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  1. #1
    stradibarrius's Avatar
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    can you tell the difference between flash and hot lights?

    When you look at a shot you really like and you start to analyze how it was lit, are there clues that tip you off to whether the shot was done using strobes or hot lights?
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
    Flicker http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradibarrius
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    Barry
    Monroe, GA

  2. #2

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    If it's nude and the model seems nice and comfy, it's a hot light.
    If the model is sweating, it's a hot light.
    If the studio is on fire, it's a hot light.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  3. #3
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Strobes tend to be daylight balanced which is about 55000° Kelvin while hot lights are tungsten balanced at 32000° Kelvin. I prefer hot lights because you can see lighting ratios easier. Also, hot lights tend to be cheaper, but you gotta replace bulbs.
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  4. #4
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    I look back at the 1930s glamour shots of movie stars and wish I could do that with flash, but no way. Hot lights can give you a real edge in set up and getting the right look before you shoot, IMHO. I miss them.

  5. #5
    MDR
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    Look at the eyes Hot light often equals closed pupils and flash open pupils. This isn't always the case though. Frozen movements is in most cases flashlight. Prefer hot light as well.

  6. #6
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Oooh like these?

    http://georgehurrell.com/
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Other than MDR's tips above about the eyes and stopped action, I would say that the answer is "no".

    What does happen, however, is that certain photographers tend to gravitate to one or the other. What I tend to notice is the difference between the photographers' approach, rather than the equipment they use. And that approach is either influenced by the choice of equipment, or the choice of equipment is influenced by the approach.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  8. #8
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I remember my first photo class that involved artificial lighting they taught us strobes. I felt I had no control. Later, I got a job assisting a photographer that used hot lights. It was a true revelation for me. Hot lights have a richness that strobes don't have. I use both, but I prefer hot lights. Especially using LF. Way easier to focus than strobe modeling lights.
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  9. #9

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    I worked in a UK studio 40 years ago that had both, 12" and larger hot lamp fresnel units and a number of them that had been converted to electronic flash. The easiest way to tell was look at the exposure settings written on the 4x5 negative sleeves. In winter the hot lamps were handy to have. Other than the size of peoples pupils, it was impossible to tell, the lighting effects were identical, as they should be considering the light units were identical except for the bulb holders.
    Bob

  10. #10
    macandal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    I remember my first photo class that involved artificial lighting they taught us strobes. I felt I had no control. Later, I got a job assisting a photographer that used hot lights. It was a true revelation for me. Hot lights have a richness that strobes don't have. I use both, but I prefer hot lights. Especially using LF. Way easier to focus than strobe modeling lights.
    I feel the same way. I'm a newbie at lighting. In my class too, we were taught strobes and, like you, I felt I had no control over them. When all of you talk about hot lights, are you referring to "continuous" light or the "lamp"-looking thing that cannot be regulated (as far as power is concerned; i.e., quantity of light)? I was shopping for some lights and I wanted to get continuous as opposed to strobe. I don't know if I'm confused. Thanks. (Sorry for jumping on this thread. Didn't mean to take it on a tangent.)
    --Mario

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