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Author Topic: Photography Question  (Read 422 times)

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Offline JMNTopic starter

Photography Question
« on: December 14, 2010, 06:51:25 PM »
I'm trying to take pictures of some of the miniatures I paint.  They're about an inch tall, and have a good deal of detail.  I've been struggling trying to get good shots.  This is the best one I was able to get of this owl:

All of the lighting in my house is too yellow, regardless of what bulbs I use, so I'm dependent on the flash.  The problem is that by the time I get the camera close enough to capture the detail, the flash washes everything out.  I tried using the zoom, but the camera insists on focusing on something other than the figure.  I can put it against a blank white background with nothing else in the frame, and when I use the zoom, it's in focus for a split second and then goes blurry.  Does anyone know how to keep that from happening?

Offline Caeli

Re: Photography Question
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 06:54:23 PM »
Do you have a macro setting on your camera? Usually, there's a "normal" (for most pictures), a "landscape" (if you're taking a picture of something far away), and a "macro" (if you're taking a picture of something close-up).

Also, have you tried taking the picture during daylight hours? That should render the issue of yellow lights a non-issue, but if you're in a hurry, that's probably not possible.

Another alternative would be to take the picture without flash, and then post-process out the yellow. It's usually only a couple of clicks to photo-filter out something so the color is more correct.

Offline Amber

Re: Photography Question
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2010, 01:16:44 PM »
Similarly to what Caeli just said, usually ((I've noticed)) there's a little picture of a flower on one of the settings... that's for "close up." It might just be on the cameras I've used but generally that's what it is... On my camera there's a "scn" button, not sure what it stands for, but when I click to that setting I get to choose from "landscape" or "portrait" or "closeup" etc. and you choose the flower icon, it'll allow you to take pictures from... I think... 10-22 inches away?

You could try to raise the resolution on your camera, also. My camera takes pictures at 480dpi meaning they are HUGE, and I can scale them down as I feel necessary. This allows me to capture a TON of detail and then make it a little smaller to my preference.

Finally, I would use natural light. I'm an artist and last summer I made my own portfolio site - I had to take pictures of about 50 huge works of art. I laid them down on the floor in my living room right next to a window. Around 5:00 the light is always BLARING through that window, but it made for EXCELLENT pictures. This is a photo of a painting of fabric that I did using that method, with no photo manipulation at ALL.

If you choose to use the natural light don't worry about it being too bright. You'll THINK it's too bright, but really the camera should straighten out the lighting itself. It looks like it's going to make your work look "glowing" but it's actually better that way since the camera makes things a little bit darker always.

Offline Oniya

Re: Photography Question
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 01:42:44 PM »
I have a digital camera that's fairly simple (as in, I don't even know if I've got a macro setting).  I set the camera to 1600x1200 (largest size), fine grain, and I usually take two pictures, one with the flash and one without (sometimes the flash washes out the images).  I then reduce the picture to 400x300 in my editing program, and it typically turns out rather well (at least, I haven't had any complaints).  If you want to see some of the shots I've done with that technique, I have some up in this thread.