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Author Topic: some newbie photo experiments  (Read 5425 times)

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cobbledstones

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some newbie photo experiments
« on: October 20, 2015, 08:26:05 AM »

love seeing everyone's clean photos of stones, but I am having a hard time replicating.  I have no fancy photo equipment, just a point and shoot.  I have no light tent or special flashes or polarizing lenses.  This is what I have tried (example cab, pardon the scratches, it will get re-polished)

outdoor light on a cloudy day:

Analysis: shot demonstrates that the cab has a polish, I can see my camera in the reflection, and the lines of reflection are distracting and detract from the pattern in the stone.  Same problems happen if I shoot indoors next to a big bay window with white shades

Outdoor light sunny day, direct sun

better, but the specular reflection on the bottom of the cab can wash out the colors.  Still has some reflection problems, but they are less. Distracting shadow. Maybe this is the best I can do with my current (lack of) gear

white paper wrapped around and taped to the camera so that the paper can support the weight of the camera and lift it above the cab (a primitive light box), flash off.  The paper didn't set flush with the leather background, causing the halo.

reflections minimal but still present, you can see the camera in the cab, but I think this would go away if I did a better job reducing the cracks that light can sneak through around the body of the camera.  Cab looks 'flat', and the colors are strange, but it is an interesting effect.

Not sure what to do next, anyone have suggestions?

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hummingbirdstones

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Re: some newbie photo experiments
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2015, 08:41:38 AM »

Check out Ajo's tutorial pinned on this board.  You can rig up a light tent very cheaply.  There are plans all over.  Just Google home made light tent.  I suck at photography, so can't offer any expert advice!   :LOLOL:

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Robin

lithicbeads

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Re: some newbie photo experiments
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2015, 08:58:07 AM »

There is a ringer on the forum. A very experienced superb studio photographer has joined the forum and says he can help us. He is a friend of mine and has extremely difficult health challenges , challenges beyond most peoples comprehension. I think he will eventually feel well enough to come to the rescue.
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Helene Fielder

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Re: some newbie photo experiments
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2015, 08:09:37 PM »

That is good news Frank , I can use the help.  Been reading a lot on this subject. 

Important factories, plain background as not to compete with the stone, white balance adjustment and difussed lighting.    Also trying to take photos without the shadow also distracting from the stone.  I know what needs to be done, but so far not very skilled at it.
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Helene

cobbledstones

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Re: some newbie photo experiments
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2015, 08:13:55 AM »

excellent news frank, and my best wishes for your friend's recovery

I have read Ajo's tutorial, and it is helpful, but he starts at a point beyond where I am now.  That is, his is an advanced set of techniques to make the background fade away and not distract, assuming you know how to take the photo of the foreground.  I am still working on the latter. 

I see how a light tent will get rid of shadows, this is logical and I will construct a more serious one than my paper box used above.  The frustrating thing I have encountered is that what I do to remove shadows makes reflections worse, and what reduces reflections has made shadows worse.
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lithicbeads

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Re: some newbie photo experiments
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2015, 06:07:34 PM »

Bouncing the light can get rid of reflections but you lose much of the light intensity. Professionals use dirct lighting that is polarized but those lights cost thosands each.
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mearic71

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Re: some newbie photo experiments
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2016, 08:33:29 PM »

Hi everyone, I pop in now and again. I've been on the forum over a year. But not on very often because of 3 cute little monsters. I saw this topic on the new site, but in any case I have been a commercail photographer/web designer for over 20 years. I will help when i can, if interested... But i will not get in a land war over which camera is better. So if I can help I will.
Thanks
mike
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ToTheSummit

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Re: some newbie photo experiments
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2016, 05:37:39 AM »

But i will not get in a land war over which camera is better.
So are you a Canon or Nikon fan?  :toothy10:
If theres one thing I've learned its that the equipment doesn't make the photographer.  You can buy the best gear in the world and still take crappy photos.  And you can give a gifted photographer a cheap point-n-shoot and they'll still produce fantastic images.  I have decent gear and I continuously struggle to take nice photos while other friends of mine make it seem effortless.
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ToTheSummit

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Re: some newbie photo experiments
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2016, 05:39:52 AM »

Also, I've learned that taking good photos of cabachons is a very tricky thing.  Reflections are a bitch.  Even my light box hasn't solved all the problems.
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mearic71

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Re: some newbie photo experiments
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2016, 06:00:14 PM »

I know I have been a camera reg for several companies, work for 2 top newspapers. It really comes down to what you originally started with and what you are comfortable with. I have not shot many cabs, but I was trained mostly in shooting glass and silver. I have few ideas I may try this weekend if they come out good I will share the results. I will try to keep it simple so any level photographer can do it.
Thanks Mike

P.s. 35mm canon, medium Hasseblad. :azn:
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bobby1

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Re: some newbie photo experiments
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2016, 10:23:16 PM »

I wrote an article about taking photos of cabs in this month's Rock and Gem magazine. I just got my copy of the magazine today, page 32.
Bob
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Slabbercabber

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Re: some newbie photo experiments
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2016, 07:04:10 AM »

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ToTheSummit

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Re: some newbie photo experiments
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2016, 07:08:44 AM »

P.s. 35mm canon, medium Hasseblad. :azn:
I'm Canon also.  Its just what I started with 30 years ago when I got into photography.  Made the transition to digital a little over 10 years ago and sold all but two of my film bodies, and I haven't loaded a roll in them for near a decade now.  I don't have the highest end gear but I have a nice assortment of lenses and my most recent body was a Valentines gift from the wife this years, The Rebel T6s.

I would love to play with some medium format, especially shooting lightning storms which has always been a passion of mine.  But I can't afford another hobby.
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mearic71

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Re: some newbie photo experiments
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2016, 07:34:30 PM »

I know if I start another hobby, my dear wife might dis-own me and I don't seem to pick cheap ones.
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messofrocks

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Re: some newbie photo experiments
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2016, 02:26:45 PM »

love seeing everyone's clean photos of stones, but I am having a hard time replicating.  I have no fancy photo equipment, just a point and shoot.  I have no light tent or special flashes or polarizing lenses.  This is what I have tried (example cab, pardon the scratches, it will get re-polished)

outdoor light on a cloudy day:

Analysis: shot demonstrates that the cab has a polish, I can see my camera in the reflection, and the lines of reflection are distracting and detract from the pattern in the stone.  Same problems happen if I shoot indoors next to a big bay window with white shades

Outdoor light sunny day, direct sun

better, but the specular reflection on the bottom of the cab can wash out the colors.  Still has some reflection problems, but they are less. Distracting shadow. Maybe this is the best I can do with my current (lack of) gear

white paper wrapped around and taped to the camera so that the paper can support the weight of the camera and lift it above the cab (a primitive light box), flash off.  The paper didn't set flush with the leather background, causing the halo.

reflections minimal but still present, you can see the camera in the cab, but I think this would go away if I did a better job reducing the cracks that light can sneak through around the body of the camera.  Cab looks 'flat', and the colors are strange, but it is an interesting effect.

Not sure what to do next, anyone have suggestions?

First I know this is an old post, but I would like to address the photo's. First I see three photos with thee different colors, most noticeable on the background color. This tells me that the white balance needs to be adjusted. The white balance should be adjusted for the light source you are using and it will help to keep the colors true.

Second the reflection of you and the camera, I ask this question have you ever seen photos of store front windows where people take pictures of what is in the store through a window display. A amateur taking this photo you will see their reflection in the window glass, a pro will stand far enough away from the window and will stand to the left or the right to where they don't see their reflection. This same principal can be applied to taking pictures of anything that is reflective.

I suggest to try this, after your white balance adjustment stand back 3-4 feet to the left or right of the cab take 3 pictures, point your camera to the left of the cab snap a photo, then take a center picture and lastly take a photo to the right of the cab, adjust as needed and once you find your sweet spot you will never see your camera refection ever again. When done crop to desire size.

Although you will see cloud's and whatever else but never your camera again. To make a cheap light diffuser use a 1 gallon  milk jug

Well got to go to a BB&Q

good luck

Cheers
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