Need help/still having jewelry photo problem

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Freedbaby, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. Freedbaby

    Freedbaby TPF Noob!

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    Here is what I am working with so when you read the troubles I am having maybe you will have a bit more info to work with.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22474714@N07/sets/72157603861229948/
    The above link will take you to pictures of my set up.

    I am using a Rebel XT with a Tamron 17-50F2.8

    Ok, so previously when I was having the problems taking pictures of Jewelry, most of the advice was to use a color other than white as the backround. I tried that and indeed it was nice, but not what I want.

    I am really looking to take pictures (non processed) that have a white white backround....almost to where you dont see a backround. I keep getting either a greyish white or a bluish white.

    I have set the white balance to custom and here is how I did it.

    Took a picture of the inside of light box (overexposed because it seems to be whiter that way) and then set the white balance to that. It comes out much better but not great. I am using cloth for my backround which I know has some ugly texture to it, but when I tried using a piece of white cardboard it became worse.

    I have a 430EX flash which I have not tried experimenting with because I really think that I DONT need it, but it is there if absolutely necessary.

    I am NOT shooting on a tripod but I am really not having a problem with crispness, just whiteness of backround.

    Usually I am at ISO 200 or 400 and roughly 5.6-11 F-stop and then proper speed to overexpose usually to 1 or 1 plus a dot(sorry to sound stupid)

    Any help is appreciated as it is starting to get frustrating. I email pictures all day long and my pictures seem to be getting worse the more i mess with the camera

    Thanks in advance

    Freedbaby
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    One thing that I notice...is that you have your lamps right up against the fabric of the light tent...that sort of takes away the effectiveness of the tent. Back the lights away so that the light inside the box is softer.

    As for how the fabric looks in the actual images. I would suggest using a piece of white paper or flexible board (like poster board/paper). Bend the paper/board (do not fold) to 90 degrees and there you have your 'floor and back wall' with a seamless transition.

    Also, does you light tent have a front cover as well? If you are shooting a reflective subject, you should have a front wall and you should be shooting though a small hole.

    It's good that you have your camera set to 'overexpose'. The camera's meter will always try to set exposure for 18% grey. When it sees all that white, it will think it's too bright and underexpose...so you have to dial that back in (positive exposure compensation). The more you dial it up, the whiter it will be. Since you are only worried about the exposure of the subject, you can probably dial it up some more...that should certainly make the background white. Just watch that you don't loose too much detail in the bright parts of the subject.

    Actually, since your set us is fairly static. You could be shooting in Manual mode. Once you get the exposure set to how you want it...just leave it there and don't worry about it.

    Same deal with the white balance. You could use a shot to set a custom WB and then just leave it at the custom setting. Also, if the front of your light tent is open, other light may be getting in and messing with the color temp of the light. A front cover will help to keep the light temp consistent.

    Of course, if you shoot in RAW, you could adjust the white balance after the shot...and even apply that adjustment to a whole batch of images.
    Also, if the background still isn't quite as white as you want...a two second adjustment in Photoshop would probably do the trick. Using 'Level', simple use the 'white point' picker and click on the background.
     
  3. Freedbaby

    Freedbaby TPF Noob!

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    For speed of use I cut the front out of my tent.....I didnt really think it made a big difference. When I am at work and trying to email someone a pic "real quick" the front got in the way.

    I am shooting in Manual, but when I set white balance am i supposed to set it to a picture at proper exposure or overexposed like I normally would to get the whitest setting? That seems to be the biggest help so far.

    I am going to back the lights off and try that. Did you see the light I have on top, is that helping or hurting me?? Its just a little office Depot jobby. The other lights are nice and high powered.

    Jay
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Are they the same type of light/bulb? If the top one is different than the other ones, that might be a factor in your color problem. It's best to stick with one type of lighting (same color temperature)...which is why it would be a bad idea to introduce flash into the equation.
     
  5. Freedbaby

    Freedbaby TPF Noob!

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    got it.....before I left the office I did what you said and backed off the lights, in other words not so close to the tent and it helped tremendously. I ran out of time to play but manana I will play some more.

    I will also try turning that overhead light off and see how it does. Do you think that putting another light overhead that is the same as the other two would help or are those two lights enough?
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    I don't know...that will be up to you to decide.
     

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