5 tips to photograph a lighting installation

June 6, 2011 by CHAUVET DJ

By: Allan Reiss, product manager for CHAUVET®

The best way to produce photographs of lighting installations is by using a camera that utilizes interchangeable lenses, or a digital SLR. These cameras are ready to use right out of the box and perform a lot of functions that may appear intimidating to beginners. To get started, select a six megapixel or larger digital SLR and follow the five basic tips for photographing a lighting installation.

1. Resolution.

Set the camera to the largest resolution possible and set your digital SLR to shutter priority mode to use a long exposure. High resolution photos are required for sharp reproduction and using a lower ISO speed will make the image less grainy.

2. Flash.

Turn off your flash. Camera flashes tend to wash out the warm colors produced by lighting.

3. Tripod.

Affix your camera to a tripod and use the self-timer mode. Using a tripod (or something solid that won’t move to brace the camera) ensures the photo won’t be blurred from camera movement. Using the self-timer mode eliminates any shaking and blurring that may occur from pressing the camera shutter button.

4. Twilight.

Take your photos at twilight.  If you’re shooting a lighting installation outdoors, twilight is the best time to take your photos because you’ll capture some color in the sky, rather than the pitch-black tone that will be recorded on film later at night.

5. Mode.

Take more than one shot and use different modes.  Play around with different modes until you find the one that works best for you and what you’re trying to photograph. Resist using “night” or “low-light” mode…unless you want grainy photos!

Camera options vary so be sure to reference the manual if you are unsure about its functions and features. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different modes until you find the one that works for you!



Filed Under: Lighting for Mobile DJs