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Type of lighting for kitchen photos

This is a discussion on Type of lighting for kitchen photos within the Lighting forums, part of the Education & Technical category; Hi all. Been browsing around. Lots of great info much of which is way over my pay grade. We're looking ...

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    kriminaal is offline Junior Member
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    Default Type of lighting for kitchen photos

    Hi all. Been browsing around. Lots of great info much of which is way over my pay grade.
    We're looking to take photos of the kitchens we create for customers. Of course the main issue seems to be lighting.
    I've done some shots with my older Rebel XT and a Speedlight but still the darker cabinet colours are still coming up too dark.

    We're looking at buying the XTi and perhaps a studio light thinking that should help.
    Wondering about what would help out with this issue and what to look for in studio lights.

    thanks

    Mike

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    Natural light (not the beer) would be your best friend here. If natural light is not readily available, you will want a soft light. A harsh light will bounce off the varnish of cabinets too much. A studio light with a nice soft box should do the trick and runs about $250 or so.

    As for the camera, any basic DSLR will work.

    If you can, post some of the images of kitchens you've taken so far, so we can see what you are working with.
    "The worst thing about taking a great image is that your next one has to be better!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by theantiquetiger View Post
    Natural light (not the beer) would be your best friend here. If natural light is not readily available, you will want a soft light. A harsh light will bounce off the varnish of cabinets too much. A studio light with a nice soft box should do the trick and runs about $250 or so.

    As for the camera, any basic DSLR will work.

    If you can, post some of the images of kitchens you've taken so far, so we can see what you are working with.
    I'm not entirely unhappy with the painted kitchen.
    But the dark shaker one is not working. I'm very amateur as you can probably see.
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    You could simply buy another speedlight and bounce it, no need to buy another camera imo. 2 speedlights will likely cover loads of situations for you.

    The issue will be understanding what to do, but all that's required is a bit of practise.
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    Just so you know, perfect lighting takes a while to set up - it all depends what your expectations are.
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    Get a tripod, slow down your exposure and you will have all the light you need. Measuring in the right spot will guide you as well. Speed lights bounced do help, but may give you unwanted shadows. And don't forget to take your camera bag off the counter before you take the image.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt K. View Post
    Get a tripod, slow down your exposure and you will have all the light you need. Measuring in the right spot will guide you as well. Speed lights bounced do help, but may give you unwanted shadows. And don't forget to take your camera bag off the counter before you take the image.
    A keen eye you have Matt.
    I know, I need to do a lot of practicing. I enjoy taking photos but lack the patience. Kind of like the difference between catching and fishing.
    thanks for the help

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    Take a look at your second picture above, simple things to make it better:

    (BTW, what are you trying to showcase, the countertops, the cabinets, or do you do the entrie kitchen?)

    1. close the door in the background (left side of frame). The eye is naturally attracted to light, so it is the strongest thing in the image.

    2. Turn off all or most of the over head lights. Tungsten light is harsh light. The lights under the cabinets are great. The lights over the island look very nice but you lost all detail in them because they are on.

    3. Find the best angle to shoot. If the ceiling is white and the kitchen is dark, try to capture as little as the ceiling as possible.

    4. Decorate the kitchen. The first image above only has a coffee maker in it. On you last day of work, load a box of stuff that people have on their counters. The second one is a little better with the cookbook, cake plate, etc. It adds warmth to the image, not just a sterile kitchen.

    5. Get a HDR software and process image in HDR (iphones have HDR built it) (I am going to HDR the second one for you to show you what I mean)

    here is a faux HDR effect I did of the second one. This is just for an idea, it is not the greatest (I have a free version, so it stamps the water mark, but the software is $99)



    Here is yours (to compare the two)
    Last edited by theantiquetiger; 06-21-2013 at 01:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by theantiquetiger View Post

    (BTW, what are you trying to showcase, the countertops, the cabinets, or do you do the entrie kitchen?)
    Yes we do the entire kitchen.
    Very good tips. I will definitely try using those.

    Downloading a trial of Photomatix now.
    thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by kriminaal View Post
    Yes we do the entire kitchen.
    Very good tips. I will definitely try using those.

    Downloading a trial of Photomatix now.
    thanks
    You have to understand what HDR is. It is usually a combination of three of the exact same images, shot at different exposures (under exposed, normal, over exposed). It takes the three images and layers them together to highlight the darks, lights, etc. If you have a DSLR camera, you simply set it up in bracketing,to take the three shots back to back to back. You have to use a tripod to insure the three images are exact. What I did to the image above, I made two copies and lowered the exposure on one, over exposed the other and than ran the three through the software.

    This software will as create a HDR out of two images as well.
    "The worst thing about taking a great image is that your next one has to be better!"

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