Newbie photography.......

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by odie, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. odie

    odie

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    I don't mind being called a "newbie", when it comes to photography. I don't want to spend much effort at it, but do want to have acceptable photos, in order to sell my turnings online. Yes, of course, professional photography would be better.....but, I just don't want to spend the time and effort to know more than I do. I want to use the "auto" setting, and go......:D

    There have been a couple inquiries lately concerning how I do my photos......and, it's very basic.....easy to understand, and come up with usable images. The most important thing I've been doing lately, is using natural light.....that is a key element. ;)

    This is the response I gave to someone who asked on a PM:

    Hi XXXXX.......the recent photos of my bowls have been taken indoors using natural light. There is a corner of my bedroom that has windows on both sides. Usually, they are taken with morning light. I use a Canon S95 powershot on the auto setting, and diffuse the light with curtains some to cut down on reflections. I add light back into the photos with a photo editing program from Microsoft.

    -----odie-----
     
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  2. odie

    odie

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    I purchased a number of colors for photography backdrop cloths, and for my purposes, the colors black, white, and dark blue seems to be the best for use for "newbie photos".

    ETA: Grey works, too......but, not as well as the other colors.

    -----odie-----
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
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  3. odie

    odie

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    I've been using natural sunlight since springtime this year, but for a decade, or so, I did experiment with a light box, using artificial lighting that claimed close to natural light. For a newbie, using natural light, has been the biggest step to getting the best usable photos. I don't use any of this setup anymore, and have learned that it doesn't require expensive equipment, or much knowledge to get acceptable success.

    -----odie-----
    IMG_0504.JPG
     
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  4. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    Hi Odie, your photo tent is similar to the Tent I made for pen photos that was on my Etsy account. I see nothing wrong at all with your gallery photo's display of your work. I've seen your Etsy site and looks fantastic. I use the same light lamps that you have that I picked up at Wal mart. The money is in the bulbs. I use Alzo digital bulbs with temp at 5500K 45 watt. I order mine from Amazon. Its soft and cuts down on shadows and light is very natural. I hope to soon have a bowl (my first) to display in the gallery.
     
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  5. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    Please don't take offense, but this is a perfect example of why the "Newbie" forum is not relevant.
     
  6. Joe Greiner

    Joe Greiner

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    Plus one for natural light.

    I take mine outdoors, on the North side of the house; for the same reason most artists' studios have northern exposure. Better rendering for paint too.
     
  7. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I photographed artwork professionally for 26 years and will be glad to help anyone who needs a simple way to shoot. work. Most people simply work to hard at it or use too many lights. I will be glad to send anyone a couple of handouts I made on simple photo shoots. Just send an e-mail to johnclucas45@gmail.com. If you are shooting a piece and having trouble send a photo of the piece and describe your problem. The back off and take a photo of your whole set up showing me the lights and set up. I can usually solve your problem and will get back with you fairly quickly unless I'm out touch.
     
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  8. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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  9. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Not John, but I happen to have 2¢ in my pocket:
    I think it’s too small. Keep in mind that a camera’s angle of view is a cone-shape with the peak at the camera. At only 16” wide, you would only be able to photograph something a couple of inches across before you will see the junction where the sides meet the back. I think at minimum you’d need something about 3 feet deep and 3 feet wide. A good all around 4’ x 4’ would accommodate the great majority of turnings up to 16” or so.

    A lot of folks make a simple frame from PVC piping and drape a white shower curtain over the top and sides. Then get yourself a Varitone 4’ x 6’ graduated vinyl backdrop in black to white (or dark gray to white) for the sweep from foreground to background.
     
  10. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Wow six feet by four feet! You don't need anything that huge. Here is what I use and it is more than large enough for the largest things that I have turned.
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/17747-REG/Flotone_GFT409_Graduated_Background_31x43.html

    Anything that is associated with photography automatically means that it will have a price tag suitable for framing. :D
     
  12. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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  13. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    There are more selections with the Varitone backgrounds, but I've read on photography forums that it scratches easily. But, I think that if you're not careful, they all will scratch. I would prefer to get a graduated background that doesn't go to a pure white at the bottom. I believe that I recall seeing that Varitone has one that would suit me ... it goes from light gray to almost black and I will probably get it. One that I almost never use goes from white to middle gray. It would be OK for dark pieces.
     
  14. john lucas

    john lucas

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    A light tent probably needs to be at least 24x24 to handle club projects. Also the larger ones work better if you put the piece in deeper. I hate those lights. You need need one light on a light stand so it shines on the top and one side. then another one on the other side that is a little dimmer of further away. those 2 lights on small stands are about the ugliest lighting you can get.
    I've lost track of where to get all the graduated backgrounds. Do a search for Graduated photo backgrounds or Varitone photo backgrounds and you will find a lot of sources. They scratch easily so if you place a piece on the back ground don't rotate it. If you must rotate it pick it up and turn it and then set it back down.
     
  15. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    You can get Flotone from B&H. It might even be their store brand made by Varitone. The link that Gerald gave is probably the best for Varitone. It's just a little barn-like business, but they have a good reputation.

    Here's a post from an old thread showing my lighting set up. The LED light is really bright and not too expensive (forty something dollars at Rockler Hardware).
     
  16. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    Nice setup Bill.
    Two questions:
    What's the size of the tent that you use?
    And, did you turn the legs on that dining room table?
     
  17. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Amazon has attractive pricing and a large selection on Varitone. Flotone has a few represented there too. As a caveat to sizing, it’s always better to have a background too wide than not… been there, dealt with that!

    The graduated vinyl background I’ve had for 10+ years does show some marking where pieces have scuffed the white area but that’s a very easy to fix digital retouching. Oils can be wiped off and for other common dirt-like marks I use a white Sanford pencil eraser. This is a link to what I have (B&H has the identical product for the same $):
    https://www.adorama.com/bmg609.html

    The thing to be careful of with paper seamless is that it absorbs moisture from the air. This will lead to a puckery, wavy surface over time that just won’t hang and sweep smoothly. It also absorbs oils if the finish on the turning is not completely cured. Unless you are regularly shooting on it and tearing off used portions, I’d not recommend paper backdrop rolls — in my opinion, it’s false economy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  18. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    Thanks guys, I’ll look at these options
     
  19. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't have a tent and don't really like tents for shooting woodturnings. The size of the Flotone background is 31" wide by 43" tall. I've shot bowls as large as 19" diameter and hollowforms as tall as 17" and there was still room to go larger. I store the background laying flat and I would hate to figure out where to store a larger background. I quit rolling it up several years ago. I've had it for about 10 years and it's in pretty good shape yet. I just cobbled together a curved sweep using a sheet of Formica and some plywood. I hold everything together with spring clamps. This makes it simple to change the shape of the sweep.

    The trestle table dates back before my woodworking days about forty years ago. It will still be standing if we have a tornado. :D
     
  20. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Paper does get puffy over the years but most of the time it isn't problem. It's inexpensive enough to just toss after a year or so. I have had my paper for 2 years now in my shop which isn't all that dry and still no wrinkles. What I like about paper is when it gets dirty I can just cut off a section and roll down a clean section. Since I create my own fades I can control those as well and make it darker or lighter depending on the subject. I can also control where it starts to fade.
    Faded or graduated backgrounds aren't the best thing for every piece. Dark finials are the prime example. They won't stand out on a dark background.
     

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