could be the picture.

David Gretzmier
10-05-2007, 08:27 AM
Nice- I like the ornamantal iron creating shadows.

steveparrott
10-05-2007, 01:25 PM
I like treating statue lighting in the same way as portraiture lighting. Ideally you have a key light (the brightest) from one side, a fill to illuminate the shadows at about 1/3 the brightness of the key light. For a really nice effect, you add a backlight (could be blue or gold).

The best elevation for these lights is at about 30 to 45 degrees above horizon, but that's often impossible in the landscape. If it must be lit from the ground, then I would distance the lights as far from the statue as possible to minimize the ghoul effect you get when the light is coming from directly below the face.

It's nice to position the key light so the shadow from the nose hits the corner of the mouth.

steveparrott
10-05-2007, 01:31 PM
Here's a couple shots of a statue lit by After Dark Lighting. It looks nice but since the two bullets needed to be in the ground, the lighting on the face seems unnatural, especially the excessive brightness under the brows.

Lite4
10-05-2007, 08:21 PM
Steve,
Where is this after dark lighting from. We have one in the Boise area.

Chris J
10-05-2007, 09:22 PM
I think we are really splitting hairs here guys. Both of these pictures look great, and I don't think there is a whole lot you could do to mess it up (short of blasting it with 50w VNSP's). Man, we are all really getting snobby with this lighting biz aren't we?

Chris J
10-05-2007, 11:17 PM
I like treating statue lighting in the same way as portraiture lighting. Ideally you have a key light (the brightest) from one side, a fill to illuminate the shadows at about 1/3 the brightness of the key light. For a really nice effect, you add a backlight (could be blue or gold).

The best elevation for these lights is at about 30 to 45 degrees above horizon, but that's often impossible in the landscape. If it must be lit from the ground, then I would distance the lights as far from the statue as possible to minimize the ghoul effect you get when the light is coming from directly below the face.

It's nice to position the key light so the shadow from the nose hits the corner of the mouth.

Steve, I'm still pondering over your post. When you say the shadow should be from the nose to the corner of the mouth, this could only be accomplished by down-lighting from above correct? Also, I'm confused as to what you mean by 30-45 degrees above horizon. When you are talking in terms of degrees, there must be a center or origination point. What is the center point you are speaking of? If you meant that the fixture should be placed a few "feet" above the surface grade I would understand it, but I'm just not following your train of thought. Could you please explain this a little bit more for me please?

pete scalia
10-06-2007, 12:47 AM
Here's a statue I did

pete scalia
10-06-2007, 12:54 AM
same statue different angle

Lite4
10-06-2007, 09:47 AM
Chris,
I think what Steve is referring to is raising the fixture 30 degrees above the visual plane. Or possibly 30 degrees above the level of the nose and mouth on the statue which would require a degree of downlighting.

Pete,
Nice job on the statue. The light level and shadowing on the statue itself looks perfect. I like how the face is illuminated but the midsection is in a much lower light. This adds a great deal of drama to this scene in my opinon. I like the lower level of light on this piece. Some pieces require a lighter touch depending on their setting, reflective surfaces nearby, and taking into consideration who and how many will be viewing it, and from what angles. Some pieces need to be lit more intimately like Pete's here. Some need more light like Joeys, that are viewed from a greater distance in a public forum. Situational lighting.

pete scalia
10-06-2007, 11:10 PM
Chris,
I think what Steve is referring to is raising the fixture 30 degrees above the visual plane. Or possibly 30 degrees above the level of the nose and mouth on the statue which would require a degree of downlighting.

Pete,
Nice job on the statue. The light level and shadowing on the statue itself looks perfect. I like how the face is illuminated but the midsection is in a much lower light. This adds a great deal of drama to this scene in my opinon. I like the lower level of light on this piece. Some pieces require a lighter touch depending on their setting, reflective surfaces nearby, and taking into consideration who and how many will be viewing it, and from what angles. Some pieces need to be lit more intimately like Pete's here. Some need more light like Joeys, that are viewed from a greater distance in a public forum. Situational lighting.

Thanks Tim,

I used 1- 20 watt BAB and a frosted glass lens at a slight angle below and to the left of the statue. The lens is about 4 feet from the subject. I'm very pleased with the results.

pete scalia
10-06-2007, 11:36 PM
Here's another I did from 2 angles

Lite4
10-06-2007, 11:42 PM
Nice job Pete, very appropriate light levels. I don't know if I could ever have a statue like that in my yard. I am just waiting for it to turn it's head and smile at me. Too many chucky movies I guess. I also like the soft moonlight effect on the wall behind. Makes a very nice backdrop.

pete scalia
10-06-2007, 11:51 PM
Nice job Pete, very appropriate light levels. I don't know if I could ever have a statue like that in my yard. I am just waiting for it to turn it's head and smile at me. Too many chucky movies I guess. I also like the soft moonlight effect on the wall behind. Makes a very nice backdrop.

I think you mean the short stone tree well behind the first photo. It's actually incidental light from a bullet up light that is aimed at the small tree in that space. Thanks alot for your kind words Tim.

Lite4
10-07-2007, 12:21 AM
I am not real happy how this one turned out. This indian is in our southwest sub. Saguaro Canyon. I cross lit it with 2- 20w BABs. It is a public park at a pool area. However, there is a path that makes a semi-circle around the sculpture and as pedestrians pass certain points they can get nailed with glare. I have since put hex louvers on the fixtures which has helped somewhat. In the second pic you can get an idea of the glare from the left side of the sculpture. I used to have a light in the deep crevice between the rock he is standing on and the one he is carving on, that pointed up and gave his face and front torso better light. We have had some problems with a few kids in the neighborhood trashing our lights and plants though, so it is no longer there thanks to them. Any suggestions on how to light this any better. Sorry the images are poor. These are from my old camera.

pete scalia
10-07-2007, 09:12 AM
I am not real happy how this one turned out. This indian is in our southwest sub. Saguaro Canyon. I cross lit it with 2- 20w BABs. It is a public park at a pool area. However, there is a path that makes a semi-circle around the sculpture and as pedestrians pass certain points they can get nailed with glare. I have since put hex louvers on the fixtures which has helped somewhat. In the second pic you can get an idea of the glare from the left side of the sculpture. I used to have a light in the deep crevice between the rock he is standing on and the one he is carving on, that pointed up and gave his face and front torso better light. We have had some problems with a few kids in the neighborhood trashing our lights and plants though, so it is no longer there thanks to them. Any suggestions on how to light this any better. Sorry the images are poor. These are from my old camera.

Actually I think the photos are pretty good. As for improving the glare situation. Can you install extra long shields on the bullets or if possible install some wellights with deep recessed lamps up under the statue on 3 sides. Just a thought.

Pro-Scapes
10-07-2007, 09:17 AM
In most cases I preffer a mild shadowing on the subject. We did a fountain I have yet to get pics of that you could hardley see before we did it due to some other guy having only 8v running to a single bab in 2ft of water.

Now it has 3 fixtures... a single 20w and two 10w 36 degrees backlighting the stacked wall behind it with the 20w on the statue. Looks great... at night its shadowed enough to leave some to the imagination but bright enough to define the statue and let someone understand exactly what it is without taking away from the dramatic night time view of it. Its meant to look different at night than it is during the day time!

I think the religious statue is an exception to this and should be lit to show the details as in the posted photos.

Lite4
10-07-2007, 11:22 AM
Pete, I would love to put wells under him. However he is standing on a boulder that is 3 feet thick and weighs abuot 25 tons. I used to have 1 well in the crack in front of the indian, between the vertical and horizontal rocks before it was vandalized. Longer shields may help a bit.

Billy, I agree with softer shadowing on some statues. This one is a focal point for this area so it needs to be given a higher level of light to draw the eye of the viewer to it in the midst of lower level lighting.

pete scalia
10-07-2007, 01:56 PM
Pete, I would love to put wells under him. However he is standing on a boulder that is 3 feet thick and weighs abuot 25 tons. I used to have 1 well in the crack in front of the indian, between the vertical and horizontal rocks before it was vandalized. Longer shields may help a bit.

Billy, I agree with softer shadowing on some statues. This one is a focal point for this area so it needs to be given a higher level of light to draw the eye of the viewer to it in the midst of lower level lighting.

Anytime light on a horizontal plane crosses pedestrian paths there will be to some extent some glare. Longer shields will mitigate but not a total solution. Doesn't look like lighting from above is the answer from the photos. Sometimes we must resign ourselves to the fact that things will not always be perfect and do the best that is possible with the tools and techniques we have at our disposal. All in all I think you did a good job and should be proud.

steveparrott
10-08-2007, 11:47 AM
I agree that it's rare to find locations for ideal positioning for fixtures to light statues. Still,I stand by the recommendation to avoid uplighting from directly beneath the statue (monster lighting - like holding a flashlight under your chin).

A quick search found the following article. It doesn't describe exactly where each fixture is, but they are all either at eye level or up to 45 degrees above the horizontal plane. The pics show how positioning really has a dramatic effect on depth and mood.

http://home.earthlink.net/~terryleedawson/id11.html

JoeyD
10-08-2007, 12:26 PM
Here are some more for us to mull over!! All with different techniques

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb97/ulsjoeyd/DSCN0873-1.jpg

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb97/ulsjoeyd/Picture224.jpg

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb97/ulsjoeyd/DSCN2867.jpg

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb97/ulsjoeyd/DSCN0146.jpg

Pro-Scapes
10-08-2007, 12:40 PM
Tim... I like your indian how it is... The only thing I might do is test a narrower bulb to focus more on the statue and less on the rock then place 2 10w fixtures to graze the rock just enough to show the defination of it... Your whole piece would be lit but the statue would stand out. Just an idea but without seeing it in person hard to say what i would try to do

Joey... I like all of thoes... The only thing that got me and disapointed me is the hot spots from the well lights... Something should of been done around these statues to avoid that bright landmine in the turf. I know this would take away from the kids seemingly playing ball in the grass but from an illumination standpoint the hot spots really detract from the overall scene at hand. Has anyone ever tried to make like a 10 inch bezel to go in the ground so there is like a flange around the well light to eliminate the grass hot spots ? I know of a few mr fixtures like this but the flange is not big enough.

JoeyD
10-08-2007, 12:44 PM
Actually we make a ring we call the infinity ring that is to help with that as well as keep the grass from growing over the lamp. I have some pics on my other computer I will post tomorrow to show what it is I am talking about. It would help there. I agree those spots are annoying but it is a fair trade off not having any above ground lights deterring from the statues in the day.

Joey D.
P.S. I will try and shrink the photos down before posting next time. Sorry if this annoyed anyone!

steveparrott
10-08-2007, 03:17 PM
Joey, nice pics but can't say I like how any of the statues are lit. I don't want to be unfair, but if this forum is about learning then we should feel free to be critical.

1. Krishna statue. Why is the floor of the pavillion so brightly lit compared to the focal point which is the statue?

2. Angel. Pretty bright tummy! Uneven light on other objects in scene.

3. Kid with a stick. Distracting shadow across face, way too much light hitting under his arm.

4.Baseball players. Best example of monster lighting I've seen in a long time.

These last three pics could have achieved much better lighting using well lights or bullets positioned 5 to 6 feet away from statues.

JoeyD
10-08-2007, 04:00 PM
To each his own. I happen to like the brightness around the statue and I prefer a dark textured statue from time to time. Being grazed will accentuate detail maybe sometimes causeing for darkenss in areas but this isnt a museum here it is simply a statue in a landscape. Leave a little to the imagination I say.
I never said they were picture perfect lighting I only posted to give us all something to discuss since we were discussing different techniques. I think I supplied a few different ways to highlight statues. I cold almost guarantee every single homeowner or property owner loved the way these looked.

Respectfully-

Joey D.

NightScenes
10-08-2007, 04:23 PM
Joey, I'm going to have to agree with some of the things that Steve pointed out in those photos. I know that these are not museum pieces but we should strive for perfection with each project. If someone doesn't point out the defects, how can we fix them? You can always say "to each his own" but everyone should know proper technique and try to use it whenever possible. That being said, I know that there are times when the area will not permit you to use the optimum technique and you have to settle for something else. I have one such project where the statue could not be lit properly but still had to be illuminated. I have not taken any pictures of it because I don't like how it came out. The owners however don't seem to mind.

JoeyD
10-08-2007, 04:36 PM
I agree we should all strive for absolute perfection. I still and will always believe how ever that lighting is subject to one's interpetation of what looks good and what doesnt. I know there are text book ways of doing things but sometimes unconventional looks better. Not saying these statues couldnt be better, I am sure they could. But I do accept and respect any and all constructive opinions. Again I was only posting photos of different techniques. I was not trying to debate weather or not the statues were the best ways to light.

I too think Steve's advice is well worth noting!

steveparrott
10-09-2007, 08:51 AM
Thanks Joey. No offense intended. Prior to my focus on landscape lighting, I did lighting for stage and screen. If a director asked me to light a statue (which I did many times in outdoor scenes) I knew that he would want it lit as if it was a real person, or lion, etc. So I applied the same strategies I use for portait photography. I'm thinking it wouldn't hurt for landscape lighting designers to take a course (or buy a book) on portrait lighting.

I think it's dangerous to assume that homeowners won't notice when a statue is lit poorly. If they appreciate fine photography or painting, or have spent time with statues in museums then they may be sensitive to lighting. Let's not forget that our prime market includes the high-end homeowners with these refined sensibilities.

I think it's also a good selling tool. You walk the property with the homeowner and can speak with clarity on how you plan to light each statue with key, fill and back lighting at appropriate light levels. You may even have some control - to move the statue slightly, add plant material to hide the needed fixtures, even to plant a tree to provide lighting from the right angle. Why not raise the bar?

Pro-Scapes
10-09-2007, 01:32 PM
Joey, I'm going to have to agree with some of the things that Steve pointed out in those photos. I know that these are not museum pieces but we should strive for perfection with each project. If someone doesn't point out the defects, how can we fix them? You can always say "to each his own" but everyone should know proper technique and try to use it whenever possible. That being said, I know that there are times when the area will not permit you to use the optimum technique and you have to settle for something else. I have one such project where the statue could not be lit properly but still had to be illuminated. I have not taken any pictures of it because I don't like how it came out. The owners however don't seem to mind.

I agree we should all strive for tasteful techniques to achive our goals but also keep in mind that doing something off the wall or different is whats going to set you apart. Its important to try new things. I think the infinity ring idea would definatly help but i still think there should of been several lower wattage fixtures used on some of joeys pics. I just hate the hot spots in the grass that well lights leave. I also feel lenses and possibly a splash of color could help bring out the natural color and texture of alot of statues. If you dont have a sample book from lee filters you should get one. Most often times I find myself limited by the clients budget or willingness to part with the money to do the project how i would deem perfect.

Back to the fountain where they had a single light and I added 2 more. Optimum I would of liked to see 5 fixtures with 10 to 20w bulbs and 2 of them with pale blue tint in em to help bring out the water ripples on the stone walls. Unfortunatly we are often financially limited on projects