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  • Photography Recommendations

    I thought it would be good to start a thread about photographing our finished pieces. Anny hints would be good. I know sometimes I get the flash shining on the wrong spots.
    Does anyone use auxiliary lighting?
    I have started putting some items on a black fleece vest I have, It makes a nice smooth background for snapping a picture.
    CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

  • #2
    I've been known to hold cotton wool over the camera flash unit to dissipate the strong light. It works a treat.

    Gill
    There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
    (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

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    • #3
      There is nothing better than Mother nature. You will not get any better lighting conditions than outside. Just watch the sun glare. I like to shoot in the shade.
      John T.

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      • #4
        Carl, we have a large picture window on the north side of the house, I take the majority of my pictures there to get the natural light or outside. I lay the item on the grass. Never use the flash. Taking pictures of clocks, always set the hands at 10 to 2 or 10 after 10. Mick
        Mick, - Delta P-20

        A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

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        • #5
          I agree about outside light being the best. However, when that's not possible, I douse auxiliary lighting. I set up three clamp lamps with 100w cool white bulbsone to the left of the object, back by about 20 degrees, one to the right, also back by about 20 degrees, and one just to my left as I stand by the camera. Each lamp is about six feet from the object. All the lights are about 3 feet higher than the level of the object.

          If my camera indicates it wants to use the flash, I move the lights closer, or if a lot of background shows in the shot, I choose a lighter background. I try never to let the flash go off.

          I take digital pictures and process them through Photoshop Elements. The incandescent-lit image requires a little adjustment -- The "Auto Levels", "Auto Contrast", or "Auto Color Correction" one-click fixes usually result in a good pic with true colors. If I used more specialized lights I wouldn't have to do this, but it's a trivial thing to do.

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          • #6
            Thanks

            Always a wealth of knowledge on this forum

            Best part is what I have to pay for it
            Thanks!
            CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
            "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
            Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mick Walker
              Carl, we have a large picture window on the north side of the house, I take the majority of my pictures there to get the natural light or outside. I lay the item on the grass. Never use the flash. Taking pictures of clocks, always set the hands at 10 to 2 or 10 after 10. Mick
              Quite true that this is a customary practice for catalogues and advertisements. It's because the maker's name is customarily inscribed in the lower half of the face, and this arrangement allows it to be seen.

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              • #8
                right on

                I agree with John T. In the shade on a bright sunny day with no flash gives best results.
                Keep close to the threshold of where the sun and shade meet.
                Fred

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                • #9
                  Just be careful shooting in the shade...it will give you a VERY cool color palette (almost like shooting under UV lights). That's mainly in the deep shade...I'd rather shoot outside out of the direct sunlight, but not in the shade...if that makes any sense.

                  We're also planning an article on photography dos and don'ts in the next issue of SSW.

                  Bob
                  www.GrobetUSA.com

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                  • #10
                    Curious. How or where do you find the out of direct sunlight but not in it. Maybe filtered somehow ?
                    Fred

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                    • #11
                      Sorry Fred,
                      I should have been more specific. By out of direct sunlight, I meant not in the middle of a sunny field on a cloudless day. It's very difficult not to get glare under those circumstances. But you also don't want to prop your work up under a tree full of leaves--a deep shade. If you shoot in the shadow of a house, or when the sun is behind a cloud, or something like that, your photo should turn out fine!

                      Bob
                      www.GrobetUSA.com

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                      • #12
                        Yea, what he said.
                        John T.

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                        • #13
                          be careful of backgrounds

                          Beyond the lighting, perhaps the trickiest part deals with background. As someone who takes many pictures for items to be placed on ebay, this is an issue that I am very conscious of.

                          The best background for almost all shots is a relatively neutral gray or blue-gray that will make the item stand out without being overwhelmed.

                          I have seen many pictures of items for sale that have a very cluttered background. I live in a mobile home park with a dark blue car and an antenna on its roof. If I were, for example, to take a picture of a wood puzzle that I had made, and put that puzzle onto the roof of my car (because it allows me good height and sunlight), you would not only see the puzzle, but all of the background clutter listed above.

                          Believe it or not, I have a bed sheet that I use that is almost ideal in its color for a background.

                          Almost as important, if you can get one, would be a tripod for keeping the camera still, especially in macro mode on any camera, especially if you are not using the built-in flash in most cameras.

                          If your intention is to put the items on ebay, you may want to consider setting the camera, if it's digital, for 800X600 resolution. Yes, it is the lowest resolution possible, but nothing more is needed on any website. In fact, the larger the pixel resolution, the longer it takes to upload or download the image. A person with dialup, waiting to see your picture, will quickly get off your site because they got tired of waiting for a 1.5MB image to download at 56kb speeds.

                          Sorry for the speech, but my advise comes from much experience with taking pictures over the years.

                          Clynim

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                          • #14
                            It's tough to make a good photo for online viewing without using a software program to crop, enhance, and reduce the size. This is especially true for ebay, which limits your pictures to 400 by 400 pixels (you can pay a little extra and get 600 x 600, or you can use html to draw in pictures stored elsewhere).

                            The best way to get a picture file of downloadable size is to use the "save for web" or similar option in the software you use to process your photo. If there's no obvious "save for web" option, then find the function that allows you to change the resolution to 72 dots per inch. This is the standard resolution of monitor screens, so any higher resolution for a picture that's only going to be viewed on a screen is wasted bits.

                            For ebay specifically, you need to make the size of your photo fit into a 400 x 400 pixel square. So you have to crop it, or a 600 x 800 picture comes out 400 x 300. Properly cropped square, you can get more room for the subject.


                            A flat neutral background is good, but an appropriate background that is not busy is better. I have listed hundreds of small turned objects and scrollsawn ornaments on Ebay, and finally I settled on a piece of unfinished walnut with relatively even grain that really lets the items stand out while creating a woody atmosphere. I've used this strategy for other wooden objects with success.

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                            • #15
                              Whatever you do, do NOT shoot something on carpet. That is one of the worst backgrounds...the texture of the carpet comfuses the camera and everything looks bad.

                              Bob
                              www.GrobetUSA.com

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