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Product Photo Help

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by ErickSaint, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. ErickSaint

    ErickSaint TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Aug 27, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Erick
    The long and the short of it is that when my Grandma passed she left a bunch of Hummel figurines and other stuff that we are going to try to sell off. I built a DIY light tent. Lighting is 2 23w CFL 6500k daylight bulbs, one on either side of the tent in a clamp fixture. I took 2 shots with a white background and 2 shots with a black background.

    I think I will be using the white background. You can see larger versions on Flickr. The question is, what can I do to improve on these shots? For some reason they still seem a bit soft. I used a Rockwell figure as a stand in prototype for test purposes.

    Shot with a 5N, 50mm F1.7 Minolta Rokkor, on a tripod with remote shutter.

    Camera settings for white:

    Aperture Priority
    F11
    ISO 100
    EV +1.3
    Shutter 1/6

    8471538501_df37fcd799_c.
    DSC00535 by ericksaint, on Flickr

    8471537797_cbd754b932_c.
    DSC00534 by ericksaint, on Flickr

    Camera settings for black:

    Aperture Priority
    F11
    ISO 100
    EV -1
    Shutter 1/10

    8471538221_de7ef4a178_c.
    DSC00536 by ericksaint, on Flickr

    8472631816_843da98ea0_c.
    DSC00537 by ericksaint, on Flickr
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    470
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad
    Personally I kinda like the black better, especially if a tad bit brighter. But IMO, they are plenty sharp but of course it's your preference. How close is the lens to the figurine when shooting? Is it possible it's too close? Of are you back and cropping to get the figurine to fill the frame?
     
  3. ErickSaint

    ErickSaint TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Aug 27, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Erick
    Honestly probably too close, never even thought of that. About 17 inches, object to front of lens. Set the tripod up close enough to fill the whole frame.

    The black is growing on me more as I look at it just have to try to dial in the exposure a tad better.

    I'll try backing up the the camera and some other adjustments tomorrow.
     
  4. ErickSaint

    ErickSaint TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Aug 27, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Erick
    Here's a quick one I snapped before taking the setup down for the night.

    Moved the camera back to right around 2 feet, and bumped the EV to -0.3, 0.0 still seems bright to me.

    I had to crop this one, you could see the front edge of the tent and the table due to backing further out.

    8471810221_b066b5065e_c.
    DSC00539 by ericksaint, on Flickr
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Chuck Lawson

    Chuck Lawson TalkEmount Regular

    140
    Nov 23, 2012
    Dallas area
    That could be some of it; at 50mm, f11, 17", your total in-focus area is only a bit over 1" deep...
     
  6. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    470
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad
    The new shot looks much better. The exposure is better and it does seem a little sharper. I think that was the issue, the lens was too close.
     
  7. kaptnkain

    kaptnkain TalkEmount Regular

    156
    Feb 4, 2013
    Ilya
    Honestly these seem plenty sharp to me - just underexposed.
     
  8. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    The last one looks really good, if maybe a TAD close. You're doing a fine job.
     
  9. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Ya the white horse against the white background just gets washed out. The black is much better.
     
  10. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    Another vote for the black background.

    I shoot a lot of my vases at f/16, now that I'm back with the tripod. (I open up to f/8 to focus, then stop down again to shoot.)

    I find it hard to overexpose when I'm shooting my vases. With a white background, I'll be at +1EV or more and still bump it up a hair in post (lately I use the histogram preview and tuck the highlights closer to the edge, as I like a nice, bright white background). Even with a black background, I'm usually at least 0EV or even +0.3.

    You might want to experiment with lighting some - the figures might pop out more with one light source being more dominant (without having shadows that are too harsh).

    HTH
     
  11. ErickSaint

    ErickSaint TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Aug 27, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Erick
    Thanks for all the input everybody. I had read to use a longer prime but my prints go from the 50 used here, and jump to a 200, nothing in between.

    The background choice is going to come down to the items being shot I guess, can't really remember what the coloring is like on those. Darker objects would probably be best served on the white background.

    Jeff, I was hoping for some input from you. Figured this was a key part of your sales. I do have a third bulb (it was cheaper to buy a 3 pack) I was considering top lighting as well.

    Here's a quick snap of the setup I had on my phone. Not sure if this will work, never tried loading a pic from my phone with tapatalk. Edit: guess not...it never showed up.



    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk 2
     
  12. ErickSaint

    ErickSaint TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Aug 27, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Erick
    Ok second try at posting my makeshift light tent,

    20130212_211122.