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View Full Version : Photo Shoot - Kichler LED


JimLewis
04-21-2012, 03:06 AM
These are from a project we finished today. Just thought I'd share the photos. I'm still not so great at taking night lighting photos but I felt these turned out better than a some I've taken in the past.

These are all Kichler Design Pro LED. The spot lights had the Amber Lenses installed.

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JimLewis
04-21-2012, 03:07 AM
And one more little straggler.......

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Irrigation Contractor
04-21-2012, 10:53 AM
Those look really good. When I got my new Canon I had a friend of mine who does photography tell me what settings to use. I never would have figured it out without her helping me, but the pics turned out awesome.

I wasted 3 nights trying to figure it out myself and I was at the point of just paying someone. LOL

Zohan
04-21-2012, 11:09 AM
Those look really good. When I got my new Canon I had a friend of mine who does photography tell me what settings to use. I never would have figured it out without her helping me, but the pics turned out awesome.

I wasted 3 nights trying to figure it out myself and I was at the point of just paying someone. LOL

Well how about sharing those settings:):)

mdlwn1
04-21-2012, 12:42 PM
those trees are way too hot...and no it's not just the camera.

mdlwn1
04-21-2012, 12:43 PM
BTW...any $150 camera has a night landscape setting and will take excellent pics if you are even halfway coherant.

JimLewis
04-21-2012, 01:06 PM
those trees are way too hot...and no it's not just the camera.

You're referring to the two birch trees in front. The Japanese maples are lit up just perfectly. But those two birch trees were a little hot, yes. And we did move the light fixtures back about 8" after the photo shoot, which helped considerably. But the problem is there wasn't much room to place the fixtures any further away from the tree. You can see in the photo below, there is just a small circle inside the small lawn for us to place the light fixture in. We cannot place it in the lawn. And to cut the lawn out and make the circle larger would make the already small lawn look silly. To use a smaller fixture wouldn't have been right either. This was the medium spot light from Kichler, with the 35 degree arc, which is the right fixture for a large birch tree like that. And if we had gone down to the small kichler fixture, the light would not have climbed up the tree branches all the way. So we were just limited. Pulling them away did help. But that was about the most we could do given the space. Plus, their birches with white bark. Those always look hot because they reflect so much light. I think we made the right choice here.

The light fixtures on the brick are just a tad hot too. I would have liked to pull them back another 12" as well. But as you can see, there is a hedge limiting my options there too. And those were already the smallest spot lights available.

S&MLL
04-21-2012, 01:19 PM
BTW...any $150 camera has a night landscape setting and will take excellent pics if you are even halfway coherant.

Your nuts. Actually just shows how little even most landscapers in this industry know.

S&MLL
04-21-2012, 01:22 PM
Jim it looks good. We all know how that actually looks at night. I would say thought that it can use 2nd story lighting. In developments like that you need something to make your work stand out. And highlighting the height of the home is going to do that for you.

mdlwn1
04-21-2012, 01:43 PM
Your nuts. Actually just shows how little even most landscapers in this industry know.

I understand you may not know much....I've done it. I maintain a 1500 light system and have taken many....MANY pics....some of which have been published. I enjoy photography very much, and when you actually TRY to maximize a piece of equipment, you would be surprised how much a pocket cam with a tripod can do. JUst because YOU can't, doesn't mean others cannot.

mdlwn1
04-21-2012, 01:45 PM
OP..I don't use led, but can you screen those down so the light isn't so white?

Irrigation Contractor
04-21-2012, 01:47 PM
Well how about sharing those settings:):)

I have them written down and it is in my camera bag at home. Once I get done with work I will post them. They are not Canon specific, they should work for all SLR's. I have been using a Canon EOS Rebel T3i and it is way more than I can ever dream to figure out.

The trick to taking pictures at night (I found out the hard way) is you MUST use a tripod for the exposure settings required. Once I got the tripod and my cheat sheet the pictures ended up looking professional quality:clapping:

S&MLL
04-21-2012, 01:57 PM
I understand you may not know much....I've done it. I maintain a 1500 light system and have taken many....MANY pics....some of which have been published. I enjoy photography very much, and when you actually TRY to maximize a piece of equipment, you would be surprised how much a pocket cam with a tripod can do. JUst because YOU can't, doesn't mean others cannot.

I dont claim to know alot. I do know that a $150.00 point and shoot camera can not produce quality night time lighting pictures. I dont care what low level night scene mode it might have. If your not shooting with a dlsr then I can only imagine what your pictures look like.

1500 lights? Good for you. I would hate to get that electric bill since its not LED

Irrigation Contractor
04-21-2012, 02:04 PM
I am not trying to start an argument about cameras here.

Nice pictures James and I will post the information for those who want it.

JimLewis
04-21-2012, 03:03 PM
OP..I don't use led, but can you screen those down so the light isn't so white?

Well, first of all, the Kichler Design Pro LEDs aren't that white to begin with. They are a warm white. About 2,850-3,000° Kelvin, which is really close to light temperatures you get from halogen or incandescent light. Second, we did add the AMBER lenses to these lights, at the customer's request, to make them even warmer.

They look more white partially because the birch trees ARE white. Their bark is white. And no matter how much I put an ember light on them, they're still white. The other part is my camera does not quite capture the true look of what they look like in person. In person they look really nice and warm, I think. I think its a nice color. But trying to capture that look exactly on film is difficult.

Anyway, they're already toned down - to answer your question.

drewguy
04-21-2012, 11:04 PM
The trick to taking pictures at night (I found out the hard way) is you MUST use a tripod for the exposure settings required. Once I got the tripod and my cheat sheet the pictures ended up looking professional quality:clapping:

This is the key--a tripod. Even with a pocket digital, if you have it on a tripod you should be able to get some decent shots. Turn the flash off and don't worry about shutter speed--just experiment until you get it right.

drewguy
04-21-2012, 11:05 PM
. We cannot place it in the lawn. And to cut the lawn out and make the circle larger would make the already small lawn look silly.

It's not your call, but the owner should get rid of the lawn there, because it's silly anyway, and plant something else in a mulch bed. Maybe a couple of smaller bush-type plants plus a ground cover.

JimLewis
04-21-2012, 11:06 PM
Ok. Yah. I'll get right on that and recommend that to him.... :rolleyes:

Irrigation Contractor
04-21-2012, 11:42 PM
Here is the list I was given, but there are some variables that require adjustments.

- Turn Image Stabilization off
- Get a Tripod
- Shoot in Manual Mode
- Set White Balance to Tungsten light
- F Stop set to 8
- Shutter = 1/30th per second
- If it is too dark, then use F 5.6 and 1/15th per second
- If using AP mode, use exposure compensation to tweek exposure
- ISO = 800 - 1600 - 3200 maximum
- While shooting, adjust the light meter to 0 as is gets darker during the time you are taking photo's

I am not a camera guy, so if you disagree with any of this I really do not care. LOL I just know that this guide made all the difference in the world, plus it saved me a lot of missed dinners with the wife.

David Gretzmier
04-22-2012, 01:08 AM
some tips I'd add-

- use several f-stops and shutter speeds with the same photo scene and keep a list of what you did- some water and wind can create cool effects. write down what f-stop and shutter speed or you won't remember how to reproduce a certain effect.
- I have used the AV setting on the dial which allows you to turn off the flash, set the f-stop and the camera adjusts the shutter according to light available.
- the same with shutter speed- on full manual, start with what works, but water can be very cool with different shutter speeds.
- always use mirror up ( you may have to consult your DSLR manual)
- use the timer, my canon does an 8 second count down. the vibration from the mirror moving and manually pushing the button can introduce blur.
-take photos at different times of dusk.
-sometimes a zoom from a distance looks better than a close up without zoom. on point and shoots, stay away from digital zoom. optical only.

If you can find them, look for mike gambino's tips he sprinkled throughout here back when he posted. his photos truly had no equal.

hexlouver would cut some of that hot on the birch, but birches are white bark anyway.

And it is ok that folks think that point and clicks can take good night time landscape light photos. A lot of folks think that. I see those photos all over. and it is ok those folks think they look great too. Every great photographer we know uses point and clicks, right?

David Gretzmier
04-22-2012, 01:18 AM
And also, we have moved tons of plants, boulders, sprinkler heads, bed edges, trimmed huge tree limbs, moved fences, installed gutters, and dug up sod and put in huge mulch rings, among a hundred other strange things just to put light fixtures where they need to be. I always ask. but many home owners don't want to do it, and sacrifice the effect. and thats ok too.

Lite4
04-22-2012, 08:16 AM
I have a few Kichler LEDs in my demo kit. I was running short on a demo last week and pulled one out to fill in thinking it would match the MR16 on the other side of the architecture. Wow, it looked almost purple/ blue compared to the halogen. The homeowner noticed it and was put off by it. I have been buying a lot of the Illumicare LEDs as of late but have not done a head to head test with halogen. Knowing James though, I am sure he got it pretty close and if everything is LED on a job, it shouldn't matter anyway. Nice pictures by the way too.

JimLewis
04-22-2012, 04:07 PM
Thanks. I've done a lot of jobs using just the straight Kichler LED light fixtures. They come out looking really nice when that's all you're using. But they are a little different color, so you can't really mix them unless maybe you added lenses.

With the new Amber Lenses though, you can bring the color to what you're used to. This job we did using all amber lenses.

The pathway lights come out looking warmer automatically.

indylights
04-22-2012, 05:30 PM
I have a few Kichler LEDs in my demo kit. I was running short on a demo last week and pulled one out to fill in thinking it would match the MR16 on the other side of the architecture. Wow, it looked almost purple/ blue compared to the halogen. The homeowner noticed it and was put off by it. I have been buying a lot of the Illumicare LEDs as of late but have not done a head to head test with halogen. Knowing James though, I am sure he got it pretty close and if everything is LED on a job, it shouldn't matter anyway. Nice pictures by the way too.

I actually think the Kichler color is getting worse, not better. They may have been the one of the first ones out there, but with all the new technology that has come out, either fixture or lamp, from a lot of other top notch manufacturers, they have some serious re-engineering to do IMHO. There is no way you can mix their LED with any halogen and not notice a huge difference. And just one side note, people do realize that using lenses is the manufacturers way of getting away with using less than top notch technology, right? If quality components are used with the proper drivers, phosperous coatings, filters, chip selection, etc., you don't need a lens to match 2700K.

Scott Maloney
Sunflower Landscapes

JimLewis
04-23-2012, 01:41 AM
I'm not sure I agree with all that. First of all, I've seen some very nice photos by Bernie (BCG) where he mixed Kichler LED with other brands and I couldn't tell which ones were which. He even won some big awards from that job/photo.

Also, I am not 100% sure I agree with the notion that we need to totally match up to the traditional color of halogens & incandescent. I think if you're fairly close it can still look very nice. I like the look that the Kichler lights put out. And if you want warmer, they make the lens to make it even warmer. But I don't typically use the lens. And it comes out pretty nice, just like they are. Here are a few photos of jobs we did using all Kichler (no lens). I thought they turned out pretty nice.


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steveparrott
04-23-2012, 08:38 PM
. . . And just one side note, people do realize that using lenses is the manufacturers way of getting away with using less than top notch technology, right? If quality components are used with the proper drivers, phosperous coatings, filters, chip selection, etc., you don't need a lens to match 2700K.

Scott Maloney
Sunflower Landscapes

While I don't want to disparage competitors, the use of an amber lens to warm up a high-color temp LED is certainly not as efficient as selecting a warm color LED. Color filters absorb a considerable % of lumens, and any reflective surface (like a lens) takes at least 8% of the lumens.