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Kevin Hawco
Golden Pheasant
Username: Kevinhawco

Post Number: 512
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: host81-151-84-39.range81-151.btcentralplus.com
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2006 - 07:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry Iím not offering any tips, Iím hoping for some from you :-)

The subject of digital cameras has been discussed before and many recommendations of specific models were given. Actually I think that most cameras are probably perfectly capable of giving good results.

After many many attempts at taking photos of ceramic pieces Iíve come to the conclusion that the main problem areas are lighting the subject and keeping the camera steady.

I could never understand why I took so many out of focus photos Ö until I realised that because the lighting was not very good the camera shutter speed was fairly low which meant that even the slightest shaking of the camera as I took the shot showed up as fuzzy photo. Iím sorry if this is painfully obvious to any photographers out there, but itís taken me a while to get to this stage.

Keeping the camera steady Ė I suppose a tripod is the obvious solution?

Lighting the subject Ė for those of us who canít rely on natural daylight, we must use artificial lighting. But which type? Ordinary lamps can affect the colour of the resulting photos so much it is often very difficult to correct even after fiddling for ages with photo editing software.

Going by the photos posted on this site there are obviously some excellent photographers among you. Would you care to share your tips for a successful photo?

Regards
Kevin
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keith jennings
White Crane
Username: Elvis

Post Number: 1724
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 68-189-151-110.dhcp.ahvl.nc.charter.com
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2006 - 07:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Kevin,

I have not tried these yet but they supposedly work. They are called OTT bulbs, here is a link - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001DU9VQ/qid=1138168773/sr=8-15/ref=sr_8_xs_a p_i15_xgl60/102-6369641-5428142?n=507846&s=hi&v=glance

Keith
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Tim Hartill
Peacock
Username: Timhartill

Post Number: 446
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: conr-adsl-209-169-97-52.consolidated.net
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2006 - 07:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Kevin,

An inexpensive solution for lighting is to invest in a couple of screw-in fluorescent lights (the type that are now widely available as substitutes for ordinary incandescent bulbs).

The sort you need are the ones that emit light in the daylight spectrum (around 5000 Kelvins) vs the more common ones that emit light at 3500 Kelvins or so.

You can buy these on xBay although the ones I've seen there are for US fittings and voltage.

Once you get the bulbs figured out, I picked up a couple of stands with reflectors and light fittings cheaply on xbay. Failing that, a couple of old desk lamps would do just fine.

For keeping the camera steady, tripods are sold en masse, also on xBay and you can get a good one there for $25 or so.

Hope this helps.

Tim
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Tim Hartill
Peacock
Username: Timhartill

Post Number: 447
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: conr-adsl-209-169-97-52.consolidated.net
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2006 - 08:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Keith and I posted at the same time - the ones he pointed to are the sort I mean but make sure they specifically say they are at around 5000 kelvins (they'll say "5100K" or something like that).

You should be able to find ones in the $10 - $15 range that do the job.

Tim
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Giovanni Repetti
Peacock
Username: Grepetti

Post Number: 605
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: host184-43.pool873.interbusiness.it
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2006 - 08:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Kevin,
just a few notes. I am not an expert on digital cameras. I actually prefer analog cameras, but for some purposes like posting images we need them. When I started to post on this site I bought a Nikon camera which later some gentleman stolen from my house. Then I bought a Pentax which is the one that I am using now and often asked myself if the color rendition is the same or not. Well, yesterday I bought a Nikon camera to present to my daughter and today I took pictures using both cameras of my ground celadon Kangxi vase, which gave me a lot of headache a while ago in trying to photograph it properly. Well, the color rendition is not the same. The Nikon is in my opinion more natural. The reason why I bought the Pentax is that it has also a manual focus adjusting, which can be useful in case of low contrast subject (i.e. a Dehua piece).
Are you sure that your images where blurry and not out of focus? Many autofocus systems have problems in focusing light reflecting surfaces, like glass or glazes. In such cases the best to do is to place a flat object (for example the corner of a black sheet of paper) on the point that you are focussing, then press half way the shot button, take off the paper and press the button completely. Light as you say is the most important point; I prefer to take pictures in shadow, because direct sunlight increases the contrast unnaturally due to the limited pose latitude of the digital sensor (films too). Before to take pictures I always set the white balance manually. This is very important for a correct color rendition. Do not relay on automatic white balancing and follow your camera instructions for a manual white balance setting. Both in sunlight that in shadow the main problem is the light reflection on the glaze surface, which strongly alter the color rendition. My plans is to build a do-it-yourself artificial light box, which will allow me to take pictures in a controlled environment and at any time. I do not know, in this case, how to avoid light reflections. I will try diffuse lighting (umbrella) and polarized filter. The lamp quality is important because, though digital cameras has a white balance feature, if a light wavelenght is missed in the source then a lack of the correspondent color will occur. Halogen and daylight fluorescent lamps are suitable. I know Osram and Philips lamps that have a very good light spectrum but I do not know if in the USA you have the same codes. When I will be ready with my top table lighting studio I will share it (if it works)Upload
Good luck
Giovanni
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keith jennings
White Crane
Username: Elvis

Post Number: 1726
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 68-189-151-110.dhcp.ahvl.nc.charter.com
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2006 - 08:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I find poster board works really well as a backdrop, its inexpensive and readily available at any art supply store. I always have several sheets of white and black around.

Keith
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Giovanni Repetti
Peacock
Username: Grepetti

Post Number: 606
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: host184-43.pool873.interbusiness.it
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2006 - 08:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, we have all posted at the same time.
Good luck again Kevin.
Giovanni
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Walter Susor
Peacock
Username: Wsus

Post Number: 335
Registered: 08-2003
Posted From: adsl-69-110-44-119.dsl.pltn13.pacbell.net
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2006 - 09:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kevin,

As Giovanni has mentioned, the correct white balance is critical. I have been most unsuccessful in correcting whites with photoshop, but if your camera has an adjustable white balance, use a neutral grey card to set the balance. This should give true and reproducible colors under almost any light. I use a Kodak neutral grey card (about $15 from a professional photo supplier). Remember when photographing with daylight the color temperature of the light is changing continually and you must frequently reset the white balance. Always use a tripod. Even the most steady hand cannot hold a camera still enough to capture fine detail. You may also have to use the sharpen tool in your photo editor. I have heard that consumer camera models have built-in sharpening on their firmware, but prosumer and professional camera models leave the final sharpening to the user. I think that the lenses of digital cameras are not as sharp as those we are used to with film cameras.

The setup that I have been using consists of a tripod, a piece of grey paper over a plywood base on the sofa, and the neutral grey card. It can be set up or removed in about a minute. The light source is a window to the left and another behind. I can adjust the light somewhat by opening or closing blinds.

By the way, I think that it is good to have some reflection to show the quality of the glaze surface.

Mike Vermeer showed his studio-like set up in a thread about a year ago. Here is mine:

Upload
The card on the sofa is the neutral grey card.

Regards, Walter
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Kevin Hawco
Golden Pheasant
Username: Kevinhawco

Post Number: 514
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: host81-151-84-39.range81-151.btcentralplus.com
Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2006 - 02:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks everyone for all these great tips. I will certainly try out all your ideas and I'm sure they will make a big difference.

I'll get myself a tripod and some of those 'high temperature' bulbs and investigate the white balance settings on my camera. I'll have no excuse for bad photos then ;-)

Thanks again

Kevin
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Mike Vermeer
Dragon (Board Moderator)
Username: Teadust

Post Number: 1592
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: ca-eglrck-cuda2-c1a-100.vnnyca.adelphia.net
Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2006 - 02:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Kevin,

I've found that digital cameras don't require the intensely bright light that film cameras do. Ordinary 75 watt halogen lamp bulbs work fine in a reflector housing or in simple desk lamps (the type you see used in the fairs with the swing arms with a base or a clamp). Setting the white balance on the camera is paramount to get true color rendition. It can change sometimes while taking pictures and you'll notice your pictures are yellowed and it cannot be corrected with photo software because that alters all the other colors as well. It's all trial and error with your specific situation and camera. Don't get disheartened. Most of the better mid-range later cameras have a "steady cam" option built into the camera so slight nervous shaking won't transfer to the picture. My camera has that feature and it certainly does help because even on a tripod the camera can and usually does wiggle slightly as you press the shutter, at least that happens for me. Lots of good tips from everyone thus far. Good luck.

Mike
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Scott Loar
White Crane
Username: Scottloar

Post Number: 1373
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 218.1.83.212
Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2006 - 03:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Registering the true colours of a piece is probably the hardest to do and I've tried everything with my Minolta digital - flash, no flash, direct and indirect sunlight, white/grey/black background - yet it seems that posing the piece close to a pattern in its primary colour serves to bring out the closest colour. For example, I posted a black-and-russet bowl posed against a straw tatami but registered against the edge of an orange-red silk pillow and - voila! - the subtle colours of the bowl came out very well I think. Or so I ascribe that reasoning.
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Giovanni Repetti
Peacock
Username: Grepetti

Post Number: 607
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: host184-43.pool873.interbusiness.it
Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2006 - 05:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have two more tips. Halogen lamps emits on infrared also and this, in case of close up pictures, will substantially heat the piece if the lamp is too close to it. In this case what will happen is a localized heating which will increase strengths in case of hairline. The second tip is that all built-in light metering are calibrated on the medium gray, so if one is taking pictures of a dark piece the color will result clear than the original and if the piece is white the color will result slight gray. These is true in the case that the piece is almost filling the image. In such cases the exposure factor must be corrected by under or over exposing for a factor of 0,3 or 0,7.
Regards, Giovanni
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CJ Elfont
Lesser Egret
Username: Cjelfont

Post Number: 16
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: user-11fau6o.dsl.mindspring.com
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2006 - 03:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'll throw in something also. If you are shooting digital, try auto white balance first - if this does not work properly, then, if your camera has the function, do a white balance similar to Walter's suggestion using an 18% Grey card. Another thing you can do to minimize glare is to use some sort of diffuser in front of your light source, Also, a reflector is great for throwing light into a shadow area if you don't have a dual light source. If you are shooting in dirct sunlight, then a diffuser is a must - go to the supermarket and buy those semi-opaque cutting board sheet - cheap and great for diffusing light. The best light to shoot in outdoors will be a semi-overcast condition when the light is naturally difuse.

Check your result after you shoot a few shots - I go over to the computer and check the result in Photoshop (you can use any photo manipulation software - for those of you without a program, try Picasa.com and download it for free - an excellent down and dirty manipulation software that is easy to use and doesn't cost a dime!) to make sure the color balance for the piece is correct. And once you get it correct, do bracket your exposures - I like to bracket at least one f/stop-shutter speed over and one under as well as the indicated exposure. Bracketing saves you time trying to figure out whether an overexposure or underexposure might be best for the particular piece you are shooting.

And a tripod is really the best way to assure a sharp picture, even with cameras that have internal stabilization built in - when shooting on a tripod, turn the internal stabilization off if possible and use a cable release if possible. Also, shoot at a small f/stop (f/11 to f/22 seems to work well for most subjects)to maximize sharpness - I like to shoot in aperture preferred mode as this allows me to pick my f/stop and the camera sets the shutter speed and I bracket every shot.

CJ
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Tommy EklŲf
Dragon (Board Moderator)
Username: Toekl2002

Post Number: 1040
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: h51n9c1o1027.bredband.skanova.com
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2006 - 09:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi all

Thank you all for very good tips. Mike says that "...usually does wiggle slightly as you press the shutter". Most of the cameras has a self-timer. I often set my cameras self-timer to two seconds to avoid shutter wiggles.

Tommy
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CJ Elfont
Lesser Egret
Username: Cjelfont

Post Number: 18
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: user-11fau6o.dsl.mindspring.com
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2006 - 07:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry - forgot to suggest the self-timer if you have one. Another tip is, if possible, don't use auto-focus. When dealing with curved surfaces and areas that have no distinct margins on which auto-focus depends for locking focus in, it is better to use manual focus so that you can pick the area that you want to be in sharpest focus. Many (sadly, not all) point and shoots have the ability to manually focus, and this, coupled with the smaller aperture I mentioned previously, gives you a head start on sharpness.

CJ
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David Huang
Silver Pheasant
Username: Dhuang

Post Number: 128
Registered: 05-2004
Posted From: h-66-167-137-204.sttnwaho.dynamic.covad.net
Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 12:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My old Fuji digital has settings for various types of lighting. I find that the incandescent setting with halogen lights and a grey background gives a very good color balance. I use a tripod so that the lamps don't have to be close.

David Huang
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Salvador Trabanino
White Crane
Username: Salltrag

Post Number: 1569
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: cache-rtc-aa07.proxy.aol.com
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 08:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My photographs are rather notorious for their lack of artistry, and I haven't followed any of the advice on this thread to take these photos that I present as a tip to make a rather glossy piece look a bit better, by softening the edges of the light reflected on the piece. I am sure that with a gray background, self timer, etc. the photos would improve a lot.
The effect is obtained by spraying the piece at a distance of about 10 inches with "Workable Fixatif." The fixative can be removed afterwards with alcohol and a rag or paper towel.
The idea to do it came to me after being a bit upset at the overspraying of some pieces on the book "Chinese Ceramics" from the Museum of East Asian Art, Bath England.
I really don't know how useful this will be, but I had to try it.
Regards,
Sal
UploadUpload
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CJ Elfont
Lesser Egret
Username: Cjelfont

Post Number: 33
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: user-1120bcb.dsl.mindspring.com
Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 10:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sal,

Why don't you save yourself a lot of work by getting hold of a kitchen or home catalogue and ordering a couple of the translucent, frosted, very thin cutting boards that most of these catalogues carry. If I recall correctly they cost about $6-10.00 US, come in various sizes, last forever, and soften the light without the mess.

Just a suggestion - try it - you might like it!

CJ
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Salvador Trabanino
White Crane
Username: Salltrag

Post Number: 1570
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: cache-dtc-ac07.proxy.aol.com
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 02:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear CJ: I didn't know they existed! Thanks for the tip. I felt a lot of misgivings as I was posting this, but I felt that it might come in handy. I will check on the item you mention.
Regards,
Sal
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CJ Elfont
Lesser Egret
Username: Cjelfont

Post Number: 35
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: user-1120bcb.dsl.mindspring.com
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 04:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sal,

No problem - it's something I messed with a long time ago in an attempt to shoot flowers under a hot, direct sun - and I wanted to do it cheap - and this worked out for me. Now, it works for just about everything when I want to tone down and soften the direct light. There's a few more tricks you might try also - if you r interested let me know and I'll post them.

CJ
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John Wocher
Dragon (Board Moderator)
Username: Johninjapan

Post Number: 2724
Registered: 09-2003
Posted From: 210.162.146.228
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 04:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greetings - Interesting thread.
There is such a thing as a 'Studio in a Box' at most camera store for about $100. It contains two correct lights on tripod legs, a white cloth box to place your object within to diffuse light correctly, and some colored backgrounds. It is touted as the solution for perfect photos on . I just got one, but have not used it yet. White balance is crucial, and for cameras that allow custom white balance, it makes a world of difference. Preview depth of field essential too. Tripod and shutter release essential in lower light to avoid camera shake.
I shoot now (from two months ago) with the Canon EOS 5D and 24-105 lens now, with remote release, always with custom white balance for each shot. At 12.7 MP clarity is crystal, depth of field with ISO adjustable, and now with diffused lighting, my photos should be a lot better. Also, a macro (I use a Canon 50mm Macro) makes close ups much better. Point and shoot digitals have the MPs but lack the flexibility of through the lens SLR digitals. Expensive if all you shoot is ceramics. I'll post some shots soon after I get my studio 'out of its box'.
Cheers,
John
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John Wocher
Dragon (Board Moderator)
Username: Johninjapan

Post Number: 2725
Registered: 09-2003
Posted From: 210.162.146.228
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 04:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greetings - Here is what it looks like. About $119 most places and I am sure there are similar products available:

Upload
Cheers,

John (Camera & Car model not included! Ha!)
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Lutz Slomianka
Silver Pheasant
Username: Lutzs

Post Number: 126
Registered: 08-2005
Posted From: 130.60.57.39
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 05:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear John,
Thanks for the tip - looks pretty much like what I've been looking for.
Cheers, Lutz
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Salvador Trabanino
White Crane
Username: Salltrag

Post Number: 1575
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: cache-rtc-aa07.proxy.aol.com
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 12:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you all for the tips. It looks a bit small for some pieces, but I might end up investing on something like this, since I would like to curate my collection.
Thanks again,
Sal
P.S.: Where can I get the car? A red firetruck would be nice :-)
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John Wocher
Dragon (Board Moderator)
Username: Johninjapan

Post Number: 2805
Registered: 09-2003
Posted From: 210.162.146.228
Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 05:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greetings -
Canon EOS 5D, 50mm Macro, f32, 30 second exposure, no flash, tripod, black poster board as backdrop.
Getting better!
John
Upload
Tokkuri - Kutani Kaburagi 1920s
Sakazuki - Kutani Bizan (Shimizu Bizan)
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Giovanni Repetti
Golden Pheasant
Username: Grepetti

Post Number: 806
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: host155-43.pool873.interbusiness.it
Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 08:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Jon,
congratulations, very good example of still-life (and I suppose that 30 sec. exposure for an earthquake land as Japan it is almost a recordUpload). Can you say in other words what you have used as background? A black poster? It looks blue but there are no blue dominant on the red. May be I did not understand correctly.
Regards, Giovanni
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John Wocher
Dragon (Board Moderator)
Username: Johninjapan

Post Number: 2808
Registered: 09-2003
Posted From: 210.162.146.228
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 12:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greetings - The poster board is black, showing almost grey in the background as the exposure lightens it a bit. Two poster boards were used. One to sit the pieces on, and the other in the background. It is hard to control shadows with flash or lighting, so I went low light, long exposure. I still need more experience. This photo was scanned. Actual photo is quite crisp (12.7 million megapixels with the Canon EOS 5D)
Cheers!
John
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CJ Elfont
Lesser Egret
Username: Cjelfont

Post Number: 36
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: user-1120g4b.dsl.mindspring.com
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 02:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

John,

Because of the long exposure, if the colors are correct in your post, you have a color shift to lavender/purple which is to be expected (but also had to effect a shift of the colors in your vase and bowls). Either you have to get some light into the setup to shorten the exposure and eliminate the color shift (it's definitely not a black background in your post, and I don't know what the true colors are in the vase and bowls but if the background shifted as much as it did from black, I would think the same would hold true for the vase and bowls), or change your ISO (which can create other problems, but should allow you to get a true rendition color-wise).

At what ISO did you have the 5D set? The higher the ISO, the shorter the exposure will be in your set-up, however, you will run into the noise factor if you get above 2-400 ISO - in this case that might not matter as you will be keeping your image rather small and not going to a 13 x 19 or larger print.

Give it another try - CJ
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CJ Elfont
Lesser Egret
Username: Cjelfont

Post Number: 37
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: user-1120g4b.dsl.mindspring.com
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 02:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

John,

One more thing you might try also - get an 18% grey card from your local photo store (should be pretty cheap) and put that into the setup. The 5D will let you do a custom white balance on the card so the white balance for your particular light will be set properly. I would still shoot at a higher ISO and shorter exposure as a color shift is inevitable at 30+ seconds, and I would also try to throw some indirect light into the scene, but that should give you a truer rendition of color in the final image.

Have fun - CJ
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John Wocher
Dragon (Board Moderator)
Username: Johninjapan

Post Number: 2809
Registered: 09-2003
Posted From: 210.162.146.228
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 03:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greetings - Awesome Advice!
Thanks.
Cheers, John
(Amateur Photographer)
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John Wocher
Dragon (Board Moderator)
Username: Johninjapan

Post Number: 2810
Registered: 09-2003
Posted From: 210.162.146.228
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 03:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greetings - Thanks again. ISO400.
Vase/cup colors seem correct, but with digital, I can keep experimenting!!!! I'll post my next effort after playing around with it more.
Cheers,
John
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John Wocher
Dragon (Board Moderator)
Username: Johninjapan

Post Number: 2817
Registered: 09-2003
Posted From: s320.awa.or.jp
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 08:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greetings - Trying again -
Canon EOS 5D, white balanced, grey paper backdrop, ISO800 (will tone it done from here), 50mm macro lens at f32, 30 seconds, no flash, tripod. Cheers:
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Ricardo Manta Siműes
Peacock
Username: Ricardo

Post Number: 308
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 87-196-24-232.net.novis.pt
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 08:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear John

The photo has a red dominant to it (at least in my monitor) and lacks light - do not confuse with underexposure. The dominat/cast removes sharpness to the image which is a pity because you have an amazing equipment. what was the source of light you have used to lighten the object?

Regards,

Ricardo
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CJ Elfont
Lesser Egret
Username: Cjelfont

Post Number: 38
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: user-1120g4b.dsl.mindspring.com
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 04:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

John & Ricardo,

The cast could possible be due to being shot in RAW - if it was shot in raw, then it needs to be adjusted a bit before turning it into a JPEG file.

I agree with Ricardo on the lack of light - and again, the long exposure at 30 seconds at f/32 is a bit much - try shooting at f/8, shoot a three shot bracketed (1/4 second, 1/2 second and 1/8 second), ISO 400, and set your quality at RAW + medium JPG.

Anyway, I messed around a bit with your image and came up with thhis - let me know if this is closer to what u wanted to put up? Also, what software are u using to work on your image before posting it - Photosho, Photo Elements, Picassa, etc.????

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CJ
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John Wocher
Dragon (Board Moderator)
Username: Johninjapan

Post Number: 2818
Registered: 09-2003
Posted From: s318.awa.or.jp
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 04:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks. Florescent room light about 4 meters away, at night so no daylight. Tried to eliminate shadows. Camera is, amazing, and I just need to get used to it. Thank goodness no film! This was same exposure, ISO320, with an additional light on. Much better, I think:
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John Wocher
Dragon (Board Moderator)
Username: Johninjapan

Post Number: 2819
Registered: 09-2003
Posted From: s318.awa.or.jp
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 04:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greetings - Will do. In the interest of bandwidth, I'll dump these photos soon. I'll try to get this right, over time. Not shooting RAW, just large fine. Using Picture It, but the above photo is not altered, only cropped.
Cheers,
John
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CJ Elfont
Lesser Egret
Username: Cjelfont

Post Number: 39
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: user-1120g4b.dsl.mindspring.com
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 05:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well it looks like you got your colors right, the background is Black or very Dark Grey (which is what you had or wanted, I assume), and the picture is very well done compared to your first attempts. I over-did mine a bit to illustrate a point of what you can do to make things happen (wanted to really pop the image so it stood out - try messing with the contrast, sharpness, and curves tools if you have them - but always be conscious of the true colors and back up if they start to change). Don't know Picture It but assume it has most of what you need - so I would say you have it down pretty well and you should stop messing with it (of course, most of us can't help tweaking things until we go nuts, and that's ok too I guess!).

Isn't this fun!!!!!!!!! Great what you can do with digital - but the learning curve can put you in a mental ward!!

CJ
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John Wocher
Dragon (Board Moderator)
Username: Johninjapan

Post Number: 3073
Registered: 09-2003
Posted From: s318.awa.or.jp
Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 - 11:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greetings - Well... Still experimenting, always trying to add a prop or two, and now that Halloween is approaching in some countries (yes....it has even invaded Japan), I thought I'd post a few. I think a prop or two can make photos more...interesting?
Cheers!
John
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Tommy EklŲf
Dragon (Board Moderator)
Username: Toekl2002

Post Number: 1579
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: h220n1c1o291.bredband.skanova.com
Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 - 10:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi John.

Beautiful displays. Thanks for showing.

Tommy
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Giovanni Repetti
Golden Pheasant
Username: Grepetti

Post Number: 1123
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: host135-104-dynamic.56-82-r.retail.telecomitalia.it
Posted on Saturday, October 21, 2006 - 08:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You have an excellent sense of composition, John. Congratulations.
Giovanni
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Lex Burkett
Lesser Egret
Username: lex

Post Number: 26
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Sunday, August 26, 2007 - 02:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello All,
I have what I thought was a decent camera, [H P digital 10 mega pix]. I am having, however ,no luck getting decent close up photos with it, even on the close up setting. What I really cannot seem to capture are the true colors of the glazes. Also, my shots are not sharp. Is there a camera out there that is reasonably priced that any one can recommend ?
I have some pieces I wish to share but I am embarrassed at the quality of the photos ,and by the discussions I see that with out quality photos, it is hard to discuss the pieces.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
[I fully realize it could be me , not the camera]
Best Regards,
Lex
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Giovanni Repetti
White Crane
Username: grepetti

Post Number: 1798
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 26, 2007 - 03:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Lex,
it should be you and not the camera. Two things are absolutely necessary: white balancing and tripod. Beside that, if you are taking close up of the glaze only, take care of avoiding light reflections and most probably you will have to compensate the automatic exposure in case of too clear or too dark glaze. And focus, of course.
There are some threads on photography tips on this board. Search for them.
Kind regards,
Giovanni
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Michael Kwan
Peacock
Username: m_kwanmakivikorg

Post Number: 651
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Sunday, August 26, 2007 - 06:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello Lex,

I'm no great photographer myself and have seldom taken close-up until I joined the Discussion Board, so a lot of what works for me were learned by trial and error. For lighting, I always use two full-spectrum light bulbs (60W each) posted on the left and right of the camera. since I never use flash, a tripod (I found one of those minitripods most handy) and using the self-timer feature of the camera are a must to avoid even the slightest vibration (very important for close-up). As for the digital camera, it's pointless to spend a fortune to get a camera with very high mega pixels since you have to scale them down for posting anyway. My camera only costed me just over a hundred US$ and I am perfectly happy with its close-up performance. The most important feature I looked at when I shopped for my camera was that it must have a special mode for close-up and auto/close-up. For the background, nowaday I always try to use white which gives the true colour of the object. Just a large sheet of white thick drawing paper from the art supplier and hang it from an small old bookcase. That's about it.

Cheers

Michael
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Lex Burkett
Lesser Egret
Username: lex

Post Number: 27
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Sunday, August 26, 2007 - 09:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you Michael,Roberta and Giovanni,
Thank You for your kind replies. I think that I need to play with it some more and will utilize all your suggestions .So thank you for your kind offer Roberta but since you do so much better with 4 pixals ,it is my technique that is the problem and best to learn myself.
When I get it together I will first post a picture of myself as I am better looking than John Wocher.
Kind regards,
Lex
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John Wocher
Dragon (Board Moderator)
Username: johninjapan

Post Number: 3744
Registered: 09-2003
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 03:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Diego - Loooking Gooood!
Ditto on the good camera thread for suggestions.
I favor a TTL digital camera so that depth of field can be viewed/controlled. Most problems are ones of focus. As mentioned, good lighting and tripod with camera on timer mode should produce good quality photos. Still encouraging members to post photos of themselves, perhaps with a favorite piece. Cheers!!! John:

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