How to take photo's

Discussion in 'Photos and Videos' started by DaveH, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Mar 7, 2011 #1

    DaveH

    DaveH

    DaveH

    Guest

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

    But lets try to keep it simple please :D

    Dave
     
  2. Mar 7, 2011 #2

    Troutsqueezer

    Troutsqueezer

    Troutsqueezer

    Project of the Month Winner!!! Project of the Month Winner

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Messages:
    930
    Likes Received:
    11
    Dave, is this a serious request for assistance? If so, it helps to know what camera you plan on using.
     
  3. Mar 7, 2011 #3

    DaveH

    DaveH

    DaveH

    Guest

    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


    Dave

     
  4. Mar 7, 2011 #4

    spuddevans

    spuddevans

    spuddevans

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
  5. Mar 7, 2011 #5

    milotrain

    milotrain

    milotrain

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    1
    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).
     
  6. Mar 7, 2011 #6

    DaveH

    DaveH

    DaveH

    Guest

    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?

    Dave
     
  7. Mar 7, 2011 #7

    mklotz

    mklotz

    mklotz

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,039
    Likes Received:
    17
    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.

     
  8. Mar 7, 2011 #8

    spuddevans

    spuddevans

    spuddevans

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.


    Tim
     
  9. Mar 7, 2011 #9

    GailInNM

    GailInNM

    GailInNM

    Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,134
    Likes Received:
    232
    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



    DaveH1.jpg

    DaveH2.jpg
     
  10. Mar 7, 2011 #10

    DaveH

    DaveH

    DaveH

    Guest

    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


     
  11. Mar 7, 2011 #11

    milotrain

    milotrain

    milotrain

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    1
    You certainly don't need a DSLR I was just surprised at how cheap I was able to get one with a macro lens recently. One thing I found helpful for me is that I can use a 135mm prime lens and stick the camera about 5' away from my mill (to keep it safe) and still take photos where a 3" square eats up 75% of the frame.

    Leave the camera's resolution as high as you can. Flash media is cheap right now. Don't shoot RAW though unless you have a very specific reason to do so.
     
  12. Mar 7, 2011 #12

    spuddevans

    spuddevans

    spuddevans

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd leave it on 4Megapixels and then you can make use of the cropping feature in an editing program like Gail suggested.

    I almost always spend a few mins just cleaning up and cropping my workshop photos before I post them, hides a multitude of sins :big:

    Tim
     
  13. Mar 7, 2011 #13

    Troutsqueezer

    Troutsqueezer

    Troutsqueezer

    Project of the Month Winner!!! Project of the Month Winner

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Messages:
    930
    Likes Received:
    11
    How I do it:

    Low room lighting.
    Incandescent bulb on a swing arm near the object being photographed. Two are even better for nice reflections in the metal.
    Manual focus.
    Manual exposure (shorter for rich tones).
    Tripod.
    Macro use depends on what you are shooting: If it's a part, then macro ( with zoom out all the way or it may not focus). If it's a setup on the lathe or mill you are shooting, then not macro.
    Re-size the image to 800 x 600 pixels.
     
  14. Mar 7, 2011 #14

    DaveH

    DaveH

    DaveH

    Guest

    Well, well, well.
    Just look at that, millions times better.

    Thank you all; really good and usefull advice. :bow:

    Dave

    DSCN0762.jpg
     
  15. Mar 7, 2011 #15

    spuddevans

    spuddevans

    spuddevans

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well done Dave, looks like you've got a handle on it now.


    Tim
     
  16. Mar 7, 2011 #16

    DaveH

    DaveH

    DaveH

    Guest

    Tim,

    It's easy when someone tells you how to do it.

    I would have never figured it out. I've always used flash! Big mistake.

    I thought the timer was for taking photo's of myself - not to reduce camera shake.

    Tended to get "blurred"........"blurred" .......I just thought rubbish camera this :)

    Love the little flower.

    Thank you
    Dave
     
  17. Mar 7, 2011 #17

    mklotz

    mklotz

    mklotz

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,039
    Likes Received:
    17
    Let me point out to folks offering advice that I have discovered that Dave's camera does not have operator control of aperture and/or shutter speed.

    Keep taking the pictures at 4 megapixel resolution so that you have maximum resolution to work with in any editor you may use. Pixresizer is a straightforward and handy tool to resize photos to 800 x 600 pixels for uploading to Photoshop, etc.

    Your new picture of the Z-axis DI is much better but the dark area surrounding the DI is still indistinct. (I know it doesn't matter mechanically but we're talking photography here.) Shine a flood light onto the DI, but at a 45 deg angle so the reflection doesn't enter the lens, and see if that sharpens the dark area. Before you do this, though, try the BSS function and let's see how that turns out.

     
  18. Mar 7, 2011 #18

    bearcar1

    bearcar1

    bearcar1

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,784
    Likes Received:
    14
    Now see Tim, you have that all wrong. Your supposed to spend a few minutes cleaning up the workshop before cropping any photos and yes I DO hide a multitude of sins. :big:

    (bless me father for I have sinned and I'll probably do it again tomorrow) uh. er...something like that anyway.

    BC1
    Jim
     
  19. Mar 7, 2011 #19

    DaveH

    DaveH

    DaveH

    Guest

    Marv,

    I think you are getting too excited, :big: the only floodlight I have is the task light for the mill, halogen type, the workshop lighting is fluorescent. Not sure how the camera will take to the different colours. But I'll give it a go.

    Dave
     
  20. Mar 7, 2011 #20

    mklotz

    mklotz

    mklotz

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,039
    Likes Received:
    17
    That's what the white balance adjustment is all about. Your camera is using an automatic setting but that often produces false colors. Learn to adjust it manually to produce the most realistic color renditions.
     

Share This Page