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Photography Question 
Rachel Larson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/3/2005

Light Temperature: Buying Lights

I need purchase additional lighting. I currently have two soft boxes that are rather weak (250 watts each). My question is does color temperature play a big part in selecting lighting? I have seen several options with fluorescent lights ... that sounds kind of scary to me. Are these any good?

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9/4/2008 11:19:35 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Yes it does. You need to have your lights match to have consistent color, although you can use different light temperatures together for creative and aesthetic reasons.
And by match, I mean the color temp match. You can use different types of light that have the same color temperature

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9/4/2008 5:13:23 PM

John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Hi Rachel,
Fluorescent light sources have an irregular spectrum that only approximates the continuous spectrum of daylight, tungsten or strobes. Since the color output varies with 60 cycle electricity (or 50 cycle electricity if thatís what you have), a shutter speed of 1/30 or 1/15 is best. This will ensure you get a full cycle. There may be issues with specific lights and specific colors, but this is not a frequent problem.
Strobes are the best light source for still photography. They are consistent and powerful, and the color matches daylight. In addition, they do not make your studio into an oven.

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9/6/2008 8:34:14 AM

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