• 11-02-2006, 06:35 PM
    Shooting a picture of the light
    Hi folks, I'm new here and thought to seek your great advice on what I should do. This looks like a friendly forum full of sharp folks so here goes...

    I own a company that deals with structural and landscape lighting. We install systems that light up folks lives in residential and commercial applications. Shooting pictures of lighting fixtures and the light they output can be tricky and not all professional photographers can do it all that well. (We have managed to go through a few of them). Seems that the best pictures are by pros that also use photo shop computer programs to layer things etc.

    Having said that, I have snapped a few good late evening shots with my trusty Canon G2 but I really don't want to become a photographer or put the energy into it all. I'm just to busy for that. We often have magazines contact us asking if we have pictures for articles. Over time we have managed to save up a few in raw form on CD and we have some shots our pro did too. I would like to upgrade my old G2 and get the higher mega pixel camera maybe like the Canon G7. However, the G7 doesn't shoot in RAW format which it seems like people always ask for.

    Again, I would like to merely get good at shooting this one thing and this one thing only and I would be in heaven. I could shoot many pics then myself and really build up a library of project shots. I would be soooooooo grateful if y'all had any info on current cameras and what might help me get to where I want to be. Thanks kindly for helping this newbie here out.
  • 11-03-2006, 02:46 PM
    Re: Shooting a picture of the light
    Personally, I don't think RAW is that critical, unless you're going to do a bunch of adjustment. If your exposures are good then it shouldn't matter too much if the images are RAW files. If publishers want RAW files it's because they want to adjust them.

    On the other hand, RAW files do give you more flexibility. I always shoot RAW because I like to shoot dark to hold the highlights and then adjust my photos later. It actually sounds like you might benefit from this. If I were to shoot lights and scenes with lights, I would shoot multiple exposures and layer them in Photoshop, as you suggested. Having a slightly underexposed RAW file is an easy compromise that will deliver the same sort of final image.

    So maybe you should consider an entry-level digital SLR instead of the G7. A Canon Digital Rebel XT, Nikon D50, Olympus E-500, or Pentax digital SLR won't cost you too much more and will allow you to deliver much higher quality image files than the G7 would. Not only will you be able to shoot RAW, but the larger sensor has significantly less noise, and you will also be able to use wider lenses. I've shot some interiors before and wide lenses are very important.

    If you don't want to buy a digital SLR, consider a Canon G6, or one of the high-end Sony, Panasonic, or Nikon compacts. I think everyone but Canon is has high-end compacts that shoot RAW now. I don't know why Canon took RAW capability away from the G7 unless it's just to push people towards the Digital Rebel series. That's the only thing that makes sense.
  • 11-03-2006, 05:20 PM
    Re: Shooting a picture of the light
    Hey thanks for chiming in Photo-John. Sounds like good advice that you have. Was hoping to get some input on this, seems like I approached a subject that not to many know about however. Your input is greatly appreciated! :thumbsup: