Shooting macro objects on white background

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by neonsky, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. neonsky

    neonsky TPF Noob!

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    Hi all. New girl here with a question!

    I need to shoot some macro photos of various craft objects - buttons, ribbons, beads etc. I put them onto a white piece of paper as a background. All this is so that I can take them into Photoshop to cut out from the background and use for digital art pieces.

    My question is, with my Canon Powershot, how can i ensure that my background paper stays white? Even in daylight, I get shadowy greyish or blue tones. Is there a camera setting or something I can do with (cheap lights_ to get a better result?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    A shot that is mostly white, will often fool the camera's light meter...so you need to dial in some positive exposure compensation. Check your camera's manual, it might be EC or EV that you need to adjust.

    You might also want to set a custom white balance, again check your manual.
     
  3. neonsky

    neonsky TPF Noob!

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    Thank you mike - exactly the sort of advice I was looking for. First i will search for the long lost manual.... then have a go ;)

    Oh and if anyone could tell me what 'white balance' is that would be great. Is it how much white is in the subject? (see? im clueless..)
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2008
  4. Big Mike

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

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    White Balance has to do with Color Temperature. For example, the color temperature of sunlight is different from that of incandescent light bulbs, which is different from that of florescent light bulbs etc.

    If your film (or digital camera) is not matched to the type of lighting, the colors will look weird. We don't really see it because out brains adjust for it, but it shows up in photos pretty well. With film cameras, you could buy tungsten balanced film or use color correction filters...but with digital, it's an easy thing to switch. Most digital cameras have setting for sunny, cloudy, indoors, etc. They usually have an auto setting as well as a custom setting. With the custom setting, you get take a test shot of something white (in the light you have) then use that shot to calibrate your custom setting...this should be in your manual. This can help you to get an accurate white balance.

    Many digital cameras (like DSLRs) can shoot in a mode called RAW, which allows you to set the white balance on the computer, after you have taken the shot. This is great because you don't have to get it just right when shooting.
     

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