Crisp and sharp pics.

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  • #48784
    ewinrow
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 26
    • Total Posts: 185

    Hello to all. I am reaching out to you all in regards to achieving crisper and post able pics on this site and. OK, Is there anyone on here who will reveal their secrets on this topic? I have digital cameras but I need to see the entire set-up so I to can not only post but also assist me in my repairs. Thanks to the guys here who have told me about this and their set-ups but I need to see a complet set-up. I’m a disabled vet and sometimes doesn’t understand verbal’s, in my case now visuals in most times is more than words. Already being a challenge with my disabilities’, Little help here please…..! Also keep in mind….. (“LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND”!!!!! AIRBORNE….!) Ed….. (“Viper!”) Good day to all.

    #54953
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hey Ed, search the general forum for how to post pictures and see if that helps, Paul had written on how to do it under “Posting Pictures” I am not a computer guy so that is why I am referring you to that. William

    #54954
    ewinrow
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 26
    • Total Posts: 185

    @willofiam wrote:

    Hey Ed, search the general forum for how to post pictures and see if that helps, Paul had written on how to do it under “Posting Pictures” I am not a computer guy so that is why I am referring you to that. William

    Roger that Will, surly will look into that. Thanks for the feedback. Ed…..

    #54955
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    Hi Ed,

    I also collect German WW 1 & 2 medals, on that collecting forum there have been many discussions regarding taking good, clear photos because these medals are really hard to photograph and detail is important because there are so many fakes.

    Although commercial retailers would have you believe otherwise, that you have to spend $1000’s on expensive gear, the reality is quite simple and just requires a bit of practice, and that you follow a few simple guidelines.

    Basically, you can take fantastic photos with a 4 megapixel mobile phone camera, in fact, FORGET MEGAPIXELS 😆 It’s the camera manufacturers marketing technique to sell more cameras. Megapixels are directly related to SIZE. If you plan on making a huge billboard poster, then the more megapixels the better.

    For our purposes, to post on a forum, 4 mp or less is fine, for the simple reason that the internet only display photos at 72 dpi, Dots Per Inch
    This is the amount of dots that make up your photo. Forgive me if I’m stating the obvious. So this “rule” immediately negates the need for high resolution photos.

    What you do need to follow are the simple rules that apply to any photo taking process, first…

    Use natural, indirect light.
    DO NOT use incandescent or fluorescent lighting NOR a flash.

    Position your target so the light illuminates behind you, or to the side. Experiment and try different techniques. The beauty of digital is that you can take 20 and pick the best. Usually out of 20 I take, I have two and I’ve been doing it for a long time LOL

    The MAIN RULE, most people shoot free hand, this is the best way to SCREW UP a good photo.
    We are shooting close targets, the slightest movement and the image is blurred.
    Buy or make yourself a tripod or some sort of steady rest.
    Think of the target as the lathe, and the camera as the work. If the work is not straight, or wobbling around, you won’t get an accurate cut.

    Choose your target background: Most cameras come with a multi focal lens, which means that is will try to focus on the brightest object and disregard any darker spots.
    For a watch, place it on a piece of black cloth, or dark red, the lens will automatically disregard the dark spot and focus on the watch.
    Also try to AVOID taking photos where the object is laying flat. You have to bend over and you have no control, and you cast a shadow. Buy a little stand, or make one, and set your target in the vertical position.

    Buy a photo editing program, I recommend photoshop elements, it’s the cut down version of photoshop but still comes with tons of options that you’ll never use, but the price is $75 as opposed to $800 for the full version. It basically does everything you’ll ever need to do with your pics.
    There are lots of free options, but beware, nothing is free. So expect spyware, pop up adds, and the amount of junk you’ll receive after you register for your FREE product.

    When taking close up shots of very small items, like jewels, you do not require a macro enabled camera (if you don’t have one) nor do you need to purchase a macro lens.
    A simple trick is to use your mobile/camera in conjunction with your eye magnifyer. I’ll post some examples..

    Here are a few German medals that I used my iphone to capture, as I mentioned, these are one of the hardest things to shoot, because the silver frames are shiny and the iron cores are black, so it really messes with the cameras mind.
    Lighting, natural outdoor, in the shade, not direct sun, AND positioning, are very important. So is a steady hand. I rested the phone on a piece of wood for these shots and I had to mess around with the distance, it’s not easy but the pics turned out very well, and I didn’t have to break out my tripod and canon camera, which is a pain. Notice the different effects with the different background colors..

    Disclaimer: I do not condone national socialism, any practices of the third reich nor Imperialism. The items shown are of purely historical significance and value and are intended to further the collecting communities knowledge of military regalia. I post these items from my personal collection as examples for the improvement of close up detailed photographic techniques, for those who may find it of help.

    OK, Here is an imperial iron cross 2nd class, the problem with these is that we have to have enough light to illuminate the black, but avoid too much slight to reflect the shiny silver frames, which would cause a wash out effect.
    This one I had in the shade, outside, with the sun behind my right shoulder. It was at 2 pm ( I wrote it down haha)
    I had to tilt the case to a 45 degree angle to get the right light, but I think it turned out good for a 4 mp phone camera.

    #54956
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    This is an imperial ww1 iron cross first class that I set up on a cushion, inside, with the window behind me, at 12 noon.
    Taken with an iphone, notice how it has a yellow tinge from picking up the color of the cushion, where as it is a fairly clear shot, the color is not true because of the background and indoor shade..

    The point being, that it still has good detail with a phone camera, but it could be better.

    #54957
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    On this example, I wanted to show you how much detail can be achieved with a few moments spent on correct setup.

    This is a WW2 bar to the imperial iron cross 2nd class. It is awarded to those unfortunate men who served in WW1, then were called up again during WW2 and who already held the WW1 iron cross 2nd class, but who performed 1 act of bravery in WW2, thus earning this supplementary IC2 award.

    This is the size of a 0 pocket watch, and again, I took it outside, on a dark red background. I supported the phone on the counter and against a brick 😆 but it did capture the detail and this is the point… You don’t need a bunch of expensive gear to get your image across clearly.

    #54958
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
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    OK back to watches 😆

    With watches, I get lazy, so really there is no setup because I take about 5 – 10 pics of the disassembly for my memory use. So usually, I use the overhead daylight light. My background is whatever the watch is sitting on, usually the Chinese $1 silicon tray, bright yellow.

    On this shot, from a New York Standard 18s – 1888 model, I used the #2 eye magnifyer, then I cropped off the excess black in photo chop..
    Still, it hasn’t turned out bad, you can see the detail and it serves my purpose, it is good enough, I feel, for posting on a forum.

    Again, I simply supported the camera best I could to prevent shake and let the lens do its auto focal thing. I also tested the light, moved it around until I was satisfied..

    #54959
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
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    As stated, I am lazy because I take so many pics of a watch that I now just shoot from the hip, the pics are just for my files.

    This could have been better IF I had taken a little more time but I simply wanted a completed file shot, still, not bad for a mobile phone hip shot.

    #54960
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    A mobile phone camera has the capacity for taking very good macro shots, when you use an eye loupe. You can see on this image how much detail can be had. NOT so much in the fork, but in the tiny hair to the left :ugeek:

    This shot could have been made waaay better if I had taken time. Plus, metalic objects reflect the light back at the camera causing blur, which is what happened here. But the hair is perfect and smaller than the jewels..

    #54961
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    Same object, I moved the light a little to shadow the fork…

    #54962
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    OK, I’m done, I hope this helps to show that you don’t need to spend loads of money to obtain good shots, or close ups. The answer is in your pocket LOL Your photos can be as good as the time you take and follow the lighting rules as I hope I’ve illustrated ..

    Chris

    #54963
    ewinrow
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 26
    • Total Posts: 185

    OK Chris, I’m going to try some of these tricks, your shots are looking good. Thanks for the tips.

    #54964
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    Good luck Ed and I’ll be looking forward to seeing your shots, if you need any help send me a PM

    Chris

    #54965
    ewinrow
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 26
    • Total Posts: 185

    <div class=”bbcode_quote”>
    <div class=”bbcode_quote_head”>Chris Mabbott wrote:</div>
    <div class=”bbcode_quote_body”>Good luck Ed and I’ll be looking forward to seeing your shots, if you need any help send me
    Hey Chris, I tried a couple of things you all have suggested. I don’t know in some ways I find this picture crap harder than just actual watch repair. If you get these two pics send me your feed back. Thanks Chris, Ed…..</div>
    </div>




    #54966
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    Hi Ed,

    You are absolutely correct, it isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either, the good news LOL

    To answer your question, I haven’t seen any previous shots that you have taken so I have no way to measure improvement, but judging by the ones you’ve posted, It seems you have a focus and/or stability issue, your lighting angle looks ok.

    I’ll ask you a few questions… What type of camera are you using? Does it have the screen on the back or an eye piece view finder or both?
    The worst thing to use is the video screen to take pics, if you have both screen and view finder, switch to the latter.

    Did you use any stabilization when you took these pics, did you use two hands or one, were you standing with elbows resting on something?

    Did you take these inside? Usually when they are a little grainy, it’s due to poor light. Are you able to go outside and take a few shots, if it’s not -40 where you are LOL

    The main thing, don’t get disheartened, a bit of practice only improves. Keep in mind that you are learning to photograph one of the most difficult subjects….. A small, close-up, reflective surface. Macro photography is challenging anyway, but add metallic objects and it changes to hard, but once you get it, it’s more fun. The good news is, the subject is stationary and not moving 😆

    Chris

    Save these shots and we’ll have a guideline to measure your improvement, we’ll have you up and running toute suite :)

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ewinrowCrisp and sharp pics.