Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Photography Questions


Ron1
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'd like to take some fairly decent photos of instruments, and thought a couple of questions here might save me from having to 're-invent the wheel'. 1) What would be a reasonable or recommended distance to place the instrument away from the back-drop in order to eliminate/lessen shadows, etc? 2) What would be a reasonable or recommended distance between the camera and the subject in order to lessen distortion in the picture? Other considerations I should be thinking of? Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What focal length lenses do you have and what lighting system? Are you using conventional film or digital?

If you are using on-camera flash, you need to back off from the background to avoid shadows. If you have different lenses or a zoom lens, a medium telephoto will help eliminate distortion. Don't use wide angle.

This is a tough question to answer without knowing what you have available.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're photographing against white, it's not necessary to get a lot of distance--even the shadows will blow out. If you're not using white, the distance between the violin and the background is the least of your problems--the support system shadows, and even lighting will be the biggest things to deal with.

Use at least an 85mm lens; the farther away you are, the better, up to the limits of reasonable. Five or six feet is a good distance.

">"><B"><B">http://ww...m...ter2001/page1.htm

http://www.soundpostonline.com...e/spring2003/page3.htm

Obviously the situation reigital has changed since the articles were written.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the input. I'm only using digital at this point, but hope to graduate to film at a later date. I'm using 4 hardware store spun-aluminum clamp-on lights with photo-flood lamps Not too much control with just these! It looks like I've been too close with the camera- about 2.5 ft. or so. I'll lengthen that some, but will I be able to enlarge the pics & still retain good quality/resolution? The camera is 4 mp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you're set up just fine. For a long time I used a 4mp camera, and now I'm using 8mp, and getting better results than I ever got with film. Almost all of the photos on my website were shot with the 4mp camera.

Your hardware store lighting is fine, also, but get some photoflood bulbs to use with them.

How about posting some examples--then we can tell you what to change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I'd rather fight the battle of artificial lighting than the elements- especially this time of year. Your pics did turn out very nice though. I would also have to have either a permanent or portable set-up with a table or bench and a plain backdrop. I've kinda got that inside now, but still need to work out some of the lighting bugs!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've got a bit too much light coming from below. With lighting you need to establish one direction for the origin of the main light, and that's normally (since our sun is in the sky) from above. The other main problem is the color balance--I don't know what your violin looks like, but I bet the background isn't salmon-colored. Try this. . . . attached below.

Part of the magic of color correction is that when the colors are right, you see a lot more--the picture has more detail and appears sharper.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Michael, but how did you do that? When I try to make any color corrections with the computer, it invariably turns out worse than when I started. You're right about the color of that violin. If I have 'main' lighting from above, won't the bottom portion be too dark?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ron, what program are you using for the color correction?

If the bottom is too dark, you have your lights too close. Then the photoshop ninja act can correct what little difference is left. For instance, check the example below (I'm just messing with your mind, now.)

But since you've got too much light from below, it still has a bit of the Bela Lugosi look.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Michael- I'm using Paint Shop, but with little experience. Sometimes I think I'm doing great, until I compare with the original photo & find I'm way off base. Guess I just need more practice? Speaking of possibly having my lights too close, what is a reasonable distance between lights & subject?

Matt- Thanks for the informative link.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Four or five feet is a good distance. Light falls off in proportion to distance (according the inverse square law) so when you're close with the lights, there's a bigger difference between nearer and farther parts of the subject than if the light is more distant--compare, for instance, the effect of flash at five and twenty feet, compared to the sun at 93 million miles vs 93million miles and fifteen feet.

I'm not too familiar with Paint Shop, but essentially what you want to do is use either levels or curves to set the darkest area to an RGB value of 0,0,0, and the white background to 255,255,255, at which point everything in between will become correct, by magic. There may be eyedroppers in the curves or levels dialogues that make it easy to do that. Sometimes I set the shadows to something like 10,10,10, so that things don't get too black, but the concept is the same. Curves and levels are your friends--learn how to use them. Don't even *think* of using brightness, contrast, and color correction--they're the sledgehammers of photo correction, and they mainly just make a mess of things..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...