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65 replies to this topic

#21 Zookie

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 21:11

This could easily become my favorite thread! I love photography as much as I do writing!!

My avatar is a ttv photo of the church I attend, and was taken with a Panasonic Lumix through the viewfinder of an old Anscoflex II. I flipped it into a negative because I like it that way. Looks kind of spooky.



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#22 Innes Cate

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 04:54

 Could someone please tell me how to upload to inlcude a photo into a reply to a post...thank you



#23 Innes Cate

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 05:17

Could someone please tell me how to upload a JPEG image to inlude into a reply to a post.

Thanks



#24 estie1948

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 05:38

James,

What a generous gift of your time and expertise. Thank you!

Lisa

+1. I agree one hundred percent, James. Please allow me to add my thanks.  And Lisa knows where of she speaks for she is quite an accomplished photographer herself!

 

-David (Estie).


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#25 usk15

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 06:14

 Could someone please tell me how to upload to inlcude a photo into a reply to a post...thank you

 

http://www.fountainp...ictures-on-fpn/



#26 Usernameistaken

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 05:03

Nobody asked, but after I broke down my work set, I threw the pen back on the table for another configuration. I also have possession of two other pens now, so while I do, I thought I'd include them as well, so you can see the differences between them, in how they reflect light.

 

One is a brushed silver surface, which does not cast much direct reflection at all, except in the ring/collar and the clip, so I was able to use the exact same set-up as the pen we've been looking at. The other is a polished silver surface, which casts almost entirely direct reflections. In this case, I changed the set around a lot. Though the light using the original configuration was pretty good, the black end caps had absolutely no highlights. Whatever that material is, it sucks up light voraciously.  So I repositioned my lights to use them as a tent, letting them reflect in those black areas and creating a bit more form. I also added one light to keep the light coming from underneath, so this was essentially a triangular light box. Again, given more time, I would have probably made those particular highlights more prominent, but you get the idea.

 

#8: I modified the interior of the "tent" by adding a black-faced bridge over and behind the pens. It probably could have been moved a bit further back, to split the difference between the shadow here and the prior example. Other then that change, everything else remained identical from previous examples. (Note that there was also a white board covering the back of the set, casting light over the back edge of the pen, but I had to move it to show the interior of the set. you can see the edge of it on the right of the image below.)

 

8.jpg

 

 

 

 

#9: This shows the front and rear views of the set, from slightly above. A very simple set. The black line across the pen body is the seam between the soft boxes, which had to be primped to run straight. If I had faced the light closer to 45 degrees to the pen I would have improved the highlights on the black, but I would have had to control them more carefully on the pen's body. I could have also centered the clip so it caught some of the black, that might have been nice. Also note that the board covering the back of the set was standing up straight bu y in the rear-view photo I had to tilt it back so I could so the inside of the set. It is acting as a bounce care, just like in the example above.

 

9.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Given the time, there are many tiny details one could spend hours fine tuning, but add up all those details and you'll end up with a stunning photos, so, depending on your inclination, it might be worth it.

 

Remember, these are not stunning photos and are not intended as final products, but as guides to give you some new ideas. They have not been retouched, so what you see in the behind-the-scenes images is what you get in the pen photos.

 

If people are interested, I'll do another one of these tutorials in a more environmental context. I know pens-on-white are a bit "e-commerce", but they are great for documentation.

 

Hope this helps.



#27 pepsiplease69

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 00:15

Okay first of all a gazillion thank yous for this invaluable information.

I got to trying some of the suggestions.

I scraped together what I could manage to find in my closet and put together a lightning photo rig.

I surrounded my subject with a white background and white walls to disperse the light evenly on the subject and make for a flattering appearance.

I took a set of my pilot preras as the subject first.

image.jpeg

Close up of the logo.

image.jpeg

Nibbage action.

image.png

Then I switched to a more challenging subject.

image.jpeg


I used some shipping boxes as reflector walls.

image.jpeg

All of the above is pretty amateur but I feel for me this is a step up from my existing photos.

#28 ian1964

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 20:54

Fantastic thread. Thank you so much for this tutorial.



#29 Usernameistaken

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 21:10

pepsiplease69, you did a fine job creatively using the tools you had available, kudos. You might consider positioning your light a bit more over the top of the subject so your highlight runs along the barrel in the first photo. Also, you might like the effect of putting a sheet of diffusion over the top of your set so that highlight has softer edges, which will show the barrel shape better, because it will fall off as it descends the curve.

 

When shooting transparent objects, a different approach is warranted. You can often get away with one light for transparent objects, and, if not, then two lights should suffice most of the rest of the time.  Start by placing your light directly behind the transparent subject, with a sheet of diffusion between (this is act as both your background and light source. If you need a second light, it will usually be placed underneath facing up or over the subject facing directly down. The trick then is to use properly sized black cards to either side of the subject, which will give you a darkened edge. This technique will allow your glass to "glow" without losing the edges that give it form. I've attached a shot of some baccarat crystal I shot for a client, which uses exactly this technique. It is straight out of the camera without any adjustments. (Sorry this image is so small, but these kinds of images get stolen too often by unscrupulous online retailers, so I don't want to give them too much.)

 

vase.jpg

 

 

In this example, there is only one light, facing the camera directly from the back. The way I eliminate flare is by using a lens hood, blocking the sides of the light with the back cars, and illuminating my diffusion as evenly as my space will allow, so there are no hotspots. Since this was going to be a "cut-out" I also stood it on a Lucite block, which makes separating if from its surface easier.

 

Lastly, try coming down to the glass bottle's level, or even shooting it slight above the care lens. This will give it a much more prominent and "heroic" feel than shooting down on it. If you really want to keep the angle you have because the cap is important, then try to straightened the emblem so that it faces the camera (If it is already tight, then you might need to back it off 2/3 of a turn, but usually this won't be noticeable in the camera (we need to do this often with watch crown, to square up the logo to the image plane, otherwise it just looks sloppy in my opinion). If this raises the cap so far that you start seeing threads, then the best bet it to perform a bit of post-production surgery, which is pretty simple with a monotone background.

 

Inf the "nibbage" photo, I would slightly adjust the blue pen so that its chrome rings line up to the other two, which are perfectly aligned. It's these tiny details that add up to a polished final image. 

 

Hope this helps.



#30 pepsiplease69

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 21:27

Thank you username-taken.

I'm going to try out your suggestions and report back.

#31 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 09:46

Now I have forgotten what I wanted to ask...

 

I started reading the posts of this forum and got right sucked into it.  Forgot dinner....

 

As a young ingeneer I was much into fotografie .... so much so that I included optics and fotografie into my studies.... long time ago  :huh:

 

Now, I take pickies of my grandchildren...  :)

 

ah, I remember... I have a blog on fountain pens, more on the ingeneering side.  and every now and then I would like to take a foto of something, rather then drawing a sketch...  let's say, just a nib, or a feed

 

My old pentax K2 has been sleeping for thirty years in its box...life got in the way.  :P

 

Got a Canon EOS 350 D from a friend who has outgrown it, but I find it far too complicated.

 

However, I am good with my mobile phone ...  :rolleyes:   and the tablet... :blush:

 

I mean, the easiest would be if I tell you guys what I want and you send me jpg.... Any other ideas?

 

You want to see my blog?  Click on the orange link further down B)

 

.... gone for dinner!  Back in 28 minutes.


Edited by PenIngeneer, 30 September 2016 - 09:48.

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#32 Usernameistaken

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 20:02

Hello Amadeus,

 

It sounds like your question is basically about how to take decent enough pictures with your camera phone, and you can certainly do that.

 

The type of camera you use is not nearly as important as the quality of lighting you capture with it. If you follow some of the above advice about using reflectors and bounce cards, with just a couple desk lamps or some strategically positioned natural light, you should be able to produce very nice results.

 

I would recommend, however, that you familiarize yourself with your superior 350D, and the best place to start would be with the camera's owners manual, which most people seem to ignore.

 

Since you are already familiar with the principles of photography and optics, I think you will find that giving the manual a thorough read will quickly reveal how many of the complexities in that camera are irrelevant to your needs, and how many are actually much simpler than they seem.

 

I hope this helps.



#33 Usernameistaken

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 20:03

Regarding equipment, I want to be clear that although the majority of the work I'll show here uses strobe lighting, everything I show can also be done with nearly any type of constant light. The four main reasons flash is preferable are:

1. it allows a fast shutter speed

2. it's more adjustable

3. its relatively cool temperature allows a wider range of readily-available modifiers, because they don't need to be heat resistant

4. it's more consistent, lamp to lamp and shot to shot, than nearly any other light source.

 

None of those reasons are about quality of light. Light is light, and ambient or tungsten light can be shaped in all the same ways as flash. So please don't dismiss any of my advice for lack of equipment. I'll always try to offer ideas that can be accomplished with household and DIY equipment.



#34 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 07:39

Hello Amadeus,

 

It sounds like your question is basically about how to take decent enough pictures with your camera phone, and you can certainly do that.

 

The type of camera you use is not nearly as important as the quality of lighting you capture with it. If you follow some of the above advice about using reflectors and bounce cards, with just a couple desk lamps or some strategically positioned natural light, you should be able to produce very nice results.

 

I would recommend, however, that you familiarize yourself with your superior 350D, and the best place to start would be with the camera's owners manual, which most people seem to ignore.

 

Since you are already familiar with the principles of photography and optics, I think you will find that giving the manual a thorough read will quickly reveal how many of the complexities in that camera are irrelevant to your needs, and how many are actually much simpler than they seem.

 

I hope this helps.

Thank you so much... I will give it a go... has been a long time :huh:

 

I did not know that the Canon is a superior camera, oops. 

 

I wonder where I saw the user manual the last time :unsure:


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#35 mehandiratta

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 08:37

love the thread...

any ideas what should be first DSLR/Mirrorless to buy which can run for at least 5-6 years... and will be able to do product and architecture photography...

 

what I had in mind was Sony Alpha 6000... but some people are saying its expensive ecosystem as far as lenses are concerned,


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#36 ethernautrix

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 14:01

ethernautrix, on 18 Sept 2016 - 00:18, said:
James,

What a generous gift of your time and expertise. Thank you!

Lisa

 

+1. I agree one hundred percent, James. Please allow me to add my thanks.  And Lisa knows where of she speaks for she is quite an accomplished photographer herself!

 

-David (Estie).

 

 

Reviewing this thread for tips, information -- thank you, David. You're very kind, and I still have much to learn. Thank you.


Edited by ethernautrix, 05 October 2016 - 14:23.

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#37 Usernameistaken

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 04:35

Amadeus, here's a .pdf of the User Manual for your 350D:

http://www.sensorcle...EOSDRXT350D.pdf

 

It is a superior camera to any current phone, tablet, or dusty film camera, is what I meant. Keep in mind that DSLR cameras perform best with high quality lenses. The most expensive cameras offer more in terms of usability, but image quality on a 350d with a good lenses and technique can be absolutely outstanding.

 

Vaibhav, this advice applies to your question too. I'm hard pressed to really recommend one camera over another, but I will say that you should budget the majority of your purchase for lenses rather than camera body. Which camera you choose really depends of so many factors, like how much you already know, how you're going to use it, etc., but you can get very good information and make side-by-side comparisons of most cameras on this website:

 

http://www.dpreview.com

 

Buying Guide:

https://www.dpreview.com/buying-guides

 

Side By Side comparisons:

https://www.dpreview...compare/cameras

 

In general, my personal preference would be for a DSLR rather than a mirrorless, but that's also a huge discussion, so please start by referring to the site above and then if you have questions, feel free to ask.


Edited by Usernameistaken, 07 October 2016 - 05:31.


#38 cunim

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 13:24

love the thread...

any ideas what should be first DSLR/Mirrorless to buy which can run for at least 5-6 years... and will be able to do product and architecture photography...

 

what I had in mind was Sony Alpha 6000... but some people are saying its expensive ecosystem as far as lenses are concerned,

You know, product/architectural photography are a bit specialized in that they benefit from having movements in the camera.  That means the front and rear planes (lens and sensor) can move with respect to each other so as to manipulate (for creative effect) and correct image geometry.  With architecture, parallel movements are enough - primarily rise and fall of the lens.  With product, both parallel and nonparallel are used.  Software like Photoshop or Lightroom can make these corrections in post processing, but it is better (and more satisfying) to do as much as possible in the camera.  Of course, you don't need any of this.  I am just pointing out what is used in hobbyist and pro circles.

 

There are lots of web sites that might interest you.  This is a good start and you might find some forum members local to you.

 

http://forum.getdpi....forum/index.php

 

James is giving you good advice, and I have enjoyed his descriptions of lighting.



#39 Usernameistaken

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 19:31

Thanks, Cunim.

 

I agree that correcting perspective optically, with a tilt-shift lens, is usually better than doing it digitally, like with CaptureOne or Photoshop, but I wouldn't recommend investing in a tilt-shift lens as an entry-level purchase, because it adds a layer of complexity to the learning curve.

 

I've used tilt-shift lenses on many architectural and interior design shoots, but not on all, or even most. Only very few times have we employed one on a product shoot. The way software has developed, the digital perspective correction tools, which usually rely on specific plug-ins for a particular lens model, really are quite impressive, and they allow you correction on an unlimited number of focal lengths, versus doing it with tilt-shifts that only come in limited fixed focal lengths.

 

Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a rental service from which you can rent lenses and other equipment to try before you buy. In the United States, if you don't have a brick and mortar option nearby, you can do it online with one of several sites like these:

 

http://www.borrowlenses.com

 

https://www.lensrentals.com

 

If you prefer a local option but have trouble finding one, try calling to closest rental studio, as they sometimes rent their equipment for location work. These places are accustomed to speaking with professionals, so it would be best to know exactly what you're asking for before dialing.


Edited by Usernameistaken, 08 October 2016 - 14:37.


#40 Usernameistaken

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 14:36

I noticed that one of the links above had a typo, so I just edited the post to correct it.


Edited by Usernameistaken, 08 October 2016 - 14:40.






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