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Roman78

Product pictures quality

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Hello everybody...

 

I have a question about some pictures I want to take and upload. I know that my pictures totally are niche Pictures. As I said in the introduction topic: I'm a collector of old/vintage Computers and want to take pictures of those. I'm just a hobbiest not a professional photographer, but I want my pictures to be good enough to sell. Otherwise i would not be here :D

 

Why the niche pictures, well searching for e.g. "Cologne Cathedral" comes up whit 6631 pictures. Could add the next one, making 6632 to choose from. So my picture is totally lost. But searching for "Philips CDI" comes up whit zero... nada... adding those makes mine "numbero uno". The chance that someone will search for a CDI is quite low, I know. But if somebody search for it they wil find mine.

 

But the question is, are my pictures good enough or do I have to practise more? Therefore i made 2 Pictures of my CDI. Do i have to do some other modifications/editing? Better/other lightning? Cutout the objects? Any tips are helpful. 

 

First I must say: only did some picture optimizing in DxO Optics Pro, not editing. I have to remove 2 scratches on the device. I tried to clean/polish that, but i could not remove it, so i have to edit those away. Still have to do that. These pictures now are for the Lightning and colour/contrast and so on. 

 

What do you guys thing about it?

Foto2.jpg

Foto1.jpg

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Thanks for the reply.

 

The background is bright white. It's a infinity cove (if that is the right English word for it). But think the flashes make it looks a little grey. When I turn the white-balance to more white the colour of the CDI looks wrong. Should i cut the CDI out or edit the light Grey into white? Or trying other light/flash modification/combination?

 

Yes it's a little bit hasty indeed. Just took some pictures of it (like 20) and took the best two. Still experimenting whit the flashes. Got 2 flashes, one on each side whit small soft-box and reflection of 2 Styrofoam plates. As mention, just hobby so no super hightech stuff :D

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I think old computers could do quite well. As Philippe says, put a white background. Select the outline of you product with the lasso, feather by a couple of pixels and fill white. 

 

Colin

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Roman,

 

I hope you don't mind.. I had a quick play (and I can't spell 'Quick' either apparently)

 

Foto1_zps7srzz7ca.jpg

 

I think it does look better on a pure white background. With straight lines to it's edges, it's very easy to cut out in photoshop (I did a very quick and dirty cut-out.. with more time, you can do better).

I also used adjusted the levels to brighten it a little.

 

I dare say, if your picture is unique, so long as the image is half-decent and the buyer specifically wants a picture of this model, it would sell anyway.

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Personally, I have one of these:

 

 

But I guess the setup which Philippe suggests is a bit more like this (but with milky glass and a light underneath):

 

Edited by Matt Ashmore

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Thanks guys.

 

So it's gonna be a cut-out work.

 

Light from underneath is also a good idea, but that's more for small stuff i guess. But i have a good idea now using an old 20" tft background panel from an old iMac to realize this.

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Roman,

 

I hope you don't mind.. I had a quick play (and I can't spell 'Quick' either apparently)

 

Foto1_zps7srzz7ca.jpg

 

I think it does look better on a pure white background. With straight lines to it's edges, it's very easy to cut out in photoshop (I did a very quick and dirty cut-out.. with more time, you can do better).

I also used adjusted the levels to brighten it a little.

 

I dare say, if your picture is unique, so long as the image is half-decent and the buyer specifically wants a picture of this model, it would sell anyway.

 

You can also get much the same result (on this image at least) by pulling in the white point on the curves/histogram and clipping the light grey background to white. That is a matter of seconds. Need to be careful if there is white/silver/light grey elsewhere in the image.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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Aha.. do you mean like this? Interesting feature indeed. This program has just to much features that I'm aware of. foto3.jpg

Just playing whit that feature, and indeed must be very carefully... Here a little darker CDI and removed the 2 scratches. Nice to use is the clipping option, this shows the color 255.255.255 as 0.0.0 so it is easier to find the right amount of clipping.

foto4.jpg

Edited by Roman78

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I think I prefer  the "drop shadow" to the pure cutout.

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The problem I'm struggling whit is the lightning. At this moment I use 2 flashes and 2 white plates. With the lack of experience it's a try and error photo shooting. Maybe i should get myself one or two soft-boxes whit modeling light.

 

When I start this, I planned to make 10-20 images of each machine in different angles and views.

 

But now, after suggesting to make pictures whit a light from underneath, I made one of those from an old 19" LCD monitor back plate. Looks like this:

 

foto5.jpg

 

And made also some test pictures (again try and error and some lightning errors). It's not pure white, but totally no shadows. Here it's harder to tune on the histogram, there is a lot of white/silver gray on the card it self. But it is very easy to cut out. To make pictures of Computer parts like this i should make a special setup.

 

foto6.jpg

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Light meters are looking for gray. If there's an equal mix of dark and light in a photo, they'll get it right.

However, predominantly dark subjects will be overexposed and predominantly light subjects will be underexposed.

Giving the shot more exposure, and/or adjusting curves after the fact so the white areas approach 255-255-255, should go a long way toward fixing it.

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@DDoug, I know, but it should not matter (as far as I know), I'm shooting at manual, so light meter should not be have any influence on the picture. Also shooting in RAW, so whitebalance should also not have any influence. Have to adjust the whitebalance in the RAW-converter afterwards. Is it? 

 

@Geoff, I Think I won't make cutouts, the question is when the white is real 255.255.255 what will Alamy do? If someone needs a cut-out they can make there own, I suppose. 

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You are very limited using flash without modelling lights. Try black paper to control the light- with white refelectors it goes everywhere. Subtracting light may help.

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@DDoug, I know, but it should not matter (as far as I know), I'm shooting at manual, so light meter should not be have any influence on the picture. Also shooting in RAW, so whitebalance should also not have any influence. Have to adjust the whitebalance in the RAW-converter afterwards. Is it? 

 

@Geoff, I Think I won't make cutouts, the question is when the white is real 255.255.255 what will Alamy do? If someone needs a cut-out they can make there own, I suppose. 

 

It looks to me like you are underexposing as you are with your landscapes (previous discussion). You need to take your meter reading on a grey card or similar. It doesn't matter whether you are using manual or auto metering. If (as DDoug also says) you are allowing areas that are too bright to influence your reading, you will get underexposure. This could be sky in your landscapes or white background in the studio. Best thing is buy a grey card and use spot metering. If you also take a picture of the grey card, then you can use that picture to get a very accurate white balance when doing your post-processing and get your brightness levels correct as well.

Edited by MDM

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Yes that could be. The outside pictures are taken on time-automatic setting. And I noticed that the Program I use (DxO Optics Pro 9) automatically does a little underexposure. 

 

The underexposing in my "Studio  B) " is just a failure from me. I need to make that setup right and need some more practise. Add some more light or longer shutter speed measuring whit the grey card, already have one of those indeed. But that takes some time.

 

@spacecadet the problem whit the modelling lights I already encountered. That is the reason I planned to get two Soft Boxes whit studio flashes. 

 

Oh by the way. I ordered the book Light Science and Magic. Hope that helps me a little..  :D

Edited by Roman78

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Yes that could be. The outside pictures are taken on time-automatic setting. And I noticed that the Program I use (DxO Optics Pro 9) automatically does a little underexposure. 

 

The underexposing in my "Studio  B) " is just a failure from me. I need to make that setup right and need some more practise. Add some more light or longer shutter speed measuring whit the grey card, already have one of those indeed. But that takes some time.

 

@spacecadet the problem whit the modelling lights I already encountered. That is the reason I planned to get two Soft Boxes whit studio flashes. 

 

Oh by the way. I ordered the book Light Science and Magic. Hope that helps me a little..  :D

 

Sorry I didn't read the whole thread and didn't realise you were using flash. But you are still underexposing.  Increase the power of your flashes, move them closer or increase the aperture - shutter speed will not affect the exposure if you are using flash. For this type of work, you might be better with continuous lights rather than flash.

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So you suggesting continuous lights would be better for this kind of work? Better to work whit or getting better results? And better for hardware itself or for the computers/consoles (like the first pictures)?

 

Some else suggested Flash would be better, getting better contrast.Soft boxes with continuous lights would much cheaper than some whit studio flashes. 

 

And yes.. I have to get the exposing higher..I know....  :D

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Ok, i tried a little bit more whit the small stuff. For the big stuff i planned to get some softboxes of ebay.

 

So here is another picture of my MPEG card. Now whit better light, used 2 flashes one on the right and one from under. On my self made light-box and one reflector at the opposite site. The problem is i only have those 2 flashes (or 3 to be precisely).

 

So i made about 30-40 pictures, all whit different light settings, and i guess that this one is the best. I adjusted the white balance using a Grey card. Tuned a little whit the light and contrast, pushed the white background into bright white and and pushed the green a little. Result is this... and i don't know is it any good or some issues whit it. The problem I see is first: that the vertical lines getting white. So i tried to rotate the card a little, but than it looked worse. And second: that silver from the bracket is trowing the flash back on the circuit board, resulting in that glowing right of the bracket. 
 foto7.jpg

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So... my Softboxes have arrived. Three cheap, made in China, each has 4x45Watt 5500K continuous  light in it. And i made some pictures, this time i resized it a little bit smaller. I did not cut the objects out. And i did not performed a cleanup work before making the pictures, these are just for the lightning tests. Ate the first picture there is a sticker on the back of the first module. I realized later, that's the strange zigzag on the top side near the white.

foto8.jpg

The second one still don't feels fine... i don't know... Too much reflections of the metal on the circuit board.

foto9.jpg

 

And than the CDI again. Somehow little to much light from the back, i need some black cloth to coverup the back a little. That is an Infinity cove and reflex to much light in the back, i think.

 

foto10.jpg

foto11.jpg

 

So far my new test pictures, what do you guys think?

Edited by Roman78

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+1 Phillippe, Matt Ashmore

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So... my Softboxes have arrived. Three cheap, made in China, each has 4x45Watt 5500K continuous  light in it. And i made some pictures, this time i resized it a little bit smaller. I did not cut the objects out. And i did not performed a cleanup work before making the pictures, these are just for the lightning tests. Ate the first picture there is a sticker on the back of the first module. I realized later, that's the strange zigzag on the top side near the white.

 

The second one still don't feels fine... i don't know... Too much reflections of the metal on the circuit board.

 

 

And than the CDI again. Somehow little to much light from the back, i need some black cloth to coverup the back a little. That is an Infinity cove and reflex to much light in the back, i think.

 

 

 

So far my new test pictures, what do you guys think?

Look just fine !

 

Kumar, India

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I think your shots look good Roman. It sounds like you are your own harshest critic. :)  I think that any journalist who just happens to need an image of a Panasonic CDI 450 would be more than happy to use the pictures that you posted above to illustrate their article.

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Thanks. I'm always my own harshest critic, indeed. I'm still in the learning and practising state, so i'm glad that my pictures are improved. So now i could start making the pictures. 

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Oh, by the way... is it possible to make something like an own page or an about page on Alamy so that customers could read some thing about me and send request if the want to? If someone needs for example a picture from the inside of that CDI, or in a different angle.

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No. If a customer wants something special they ask Alamy and Alamy may contact you.

 

Allan

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