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Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Conroy Lighting, Mar 20, 2019.
What program would you most recommend? Thanks
In my experience, there is not a single piece of software that works well for landscape lighting design. There are a few pieces of CAD like software that help with creating drawings that document a layout which are fine, and there are some sophisticated lighting design packages like AGI32 and DialLux, but these are not designed for use in landscape lighting applications.
I'm looking into this one which has pretty good representation of the lighting effects. It's 5 hundo so I'm weighing my options. But this one looks great.
Versions of this software have been around for a long time. I believe Vista was the first to offer it (for free), going back maybe 15 years or so. Its okay for providing unrealistic visualizations to those clients who want it, but the time necessary to produce the renderings is generally not worth it. It is certainly not a sophisticated lighting design software solution. Showing the clients photos of your work or taking them to see a project is far better IMO.
Very true about the software, but I would get a friend to doctor the pictures of the day to night effects. My portfolio is not that big, I've done 2 to 3 lighting projects a year for the last 10 years. Plus all my before and after pics are not that well taken, mostly used my iPhone. I have a demo kit which kicks ass, but the hour or two to set it up can get tedious. I was thinking of taking the daytime picture and emailing them the after effects...or something like that. Just thinking out loud, thanks for your input.
While I'm asking, what would be your recommendation be of the type of camera, settings, and time of day to take the pictures.
Trying to look like a professional landscape lighting designer and not a landscaper who does outdoor lighting....
Just my opinion on a couple of issues I could see happening:
Presenting a potential client with a software generated lighting rendition poses challenges for you, as you will be forced to make the actual installation look exactly like your rendition.
As James stated and I wholeheartedly agree, I have not seen or been shown any realistic or useable software that would be beneficial to my design proposals.
I’d much rather educate the client by showing my past projects with picture portfolios and taking them to other completed projects.
Be creative and develop your own unique presentations. Smart business practices will help you recover your time and associated costs.
There is a lot of information here on landscape lighting photography. Use the search feature and scan the archives. Tons of great info already contributed over the years.
iPhone, at sunset. There is a window of about 15 min that will negate the need for Photoshop. The lighting at that time is magical. I used to use a dslr and a tripod. Too lazy now.
Also, for the landscaper thing, separate DBA and website for lighting.
Having a portfolio of your work and needing one is a definite Catch 22.
You can't have photos without having done projects and you can't get the projects without a good group of photos to show.
But, IMO there is nothing that compares to good photos of your work to present to potential clients. You just need to work at it slowly. I never did a demo and I don't think I would ever use design software depictions even if a good program were available. To me, $500 says a program is not valuable enough to cost more.
I still don't have the number of great photos that I would like to have.
I have tried taking photos myself but my camera (Nikon D3100) is not good enough to accurately portray my projects. I have hired photographers whose photos are somewhat better than my own but still none of them have that $5000 camera with wide dynamic range which will do the best.
After eight years, my business is being carried by referrals but I still have the desire to add photos to my website which generates the other leads.
So I guess my conclusion for you, Conroy, is get some really professional photos from those 20-30 projects that you have already done. Much better than any design software.