Werlu Ulcur

Technic Photography

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Okay, I've been playing around with different colored backgrounds and camera settings. I think my problem is the lack of a proper lighting system and mostly a tripod. This was taken using a makeshift stacked-boxes tripod and natural evening sunlight. I think resizing it and uploading it to flickr ruined most of the quality, but I'd appreciate some criticism.

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DSC_0910 by Shu, on Flickr

ixVTAXU.png

Edited by Jim
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Okay, I've been playing around with different colored backgrounds and camera settings. I think my problem is the lack of a proper lighting system and mostly a tripod. This was taken using a makeshift stacked-boxes tripod and natural evening sunlight. I think resizing it and uploading it to flickr ruined most of the quality, but I'd appreciate some criticism.

shutter speed 1.3. you using the timer option or remote when pressing the shutter release button? otherwise it looks ok.

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shutter speed 1.3. you using the timer option or remote when pressing the shutter release button? otherwise it looks ok.

I'm using the timer, and that's exactly my problem. It only looks OK. I want it to look great :tongue:

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I would say it does, with the exception of that spot in front right that needs removing.

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I think my problem is the lack of a proper lighting system and mostly a tripod. This was taken using a makeshift stacked-boxes tripod and natural evening sunlight. I think resizing it and uploading it to flickr ruined most of the quality, but I'd appreciate some criticism.

Hi,

If you upload full res to Flickr and embed the 800 or 1024 version, quality isn't ruined.

What I do to get better quality is doing some post-processing in lightroom, noise reduction, sharpening, etc. Not too much, but just enough to enhance your picture. And of course, proper lighting will help a lot.

Here you can see an example of before and after:

15523126077_4a30966093_c.jpg

15634032585_2584cdc139_c.jpg

As you can see, the black details are much better visible. This goes for all dark areas.

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I would say it does, with the exception of that spot in front right that needs removing.

really? thanks lol. And yeah, that shouldn't be a problem with the new Apple photos app. There's a really nice blemish remover tool ( or whatever you call it) in it.

With a 24mm wouldn't be better to have a lower f/? Maybe f/2.8 and higher shutter speed?

I literally have no idea, I'm a huge newb when it comes to photography. I will definitely try that, thanks.

Hi,

If you upload full res to Flickr and embed the 800 or 1024 version, quality isn't ruined.

What I do to get better quality is doing some post-processing in lightroom, noise reduction, sharpening, etc. Not too much, but just enough to enhance your picture. And of course, proper lighting will help a lot.

Here you can see an example of before and after:

As you can see, the black details are much better visible. This goes for all dark areas.

Wow, that picture is ridiculously nice. And comparing yours to mine it's quite obvious that my picture is overexposed and therefore less "crisp". I will mess around a little with post processing tomorrow. Thanks for the advice.

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Wow, that picture is ridiculously nice. And comparing yours to mine it's quite obvious that my picture is overexposed and therefore less "crisp". I will mess around a little with post processing tomorrow. Thanks for the advice.

In my opinion, digital photography needs post processing to get the best results. Defintely don't overdo it, but shooting with a DSLR yields somewhat grainy results, no matter how expensive your camera or lens is. When you stick to 800x600 it's not that bad, but when you shoot pictures for reviews, you like to provide the best quality for the hi-res versions (where people can zoom in).

Lightroom is a very convenient program you enhance and manage your pictures. I like it a lot.

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Okay, I've been playing around with different colored backgrounds and camera settings. I think my problem is the lack of a proper lighting system and mostly a tripod. This was taken using a makeshift stacked-boxes tripod and natural evening sunlight. I think resizing it and uploading it to flickr rui

By the way; your picture is way too large. Can you resize to max 1024? Thanks!

What program do you use ?

I use Lightroom 5 and I am very satisfied. I use batch import settings, so most of the processing is done automatically.

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Really enjoying this thread. I've also been using the poor mans remote of shutter on a timer.

Maybe slightly off topic, but I did find that leaving the camera on the tripod when taking videos reduced the shaking significantly. Doesn't weight much but adds a lot to the rotational inertia :)

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By the way; your picture is way too large. Can you resize to max 1024? Thanks!

I use Lightroom 5 and I am very satisfied. I use batch import settings, so most of the processing is done automatically.

do you shoot RAW? i guessing yes on the amount of detail you are getting in the shadows.

With a 24mm wouldn't be better to have a lower f/? Maybe f/2.8 and higher shutter speed?

depends if he is using the kit lens which doesn't go down to f/2.8. wouldn't you want a higher aperture for more detail thou? f/8-f/11 i think produces the sharpest image with that lens (I have a D5100)

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do you shoot RAW? i guessing yes on the amount of detail you are getting in the shadows.

Yup, I always shoot RAW. Takes about 26MB per picture, but that's not a big issue nowadays.

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depends if he is using the kit lens which doesn't go down to f/2.8. wouldn't you want a higher aperture for more detail thou? f/8-f/11 i think produces the sharpest image with that lens (I have a D5100)

SOrry to correct you but a lower F means a higher aperture...... :tongue: :tongue: :tongue:

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Okay, I've been playing around with different colored backgrounds and camera settings. I think my problem is the lack of a proper lighting system and mostly a tripod. This was taken using a makeshift stacked-boxes tripod and natural evening sunlight. I think resizing it and uploading it to flickr ruined most of the quality, but I'd appreciate some criticism.

Image (too large)

DSC_0910 by Shu, on Flickr

Wow, that picture is ridiculously nice. And comparing yours to mine it's quite obvious that my picture is overexposed and therefore less "crisp". I will mess around a little with post processing tomorrow. Thanks for the advice.

My primary criticism of this photo would be that the mirror assembly in the top left is overexposed and you can't make out any of the details, otherwise it looks pretty good.

Yup, I always shoot RAW. Takes about 26MB per picture, but that's not a big issue nowadays.

I would also advocate shooting RAW. If you had in this case, I think the mirror might be recoverable. Lightroom + RAW can really turn some photos around that look like a dud in JPG straight from the camera.

It takes up a lot of space, but in the world of 64GB sd cards you can still fit >1000 photos on a card.

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SOrry to correct you but a lower F means a higher aperture...... :tongue: :tongue: :tongue:

lol thats it buddy your on my list! :tongue::grin: yah i always get those mistaken.

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My primary criticism of this photo would be that the mirror assembly in the top left is overexposed and you can't make out any of the details, otherwise it looks pretty good.

I would also advocate shooting RAW. If you had in this case, I think the mirror might be recoverable. Lightroom + RAW can really turn some photos around that look like a dud in JPG straight from the camera.

It takes up a lot of space, but in the world of 64GB sd cards you can still fit >1000 photos on a card.

Since he had a white subject with a darkish background, he could set the camera to use spot or center metering instead of evaluative. Then the white probably wouldn't get blown out. I think blown out details would be hard to recover in post processing.

I would go with RAW too if it is an important shot. RAW comes with extra work which you may or may not have time for. Lightroom can make the workflow easier. I would advocate learning to shoot correctly and getting good shots out of the camera first before relying on post processing as a clutch.

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Finally had a chance to take a picture of something technic. not as good as many of the great photographers in this group. but i think it came out great.

D5100

f/20

40mm

shutter speed 1/10

ISO 200

off camera flash, remote shutter.

19304083042_1c290474a9_c.jpgDSC_6539.jpg by C. L., on Flickr

Edited by tehkei

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^ I think that looks superb! Are you using natural light?...

Sorry about the size of the picture Jim. I'll re size it.

lol thats it buddy your on my list! :tongue::grin: yah i always get those mistaken.

I laughed way too hard at this :laugh:*huh*

I'll take another picture tomorrow ( or the day after) in RAW, using center metering and f/2.8. Since this is the Technic photography thread and I've made a bunch of posts with no photos in them, here's my attempt to redeem myself. This is my favorite picture of a Lego MOC probably ever.

Disclaimer - Neither the MOC or the picture is mine. It belongs to the incredibly talented Malte Dorowski. Check out his Flickr here.

13347045405_2fc896ccb5_z.jpg

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Since he had a white subject with a darkish background, he could set the camera to use spot or center metering instead of evaluative. Then the white probably wouldn't get blown out. I think blown out details would be hard to recover in post processing.

I would go with RAW too if it is an important shot. RAW comes with extra work which you may or may not have time for. Lightroom can make the workflow easier. I would advocate learning to shoot correctly and getting good shots out of the camera first before relying on post processing as a clutch.

I would agree fully with the above.

I've also found that turning on 'Highlight Alert' in review mode, or the Nikon equivalent, is very helpful for catching if/where you have overexposed when looking at the pictures on the camera screen.

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^ Metering is not really the problem when photographing white subjects; espeically in a product-photography-type environment, the lighting needs to be absolutely spot-on because white is notoriously difficult to expose correctly. If the lighting isn't appropriate, the image will leave a lot to be desired.

One rule of this type of photography is that a single light source can't illuminate your entire subject; only part of it. Reflectors help, but only to an extent. A typical studio lighting set-up will have three lights minimum (for portraits you have your main light - key light - and then a lesser light for fill, and a third light to highlight detail, usually the hair)... for product photography, it can get even more complicated than that, depending of course what the product is.

Small items like Lego models might go into a light box, but this can often give a very bland look to the image because the lighting is so diffuse and undirectional.

I plan to take some photos of my other models over the next week or so and when I do I'll post the results and also my setup & process.

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+1 on shooting RAW if you can. There's always the possibility of discarding the RAW file once you're done with the post-processing, but I'd keep it around "just in case" you get better at post-processing later on :wink:

I use rawtherapee (on Linux) and so far so good, it allows me to do so much more than I can to understand :laugh:

Before I comment one other stuff, there's one thing I found worth mentioning from Jim's 42043 review photos: be aware of how distance to subject changes the relative size of objects in the background. You may also say that focal length makes the difference, since longer lenses will make you step back and wider lenses the other way around. Here's an example I think could be done better with a wide-angle less and getting really close to the subject:

19239956085_634d26f4a0_c.jpg

It's a great background for these subjects, but objects in the background appear too big. I think getting up close with your camera's equivalent to a full-frame 35mm f/2 (*) would make the objects in the background smaller, thus giving a more realistic or "full size" feeling to the subjects. Sadly I don't have a good example at hand, maybe this tiny 20mm frog helps visualize my point?

What I mean to say is: don't forget wide-angle lenses, they ain't cheap but they can give nice results in situations where everybody tends to use longer or macro lenses.

I should go out and shoot my 42030 out there some day and try that, I don't think I can get to a construction though.

(*) Maybe the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM would do, but I only know Nikon so can't really recommend any. If you're into wide-angle zooms, I've read all over the place that Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX II is an amazing one.

Yeah, like that when presenting it has a final product. I think for a teaser the whole model could be out of focus, not just part of it. Viewers see the mystery of the general shape. Alternatively put a sheet over the model and photograph that. Or provide a clear close up of some detailed part of the model without showing the rest of the model. You want to build up suspense of something great is coming. Wet their appetite for wanting more. Just don't disappoint when the final reveal happens. :classic:

I guess what you don't like is when someone posts only this kind of photos in the end. Even when revealing the final product, selective focus and narrow DoF can help highlighting part of the model, any size. I like this one from Jim's 42043 review, it makes the whole cabin stand out and keeps the rest of the truck from distracting you:

18586137413_45d68687db_c.jpg

depends if he is using the kit lens which doesn't go down to f/2.8. wouldn't you want a higher aperture for more detail thou? f/8-f/11 i think produces the sharpest image with that lens (I have a D5100)

Yeah, kit lenses usually don't open more than f/4-5.6 or f/3.5 at wide-angle. That, and their lower quality of glass, are two very good reasons to invest $100/€100 in a good old 50mm f/1.8 like the one I think Jim uses. It's the absolutely best quality/price ratio you can ever get.

Also, each lens has it's own sweet spot between too narrow DoF wide open and diffraction closed all the way to f/16, f/22, etc. I read here and there: close 2 stops from wide open and you'll normally be in or very near to the sweet spot. Indeed for a f/4-5.6 kit lens, that means f/8-11.

Finally had a chance to take a picture of something technic. not as good as many of the great photographers in this group. but i think it came out great.

D5100

f/20

40mm

shutter speed 1/10

ISO 200

off camera flash, remote shutter.

19304083042_1c290474a9_c.jpgDSC_6539.jpg by C. L., on Flickr

Oh my g o s h! Forget about camera & lens, how did you get such a perfect black background?

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^ I think that looks superb! Are you using natural light?...

I used a flash towards the left hand side of the camera.

Oh my g o s h! Forget about camera & lens, how did you get such a perfect black background?

This is my current setup. please excuse the trash can full of Lego bags and apple ale.

I changed the background to a black felt and turned off the lamp on the right. I have a flash High and left of the light box.

19312937751_02c80cabdd_c.jpg20150630_162135 by C. L., on Flickr

final image i adjusted the sharpness, blacks and shadows in LR.

Edited by tehkei

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Today I had some time and I took some pics of my two old Technic motorbikes. I am partially happy with the result. I used a Canon 350D with standard lens, a A3 white piece of paper as background ( :blush: ) and the spot lights from the ceiling.

19344935162_03c26bc361_z.jpg

19324921606_d007aa9ce0_z.jpg

I am disappointed because the white of the background did not remain white. It has a blueish tint.

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