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Author Topic: using ambient light  (Read 14208 times)

Thyme in Garden

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using ambient light
« on: January 20, 2007, 07:32:22 PM »

Hello, I am not sure I am in the right place to ask for support on this topic. I am  just beginning my passionate hobby/part time profession as a photographer. My style is relaxed, casual ,candid, non traditional more classic maybe. I think!
I am specializing in using ambient lighting. I want to build a studio that will allow me to photograph indoors year round using ambient lighting. Can anyone give me suggestions or resources to lay out  such a plan? Thanks  
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ckimmerle

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using ambient light
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2007, 11:49:47 PM »

I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to do. Indoor ambient light is nothing more than the light provided by whatever fixtures are usually in the room. If that is what you are trying to do, then by all means avoid overhead flourescent lighting and install wall-mounted light fixtures.

If you're asking about indoor lighting using windows, then bigger is better (you can always make them smaller). North facing windows provide similar light any time of the day or year, but north, south, and west windows are constantly changing when the sun is out.

Chuck
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Thyme in Garden

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using ambient light
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2007, 12:02:08 PM »

Quote
I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to do. Indoor ambient light is nothing more than the light provided by whatever fixtures are usually in the room. If that is what you are trying to do, then by all means avoid overhead flourescent lighting and install wall-mounted light fixtures.

If you're asking about indoor lighting using windows, then bigger is better (you can always make them smaller). North facing windows provide similar light any time of the day or year, but north, south, and west windows are constantly changing when the sun is out.

Chuck
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Thanks Chuck, yes I want to use only the light provided by the sun. Windows, windows, windows. Would it be necessary to use sky lights? Thanks Kim
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mahleu

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using ambient light
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2007, 12:42:25 PM »

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Thanks Chuck, yes I want to use only the light provided by the sun. Windows, windows, windows. Would it be necessary to use sky lights? Thanks Kim
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The more windows you have, the more light you'll get. Ideally you'll want to have enough light from outside to avoid needing any artificial light.

Some reflectors will be very very useful.
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James Godman

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using ambient light
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2007, 12:59:41 PM »

Check out the work of Irving Penn.  Lots of his portraits were lit by skylights.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2007, 01:00:17 PM by James Godman »
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JM El

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using ambient light
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2008, 07:49:11 PM »

Study the work  of Jay Maisel, never anything but" available light" .

JM E
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Neil Hunt

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using ambient light
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2008, 01:58:33 PM »

Last time I was in a studio using natural light was about 25 years ago in college, where they had a really great set up. From what I can remember;

Ideally you want an east west room, so that you have skylights north and south. Skylights rather than windows give you better options - after all if you use standard height windows everything is lit from the side, whereas if the main light is elevated you can always bounce it around to fill in. The skylights need to have controllable blinds. Paint the room either matt black or white, but have sufficient reflectors of the opposite kind that you can control it as you like. For example if you have a white room you could install a curtain track aound the wall with black drapes. Obviously bear in mind that in most latitudes winter light, though beautiful is pretty dim, so natural light portraits do tend towards the static.

Neil.

Mike Guilbault

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using ambient light
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2008, 11:56:22 PM »

Personally,  I prefer a large 'wall' window rather than a skylight, especially for shooting portraits.  A few large, floor to ceiling length windows, with shutters or other form of control can give you quite accurate control over your light.  By adding louvers, blinds, etc., you can create interesting shadows for backgrounds or even on the subject.  The light is directional, soft (especially if it's a north facing window) and can be easily controlled by moving the subject either closer or farther away from the window.

« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 12:03:06 AM by Mike Guilbault »
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