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Old 03-07-2011, 05:58 PM   #1
DaveH
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Default How to take photo's

I would like to know how to take photo's in the workshop, so as an example they come out looking like Arnolds.

But lets try to keep it simple please

Dave


 
 
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to take photo's

Dave, is this a serious request for assistance? If so, it helps to know what camera you plan on using.


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Old 03-07-2011, 06:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to take photo's

Troutsqueezer,

Yes please, serious.

If you have seen my photo's in the 'Machine Mods' they look dim, and drab.

The camera is one I bought for my wife; point and shoot!

(also one I could use)

It is a Nikon coolpix 4600


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Old 03-07-2011, 07:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to take photo's

Hi Dave (and others too), I did a writeup on how I take photos in the workshop, and others added their thoughts too on madmodder.


It might be of some help, http://madmodder.net/index.php?topic=1222.0


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Old 03-07-2011, 07:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to take photo's

There are a few general rules:

1'. Turn off the flash (it is the enemy)

1. Close up the aperture. The higher the F-stop number the less light is collected by the lens. The less light is collected the deeper the depth of field or in laymen's terms the more of the framed shot is in focus.
There are two compromises with this, one is that you now need a lot of light in your shop and you need a long exposure time on the camera so now your camera must be on a tripod. That's ok, you want to do this anyway.

2. Use a macro setting if you have it, or a macro lens if you have an interchangeable lens camera. (it's the flower shaped setting on point and shoots)

3. Consider getting a cheaper old DSLR camera with a cheap macro lens. The bottom of the line Canon DSLRs from five years ago can be had for around $200 and a 50mm macro lens with autofocus can be had for $100. You can then get a remote for the camera, mount it on a tripod or other fixture aimed at your vice and just slap the remote next to your mill. Setup the focus and just hit the shutter button as part of your workflow. This perhaps isn't cheap but you will find uses for this setup and you'll take much better photos with it then you could otherwise. (the coolpix is a nice camera though so you don't NEED a DSLR).
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to take photo's

Thanks milotrain & Tim.

No flash. Well that was my first mistake then

I have a macro setting so I will try that.

Trying it without flash, the camera tells me it is "Blurred". So I have to use a tripod. (Knew it would come in handy one day).

Before I rush off in to the workshop, the camera has a zoom, on macro is it best to be close and wide zoom, or further away and zoom in? or half way?

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Old 03-07-2011, 07:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to take photo's

Adding to what Milo wrote...

The flash is for startling small animals. Turn it off and buy some decent outdoor flood lights with reflectors. Cover them with linen gauze to diffuse their light.

When using the tripod, use the camera timer to avoid camera shake. With small apertures for depth of field, you'll need longer exposures and that makes you more sensitive to camera shake.

Learn what white balance is and how to adjust it on your camera.

Your camera has a BSS (Best Shot Selector) function. Try some experimental shots using it and compare those shots against a single shot taken off-hand the way you normally would do.

Where possible, use a non-white, non-patterned, neutral color backdrop for photographing small objects. In fact, you may want to think about building a light box.

I don't think you need a DSLR + macro lens yet. Your camera can focus down to 4 cm and that's plenty good enough for most of the things you'll do. Take a couple thousand photos and then you'll be in a better position to decide if an SLR and interchangeable lenses are for you.

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Old 03-07-2011, 07:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to take photo's

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveH

Before I rush off in to the workshop, the camera has a zoom, on macro is it best to be close and wide zoom, or further away and zoom in? or half way?
I would say that you are better being a bit closer physically ( assuming that your camera is able to focus on the subject ok ) as any vibration will be magnified by zooming in.

Dont forget that, especially on forums, you dont need millions of megapixies, in fact with higher megapixel cameras you can crop or cut away loads to highlight just the details that you want. Keeping that in mind means that you dont have to fill the camera's viewfinder/LCD with the subject.

Another nice touch is to put a comman object in the photo alongside your subject in order to show the scale and size of the part you are photographing.


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Old 03-07-2011, 07:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to take photo's

While nothing can replace good photo taking techniques, some times when we are in the middle of a machining operation there is no way to set up a photo shoot.

One thing that can help is a simple photo editing program. It does not have to be a complex one. Complex ones can do a wonderful job, but they take too long to use. A simple one only takes a few seconds to crop to a good forum size and enhance if necessary.

I use Click 2 Crop for most every day stuff. It is about US$ 20. with a 15 day free trial. Lots of other similar ones are available.
http://www.mazaika.com/

I took one of your photos and spent 15 seconds with it. Results would have been better if starting with a full bandwidth photo, but this gives you an idea. First photo is your original as posted. Second is after about 15 seconds of tinkering.

Gail in NM

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Old 03-07-2011, 08:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to take photo's

Thanks Gail & Marv,

Last question before I go in the workshop and have a practice, the camera is set on 4+ Megapixels should I reduce this to (say) 2M, or less?

Dave




 
 
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