help with macro and glass

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by kenzee, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. kenzee

    kenzee TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Beautiful British Columbia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi..as you can see, I'm brand new here. I'm not a photographer, I'm a glass artist. I'm trying to improve my macro photography skills since I make handmade glass beads and need to represent myself online with really great photos.
    Right now I have a digital Fujifilm S1000~ I set up a small frame for 2 clip on lights (75 watt daylight bulbs with velum paper taped over the fixtures) and one overhead desk lamp
    I've tried different settings but usually come back to one of the settings which is natural light with F2.8
    I use photoshop..levels to change the white balance and the unsharp mask to crisp the lines. I do need to play with the saturation at times if the color is not true.
    I don't have a budget to change much of that so I have to learn to work with what I have.
    I don't feel these are horrid but I'm not real happy with the clarity/crispness or the color..and I don't like to have to push the saturation to get a truer color in one area because this leaves another area looking too bright. As in the bottom pic.

    a couple of examples:

    [​IMG]

    and one more:
    [​IMG]

    This one I had to use photoshop to get the true color of the blue beads which then messed with other aspects of the bracelet, such as the clasp, and some of the metal componants.

    I'd really appreciate any suggestions anyone may have. Please keep in mind that I'm not able to upgrade my camera right now.
     
  2. Eldrich

    Eldrich TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Central PA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi, welcome. First of all I love the glass pieces! especially the first. I have not done much of this type of photography, very little, but here's what I think anyway, hope it helps.

    The main point of product photography is to focus all attention on the item, and nothing else. To that end, I think they would look better if you used a background without any texture. It kind of distracts from the art.

    Also, you might be better off bouncing the light from something else and diffusing it as much as possible, for glass, the direct reflections are a little distracting.

    Finally, I think the whole thing will be more in focus is you use a larger aperture number. Which might require you to use more light.

    There have been several threads on this forum about this type of thing, try searching 'product photography' or 'light boxes' or things like that and i'm sure you'll find better tips than what i can give you.
     
  3. OldClicker

    OldClicker TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mundelein, IL USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Looks to me like you need better light; better background and you need it to be sharper. Light is too harsh. It reflects too much and is blowing the detail out of some places. The background needs to disappear (or compliment, but disappear is easier) with no crinkles and no reflection. You need to hold the camera perfectly still.

    I would try putting a few more layers over the lights and/or reflecting them off of something white. See if this gives you softer lights. You may want to build a lightbox.

    Use a piece of white poster board for the background. Or maybe something like a mirror or a piece of dark glass??? Think of the background as a continuation of your art. What compliments it? (And don't stop there. Also consider the light as part of the art. Colored? angles? Reflections?

    Get a tripod or set the camera on a bean bag - something to hold it still. Use the timer to take the shot. Make sure the camera and the subject are perfectly still.

    Once you get a nice, sharp (or intentionally soft) picture, I think you will be able to dial in the colors with no problem.

    TF
     
  4. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Waxhaw, NC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I used to take some shots of my wood turnings with my point and shoot camera and this is what I did. Put the camera on a tripod, set your camera to aperture priority and set the aperature to f/8 or f/11. I put my subject on a grey bed sheet, but you can uses any thing that complements you subject as long as it isn't too reflective. Don't set your camera close to the subject, set it two to three feet away and zoom to fill the frame. This will help with focus and depth of field.

    For lighting, I used a couple of shop lamps like you can get from Lowes or similar stores. It's the ones with the aluminum reflectors on them. I put 100w bulbs in them and they have clamps on them, so you can move them around to find the best light. I also got some 1/8 thick plexiglass and sanded the surface with an orbital sander with 100g sandpaper. This makes a great diffuser to put in front of your lamps.

    Follow the directions for you camera to set a custom white balance with the light you are using. This will save you time in post processing. Finally, you will be shooting at fair low shutter speeds, so set your camera's shutter timer to 5 to 10 seconds. That will eliminate shake from pressing the shutter. Hope that helps.
     
  5. kenzee

    kenzee TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Beautiful British Columbia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Lighting,background and aperture~all things I can afford :D Perfect! ~
    Thanks so much for the help!
     
  6. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Waxhaw, NC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Be sure to post your results.
     
  7. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    3
    Was your light only from one source type, or were you mixing? For example, I set something up near a window yesterday and then used a strobe, and because the light temperatures were different, I couldn't get rid of the color casts. It took me a few minutes to figure this out, but then I felt like an idiot. If you're using the flash in your camera in addition to the incandescent lights, you will have color problems which will prevent you from getting all of the colors "right" at once.

    If you're only using the incandescents for your lighting (on camera flash is off), ignore all of that. Just an idea from the archives of my photo follies.
     
  8. kenzee

    kenzee TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Beautiful British Columbia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I was using 2 side lights, one overhead and no flash, but that particular glass is very difficult to capture. It has a high silver content which reflects the light.
    Thanks for the tip tho~there's a lot on here to read and I'm really glad I googled you all up ;)
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,099
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    you could try using a circular polarizer filter - that would help you reduce the reflections in the glass - though from what I have read it does not work with metalic reflections - though I am not certain on this fact.
    Certainly for the glass it would help you out.
     
  10. kenzee

    kenzee TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Beautiful British Columbia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Wow..Overhead, I just popped on your blog and your macro shots are amazing~especially the 'Face of the Butterfly'! Very cool!
    As for the filter idea, this camera doesn't seem to be able to accept filters..unless it pops on like the lens cap does, not a screw on one..
    this place says to place your sunglasses in front of your lens to try it out. I'll see what it does..Thanks.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,099
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    there might be some clip on filters for the camera - trick is to see if they are any good though - a cheap quality filter will impact your image quality which is not something that you want.
    And thanks for the compliments on my shots - the butterfly faces are some of my favs as well :)
     

Share This Page