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Guide How to photograph your mod(s)

Discussion in 'Modding' started by PsychoI3oy, 23 Jun 2004.

  1. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    He he... I was waiting for that: Probably the only other person woth manual cameras to go "oi!" Good lord.. not used a M42 mounted Pentax for years! Good machine tho. Stick with it if you know how to use it... buy a film scanner instead. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: 25 Jun 2004
  2. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    You are absolutely correct. True "pulling" and "pushing" does involve longer and shorter development time, respectively. I could have sworn I said that in my post, but looking back, I suppose I deleted it for some reason. As written, what I described is essentially just overexposing. In my post, I did refer to color print film, not E6, which is used for color transparency (slide) processing. Slide film has a much smaller exposure latitude, and as you said, can lose highlight detail if overexposing. In fact, for better color saturation, slide film generally benefits from underexposure. I suppose I should have bene more specific, as my explanation was meant for color print film.

    Again, you are correct. A decent incident meter is accurate above and beyond anything your camera can do. If you have an incident meter and your subject is lit well, you don't really need to bother with exposure compensation at all. As far as recommending manual ISO ratings, I never shoot anything at the standard ISO. From my experience, film manufacturers overrate their films - some by as much 2 full stops - and manually rating the film lower helps give more accurate exposures. In almost all of my photo classes in school, one of the first assignments was to shoot a roll of film using different ISO ratings to find out the more accurate rating. By overexposing, my shadow details are present, but my highlights are never blown out. Again, I wasn't recommending this for slide film, and I suppose I should have been more clear. Of course, the sunlit snow scene was just an extreme example to illustrate the point.

    Reciprocity law has more to do with increased exposure time during long exposures. Generally, the shutter speeds double in time for each full stop (i.e. 1/500 sec, 1/250 sec, 1/125 sec, 1/60 sec, 1/30 sec, 1/15 sec, 1/8 sec, 1/4 sec, 1/2 sec, 1 sec., etc.). As a rule of thumb, when you go longer than one second, you need to give increased exposure in addition to the standard ratio. Of course, with the abundance of "nighttime" shots of lit-up cases in the dark, Reciprocity law may be a pretty important topic, as Reciprocity can result in color shifting.

    Don't get me wrong, you and PsychoI3oy wrote very some very good guides there, and I wasn't trying to contradict anything either of you said. You are right when you say that god lighting is very important. Exposure compensation won't always make up for flat lighting. All I was trying to do was add my experience for bringing out shadow details. I also thought that in a forum full of technical-minded people, some might enjoy some more in-depth information.

    I apologize if I offended you, or if you think I filled your thread with overly technical jargon. However, after all the advanced electronics guides and other assorted techniques such as home anodizing/chrome plating, I didn't think that people would be too thrown by intermediate level photography. Even if only 1 other person uses a camera with manual adjustments, that person might benefit from a few techniques here and there. And isn't that the reason this forum exists?

    Again, sorry if I overstepped my bounds. I was just trying to help :)

    -monkey
     
    Last edited: 24 Jun 2004
  3. Goblin Tinkerer

    Goblin Tinkerer New Member

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    Hey thanx alot guys. This really helps alot. Ganna have to set up my own bed sheet photo spot next time a get to take some pics!
     
  4. PsychoI3oy

    PsychoI3oy Member

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    wow, all this talk about pulling film and overexposing...

    maybe one of you could start a seperate thread on how to take good film pictures? my intentions here were for basic shooting with digital cameras and not a whole lot of setup required
     
  5. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    No, you're right. You and Pookeyhead provided all the information the general modder needs to take better pictures of his/her case. When I saw a thread about photography, I naturally got excited. I got my college degree in photography and count myself among the many Bit-Tech members who are former professional photographers.

    I just got a little over-zealous with information, and if I detracted from your original guide, then I apologize. :(

    Happiness to all, and let's here it for better mod pictures :thumb:

    -monkey
     
  6. PsychoI3oy

    PsychoI3oy Member

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    no problems mate, i'm sure someone will benefit from your info (i haven't touched a film camera in years, much less ever developed my own film)

    on another note... It'll probably be this weekend before i get a full set of good/bad pics to post (my birthday tomorrow, extreme drunkenness is in the plans :) ), i'll just edit them into the original guide posts
     
  7. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    First: Apologies for those not interested in any of the technical stuff...


    Or short.

    No it doesnt... Reciprocity Law is the relationship between shutter speed and aperture to yeild a given EV, for example: If f8 and 1/60th gives EV12, then f5.6 and 1/125th will also give EV12. That's Reciprocity Law... what you are talking about is Reciprocity Law FAILURE.

    Your suggestion of setting your ISO to overexpose by forcing a different EV over the entire roll is misleading, and will result in as many incorrectly exposed shots as not. Adjusting the ISO rating IS exposure compensation! You may as well tell people to set their cameras at +1 exp comp, and leave it there. There’s no difference. It’s wrong, and is not something you should be advising people to do.

    Films are NOT incorrectly rated by the manufacturers. When you get seemingly better results by overriding the ISO, you’re just correcting for deficiencies in your camera’s meter, and/or incorrect processing. A ISO200 film may be better rated at 100 in YOUR camera.. but it may not be in mine.

    If a film has a contrast range of 8 stops for e.g., then overexposing it won’t change this… it will still be 8 stops (exposure latitude and contrast range are not the same thing – slide film actually has a wider contrast range than print, despite having a narrower exposure latitude). You’re just shifting everything down the curve to give more exposure in the darker areas. This will always come at the expense of highlight detail. If you’ve managed to get good shadow detail and retain highlights, then it’s because the scene was within the film’s capabilities.

    The only way you can extend or compress a film’s contrast range is through development.. NOT exposure.

    I advise you to read “The Negative" by Ansel Adams, published by Little and Brown ISBN 0-8212-1131-5


    I don’t think you offended anyone.. don’t worry. :D

    I’m more concerned with the ACCURACY of the jargon!
     
    Last edited: 25 Jun 2004
  8. phaSe

    phaSe New Member

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    great guide guys!

    Im no photographer but having spent ages working what all the settings on my digicam do, i think i can add something.

    Exposure compensation! its great, set it low to get dark, crisp night shots without a tripod, as the camera isnt holding the shutter open for a set amount of light. With a tripod, try setting it a bit higher to get bright, glowey bits :) Ive also found when taking pictures of poi stuff, depending on the settings the person will be crisp, but the poi are moving fast enough to look blurred and cool. :thumb:

    Also, for those that dont know, photoshop has a 'save for web' feature. It lets you see what your pic looks like as a jpeg, gif etc with different levels of compression. use it, it works very well and can make your pictures look good, but not use up much bandwidth.

    Now to just get on with the mods to take photos of!

    RoB
     
  9. Etacovda

    Etacovda New Member

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    Oh yes, i know this camera takes superb photos, but as far as processing goes, its not cheap... mod shots are a bit of a waste of money, when i could be spending the money on the mod itself ;)
     
  10. Sc0rian

    Sc0rian Here comes the farmer

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    [​IMG]

    The one good pic iv got of pc.
     
  11. G-gnome

    G-gnome Peter Dickison

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    An obsession with jargon and the technical side of the photographic process?

    Surely one's artistic sense of subject, light and composition is more important? ;)

    This thread has more than enough technical talk in it already. It was posted as a guide for those with limited experience. I personally think the first few posts contain everything needed for this purpose?

    A 'bit-tech photographers' thread in Audio Visual or General Discussion would probably be the best place to continue any tech-talk. I'd welcome a chance to hear what you guys do/shoot and to talk 'shop' in another thread. :)
     
  12. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Exposure is good! The PC is metered correctly, or near enough. WHy all the space around however? Crop in close with the camera. This is better for 2 main reasons:

    1: The more of the frame you fill with the main subject, the more accurate the metering will be, and

    2: the more of the frame you fill with the object, the more of the chip you are using, so the image will be higher res. You can crop after in PS, but you're losing res when you do that.

    Try a more interesting angle other than straight on too. So long as you can still clearly see the details of the PC, try different angles... going close with your zoom pulled back to give converging lines etc.. try putting up a white sheet (or another colour if you want) to make the background more neutral - this will focus attention onto the subject.. My eyes are tempted to wander around your room :)

    Nice pic tho :thumb:
     
    Last edited: 25 Jun 2004
  13. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    I can't agree more. Technical knowledge wont make you take interesting Photos anyway... technically correct maybe, but that's not what makes a great image.

    Gotta tread a fine line here tho... the thread is about good technique, but I really do think your idea of moving the serious tech talk to another forum is a good one, and I'd be happy to talk shop all day with you in there :thumb:


    Incidentally... you can see some of my personal stuff here

    EDIT: New thread for the serious photography tech-talk now here

    BTW... Happy Birthday PsychoI3oi :D
     
    Last edited: 25 Jun 2004
  14. ZapWizard

    ZapWizard Enter the Mod Matrix

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    I am not a former pro, but I have taken plenty of photo classes, and I consider my self a good photographer.

    Here is how I take my images:

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For product/small mod shots:

    [​IMG]

    I have one shelf in my bookshelf that is lined with poster's (White part facing out)
    Along the left and right side I have two 12" white cold cathodes, with alluminum tape reflectors around them.

    I use these cathodes as my sole-source of light, and set my camera for "fluorescent white balance".

    I use a tripod, macro or manual focus, and a 2-second shot delay.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For large day-shots:

    [​IMG]

    I used a white-sheet put across my bed, with white walls in the corner.
    I then use plenty of light, but all from the same type of source.
    I normaly use 4 100-watt light bulbs inside large reflectors.
    I set then set my camera for "Incandecent white balance"
    I use a tripod, manual focus, and a 2-second time delay.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For night shots:

    [​IMG]

    I use the same white backgrounds, and use a tripod.
    White balance is altered until the PC's light color looks correct, or the image is adjusted in photoshop afterwards.
    I use a tripod, and between a 2-4 second exposure on my digital camera.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  15. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Aha.. Mr Zap... was wondering when you'd show up :D Your photos always seem well thought out :thumb:
     
  16. PsychoI3oy

    PsychoI3oy Member

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    Someone else has a very similar nick and the same birthday as me? :p

    thanks, I think you're the first to notice (though bit-tech auto emailed me about 5pm local time last night, guess the servers are on UTC).

    thanks for the pointers zap, I figured you'd have something to say on the subject, and I have always thought your pictures were rather professional looking.

    hrmm, all this talk about proper backdrops and specialized light sources... makes me think I have some setting up to do for the good v bad shots. (though again, the original point was just to make pictures better by taking better pictures and knowing how to edit them, not doing any special setups...)

    anywho, thanks to all contributers to this thread, I figured I'd get a few good responses but this is some really good info!
     
    Last edited: 25 Jun 2004
  17. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    As for framing, I'm of the school that says placing it in the centre is usually boring, unless it's something that's got such impact, it can stand alone with very little in the background. I tend to find things slightly askew, off centre, or at a jaunty angle a little more interesting. However, with shots of your mod, you gotta make it clear, so exercise caution. Just experiment mate... The best rule to remember, is that rules can be broken.


    As for the acrylic card reader thing, I'd shoot it against a dark background, but lit from the front, to one side, but with a light reflected off a very large piece of card so the acrylic has something to reflect. Have the light low down, aimed up at the card, so the light itself wont reflect in the acrylic... just the white area of the card. A second light behind the case, but not in shot will highlight the edges of the acrylic.

    You could also light it directly from above.. this will highlight the edges of the acrylic, whilst keeping the overall case dark... it depends what look you want to go for



    Get all dust and fingerprints off your case, or it will look horrible when backlit!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 26 Jun 2004
  18. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    I like the above lighting setup, but I would change one small thing. I would flip the whole setup so the camera's point of view is looking at the right-hand side of the case. Looking at the left-hand side may cause a viewer's eye to wander off the image. Most cultures read left to right, and when presented with a picture people often "read" the picture the same way. You need some method to visually trap the eye within the frame. Turning the setup around will cause the viewer to look at the card-reader panel, with the right-hand side of the case causing the eye to stay in the frame and take another look.

    Not necessarily a hard and fast rule, but it may be something to try, at any rate ;)

    -monkey
     
  19. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Well.. my reason for that was simple: Unless he wants a close up of the card reader in question, shooting this way also shows the mobo and internals.. from the other side, you'll just see the back of the mobo, which is not the prettiest site imaginable :hehe:
     
  20. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    :hehe: Yeah, I had thought about that halfway through my post. I was thinking along the lines of a close-up of the card reader. If you wanted the card-reader along with the rest of the case, I suppose you wouldn't want the back of the motherboard.

    -monkey
     
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