SoLux Lighting

February 28, 2011 | Leave a Comment |

Good light makes your prints appear even more beautiful. Get good light. It’s one of the most essential elements in any photographic image, at the point of capture, during processing, and at the point of display.

SoLux (www.solux.net) makes good light. SoLux bulbs’ Color Rendering Indexes (rating used to describe the quality of light) are 99 on a scale of 100. All SoLux bulbs are full smooth spectrum and ultra low UV and IR. SoLux bulbs come in a variety of color temperatures – 3500K, 4100K, 4700K, and 5000K. SoLux bulbs come in a variety of beam angles – 10-36 degrees. Low voltage (12 volt), SoLux bulbs fit in standard MR-16 2 pin socket fixtures and adaptors are available for regular screw in fixtures.

While light has many important qualities, two are particularly significant; temperature and spectral power distribution.

Most prints are viewed under light temperatures warmer than 5000K, typically a mix of tungsten (2800K) and daylight (variable). Galleries and museums favor halogen (2900K). Studies suggest that more people prefer viewing artwork under higher color temperatures (3500K).

A majority of artificial light sources, including fluorescent, metal halide, and LEDs, have an uneven distribution of colors. Graphs of light sources with uneven spectral distributions display spikes in specific regions of the spectrum. Spikes limit the number of available colors in a spectrum to discern an object’s color. Due to missing colors in between spikes, objects may look dull or gray. When a spectrum is uneven, hues that are found in elevated levels appear brighter while hues that are found in low levels appear duller. Spikes create an imbalance in the relationships between hues. When possible, avoid lights that have them.

Incandescent light contains large amounts of yellow, orange, and red light. Though not as extreme, halogen suffers from the same tendencies. Cool white fluorescent light may produce a white that is cooler in appearance, but all fluorescent lights have uneven spectral distributions.

How important is viewing light? Very. To many, at first glance, the differences may seem subtle. To truly appreciate the differences you need a side-by-side comparison of the same or identical objects in spikey and smooth spectrum light sources.

The curators of the Van Gogh Museum (Netherlands) visited their traveling collection while it was on display at the National Gallery of Art (US). “What have you done with our paintings?” they exclaimed. They thought they had been cleaned. “Nothing.” was the reply. The real answer was in the light – SoLux. Under full spectrum light sources the paintings appeared significantly brighter, clearer, and more saturated. The Van Gogh Museum now uses SoLux bulbs. More and more museums are beginning to use SoLux bulbs as well.

I use SoLux 3500K bulbs for my studio and gallery. I evaluate and display prints under the same light, one that most closely approximates the display conditions prints are most likely to be viewed under. I use four SoLux Gooseneck fixtures for portable light sources; two with 3500K bulbs to evaluate display conditions and two with 5000K bulbs to evaluate color management issues (calibration, softproofing, and profiles).

I recommend to owners of my prints that they strongly consider using 3500K SoLux bulbs for display and viewing.

To see, you need light. So it stands to reason that the light you view your prints in is extremely important. All lights are not created equally. For the best results, choose a high quality light source.

SoLux bulb

Spectral curves comparing 3500K halogen (yellow) and SoLux (red)

Spectral curves for 5000K fluorescent gti lightbox (blue) and SoLux (red)

Visit www.solux.net to find out more about their products and light (there are excellent resources there on the science of light).

Contact Phil Bradfield – phil@solux.net or 800-254-4487.

Find out more about the tools I use here.

Learn more in my digital photography workshops.

“Getting your Canon Speedlite to produce the light you need can be a real challenge. For those new to flash photography—or for anyone who has previously given up out of frustration—Speedliter’s Handbook is a revelation. Photographer Syl Arena takes you on a journey that begins with an exploration of light and color, moves through a comprehensive discussion of the Canon Speedlite family and all of the accessories and equipment available to the Speedliter, then settles down to crafting great light in one photo shoot after another. Whether you want to create a classical portrait, shoot an event, or simply add a little fill light to a product shot, Speedliter’s Handbook shows you how.

Illustrated with over 500 images, Speedliter’s Handbook covers:

•    how your camera sees versus how you see light
•    all the buttons and dials of the entire Canon Speedlite family
•    the basics of on-camera flash…and getting your flash off the camera
•    how to beautifully balance flash with the existing ambient light
•    all the equipment necessary for great Speedlite shots
•    how to get amazing shots with just one Speedlite
•    how and when to use E-TTL versus manual flash
•    the use of color gels to balance color, as well as create dramatic effects
•    how to tame the sun—or any really bright light—with hi-speed sync
•    and much, much more

Whether you’re shooting portraits, events, or sports, Speedliter’s Handbook is an essential resource that teaches you how to craft the light you need for any type of shot you want.”

Find out more about Syl’s lighting seminar and workshop series.

Get the book here.

Learn more at Speedliting.com.

Read more

raggimidnightlagoon

Ragnar th Sigurdsson treated us to a midnight display of lighting techniques at Iceland’s glacial lagoon Jokullsarlon.

Multiple exposures for multiple Photoshop layers. Fantastic light. Glowing icebergs beached on black sand at tide line. Venus on horizon. Magic.

Taking artificial light into the field is just one thing we explore in our workshop. Have you ever tried it?

If you’re in Iceland, next Saturday is the annual firework display over the glacial lagoon.

Reserve your space in my 2011 Iceland workshop here.

Find out about my digital photography workshops here.

Van Gogh and Solux

January 12, 2010 | Leave a Comment |

Even masterpieces look better in good light!

Find out more about Solux here.

Get my free Review here.

Learn more in my Fine Art Digital Printing DVD here.

Try Solux in my Fine Art Digital Printing workshops.


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