Need help on focusing on full product

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by PhoTATgraphyx, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. PhoTATgraphyx

    PhoTATgraphyx TPF Noob!

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    Hi, im new here and i have been asked to take pictures for a toy company,and I have trouble getting the full figure in focus.It always ends up focusing on a certain part of the body,and I just can't figure out whats the problem.Can anyone help me with this?
     
  2. Chris Stegner

    Chris Stegner TPF Noob!

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    It would be helpful if you told us what kind of camera you're using. If you're using a point and shoot type of camera, there may not be much you can do.

    But, if you're using a DSLR then you'll need to change the aperture to close down the lens. The smaller the aperture the more depth of field you'll have.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I sounds like your problem is a shallow DOF (depth of field).

    To increase your DOF, you need to 'stop the lens down'...which means that you need to use a smaller lens aperture. Aperture is represented by the F number...larger numbers are smaller apertures (smaller numbers are larger apertures).

    SO try setting your aperture to the highest number you can.

    Also, when you stop down the lens, it will mean that you will require more time to make the exposure (longer shutter speed). A longer shutter speed will give you blur, if either the camera or the subject is moving...therefore it is recommended that you use a tripod when long shutter speeds are required.
     
  4. PhoTATgraphyx

    PhoTATgraphyx TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the help :)
    The camera im using is Digital Rebel XT
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Put the camera into Av mode (aperture priority) and set an aperture of F16 or F22 etc.

    Put the camera on a tripod or other support and change the shooting mode to timed (rather than single or continuous). After you get the shot set up, press the shutter release and don't touch the camera while the timer counts down.
     
  6. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    In addition to the above advice I would consider where the lens is being focused. For instance my D200 has 16 focusing points. I can pick and choose which point to use for focusing.

    Love & Bass
     
  7. Hooligan Dan

    Hooligan Dan No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a lot of experience photographing action figures. Tod McFarlane(action figure people will know him) has asked me himself to send in my full portfolio. I can give you this advise when it comes to DoF on action figures. When you see a toy company's promo shot on a basic white or black background with the entire figure perfectly in focus, it is because they are shooting the 2-up prototype figure which is typically 12" tall or bigger. Working with that scale you are able to get more DoF because you are able to get a little further away from the product.

    If you are shooting the scaled down version, what you would buy in stores, this forces you to either zoom in more with your lens, or physically get closer with the lens, making the DoF shallower even at closed down apertures. So even shooting at f/10 you're still gonna have issues with getting the whole figure in focus. And once you get the figure in focus, then you have issues with the backdrop coming into focus, and a plain backdrop can still be distracting if it's sharp. So also make sure to have the back drop far enough back so it falls out.

    Example:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    On the above shot I could have used to take the brown paper even farther back to take it out of focus more, but I had to shoot at a very small aperture to get the most of the figure in focus. And as you can see, even with the smaller aperture, his back foot is still falling oof.

    Now if you are leaning more towards the stylized photos companies do then don't worry about the whole figure being in focus. It all comes down to how you light it and what part you want to draw attention to.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    If you have any questions or want any tips, please feel free to ask. Toy photography is my second passion after photojournalism.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Wow...cool shots, thanks for sharing.
     
  9. Hooligan Dan

    Hooligan Dan No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks, Mike! :D
     

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