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MAGLIGHTING
03-12-2009, 09:51 PM
I took these shots this morning before going to my current project. If you don't have time to shoot your jobs in the PM then it's possible to do it in the AM (make sure you have your clients permission obviously).

trailboss
03-12-2009, 10:00 PM
Awesome pictures Mike. What kind of camera setup do you have?
Steve

MAGLIGHTING
03-12-2009, 10:09 PM
Thank you steve. A Canon EOS 5D

ccfree
03-12-2009, 11:18 PM
Originally Posted by ccfree
Hey Mike, i have been reading your posts for a while now and looking at your pictures. You shoot with a cannon eos5D. And your pictures are remarkable. And you state that your pictures are not photo shopped. I have a cannon eos20D, yes I know this is an older camera, but a good one at that. I use a tamron 18-200mm lens. Backround on me: My name is Craig Freeman and I live in Texas. I work for Ewing Irrigation Products and have been solely selling landscape lighting for them for the past 10 years. I am self taught to the profession with countless hours of demos, design, and install experience. I would consider myself top 5% in knowlege about the business we are in. But I just can't take the caliber pictures that you take at all. I was wondering if you would kindly give me some pointers as the night time photography is a huge interest of mine. As a service, I will go out at night and take pictures of my contractors work. They come out decent but no where near yours. I use a manfrotto tripod and typically work out of the AV setting with an iso of 100. I bracket my pictures as well. Any help from you would much be appreciated if your willing to give me some pointers.

Regards,

Craig Freeman

MAGLIGHTING
03-12-2009, 11:44 PM
Originally Posted by ccfree
Hey Mike, i have been reading your posts for a while now and looking at your pictures. You shoot with a cannon eos5D. And your pictures are remarkable. And you state that your pictures are not photo shopped. I have a cannon eos20D, yes I know this is an older camera, but a good one at that. I use a tamron 18-200mm lens. Backround on me: My name is Craig Freeman and I live in Texas. I work for Ewing Irrigation Products and have been solely selling landscape lighting for them for the past 10 years. I am self taught to the profession with countless hours of demos, design, and install experience. I would consider myself top 5% in knowlege about the business we are in. But I just can't take the caliber pictures that you take at all. I was wondering if you would kindly give me some pointers as the night time photography is a huge interest of mine. As a service, I will go out at night and take pictures of my contractors work. They come out decent but no where near yours. I use a manfrotto tripod and typically work out of the AV setting with an iso of 100. I bracket my pictures as well. Any help from you would much be appreciated if your willing to give me some pointers.

Regards,

Craig Freeman

Hello Craig,

The 20d is a fine camera, I have that one as well. The photo attached was taken with the 20D. I like this photo because it really gives you a good feeling of depth in the scene.

For me timing is everything. Others will tell you different but this has worked for me. My best photos have always come when the sky is a deep rich blue. You will notice this in most of my shots.

Tripod, cable release and I put the camera in the bulb mode. set the f stop to 8 or higher (smaller aperature), set up the shot, manually focus and just begin holding the shutter open for different timed intervals. If I'm shooting a "bright" seen I limit my exposure time. A dim one more time etc. As it begins getting darker I hold it open longer or in the case of morning shooting vice versa . It's really just trial and error. Most of the shots will not be good so you need to take as many as you can in the time that you have where the sky is cooperating with you. I hope this helps. The camera you have is excellent for night photography. It's just like anything else, the more you practice the better you get.

Good luck,
regards,
Mike G

David Gretzmier
03-13-2009, 02:26 AM
Love the 2nd of the first 3 pictures you posted Mike. nice.

JoeyD
03-13-2009, 11:08 AM
Great pics and work as usual Mike!!!!

MAGLIGHTING
03-13-2009, 08:38 PM
Great pics and work as usual Mike!!!!

Thanks guys.

Mr. Quik electric
03-14-2009, 02:00 AM
Sweeeeet! As usual. Nice job Mikey!

steveparrott
03-14-2009, 02:12 PM
Mike, nice pics, of course I'd love to see more details in those shadows.

I also like to do the early morning shoots, but there are big challenges. First, the homeowners - if I'm shooting the home, I like all the lights on in the structure - hard to do when everyone's asleep. Secondly, most of my shoots take one to three hours - that means starting real early and there's the pressure of finishing before the sun rises. Still, sometime's it's worth it, early morning sky colors are different from sunset - not sure why, but it might have something to do with the cool earth warming as opposed to a hot earth cooling. Also, I often have problems with moisture condensing on my lens (in humid climates) as the air cools at night - this doesn't happen in the morning since the air is warming and holds the moisture.

Getting back to details in the shadows. I can't emphasize enough how important photoshop is in getting the correct exposure in every part of the image and in correcting imperfections in the image. Of course it helps to be a photoshop pro but even Photoshop Elements (baby photoshop) can do a lot.

Here's an example of a shot that needed a lot of work. In person, I could see spectacular colors in the sky as the sun was setting, but I could see in my image preview that the illuminated objects needed a different exposure, there was also a lot of glare from different sources. Here's the two original images I used to layer in PS and the final version after editing. (design by Jeff Mauer)

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-14-2009, 05:06 PM
This morning I typed out a really detailed comment about the photos and the use of those fixtures. I posted it and it seems to have magically disappeared! What a drag!

In a nut shell: Great photos as always Mike! I think that you and I would both agree that the use of plate glass fixtures in vertical elements like walls, steps, etc is a visual no-no. No matter what the light source, using fixtures in this manner draws the eye to the fixture itself and renders the object (in this case the step risers) almost invisible. I alway find myself guiding clients, architects and designers away from glass faced fixtures and towards louvered or shielded fixtures. They fit better into the hardscape by day and they do a much better job of lighting the steps at night.

Mike, are those fixtures Martini from Italy or Erco from Germany by any chance? I have found there is a big difference in fixture design principals between European and N. American manufacturers. So much of the European product is designed to make the fixture highly visible first, as if to call out: "Look at me Look at me" This is prevelant in interior fixtures and even more so with exterior fixtures. The european stuff goes a step further and usually has the company name proudly embossed on the housing or the lens. I guess it is the 'designer label' thing? Personally I think there is no place for prominant, permanent labels on fixtures.

Are they integrated LED style or is there a possibility to rewire them for 12V bi-pin sockets? You would not be able to get rid of the glare no matter what, but you could solve the output and colour issues by re-lamping if possible. If the fixtures use modular LED sources, you may be able to update them to a warmer colour with any of the new, HB, warm white LED units.

Have a great weekend.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-14-2009, 05:52 PM
Ok, maybe I am just delerious from working too hard on this interior job I am doing... LOL My post above this one is a duplicate of that which I posted to Mike's "LED Fixtures" thread.

Sorry for any confusion!

Have a great day.

MAGLIGHTING
03-14-2009, 10:39 PM
This morning I typed out a really detailed comment about the photos and the use of those fixtures. I posted it and it seems to have magically disappeared! What a drag!

In a nut shell: Great photos as always Mike! I think that you and I would both agree that the use of plate glass fixtures in vertical elements like walls, steps, etc is a visual no-no. No matter what the light source, using fixtures in this manner draws the eye to the fixture itself and renders the object (in this case the step risers) almost invisible. I alway find myself guiding clients, architects and designers away from glass faced fixtures and towards louvered or shielded fixtures. They fit better into the hardscape by day and they do a much better job of lighting the steps at night.

Mike, are those fixtures Martini from Italy or Erco from Germany by any chance? I have found there is a big difference in fixture design principals between European and N. American manufacturers. So much of the European product is designed to make the fixture highly visible first, as if to call out: "Look at me Look at me" This is prevelant in interior fixtures and even more so with exterior fixtures. The european stuff goes a step further and usually has the company name proudly embossed on the housing or the lens. I guess it is the 'designer label' thing? Personally I think there is no place for prominant, permanent labels on fixtures.

Are they integrated LED style or is there a possibility to rewire them for 12V bi-pin sockets? You would not be able to get rid of the glare no matter what, but you could solve the output and colour issues by re-lamping if possible. If the fixtures use modular LED sources, you may be able to update them to a warmer colour with any of the new, HB, warm white LED units.

Have a great weekend.

I don't know the details on the LED's as they were installed by the electrician on this project. When I bid the project and saw the spec last spring I opted out of doing them because I knew it wasn't going to work in that application. If she wants to make changes to those fixtures she'll have to see the original installer as they are his baby (headache). I have other ways to get light on those steps for her so they'll be safe though.