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Thread: Newbie member

  1. #1

    Default Newbie member

    Hi guys, just registered myself and some questions and intro

    Im a basically a toy collector and most recently started to take photos of my toys which also aroused my interests in photography

    im currently using a CANON IXUS 500 5.0 mega pixel cam

    I have a few questions in hand. but lets start off with my set up



    I belive my set up is appropriate. but i need advice on my lightings

    The below is the kind of standard that i want to achieve in future



    Here are a few photos that i took appreciate if you guys can give me comments and tell me what's wrong





    This figure is about 2 inch tall



    I took these shots without a tripod

    Here are some of the things i couldn't get right

    1. I can't get enough light on the front of the figure, they tend to be darker
    2. Certain areas of the photos are not in focus
    3. Do i need to upgrade my camera? is there serious need to do so?
    4. I have tried playing with my EV, but still not much success
    5, Is it virtually impossible to achieve that Super white background? only via Photoshop?

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie member

    1. I can't get enough light on the front of the figure, they tend to be darker
    Move the toy further back or bring two side light nearer towards camera. or
    put a mirror to reflect some light on the toy,

    2. Certain areas of the photos are not in focus
    use smallest f-stop

    3. Do i need to upgrade my camera? is there serious need to do so?
    I believe it is not necessary, unless all methods does not work.

    4. I have tried playing with my EV, but still not much success
    for what?

    5, Is it virtually impossible to achieve that Super white background? only via Photoshop?
    One way to do this is to have a light just for the background, but if your background is super white, you may have flare in your lens, so use photoshop better.

    Hope this help.
    Last edited by catchlights; 5th May 2006 at 04:23 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Newbie member

    2. Certain areas of the photos are not in focus
    use smallest f-stop
    Sorry what is the "f-stop"?

    4. I have tried playing with my EV, but still not much success
    for what?
    I was told by one of m friends that pumping up on the EV allows u to have a brighter effect, which i true..but only to a certain extent

  4. #4
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie member

    Quote Originally Posted by Izzy
    Sorry what is the "f-stop"?
    I think you camera can't do manual, so you can't overwrite the setting like using smallest aperture (f4.9)
    Quote Originally Posted by Izzy
    I was told by one of m friends that pumping up on the EV allows u to have a brighter effect, which i true..but only to a certain extent
    Yes the exposure mode is only auto, the only way to make it brighter is thru plus EV.
    But why don't you bring the lights closer to the subject?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Newbie member

    I[QUOTE] think you camera can't do manual, so you can't overwrite the setting like using smallest aperture (f4.9)[/QUOTE)

    there's manual settings...but i can find this value (f)

    Yes the exposure mode is only auto, the only way to make it brighter is thru plus EV.
    But why don't you bring the lights closer to the subject?
    yeah i'll try that out, thanks

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Newbie member

    Hi I have the Ixus 500 too. It cannot adjust aperture(f-stop) nor shutter speed.

    Also, for your current light setup, maybe you can try positioning the toy in a 3/4 front view, so more light gets on its front. A 3/4 view reveals more forms and details than a straight front or side view.



    I've done a little simulation for you too if you don't mind, hope it helps.

    Front view

    the 2 lights strike the toy from the side, front doesn't have enough light.



    3/4 view

    the toy is rotated 3/4, more light strikes the front and reveals the 3D form of the toy.



    Also, you can try using only one main light shining down together at the toy and the background together, and using a weaker fill light from the side.


    Well, I hope this helps you a little. Its just part of the stuff I learned from my poly studies. I'm no photography expert though.
    If you already know all this, then never mind the long post lol.
    If there's anything wrong with the simulation, please let me know.
    If you need more simulations, you can PM me anytime.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Newbie member

    Zone

    Yeah, i'll try again..maybe i need to get another light..the top one isn't quite sufficient to me..

    Shooting on a tripod doesn't work for me..as once it's mounted on the tripod..it's too far away for me to shoot..hence i can't do macro..this is one of the main reason i was thinking of upgrading my cam.

    Also..i fail to capture the lighting on the toy..some parts are too bright.and some others too dark..i need to play around with them as well..

    OH, what's a good DSLR for starters like me?
    Last edited by Izzy; 5th May 2006 at 06:49 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Newbie member

    Firstly, I must commend you on being "the best newbie".

    You provided a good shot of yr set up, sample shots as well as your goals. Very good way to seek advice for improvement and I hope others will put in as much effort as you to improve

    I'll give you some tips in the areas you requested:



    1. I can't get enough light on the front of the figure, they tend to be darker

    Usually people place a reflector in front (either to the side of the camera or above) to throw back some light onto the figure. Alternatively, get a light tent and shoot through the front flap or get a flash diffuser and fire from the front with FEC of -2.0.

    Using a flash is the least ideal solution since it tends to create hotspots on reflective subjects.. I prefer reflectors.

    2. Certain areas of the photos are not in focus

    Increase DOF by using a small aperture. For still life shots, apertures of F16 and F22 are not uncommon to get the entire object in sharp focus. Most of the time, yr subject is about a metre or so in front of you, so DOF is very shallow at the normal f/8. A tripod is a must cos shutter speeds will be slow, unless you have studio strobes that kick out enough light to hand hold yr shots. I don't think you have the option of a remote/cable release so use the shutter delay to avoid moving the camera when pressing the shutter.

    3. Do i need to upgrade my camera? is there serious need to do so?

    Its better to have some manual controls on yr camera. Again, SLRs will fare better since they allow more control, meter better etc. But you can use a PnS to great effect. With still life lighting is far more important than the camera u use.

    4. I have tried playing with my EV, but still not much success

    EV compensates for over/under exposure. For white backgrounds, under exposure is common so you'll have to boost EV. It not easy to explain the entire concept here... I suggest you do additional reading on still life lighting techniques. But its not a miracle cure as yr friends seem to suggest. From a technical stand point, EV allows you to shift the tonal distribution of your image to yield better details and less noise in the shadows regions, in the case of still life photography.

    5, Is it virtually impossible to achieve that Super white background? only via Photoshop?

    Yes. You'll need a lot of light to get a white background (ie studio strobes or photo floods). Even then you're likely to lose contrast and some detail if you expose for a white background. Slightly greyish backgrounds are common in still life shots like yours. No problem, just replace it in PS. Most people do that.

    Hope this helps.

    If you want you can visit my gallery here: solarii85.multiply.com
    I'm doing a series of still lifes using a light tent and a continuous fluorescent lights. Its geared towards web advertising rather than artistic pursuit, but the idea is the same.
    Last edited by solarii; 5th May 2006 at 11:51 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Newbie member

    I am newbie too, but I learn something from your setup.

    Thanks

  10. #10

    Default Re: Newbie member

    1. I can't get enough light on the front of the figure, they tend to be darker

    Usually people place a reflector in front (either to the side of the camera or above) to throw back some light onto the figure. Alternatively, get a light tent and shoot through the front flap or get a flash diffuser and fire from the front with FEC of -2.0.

    Using a flash is the least ideal solution since it tends to create hotspots on reflective subjects.. I prefer reflectors.
    Thanks solarii for the wonderful tips, is there any pics to show regarding the reflectors' placement? i can't quite visualise what you're trying to get through to me..the other pointers are really useful

    What is "The Standard" for a "Good Shot"..i can't visualise how good shot looks like

  11. #11
    Member edfck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie member

    bro, if u hv a video cam, u can try a little animation with yr toys.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Newbie member

    what' im trying to do is get the pictures correct first..the poses and stuffs can wait later

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Newbie member

    The image you took with the sony cam is sharpest from the rest.
    Suggestion is to concentrate on the lighting as you already mention that.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Newbie member

    huh?

    where got sony cam? dont' have lah...it's CANON IXUS

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Newbie member

    Quote Originally Posted by Izzy
    huh?

    where got sony cam? dont' have lah...it's CANON IXUS
    EXIF from your image

    [Image]
    Image Description =
    Make = SONY
    Model = CYBERSHOT
    Orientation = top/left
    X Resolution = 72
    Y Resolution = 72
    Resolution Unit = inch
    Software = Adobe Photoshop 7.0
    Date Time = 2005-03-20 12:23:03
    YCbCr Positioning = co-sited
    Exif IFD Pointer = Offset: 252

    [Camera]
    Exposure Time = 1/15"
    F Number = F5
    Exposure Program = Manual
    ISO Speed Ratings = 100
    Exif Version = Version 2.2
    Date Time Original = 2005-03-19 15:45:29
    Date Time Digitized = 2005-03-19 15:45:29
    Components Configuration = YCbcr
    Compressed Bits Per Pixel = 2
    Exposure Bias Value = 0EV
    Max Aperture Value = F2.04
    Metering Mode = Pattern
    Light Source = Fluorescent
    Flash = Off
    Focal Length = 11.9mm
    Flashpix Version = Version 1.0
    Color Space = sRGB
    Exif Image Width = 526
    Exif Image Height = 669
    File Source = DSC
    Scene Type = A directly photographed image
    Custom Rendered = Normal process
    Exposure Mode = Manual exposure
    White Balance = Manual white balance
    Scene Capture Type = Normal

    [Thumbnail Info]
    Compression = JPEG Compressed (Thumbnail)
    X Resolution = 72
    Y Resolution = 72
    Resolution Unit = inch
    JPEG Interchange Format = Offset: 742
    JPEG Interchange Format Length = Length: 5237

    [Thumbnail]
    Thumbnail = 101 x 128

  16. #16

    Default Re: Newbie member

    how did u get all that info??

    all my pics except for the second one(the super duper white background) all mine and shot with CANON IXUS. the second pic is just the standard i want to achieve
    Last edited by Izzy; 6th May 2006 at 12:29 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Newbie member

    well I am learning from your setup and still learn from Zone and solarii.
    Zone have pointed up correctly how to poisition the light and solarii mention have to do it in the PS.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Newbie member

    I believe it is do-able with just the flash light by using zone ideal and light positioning.

    Below image taken just now to play with your setup, only diff is that I have strong light behind. The image is still raw no touch up but crop in CS.


  19. #19

    Default Re: Newbie member

    that's one helluva strong light..

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Newbie member

    Quote Originally Posted by Izzy
    that's one helluva strong light..
    Your second image could be done in studio with very strong lighting setup like 2000watts.
    Light source is from top down, look at the shadow of the gun.

    EDIT: Thanks to nikon CLS.
    Last edited by longkangman; 6th May 2006 at 01:54 PM.

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