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Calling all photographers

Discussion in 'General Banter' started by peteslag, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. peteslag

    peteslag Zorg Legend

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    I buy and sell watches on Ebay and I'm having trouble with my new camera. It doesn't seem to take close up photos like my old camera, it has a macro function but the problem is lighting. Consider the following photo taken with the flash:

    [​IMG]

    As you casn see there is a huge glare on the lens. The next photo is taken with a lamp shining onto the watch and no flash:

    [​IMG]

    It is a bit better but there is still a glare, there is a shadow to the right and the lighting is uneven across the face of the watch. My question is, how can I provide sufficient light to get a nice clear photo without the glare? When selling watches, especially high end ones, the photo is critical. This may seem off topic but the money I make from this pays for upgrades to the Zed (and the occasional track day). Any advice would be fantastic :-bd
     
  2. zedonist

    zedonist Guest

    Hi Pete,

    A positive reply from me for once!!

    If your camera is a digital, then never use the flash for this type of picture, I would set up a photo box (could just be a board with white covering) and cover it in white paper or white cloth, and then illuminate with bear lamps to remove any shadow, you should then be able to get good clean crisp images with your macro setting, make sure the lights are positioned to prevent shadow when the camera is close in and also further enough away to prevent glare. The higher the intensity of the light the better.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. NeRo

    NeRo Moderator
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    What zedonist has suggested is probably the best option

    Other things to try
    • Put a diffuser over the Flash
      Reduce the power of the Flash
      Bounce the Flash
     
  4. Titan

    Titan Moderator
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    You may also find it helps to have a soft non-reflective background such as a towel or table cloth for the subject.
    Reflection can be minimised by orientating the watch at 45degs to the table surface and/or walls.
    I've also seen some quite good pictures of watches being modelled on the seller's wrist.
     
  5. Aceman

    Aceman Moderator
    British Zeds 3rd Party Trader

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  6. Titan

    Titan Moderator
    British Zeds

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    Hey if Shanty had had one of those he could have done his own photo-shoot!
     
  7. NeRo

    NeRo Moderator
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    Photoshoot of my Z4 ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  8. wonderloaf

    wonderloaf Regular Member

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    I have to do a lot of photograping of small parts at work using the macro function on my cameras. I always try to avoid using the flash because of the glare on the subject just like you're getting. I always try to photograph using natural light so very often get as close to a window as possible, sometimes even putting a sheet of paper over the window to act as a diffuser if the sunlights too bright (doesn't happen very often!).

    Also if your subject is a still-life you could forget the flash and invest in a small tripod and use with natural light.

    Failing that if I have to use a flash then I try to diffuse it somehow, normally by folding up a tissue and holding it front of the flash, more layers=more diffuse.

    My set ups all a bit heath-robinson and would love a proper set up with a softbox etc but my companies too tight to buy one, I even have to use my own cameras!
     
  9. peteslag

    peteslag Zorg Legend

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    Wow, thanks guys. There are some great tips there, especialy from Zedonist.

    I might try the Heath-Robinson techniques first, if that doesn't work go for the Ebay item Aceman suggested. Once again my fellow Zorg members have come through, cheers guys :-bd :D
     
  10. Mouldy

    Mouldy Regular Member

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    If you are using a DSLR, a ring flash would be the best flash to use if you feel that flash is necessary at all. However ring flash is expensive, but is specifically designed for macro work.

    Failing that, set your camera up on a tripod and use a slower shutter speed and natural light. Although for more serious work I use a DSLR, I always a digital compact and this method when taking photos for eBay. Set the subject up on a suitable surface near a window, avoiding direct sunlight and you should have no trouble.
     
  11. wonderloaf

    wonderloaf Regular Member

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    Was just mooching around the photography section of ebay and saw this cheapo ring light:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LED-Ring-Ligh ... 8493113606

    Ok probably not as good as a proper ring flash but at the price might be worth trying...I'd go for it myself but just bought myself a new 70 - 300mm lens for the DSLR so I'm not in the OH's good books at the moment! :-s
     
  12. peteslag

    peteslag Zorg Legend

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    This isn't perfect I know, but it is much better:

    [​IMG]

    I have tried using a flash diffuser, no flash, different lighting and what I found is each watch has different properties and needs different techniques. This one was taken with with a light pointing from either side and no flash. Again, thanks for the advice, armed with all this info I'll gradually perfect it :-bd
     
  13. Titan

    Titan Moderator
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    Pete
    You need to lose the cushion or find a matching background !


    Z3nt from m'iPhone on Tapatalk
     

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