Continuous lighting for Kitchen Interiors

Started Aug 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Jarvis393 Contributing Member • Posts: 546
Continuous lighting for Kitchen Interiors

I have an opportunity to photograph the interior of a house that my cabinet shop produced work for. Some of these spaces are quite large and are going to need a commensurately large volume of light.

I have a half dozen speedlites and am gradually getting more comfortable with how to the modify the light to mitigate shadows or brighten up dark spots. My basic workflow is to dial in shutter speed until I am happy with the ambient shot then add light as needed to fill in the dark spots. I'm shooting with a Canon 5dmk2. F-stop is typically around 7.1 and ISO @ 320.

I started out with umbrellas but found it hard to predict or control spill. From there I moved to lighting through a large flat diffusion panel. I think this is called a scrim. Between the diffusion panel and bouncing off intersection of wall & ceiling I got shots that weren't exactly stellar to a photography buff but certainly good enough to sell kitchens.

My current experiments have me bouncing speedlites off a Lastolite reflector. I find that by angling this at intersection of wall and ceiling I get the light coming from where it ought to start but only have one facet to contend with for reflection angles.

I wanted to run an idea by the crew here for lighting the big rooms.

I have available two Arris Fresnel lights. My thinking is to use these as the key light and fill in with speedlights as needed. I know that I will be mixing temperatures with the tungsten and flash but could easily gel one or the other. Most of the house is warm white oak so probably the tungsten colors might be better for the white balance.

I have never worked with continuous lights before but the principles have got to be the same, right? Could I get to soft light by putting a diffusion panel in front of the fresnel?

Or, if larger lights make more sense, should I consider renting some other kind of light altogether? If so, what kind of continuous lighting would be best for shooting architectural interiors?

An additional agenda for learning about continuous lighting is that I want to start making movies of my kitchens and the speedlights won't help me there. I do, however, plan to mix a lot of still shots with video so temperature consistency would be good to learn about early.

Any suggestions about how to break into continuous lighting for interiors?

Canon EOS 5D
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