Photographing Lighting Installations

September 5, 2016 · 1 comment

in Interiors,Tutorials

Photographing interior lighting installations can be tricky because you need to expose for the interior and balance your lighting for the illuminated lights that are a different colour temperature from the ambient light temperature of the room.

To do this, you need to have knowledge of the different colour temperatures of the various light sources and how they translate onto film or a digital image.

For example, tungsten lights emit an orange colour cast, while fluorescent lights produce a green cast, and daylight creates a blue cast. These different colours are expressed using a number and are measured in Kelvin. The Kelvin sale is an extension of the Celsius scale. It’s based on the colour of the light as it is emitted from a hypothetical black body. Think of a fire … When the flame is at a low temperature, the colour of the flame is red. At a higher temperature, the flame changes to bluish tones. Hot Kelvin temperatures have a bluish tint to the light.


Our eyes adapt to changes in colour temperature, which is why we perceive natural colours in different lighting conditions. However, film and digital sensors are not as advanced and, as a result, they ‘see’ objects as being different colours depending on the type of lighting. This can lead to photos having a colour cast – an overall blue or orange tint, which makes the image appear unnatural and unpleasing.

Usually, the solution is quite straightforward – simply adjust the white balance on your camera. However, what if the scene being photographed has multiple light sources of varying colour temperatures?

This is why it is so important to hire a professional photographer who understands light temperature and who can manipulate the colour of light to create images with balanced lighting and that are free of colour casts.

Below are a few examples of how I’ve balanced for ambient light and a variety of interior light sources, to produce clean images free from colour casts.

Paragon-Boston-03-Rikki-Hibbert-PhotographyJava-Capital-09-Rikki-Hibbert  Paragon-Boston-15-Rikki-Hibbert-Photography Paragon-Boston-17a-Rikki-Hibbert-Photography Paragon-Interiors-Jacaranda-03-Rikki-Hibbert-Photography Paragon-Interiors-Jacaranda-12-Rikki-Hibbert-Photography Paragon-Zenith-Optimedia-08-Rikki-Hibbert Paragon-Zenith-Optimedia-11-Rikki-Hibbert Publicis-Machine-02-Rikki-Hibbert Publicis-Machine-12-Rikki-Hibbert

Rezco-07-Rikki-Hibbert-Photography Publicis-Machine-13-Rikki-Hibbert






{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Erika van Zyl September 6, 2016 at 8:01 am

These images are fabulous!

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