LeatherLegion

Critiques Please

6 posts in this topic

The next set of pictures( along with some other ones) will be posted on my new web-site so i need some oppinions as far as the quality of the pictures goes. As a novice , i think they look great...lol...but i need to listen to some of the experts here too. I am using a Sony NEX5 set on "auto" , a table mat as background, 3ft long "day light" fluorescent lamps and Windows Live to "edit" the pictures a bit. For some reason the background doesnt always have the same color ...i am always taking the oictures under the same conditions...light, distance, camera seting..

I used to take the pictures using a white background and the subjects had that "floating" look (see the last picture) but i thought adding a "textured" background would look nicer

Whould a light box make a big difference in the picture quality?

Any suggestions are more then appreciated !!!

Thank you !

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I am not the expert you are looking for, but I thought I'd share something I learned recently. I can't account for why your colors appear different when the conditions appear to be the same, but I have had similar problems caused by different reasons.

The good thing is that you can correct that after the picture is taken, with the right software. I've never used Windows Live so I'm not sure what it is capable of, but you may want to look into adjusting the "white balance". That description is kind of deceiving because adjusting it actually tweaks the whole spectrum, not just whites. This is a simplified explanation, but it should give you an idea of the process. I do it with photoshop with "Adjustments -> Levels". There are eye droppers for black, mid-tones, and white. I usually don't touch the mid-tone one. But what I do is click one of the others, say the black one, and then use it to select a point in your photo that you know should be black. Then do the same with the white one, and select a point that you know should be white. This basically corrects the image to make the colors appear the way they should, regardless of the lighting conditions. If I don't have anything naturally black or white in my photo, I'll stick something in the corner of the frame that I can use for a reference and then crop out of the picture later.

Other than that your pictures look fine to me. I hope this can get you headed down the right path at least. White balance is the key! :)

Edit: I love your work by the way. I was admiring your dog collars the other day looking for inspiration!

Edited by Cameroo

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A tent does make a lot of difference. I can see your fluorescent tube reflected in the snaps.

Include a piece of white paper in the edge of your photo. Then use it as noted above to set what "white" should be. There is another setting in PS under color. It is to remove any colourcast due to lighting, reflections, etc. when removing colourcast, sample something that should have "no color". Either white, grey, or black. Between the two types of settings, you should be able to come closer with matching your colors. There is also a selection for color correction. Sometimes auto works fine, but some manual adjustments may be required.

See if your camera has a setting for manual white balance. If so, use it to get correction started properly in your camera.

If you always use same light, same distance, same f-stop, same shutter speed, you should get same color rendition. Auto isn't always your best friend.

Tom

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Are you using auto focus? Because you are losing your focus on some of the pictures on the far side of the piece. Like the stitching on the brown wallet in the open picture is out of focus on the bottom and left side. Like Tom said above auto is not always your friend. You have some great work.

David

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Thanks for the suggestions !!! I'll try to figure out that white balance thing on my camera and probably invest in a light box (tent) and see what coes out of it

Thanks again !!!

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I'll try to figure out that white balance thing on my camera and probably invest in a light box (tent) and see what comes out of it

To get greater depth of field (in focus from the front edge to the back edge) you need to use a smaller lens apeture (f/22 for example) and a slow shutter speed, maybe 1/8 second, all depending on your lighting. Bracket you shots with longer and shorter exposure times so you can pick the best exposure. After some practise with the same setup, you will not need to bracket with as many shots and of course will save a little time.

Here are a few links that you may find useful. There are many places on the web with great information.

Aperture http://digital-photography-school.com/aperture

Seamless background product shots http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-create-simple-seamless-background-product-shots

Inexpensive Light Tent http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-make-a-inexpensive-light-tent

Seamless White Background http://digital-photography-school.com/diy-seamless-white-background-for-product-shots

Get your White Balance Correct http://digital-photography-school.com/get-your-white-balance-right-in-seconds-using-grey-card

You can build a portable light tent out of some tubing and a flat white bed sheet. You can build it to any size needed for your products. For starters, build something that will fit on your table top. It is much easier to work around than crawling around on the floor. Tripods for camera and lights make it easier to arrange and setup. A boom type tripod is handy for your camera so you can position it above the product if you want to.

Photography can be nearly as addictive as leatherwork, so watch out. You may have two addictions to deal with now!

Tom

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