Clear small Images

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by caro, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. caro

    caro TPF Noob!

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    Want to photograph small gift cards for a website - need to know the best way to take small close up photos - want clarity and then have to resize them very small for the page so the download time isn't a problem if there are - say - 15 pictures on the page -any advice gratefully accepted!!!
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    If you've got a compact camera and you're not planning on any expenditure, then:

    Tripod the camera (reduces shake and makes things sharper than hand-held)
    Light the cards well from at least two directions (gets rid of shadows and speeds the exposure up)
    Stick the camera on macro mode (if it has one)
    Stick the camera in centre-weighted AF or AFE mode (so that it exposes/focusses off the card not anything else)

    If you've got cash to burn then the same principles apply using an SLR except you'll be wanting either a proper macro, or a good closeup lens, an expensive multi-head lighting rig, colorama roll background, possibly a ring-flash, light tent, soft box etcetera etc.

    As for the resizing for a page, you'll find that using a good quality program like Photoshop will help. Remember that Jpg is a lossy format and gets worse every time it is saved with compression (usually the default). Applying a sharpening effect will help with smaller pictures, especially something like Unsharp Mask in PS which is pretty much the best way to achieve what you're doing.



    Rob
     
  3. caro

    caro TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your reply - have been using macro - keeping the camera still but resting on the table - photo the cards - always get a bit of shading near the bottom.

    The white card looks bluey on screen still. Then in photfiltre or PSP I reduce the size - fiddle with the balance and brightness and a couple of other things then reduce it - want it to be about 10 kb max for the web page as want abut 15 on each page - does that sound right.
    If I reduce the size too much the clarity is a goner.
    Am making a tad of progress to just get by with the result on screen but am still not too happy.
    Caro
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Does your camera have a white-balance setup, or are you using any kind of indoor mode?
     
  5. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    When you resize it in PS do it in steps.... say cut it in size by 1/3 each time. And every now and then do a sharpen (Filters -> Sharpen - > Unsharp mask ). play with the settings in that box to get a nice image.... but be careful not to over sharpen.

    This will help make your pics look nicer.

    The tint of the pics is due to the White Balance. The camera can't cope with the colour of your lighting. So try and find a white balance setting and set it to the type of light condition you're in.

    How small are you trying to make these pictures?
     
  6. tpe

    tpe TPF Noob!

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    Couldn't you also scan them?

    You should either use jpg or png as the compressed version for the web of course. Try various compressions and see which one gives you the best picture per kb, even though i hate it for some reason png can give good results.

    tim
     
  7. caro

    caro TPF Noob!

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    Will try with the white balance again - no success last time - I take the photos in a light filled room though. The finished size just has to be small enough so that pages don't take too long to download - so - for example -if I have about 15 photos per page I thought each picture should only be around 5 or so kb - can I make them bigger than that. When resizing should I resize in pixels or percentage. The original photo's are obviously very big when downloaded from the camera - if I make them 100% size they are enormous!!

    It is just a thumbnail effect I am after.

    The cards are better photographed - scanning doesn't give the 3d effect of them nearly as well.
     

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