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Author Topic: How to build an inexpensive photo stand for cabs and slabs.  (Read 478 times)

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irockhound

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How to build an inexpensive photo stand for cabs and slabs.
« on: March 19, 2017, 02:04:23 PM »

I wanted to put together a how to for shooting stones since I have seen several people struggling.  This is a simple method and easy to make.  Any one who has been to my website and enjoyed the pics and the quality of the pictures this is how I shoot them. One thing I wish I had done early was to set a STANDARD for myself.  I hate looking at my site and seeing a page of stones and there are 4 different backgrounds, it makes the page look messy.  I am re-shooting the almost 2000 stones on the same background which is a pain.  Lesson learned set your std. first and then proceed.

I have put instructions in the pictures but will add a few comments here first. The great thing about this method is you can shoot Quartz and other clear stones because only the pin's point is touching the back of the cab you don't get shadows or halos and can't see the "stand" you would be otherwise using.

1)  Although I made the how to using a black material it was only because that was all I had, I normally shoot on a neutral gray so it works with most stones.

2)  This stand is for shooting straight down onto slabs or cabs and I do this for all my website photos.

3) the lights can be moved around to get the best light on the cab when shooting

4) Try to shoot with a narrow depth of field so the background blurs, if your camera has a "macro" mode this will happen and your cab will be clean and background blurred.

5) Make sure the bulbs you use in the lamps are "daylight" and that way your images won't have a blue or yellow tinge to them.

Any other questions I failed to answer in the pics please let me know and I will elaborate
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irockhound

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2nd set of pics cut off by page length
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 02:07:41 PM »

Sorry it didn't get all the pics probably because of page length not image size.
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rocks2dust

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Re: How to build an inexpensive photo stand for cabs and slabs.
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 01:02:51 AM »

I like the idea of using straight pins!

Do you normally leave autofocus on, or do you turn it off and manually focus?

Orrum

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Re: How to build an inexpensive photo stand for cabs and slabs.
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 04:57:51 AM »

Very good tut!!! Thank you!
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Re: How to build an inexpensive photo stand for cabs and slabs.
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 01:34:06 PM »

WOW

That is a cool set up. Looking at my try pod the legs cant change but the head will go all the way down so I can see between the legs.I will have to some adjusting on the height but I already have 3 lamps with "100w" led daylight bulbs in them :headbang:

Will be post pic of this effort soon

Bless
Shawn
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irockhound

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Re: How to build an inexpensive photo stand for cabs and slabs.
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2017, 05:22:48 PM »

I have used both manual and auto focus methods.  If I am using a Digital SLR camera with a more robust lens I will use the manual focus but most of my shooting is with my Digital point and shoot which is easier to use auto focus.  The camera I use most is a Nikon Coolpix which can focus in Macro mode an object that is less than half an inch from the lens.  Although that is really great, I use it that close only if I am shooting an insect or flower in the field while collecting and use the camera on average a distance of about 7 inches from the cabs and this gives me more focal distance in the cab.  If I am shooting a very tight macro shot of a pattern in a stone, more from an art perspective, I would be shooting closer but the material would be a slab in most all cases and I wouldn't need the depth of field because the entire surface would be generally the same distance from the lens.
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Re: How to build an inexpensive photo stand for cabs and slabs.
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2017, 06:16:51 AM »

Hi All

Pic of first try. Probally my best pic yet :icon_sunny:

Bless
Shawn

Nope to big try again after resize
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irockhound

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Re: How to build an inexpensive photo stand for cabs and slabs.
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2017, 09:54:54 PM »

It looks great.  I think just moving the lights back a tad and you would be spot on.  One thing that adds to "clarity" in a picture is contrast and by moving the lights a tad the stone will darken a shade but the background will stay close to the same and this will push the percepted focus. The focus is pretty good but a little soft on the bottom of the cab and this can be the lens being and stone not being parallel but even that is minor adjustments that I have to make all the time too.  Awesome pic!
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Re: How to build an inexpensive photo stand for cabs and slabs.
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2017, 12:59:23 PM »

Hi Steve

Thanks for the kind words and input.

With the shop being cleaned and painted and everything being out of place this was the best test I could come up in a short amount of time.

The background is a piece of rubber and a rag made out of one of my wife's old shirts on top. I used 3 of the plastic thumb tacks to raise the stone.

This test did tell me that my camera takes brighter pics than I see with my eye so back the lights off and it should be a big improvement. The top of the pic is really washed out.

Focus
With my shop being a mess I could not use the tripod so this pic was taken by hand.

With all that said this setup works for me. I have been trying for months using the light box with poor results and the first test gave what I believe a better pics than all the pics I tried with the light box.

Thanks again and Bless
Shawn
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irockhound

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Re: How to build an inexpensive photo stand for cabs and slabs.
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2017, 04:15:42 PM »

Even more impressive that this was a throw together test.  You are definitely on the right track!  Or Tack as it may be, lol  Couldn't resist
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albertto

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Re: How to build an inexpensive photo stand for cabs and slabs.
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2017, 04:46:22 AM »

Great!!! good idea  :Worthy:
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