My Camera

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Irish Pat

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May 31, 2012
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253
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Ireland
Could someone please help me with taking photos of my pens.The problem I have is that I don't use my camera alot.I own a FUJIFILM FINEPIX J27,it has 10.2 megapixels,3 x optical zoom,2.7" lcd etc.First is this suitable for taking good pictures because I don't want to spend any money on cameras.
What would be the best way of taking a picture.I have looked at some of the threads and the comments are double dutch to me.Everybody seems to have very good cameras and accessories.Can anyone help.

Pat.
 
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jeff

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If your camera has a manual mode, and you have some way to get a lot of diffused light on your pens, you should be able to take great photos. I have an OLD P&S camera, and a light box made out of a cardboard box and 50 cents worth of tissue paper, and I'm happy with my photos.

If you post some of your photos here, I'm sure many people will help you out.
 

Lenny

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Jan 6, 2009
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Searsport, Maine
Like Jeff said a light box is an easy project and will help you control the light.

How-To Make and Use a Light Box to Improve Your Product Photography | Handmadeology

The use of a tripod to eliminate camera shake will also help. Make sure you know your camera's minimum focusing distance, which will be at the widest angle setting and in macro mode. Learning to set a custom white balance based on your actual lighting may also be worthwhile. I like to try switching between the different metering modes (evaluative, center weighted and spot) to see what effect they have as well.

Hope that helps a little. Post some examples a you go and you will get good advice from the others here.
 

PenPal

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Nov 29, 2006
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Canberra, A.C.T., Australia.
Morning here in Australia Pat.

I use a Fuji Fine Pix S602Z please find enclosed four pics taken yesterday of two sets of pen blanks of Aussie timbers I just purchased that arrived yesterday and two pics of a pen I received from the USA made by John Walsh for me that also arrived yesterday. I regard my camera a few years old now as perfectly adequate you be the judge. If you send me a pm on this forum with your E Mail address I will send you some pics of my set up which takes me 5 to ten minutes including taking the pics, indeed the pics of the pen blanks are direct flash on the camera using our kitchen table. I use contrary to most an open box flurescent lights have shown this set up many times on this forum. Since you are new to the forum I am prepared to converse with you privately. Remembered sometimes I take a pic of an 40 yr old Kodak test pattern and yes this was taken at the same time yesterday. Now I dont go to huge lengths regarding the pen as the important part of the exercise and when you get to be 79 as I turned last week you tend to have a huge number of interests that need attending to.

Kind regards Peter.
 

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Si90

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Jul 19, 2013
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Doncaster, UK
You can't get any simpler than how I take my pictures. The camera I use is a 5 mega pixel Lumix FX7 compact camera usually set on macro, but not always. I don't use any additional lights except what Mother Nature supplies. All my pictures are done on my patio table and only use the sun as the light source. The trick is to pick an overcast day so that the light is quite flat, that way you avoid the strong directional shadows. You are looking to capture a good tonal range, you can then give it a tweak in an image editing software if necessary.

All the pictures below are all shot in the above manner. None of them took me more than 10 minutes and that's for 10 to 15 shots off each pen.





 

robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
You can't get any simpler than how I take my pictures. The camera I use is a 5 mega pixel Lumix FX7 compact camera usually set on macro, but not always. I don't use any additional lights except what Mother Nature supplies. All my pictures are done on my patio table and only use the sun as the light source. The trick is to pick an overcast day so that the light is quite flat, that way you avoid the strong directional shadows. You are looking to capture a good tonal range, you can then give it a tweak in an image editing software if necessary.

All the pictures below are all shot in the above manner. None of them took me more than 10 minutes and that's for 10 to 15 shots off each pen.

Wow, those are super sharp pics you got there and I particularly like what you have done with one of my Banksia Hairy pods Resifills, come up stunning, that finish is superb.

As for taking good pics, I seen far too often everyday cameras producing better pics than many of the professional and expensive cameras, it all depends of the person behind the camera and the tricky part here is to define that type person, is a combinations of things that make make a average camera take exceptional pics, the one I find the most crucial, and in these days of digital cameras era, is not that difficult to experiment, what I mean is, find that "sweet" spot.

The sweet spot is a combination of location where the pics are taken, time of the day, the ideal light and camera position/settings

To start with, any camera with "macro" settings, that's the setting you should use then find the best distance to take the pic from. Using natural light is a simple method, direct sunlight is not always the best option, a shade can produce better results.

I can bundle all I said by explaining the reason why I said what I said, I was having a hard time is taking pics and have more importantly consistante results, I walked around the back yard with one pen blank sample finished with the normal CA finish, and the camera on the other hand set on super macro ( I have that option) the camera is a Kodak eazyshare MAX Z990 so, nothing special.

I simple went to different spots of the yard and looked at the blank through the camera to see if I could get a clear image and take a couple of shoots, rotate around and take a few more, change locations and remember where they are so that you can look at the pics and know where they were taken.

After you are done, seat down, download the pics into the computer and have a look at the ones that look best, go back to that spot and repeat to see if you got identical results, if you did, there is your sweet spot to start with, the only thing that can change things considerably is what day you are having (weather wise...!) when you take the pics, dark/overcast day won't work and that is the reason why people set-up light tents inside the house where they can repeat the process, any time of the day or night, all the light they require is artificial from the lights set with the tent/box.

My sweet spot is in my open working shed (roof on top), in between my bandsaw and my dust collector, pointing North, I get good results 90% of the time...!

My camera tell me that I'm taking about 500 pictures every month, in all sorts of places and conditions, that's a fair amount to process and store...!

Anyway, this is my take on the subject, I can recognize a "good" picture when I see it, I get a few of those but not as many as some of the guys here that got their "sweet spot" worked out right and have great cameras to go with, some natural ability also helps...!:wink::biggrin:

Good luck,
Cheers
George
 

edstreet

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Joined
Aug 12, 2007
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3,683
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No longer confused....
Could someone please help me with taking photos of my pens.The problem I have is that I don't use my camera alot.I own a FUJIFILM FINEPIX J27,it has 10.2 megapixels,3 x optical zoom,2.7" lcd etc.First is this suitable for taking good pictures because I don't want to spend any money on cameras.
What would be the best way of taking a picture.I have looked at some of the threads and the comments are double dutch to me.Everybody seems to have very good cameras and accessories.Can anyone help.

Pat.

Why not start off by showing some images and talk about what setup you you have available then someone could be more helpful. Also if you can say where you want to end up and take things that would be almost a must.

I can say the #1 critical item is the lens, #2 is the light.

I have a thread or two here on what my setup is and how I do shots. I have also been tempted several times to do a few tutorials on various topics but have not decided on those just yet.
 
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