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Author Topic: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?  (Read 39158 times)

FredBGG

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #80 on: March 03, 2013, 12:15:31 AM »

Dang.

Let's see: from Delta Airline's (just an arbitrary airline) current charges:

Bags 4-10: 200 USD each (each way; 10's the max per person)

Restrictions:
weigh 50 pounds (23 kg) or less
not exceed 62 inches (157 cm) when you total length + width + height

Overage Charges (each way, PER weight OR size):
90 USD/CAD* for bags weighing 51-70 lbs.
175 USD/CAD* for bags weighing 71-100 lbs.
Bags exceeding 100 lbs. are not allowed.

So reading the post literally ("I check"), that would be 10 x 60lb bags, assuming they all fit within the dimensions (which they most likely don't). So, 10 bags @ $200 each, plus 10 overweight at $90 each = $2900 each way. So $5800 total round trip, for the checked bags.

More realistically, let's assume the load is distributed across at least the photographer and one assistant. So that would be 12 x 50lb bags, which is still $200 x 12 = $2400 each way, or $4800 round trip.

That's without counting the overage charges for exceeding size limits (things like stands and booms eat up those inches really quickly). Of course, maybe other airlines have cheaper rates, or maybe there's some special VIP membership with better deals or whatever. But still, damn. Nearly $5k per job just for baggage charges.






You forgot to work media rates into the equation.
$50 per item even if very large.
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georgem

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #81 on: March 03, 2013, 05:56:11 AM »

[...] space are created with light and shadow, I find it to be the architects job to light it through daylight and/or artificial light [...]

But as said before it's a cultural thing.

/adam

Agreed. I think european architecture puts strong emphasis on the play of natural day light on surfaces and volumes. Maybe Le Corbusier's legacy, in a way. And, at least in southern europe, buildings -from the vernacular to the contemporary- cannot be fully comprehended, unless one also sees their shadows and their progress throughout the day. So, a fully lit photograph is not the "right" thing to do. The architects I work with totally expect midday exterior shots, with sunlight casting very dark shadows, as long as the shadows are integral to the architecture.

It seems to me that most of american architectural photography is about interior and dusk exterior shots. And nothing wrong with that -it's a cultural thing, as you said.
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bcooter

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #82 on: March 03, 2013, 07:01:42 AM »

Baggage overage in the U.S. fluctuates.

Saying production rate out of LA, usually will give you more weight, also paying with a airline credit card adds one extra bag.  There are other ways to add more free baggage, but everything is dependent on the airlines and the city.

Upgrading to first or Business class helps and speeds the airport check in time considerably.

Also if you travel between certain cities regularly, knowing a few skycaps that understand what you do, will help as they'll run interference for you at check in.

Out of LA, just about all the major carriers accept the production rate.  I mostly fly American Air and they accept production rates  in and out of Kennedy and Newark, Miami, DFW and sometimes Chicago.

Continental (now united)  out of Newark won't accept the production rate, at least in my dozen times flying them.

In Europe and Asia it's a crap shoot, but usually the prices go up 4 to 10 times, depending on carrier, county, etc.

We've routinely have $500 fees domestically,  $1,200 overage fees in Europe, Asia can be almost double that.   

Baggage fees can seem excessive, especially if your moving 700 to 800 lbs of equipment, but rentals in Europe are high, rentals in some markets and almost impossible and knowing your equipment, knowing it's backed up and ready to go when you land, saves you days of production time and money.

With the compressed schedules we work, it's not unusual for us to fly for 12, to 14 hours, land and start working. 

Luckily I can sleep on almost any plane, even those rocking around areoflot flights in the winter.

Best thing is to check with every carrier, try to get something in writing and hold the carrier to it at time of check in, but your always at the mercy of the manager at the counter.

IMO

BC

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Craig Lamson

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #83 on: March 03, 2013, 08:00:56 AM »



To simplify all the bullshit above:  If you need to work fast, untethered and travel light use a DSLR.  If you have the luxury or working slower, want the best quality you can buy and can pay cash for it, go tech cam.

CB

The wisest words in the entire thread in today's world.
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Guy Mancuso

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #84 on: March 03, 2013, 09:56:53 AM »

Funny thing the Op is in the nice position to have a Nikon and a P65. Not sure what's the struggle here depending on how you shoot and given the requirements of your clients not to mention your style. All you really need here  for the p65 is a tech cam, one or two lenses. This is really not that expensive if you stay with a simple Cambo tech cam and a 35xl which is great on that sensor. That's a 5k investment or so. Myself ii would be using the tech cam and lights like I always do but that's the way I work. Frankly I would reach for the tech cam almost every time and its not as slow as people think either. This also depends a lot on budget and end use as well as to what you need to deliver. I do find the comments between Europe and US style very interesting though. Myself I use lights as some fill and highlight areas and blend with natural light but that is usually what my clients want. If you go the Nikon route your still going to need lenses for that as well , so need to figure out your ROI. Style and client needs. Have fun with your choices, but you do have the largest investment in your hands now. Take advantage of that.
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georgem

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #85 on: March 04, 2013, 05:23:31 AM »

.. however, there are obviously a lot more people out there than architects, who need interior type images produced to meet their usage requirements

That's why my advice is -hopefully- valid only if the OP is targeting architects, my experience in other areas is zero, ATM.

I very much enjoy looking at your work and the latest images you posted certainly look like you used shifts. Or are they crops? Also, your images in general do not have the extreme, weird-looking wide angle look that is so ubiquitous --care to shed some light on the lenses/equipment you use? Just to keep the thread on-topic  : ).
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Willow Photography

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #86 on: March 04, 2013, 06:18:19 AM »

Does a Contax 645 35mm and a SK 35mm or a Rodie 35mm for a tech camera have the same distortion?
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Willow Photography

Ken R

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #87 on: March 12, 2013, 04:45:12 AM »

Hi

I have started to do some architectural / interior photography and love it.

Are there any architectural / interior photographers here that can
give some advice to what kind of equipment that is best suited?

I have a Nikon D800E and a Contax645/P65+.

Is a tech camera the best route or is there other options that are "better"?

I only want advice from photographers who are doing this kind of work or has done it in the past.

Hopefully some of you guys can give me some good advice.

Thanks

Willow



Hi, I read all the posts and there is a lot of good info in them.

First off, to explain a bit where I am coming from, I graduated from Architecture (prof. degree) and worked with architects years ago but have been a professional photographer for about 10 years. I do quite a bit of architectural photography for design and construction professionals but also for manufacturers of building products even though the bulk of my work is for advertising campaigns for ad. agencies and mostly unrelated to architecture.

I get hired for architectural jobs a lot of times due to my background and knowledge in architecture. It helps greatly when communicating with professionals in the field. The quality and taste in my compositions and color is also a factor.

First off, never forget that you are providing a service and each client is different. Yes, there are some things that are shared between a lot of them but generally each one is unique. Great service is key. Another thing is perception. All these can be discussed at length but il stick to more technical aspects regarding camera equipment (not even gonna get much into lighting)

I personally do not like to get into supplemental lighting when photographing architecture mainly because it would be like designing a project onto a project. Its very expensive and time consuming. At least in my market, its unsustainable. In some interiors I might help existing lights with gels and some strobes but I avoid it since most projects have a lighting design already thats an integral part of the work.

With the Nikon D800/e and the P65+ you have everything you need from the image capture standpoint (sensor). Both have amazing dynamic range, resolution and color. I would just try some of the technical camera systems (body and lenses) available for the MFDB and decide on one. I think shift and tilt are almost indispensable tools to have in architectural photography where precise composition is key most times. Ultra wide angles is another capability that is required in a lot of shoots due to space constrains.


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sam@

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #88 on: March 12, 2013, 06:24:15 AM »

Being based in Australia, I have to agree with Adam Mork.
There is a difference in what clients want and get in the USA versus Europe and Australia.
I use either no extra lighting or very little.
Also,for what I shoot I've been using a DSLR for the last 7 years.


Hi

I agree with Adam and Willem on this also - I have almost never lit images in 20 years.
The "American" style often looks overdone and a bit cheesy to me - but whatever the client wants!

RE Equipment:
I have been using Canon and the TSE lenses for a few years now (in the film days it was Horseman / Sinar etc).
I love the TSE lenses (don't love the 45mm) and especially love the live view.
I generally don't shoot tethered and like to move quickly on occasion when the light demands.
I sometimes stitch with a Hartblei tripod adaptor.
A higher MP camera could be useful - although the images produced by this set-up certainly work for most applications.

I have almost gone the tech cam route a couple of times. If budget was no issue I would have both.
I do like to be able to see through the lens and really finely adjust the compositions that way.

I have a query RE Hasselblad:
Is anyone using H3D or H4D seriously for architecture with the HTS 1.5 and the 28mm and the new 24mm lenses?
I haven't used a digital Blad but am I right in thinking the software will correct the distortions in the 24mm and 28mm lenses?
If so which camera / lens combos are you using?

Just wondering if that might be an option to see through the lens with a 50mp - 60mp sensor and also use the back on a tech cam in future if that happens.

Thanks

Sam




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Chris Barrett

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #89 on: March 12, 2013, 09:32:57 AM »

Of course I'm with Ashley on this.  He's an exceptional photographer and though our visions are worlds apart I really appreciate his sensitivity towards lighting.  I respect everyone who embraces their craft.  I personally feel that as photographers and craftsmen, to summarily dismiss the use of supplemental lighting is irresponsible.  Half of every photograph is light!  Whether the light is existing or supplemental, your understanding of and sensitivity towards the luminance of any environment will develop at an exponential rate if you can create some light yourself and measure it's impact.  If you never experiment with light then you retard your own growth and comprehension of it's very nature.

Sometimes the best lighting you can do is none at all, when the ambient is just perfect.  I don't feel that you'll be educated enough to make that call, though, until you have learned something about lighting.

I could go on and on but I think this is going to call for a new thread with examples and clarification.

On a side note... if the "European" approach is all natural and excludes supplemental lighting then why does all the best lighting equipment come from Europe?

CB
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 09:39:34 AM by Chris Barrett »
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sam@

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #90 on: March 12, 2013, 09:50:25 AM »

Hi

I hope that my comment re using additional lighting in Architecture is not taken as dismissive or criticising - it was not intended that way.

I have no problem with people lighting stuff as they wish and as I said it's great if your clients like that.
If I was doing work like Ashley I probably would use it also..

I happen to love using set-up light! (strobe or flash as I call it) with all the attachments and shapers etc. - I do this every week in my other commercial work, but not really in architectural work.

Best regards

Sam
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Chris Barrett

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #91 on: March 12, 2013, 10:09:52 AM »

Sam... I think it also has a lot to do with your subject matter.  Most of Iwan Bann's work, for example, are of large public spaces.  I would never attempt to "light" that sort of environment.  We have to be sensitive to our subjects, our client's needs and our own visions.  I shoot primarily commercial interiors.  My client's work is all in the details of the textures of materials, the reflectivity of certain elements and the very specific color palette.  All of these are at least as important as the shape of the space.  You can almost never describe all of those elements accurately with existing lighting.  

This argument seems to be based upon generalities with all of us coming from very different perspectives.  In the end it's really kind of silly.  I do feel strongly, though, that to undermine the significance of lighting to new photographers (many of them reading these posts) is a great disservice to them and all future photographers.  Digital capture seems to breed laziness and retouching is replacing dedication to craft.  I have been criticized for the pursuit of perfection.  As an architectural photographer, if you're not constantly pursuing the perfect image then you're just not doing your job.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 10:13:01 AM by Chris Barrett »
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sam@

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #92 on: March 12, 2013, 10:41:07 AM »

Thanks Chris - I agree with much of that

Best regards

Sam
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David Eichler

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #93 on: March 17, 2013, 07:37:09 AM »

An example of an american architectural photographer who says he uses no supplementary lighting: http://scottfrances.com/

Personally, even if there are limitations of budget or logistics, it seems to me that having at least a small amount of compact, inexpensive lighting equipment at hand can be useful for some situations.
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FredBGG

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #94 on: March 17, 2013, 12:36:48 PM »

Funny thing the Op is in the nice position to have a Nikon and a P65. Not sure what's the struggle here depending on how you shoot and given the requirements of your clients not to mention your style. All you really need here  for the p65 is a tech cam, one or two lenses. This is really not that expensive if you stay with a simple Cambo tech cam and a 35xl which is great on that sensor. That's a 5k investment or so. Myself ii would be using the tech cam and lights like I always do but that's the way I work. Frankly I would reach for the tech cam almost every time and its not as slow as people think either. This also depends a lot on budget and end use as well as to what you need to deliver. I do find the comments between Europe and US style very interesting though. Myself I use lights as some fill and highlight areas and blend with natural light but that is usually what my clients want. If you go the Nikon route your still going to need lenses for that as well , so need to figure out your ROI. Style and client needs. Have fun with your choices, but you do have the largest investment in your hands now. Take advantage of that.

A couple of lenses for architecture?
Architecture involves shooting subjects with space limitation and dimensions that nearly always cannot be changed.
Hallways, stairwells, walk in closets, bathrooms. A building in the middle of other buildings.
Only two lenses is not a realistic option for a full fledged Architectural photographer.
For some situations a great wide angle zoom is very useful even if lens corrections are needed in post.

The first step in the ROI logic is getting the subject into the frame.

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JoeKitchen

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #95 on: March 17, 2013, 01:14:44 PM »

A couple of lenses for architecture?
Architecture involves shooting subjects with space limitation and dimensions that nearly always cannot be changed.
Hallways, stairwells, walk in closets, bathrooms. A building in the middle of other buildings.
Only two lenses is not a realistic option for a full fledged Architectural photographer.
For some situations a great wide angle zoom is very useful even if lens corrections are needed in post.

The first step in the ROI logic is getting the subject into the frame.



Although it would be great to have  5 or 6 or 8 lenses, realistically you will fall in love with one of them and shoot almost everything with that lens.  I remember once reading an essay by Jock Sturges where he said that for most shoots, he only brings one lens and one film type because it forces him to concentrate on the composition and light more.  Having too many lenses or film types only takes time away from composing the image because you now have to think about what lense should I use?

I think two lenses is more than enough to start with.  As long as you have a decently wide lens, no client is going to get annoyed.  None of my clients have a camera that even gets close enough to the width of a 35mm on a MF system, so they never complain that the shot is not wide enough.  Plus I hate going wide (or that wide) most of the time. 
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Joe Kitchen
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Chris Barrett

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #96 on: March 17, 2013, 01:44:45 PM »

When we shot interiors with 4x5 film, I carried 8 lenses and used all of them.  Nowadays I carry 4 lenses with my Rm3d.  I also keep the 5d2 + 17mm TS-E on hand for extreme wide scenarios which are very rare.  I carry an adapted Leica zoom which is nice for little details, too.  I have another 3 (longer) lenses for the view camera that only come out on furniture shoots.

So, even though I actually have several lenses, as Joe suggested, I shoot about 80% of my work with just one (in my case the 43mm).  When you have a high MP back, cropping in 15% or 20% is not an issue and allows bigger focal length gaps.

I don't find the Nikon particularly suitable for architecture.  Mind you I actually prefer Nikons and really miss my D3... but you just don't don't have the tilt/shift capabilities.  They have no 17mm and what lenses they do have constrain the tilt to a single axis.  Lame.  Canon's 17 & 24 with their independently rotating tilt and shift are far more useful and that 24 is one of the sharpest lenses I have ever seen.

Yada yada, etc, etc...

David Eichler

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #97 on: March 17, 2013, 02:08:39 PM »

.. why add to them by pointing out your own limitations, before you know what the actually budget or logistics are.

In a previous comment someone mentioned small client budgets as a reason that they don't use supplementary lighting. I am trying to say that no budget is too small (at least anything that is even worth considering shooting for) that someone can't bring a few small flashes or inexpensive halogen lights for at least occasional use.
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #98 on: March 17, 2013, 02:15:27 PM »

When we shot interiors with 4x5 film, I carried 8 lenses and used all of them.  Nowadays I carry 4 lenses with my Rm3d.  I also keep the 5d2 + 17mm TS-E on hand for extreme wide scenarios which are very rare.  I carry an adapted Leica zoom which is nice for little details, too.  I have another 3 (longer) lenses for the view camera that only come out on furniture shoots.

So, even though I actually have several lenses, as Joe suggested, I shoot about 80% of my work with just one (in my case the 43mm).  When you have a high MP back, cropping in 15% or 20% is not an issue and allows bigger focal length gaps.

I don't find the Nikon particularly suitable for architecture.  Mind you I actually prefer Nikons and really miss my D3... but you just don't don't have the tilt/shift capabilities.  They have no 17mm and what lenses they do have constrain the tilt to a single axis.  Lame.  Canon's 17 & 24 with their independently rotating tilt and shift are far more useful and that 24 is one of the sharpest lenses I have ever seen.

Yada yada, etc, etc...

Chris, what case do you use to carry everything?  Is it a Pelican 1510? 
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Joe Kitchen
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Chris Barrett

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Re: Architectural / interior photography - best equipment?
« Reply #99 on: March 17, 2013, 02:30:41 PM »

Pelican 1600's for hotlights and grip  Cheap and decent protection and weight.
Versaflex MU 1724's for strobe and HMI  Like Lightware on steroids.  Awesome protection.

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