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post #1 of 8 Old 06-19-2008, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone care to share the best way to take pictures of your turnings? What kind of lighting and how do you display the turning to take pictures? I would appreciate some help on this. Mitch
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-19-2008, 09:23 AM
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Mitch, I can't say specifically for pictures of turnings, but generally speaking, the best lighting for photography is indirect lighting or lighting from multiple angles to reduce heavy shadowing. Because woodwork often has a high polish, the indirect lighting will be better since it will reduce glare from the finish. Just get a couple of bright lights and put them to the sides of the piece and point them behind the piece. Do it in a way that you still get good coverage on the turning but the light isn't pointed directly at it.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-24-2008, 10:13 PM
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Mitch As you may know that's my specialty. I photograph art work almost every day and have taught a lot of classes and workshops on how to do it. I also have a couple of friends who have lectured on this topic at the AAW symposiums as well as myself.
We have each tried a lot of different things trying to find a simple inexpensive way to photograph turnings. We've all settled on Quartz Halogen lamps. Jamie Donaldson and I both use the Quartz worklights like you get at Lowes and other hardware stores. They are Tungsten balanced so you have to set your digital camera to the Tungsten setting. Usually you need some sort of light modification such as shining them through a white panel or bouncing the light off of a large white panel. The down side is they are very hot and you need to be careful with them. They also require long exposures on the camera so a tripod is a necessity.
Feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] I have some handouts or maybe a PDF file that has some good info on it.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-25-2008, 03:08 AM
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Hi Mitch A lot of the wood turners don't have the equipment described. Why don't you use window light with a little reflection thrown in for good measure. White cards can bounce light into the dark areas of the object and this looks more natural. Try it!!
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-25-2008, 10:31 AM
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Window light does work well but is hard to control. I wrote an article for American Woodturner about 5 years ago on using available light outside with a simple diffusion panel made from PVC and white cloth.
For smaller work a simple white styrafoam cooler works well outside. I'll try to remember to post a photo later of that set up because I occasioanlly use it to shoot jewelry here in the studio. I simply cut one side and the bottom out of the it to make a "tunnel". Set this over the piece so the sun shines through it and the tunnel makes a shadow of even light.
For general shooting in my classes we make 3 PVC frames and cover them with white cloth (ripstop nylon is the best but most white material will work). We clamp these together to form a 3 sided photo booth and then shine one quarts light so that it hits the top and one side. That's usually all that it takes. The nice thing about using the quartz light is you can shoot any time of the day or night.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-25-2008, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys for all your suggestions and help but I must admit I still am confused. John Lucas, yes I remember you saying that this was your specialty quite some time ago. In your reply here you mentioned how you make a box, was it, for general shooting? That sounds like something that would work for me, if I knew how to do it. Could you possibly let me know what all is involved in doing it this way? I don't want to get way to involved in this John, would just like to present my turnings a lot better than I am doing now. Thanks again guys, your all appreciated. Mitch
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-25-2008, 05:18 PM
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Mitch Just send me an e-mail to [email protected] and I'll send you a handout that I use. It shows the complete setup that I use to teach with. You don't need all of it but it does show pictures of the photo box and even a homemade boom arm that makes using the box easier.
You don't need all of the equipment but I show it all so people can use whatever they feel like using. The set up that I show will do a professional job if you have the skills or you can set up just one light, never move it and get a reasonable photo of your piece.
To try it out I shot a photo of round glossy piece using $20,000 worth of equipment in my studio and then using less than $100 worth of equipment that I built or bought I shot the same photo. I just wanted to prove that what I teach really works.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-26-2008, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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John
The e-mail should be there. Mitch
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