Of shoulders and loads
Well, I have been somewhat disconnected from email for the last few days, and I almost broke out in a rash from it, but it was worth it. Yesterday, I conducted a six hour workshop on lighting software at the 2003 Lightfair International, the annual Big Event in my chosen vocation’s calendar. I was told my proposal for the workshop was accepted back in October of last year, and ever since, May 5th has hung ominously from my shoulders, as I fretted over what the content should be, and whether it would be interesting enough to hold attention for six hours.
Today is May sixth; May fifth is history, and my shoulders have descended from their customary position of being pinned to my earlobes, to a much more relaxed and comfortable position. The weight has been lifted; mission accomplished.
From what I can tell, it was worthwhile for the attendees. It was certainly worthwhile for me, as it had been a long time since I’ve stood in front of a bunch of strangers to deliver a speech. Also, I was elightened during my research for the workshop; lighting calculation software has come a long way in the past few years, and many of the major players have really advanced their products to the point where the average ligting designer has easy access to a powerful suite of calculation and rendering tools.
As a recent convert to Radiance, I had hoped to win a few more during my presentation. Radiance has such a well-deserved reputation for being difficult to learn, but I wanted to show people that if I can do it (with my F in Algebra II from junior year of High School), then anyone could do it. While I think people were intrigued by its possibilities, I doubt many of the fifty assembled guests will take the plunge. I always felt that if I could convince just one or two people to at least investigate Radiance’s marvelous power, I’d be happy, but the reality is that I was there to show a vast cross section of people (Lighting Designers, Architects, Manufacturers, Surveyors) ALL the products out there, and the fact of the matter is that the current crop of lighting software is a long way from the capability of where it was just a few years ago.
Things are good for the Architectural Lighting Design community. I’m happy to see healthy competition amongst the leaders in the industry, and also to see a flurry of activity at the high end of things, as Radiance recently went open source and continues to be enhanced, over a decade after its inception.
The pickins are good, no matter your level of expertise, no matter your desire for complexity, no matter your desire for realism.
lighting simulationist, crossfitter, former drinker.