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  1. Vultana's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2012
    Nov 7, 2013, 2:27 PM - Re: Photography Thread #26

    Wow.. thank you so much for writing this. My wife has purchased a very expensive DSLR and isn't happy with the shots she has been getting form it. I am going to bring her here to review this thread. I am also going to read it a few times to understand it myself.

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  3. DeathProof's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2013
    Nov 7, 2013, 2:30 PM - Re: Photography Thread #27

    Quote Vultana said: View Post
    Wow.. thank you so much for writing this. My wife has purchased a very expensive DSLR and isn't happy with the shots she has been getting form it. I am going to bring her here to review this thread. I am also going to read it a few times to understand it myself.
    Please also post what her issues are and samples of what she wants to improve as it's the best way for me to help! What camera does she have?
  4. Vultana's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2012
    Nov 8, 2013, 6:34 AM - Re: Photography Thread #28

    I am pretty sure it is a Nikon D700.
  5. pmalfonso's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2013
    Nov 14, 2013, 1:04 PM - Re: Photography Thread #29

    Love this thread DP! Great info, readable and thought out. I'll be posting some questions here in the future as I love to tinker with my Canon Rebel, also boo Nikon
  6. DeathProof's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2013
    Nov 14, 2013, 1:11 PM - Re: Photography Thread #30

    Lesson 4 :: White Balance (Colour Temperature)

    At it's simplest, adjusting your white balance gets you the most natural/accurate colours possible.

    You may have noticed that when taking photos inside or outside, the colour represented in your photo isn't what you are seeing at the time of the exposure. When we take photos indoors, we are often confronted with darker areas, and thus need to turn on lights to allow more light. These lights are tungsten lights and usually end up causing our pictures to be a bit more yellow/orange than we would like. On the opposite end, when taking picture outside, daylight can make our pictures more blue than we would like. Fluorescents are the devil, and were very hard to compensate for as they cast a horrid green light that we can now adjust for Let's take a look a scale of light in Kelvins to understand this better:

    I won't go too much into this scale, because white balance, as it is, can be a pretty 'stand-offish' topic. But when discussing colour temperature, we say that a photo is either warm or cool depending on the lighting.

    So what is happening when what you are photographing is a different colour from what your eye is seeing? Generally, we don't see the difference in this temperature range because our eyes can automatically adjust for it. So unless the colour temperature difference was very extreme, a white sheet of paper will always look white to us. So, because cameras have computers that can't think for themselves, we sometimes have to tell the camera what kind of light we are in to make the proper adjustments to get the natural/accurate colour that we are seeing.

    A warm photograph adjusted to accurate colouring by changing the white balance

    Adjusting White Balance

    If you are doing event work, and moving inside and outside every so often, it's a good idea to change your white balance every time your colour temperature changes. The old school way (and most accurate) is to do a white/gray card setting. To do this, you would take a sheet of white paper (or naturally white material), hold it in front of your camera (filling the entire frame/viewfinder), and manually set the white balance (see your manual for how to do this). This can be very tedious for people moving quickly (because the temperature is always changing), but beneficial if you're staying in one room.

    There are some shortcuts thought! Yay presets! Depending on your camera (again), the terminology for this differs, as well as the pretty icons.

    Admittedly, unless the lighting in the area is completely crazy I tend to keep my camera on AUTO white balance. The reason for this is that with my work, I change locations so much that changing the white balance would drive me nuts.

    Things to watch out for

    You will get the biggest headaches from rooms that have large windows if you are photographing with tungsten lights on. This is problematic because you are mixing blue daylight with warm tungsten lights - this is very hard to correct/meter for, and without post processing, will not be balanced completely.

    Post Processing

    Depending on interest, I can go into post processing at a later date, but adjusting colour temperature has gotten a lot easier in post processing, and almost eliminates the need for while balancing - but let's not be lazy!!! Having correct exposure and colour in camera saves lots of time later on.

    More examples of colour temperature correction:

    Interior (Tungsten Light)

    Exterior (Daylight)

    Tungsten preset

    Daylight preset

    I hope this helps in getting better colours out of your photos!!! In post processing, you can change not just the colour temp, but the overall tonality (green, magenta, cyan, etc.) as well.
    Last edited by DeathProof; Nov 14, 2013 at 5:28 PM.
  7. DeathProof's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2013
    Nov 14, 2013, 5:27 PM - Re: Photography Thread #31

    Quote pmalfonso said: View Post
    also boo Nikon

    The Canons seriously don't fit in my hands right...and their menu systems aren't as straight forward. When I hold my Nikon, it's very intuitive to what I want to do. I don't even have to take my eye off the viewfinder most of the time. I also find the Nikon glass to be sharper, but that's getting really picky. The business of Nikon isn't doing so well though. Their stocks are falling - I don't think they are listening to what their customer needs are.
  8. superjedi's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2003
    Nov 16, 2013, 2:44 PM - Re: Photography Thread #32

    Whew! Finally have some time to play with my camera.
    This is my first batch of tests. I decided to play with the shutter speed and
    see what happened. Nothing exploded, so I guess that's a good thing!

    My PP2 helmet kindly volunteered for these tests. This first pic is with the camera
    set on AUTO with no flash.

    This is AUTO with flash.

    I began with a 1/2 second shutter speed, and the pic came out very dark.

    I won't bore you with all the intermediate shots, but I took a series of pics with the shutter
    set at 1 second, 2 seconds, 4 seconds, 8 seconds, and 13 seconds. The steps between shutter
    speeds are preset and there was no 12 second setting. The pics began to get increasingly brighter,
    and I feel like the 8 second shutter speed gave the best representation of the colors.

    I should add that all of these pics were taken with a tripod set up 10 feet from the helmet. Didn't
    really plan it that way, but that was the distance.

    So, I've learned that opening the shutter for a longer period of time can almost get me the same look
    as the camera's AUTO setting with flash, but without much of the harshness of a flash shot.
    At full resolution, the 8 second shot is a bit fuzzier than the AUTO setting. But I hope to keep learning more
    as I experiment.
  9. rubio95's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2009
    Nov 16, 2013, 4:13 PM - Re: Photography Thread #33

    Great set of pics, and it's awesome that you're seeing how settings affect the end product.

    You should try to get as much space between the back of the helmet and that wall as you can. That way, there will be no shadows from the helmet on your background, and it will result in more pleasing pictures.

    Also, what aperture are you shooting with?

    And lastly, DAM is that a sweet helmet!!
  10. superjedi's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2003
    Nov 16, 2013, 7:50 PM - Re: Photography Thread #34

    Rubio, as I said in the beginning of the thread, I've pretty much always used my
    camera on the AUTO setting. So this is really the first time I'm getting into things
    like aperture and shutter speed and flux capacitors.

    Thanks for the tip about shadows on the background. I'll keep that in mind.

    As far as aperture goes. . . no idea. LOL. My camera has one dial position to
    set shutter speed and another to set the aperture, and I just played with the shutter speed today.
    I know there's a custom position as well where you can set everything manually, but I'm a
    photo noob so I'm just trying to take it one step at a time.

    And lastly, thanks! That's my GMH with Mojo/Keegan's metal ears painted up as PP2.

    To anyone, the main thing I'd like to learn is how to get more color subtlety out of my
    pictures. The auto setting does a fairly good job overall, but with the misting/overspray/
    weathering that go into these paintjobs, I want the camera to capture more of that.
    More experiments as I have time.
  11. rubio95's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2009
    Nov 16, 2013, 9:40 PM - Re: Photography Thread #35

    Rock on, brother! Keep posting up pics.

    It'll be good practice, plus the better you get, the luckier we all will be getting to look at that eye candy!!
  12. DeathProof's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2013
    Nov 17, 2013, 1:44 AM - Re: Photography Thread #36

    Nice stuff, SJ!

    Couple of things :

    I agree with Rubio - Definitely create distance between the subject and the background. this will eliminate shadow and also start to create a blurred background. to bring out the subject.

    I'm curious as to why the shutter needed to be so low. How dark was the room?

    Set your ISO to a higher number if you are working indoors.
    Good that your camera was on a tripod.
    The reason why your photos started to get soft, is because your aperture started to get what's called, "diffraction." The aperture is so small that the light spreads out too much, softening the image. My guess is that because your shutter was so low (1/2 second is an eternity ) that your aperture was probably at its max.

    All lenses have sweet spots. When working in photojournalism, because you rarely have a chance to set your settings, the saying goes, "F8 and you're great." Because F8 is an aperture level that has a decent amount of depth of field, you eliminate the chance of getting a blurry photo. Generally, the higher you go, the more risk you have of diffraction.

    The image also may be soft depending on what you are focusing on. If you are auto focusing, and it's a dark room, your camera will not be able to focus as well. Make sure that the camera is focused in the centre.

    So, to fix this:

    1. You need to let more light in. If working indoors, try to have a shutter around 1/80 - 1/250.
    2. Take note of your settings - this is the only way you will know the difference. When working in film, I wrote down everything on a notepad, and then compared my notes to the negatives afterward. You should be able to look at all the data on your screen.
    3. Open your aperture to reduce diffraction

    Your camera (Canon SX 50HS) has an ISO range of 6400 (how clean that is, I don't know). To change the ISO, check pg. 117 of your manual
    To change your aperture in Manual mode, check out Pg. 152 of the manual.

    It seems to me, that it may be best if you try out Aperture Priority mode FIRST before manual - only because this is not a DSLR camera, and your camera functions are limited. It will be a few less headaches than diving into manual - only because you have a lot more buttons to push just to change a simple setting (as I mentioned before, cameras have these limitations). Aperture priority will let you set your desired aperture, and the camera selects the shutter. This will be fine since you are on a tripod. Just make sure you have enough light to work with!!!

    Hope this helps!
  13. DeathProof's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2013
    Nov 19, 2013, 12:41 PM - Re: Photography Thread #37

    Hey Everyone!!!

    So this last weekend I had the opportunity to photograph a few of Dakota's stellar machined aluminum pieces from MachineCraft Replicas.

    I'm currently showing him a few samples before posting here, but in the meantime, I thought I would show you the setup!

    As far as setups go, it was very basic.

    1. Basic lightbox
    2. Off camera flash with cable
    3. DSLR
    4. Macro lens
    5. Solid surface
    6. Daylight
    7. Tripod

    I got some photo assistants to help me prep

    The tripod is necessary with any tabletop work. If you are looking to keep all of your images the same light and exposure, it's very easy to just change the position of the subject rather than move the camera every single shot. This also keeps things waaaay more consistent.

    The off camera flash is connected to the camera via a cable so that I can have it off center (wherever I choose, actually). In this case, the off camera flash is placed on the left side of the lightbox, so that it balances perfectly with the daylight coming in on the right side of the lightbox.

    Raised from the flash is a bounce card. This is used because without it, the light would go straight up. The bounce card 'bounces' the light in the direction of the lightbox.

    A lightbox diffuses all light entering it, making it way less harsh (much softer), so that it gently illuminates whatever is in it. The box that I have is good for SMALL props. You would need a much larger lightbox if you were to photograph a helmet or other medium-large sized prop.

    Pound it ESB Boba. Pound it.

  14. rubio95's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2009
    Nov 19, 2013, 2:39 PM - Re: Photography Thread #38

    Yay lightboxes!!!

  15. DeathProof's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2013
    Nov 19, 2013, 3:05 PM - Re: Photography Thread #39


    I wish I had a reflective white base. The cloth really shows by the feet. Nice pose too! I was looking all over the place for the EE3 for this figure...couldn't find it.
  16. superjedi's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2003
    Nov 19, 2013, 3:26 PM - Re: Photography Thread #40

    Cool setup! A while back I had considered looking for a light box to use to shoot
    my finished helmets, as well as some sci-fi model kits I've built. I may look into
    that again.

    Do you more experienced photographers recommend a pure white background?
    Is that the best way to isolate/highlight the item being shot? Or is a light/neutral
    color background OK?
  17. DeathProof's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2013
    Nov 19, 2013, 5:05 PM - Re: Photography Thread #41

    Depends on the colour of the subject, but generally my vote would be for a white or black.
  18. DeathProof's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2013
    Nov 20, 2013, 1:55 PM - Re: Photography Thread #42

    Tabletop Photoshoot :: MachineCraft Replicas (PIC HEAVY)

    As mentioned, here are the photos from the tabletop shoot of Dakota's aluminum pieces.

    Since his business is just starting out, I thought that it would be a sweet idea to put together a logo for him as well as a watermark. So I whipped together this little graphic for his Facebook Page and added it to all the pictures.

    The issue I had most with this shoot was the cloth background (I rented this lightbox from my local camera store). You can clearly see the threading of the white backdrop. I took all the photos into Photoshop to brighten up the background, making it white, but the more I cut off the threading, the more it didn't look realistic because the shadows were missing. No many other adjustments were made aside from sharpening and colour balance for the metal (some images turned out more cool/warm than others).

    All in all, I think it still went very well for a very small setup! Dakota is uber stoked and I will be shooting the remainder of the pieces for him.

    Remember: this is only with a lightbox, one flash, and daylight to balance. Shutterspeeds were around 160-250 with apertures around 10-14. ISO was around 1600-2500. To photograph helmets (which I will do at some point) a much larger lightbox is needed, plus one or two more lights. But the general setup remains the same.

  19. 46and2's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2014
    Sep 8, 2014, 3:38 AM - Re: Photography Thread #43

    Amazing, Aaron.

    I can't believe I just stumbled onto this thread. I felt the need to chime in and comment: this is a great resource of free and well written information! Take note, Fett fanatics. This is good stuff. Following these tips can really help you get those pictures you see in your head appear on the back of your camera's LCD screen.

    And nicely done on the Machinecraft pics and logo. I was wondering if Dakota took those impressive pics. Of course it turns out to be a Fett-building professional photographer.

    Strong work.
  20. syllander's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2013
    Sep 10, 2014, 9:17 PM - Re: Photography Thread #44

    Just stumbled on this one myself. Great info Aaron! I can't even figure out how much money I've lost from **** poor pictures on guitar sales threads on eBay over the years. Thanks for this helpful information!
    Last edited by syllander; Sep 11, 2014 at 3:16 AM.
  21. DeathProof's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2013
    Sep 10, 2014, 10:19 PM - Re: Photography Thread #45

    Anytime guys! I'm looking forward to getting my hard stuff - I will do a studio setup on photographing helmets, armor, jetpack, etc.
  22. Daft Aider's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2009
    Sep 12, 2014, 5:48 AM - Re: Photography Thread #46

    Where did this thread appear from???... this is awesome stuff, very interesting!!!
    My wife has passed her City in Guilds (UK qualification) level 1 in photography with a distinction and is about to commence her level 2.
    Can't wait to show her this thread and get her to take some shots of my Boba stuff. Great work guys!

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