what am I doing wrong? need some advice...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dsc, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. dsc

    dsc TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone,

    as you can probably see I'm totally new here. Well not only here but also in photography. I have a wierd hobby which is scratchbuilding small 28mm scale buildings and to show progress of my work on different forums I need to photograph my works. Here's where it gets tricky. I usually shoot photos in artificial light and well mostly the results are not great. That's why I've decided to buy a small loundry basket which will act as a temporary soft box and also bought two 150W halogen lights to give my camera more light. I put my recent work inside the basket, put the halogens on the sides and took a picture:

    [​IMG]

    This photo is bad cause in reality the whole tower and base is 80% light gray and here it came out beige. I know it's the halogens which give unnatural light. The photo also lacks contrast a bit.
    Because it wasn't great I decided to use PS and work in it. Here's what I got:

    - auto levels:

    [​IMG]

    - auto contrast:

    [​IMG]

    So two pictures from which the first one is really really dark and the second one has more contrast, but it's still too dark.

    Here's the question: is there something wrong with the original photo and that's why PS changed that picture so dramatically, or is it normal for PS to act like this even on good quality photos?

    If you think the original photo is bad, can you please tell me why? Or what am I doing wrong? I'm using an olympus D-510 which doesn't offer much hand settings.

    Thanks a lot for looking,
    Cheers,
    dsc.
     
  2. tempra

    tempra TPF Noob!

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    Are you setting your white balance correctly? try a tungsten / incandescent setting or around 3000k colour temperature and you should be closer to the true colours
     
  3. dsc

    dsc TPF Noob!

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    Hi tempra

    I don't have a lot of white balance settings in my camera, I'm using the one for artificial light. Maybe I should write down what I can set in my camera:

    Light metering: ESp or Spot

    AE compenastion: +-2EV (1/2EV inc/dec)

    ISO: auto or fixed 100, 200 or 400

    WB: auto, sunny, cloudy,
    incandescent, flourescent

    sharpness/contrast: high, normal, low


    plus it has an Olympus 3x zoom lens (5.4 - 16.2mm), F2.8/4.4 (equivalent to 35mm - 105mm on a 35mm camera)

    and that's it. I use spot metering, iso 100, wb incandescent, sharpness/contrast normal.

    Cheers,
    dsc.
     
  4. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Since you have photoshop, why not just use the background to set the white balance?
     
  5. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    well for normal blubs you'll want incandecent, but I'm not sure of the color output of the halogens so I cant say for sure. I personally like to use the White light Flourescent WB on my camera because it gives it enough orange tint to show how my eyes see it.

    But back to your question... since you're the only one on here who has seen the actual color of the tower we cant say for sure if it looks good or not. I'd just try to get as close as you can using photoshop... but is the purpose of the pictures to show off your work as far as the etching? or is the color of the building also a major factor in the replication process that you are showing off on other forums?

    do you have any pictures of your other works? That tower looks awesome, and the detail is amazing.
     
  6. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure what you are using to shoot these models with, but if you can, shoot in the raw format. Then you have the ability to adjust your white balance temp in post process.
     
  7. uberben

    uberben TPF Noob!

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    Exactly what I was going to say. :thumbup: :thumbup:
     
  8. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    considering its a 2MP P&S I dont think it has the ability to shoot RAW, it doesnt even have Av or Tv modes.
     
  9. dsc

    dsc TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone

    I used PS to set the white ballance but the whole picture still came out quite dark, is it because the original hasn't got enough light?

    The original object is gray, mostly light gray, but you are sure I'm the only one that has seen it so there's not much sense in asking you guys if it looks good. Right now the color is not so important, cause it's only the basecoat and the whole tower is not painted yet, but in the next stages where all the colors are added it will be important. I guess I will have to use real sun light while shooting my future picture to get the colors right.

    This is my first project which is worthy of showing:) so nope I don't have anything else to show.

    I can't shoot in raw format:| it's only a simple point&shoot.

    Cheers and thanks for your replies,
    dsc.
     
  10. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    The only digital camera I own is a point and shoot. The color balance on it is incandesant and maybe florescent I don't really know but they never work either for true color.

    In the old days before auto everything we used to use filters to add and subtract color which is what auto white balance does for you. You should probably get a close as you can with the camera balance then just add and subtract color in the software color correction menu. It might take a little experimenting but you will get the results you want eventually I expect just be patient.

    I pmed you an example of what can be done easily
    I sent you a pm with a quick color correction. That is a pretty simple one you can do a lot more if you have the object in front of you.

    I tinkered with it some and it wasn't really all that hard to change the image. first I went into the soft ware changed the constrast and brightness ... then to the color correction added a little blue took out a little green and there you go it look a lot more grey. then i lightened a few areas and it looks probably close to what you expected. Just work on it it will come. You dont need a huge camera to do that.
     
  11. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I pmed you an example of what can be done with simple changes.
     
  12. dsc

    dsc TPF Noob!

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    Thanks a lot mysteryscribe!

    I think experimenting in PS as well as taking pictures in real light should help me take better pictures. Practice makes perfect you know:)

    Thanks for all the advice people:)

    Cheers,
    dsc.
     

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