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What does everyone use to photograph your items to post online to sell. I'd like my photos to look somewhat professional. I have a Canon Rebel slur but no studio or lighting. Just was wondering what some people use.

Thx Chuck
 

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where's my table saw?
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the basics

Here's what I use:
1. A digital camera 4.0 mega pixels,
2. At least 2 flood lights to illuminate the object and eliminate shadows. Some photographers use a "bounced" light to avoid any harsh light or contrasts. I don't personally, but for a lot of smaller items it may make sense.
3. A large, draped fabric hung up and allowed to flow under the object to eliminate extraneous background items, and to add a neutral or contrasting color. Make certain it fills the entire view finder and nothing else shows in the background.
4. Beware of reflections off any glossy finishes and adjust either the camera or the lighting to avoid them by looking through the view finder and checking.
5.Take different views from the front, side, top and rear and show any details like hinges, drawers, construction joinery etc.

An example:
 

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where's my table saw?
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wood is flame box elder

Nice little box there. I like the streaks of color. What kind of wood?
I found the log in my buddies burn pile. when I saw how awesome it looked, I milled it into 1/2" thick stock and it shrank, form a curve. Rather than discard the pieces I used the cupped wood in the top.... after a lot of sanding and forming. :yes:
 

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You can buy some WHITE FOAM BOARD, make a box, 5-sides, front open to shoot thru, on at least two sides cut out most of the panel leaving approx. 2-3" around the edge, then glue white thin cloth like a cheap bed sheet in place of the cut outs. Use white wide tape. Shine your light from the outside looking thru the sheet, this will give you a nice light inside.

I'm sure YouTube has videos of such. For big things like furniture, a box isn't practical, but you get the idea. Google camera lightening.

I wish you well,

Dale in Indy

P. S. YouTube "HOW TO MAKE A LOW BUDGET LIGHT BOX". Check it out.
 

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Sawing against the Wind
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Rustic furniture
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It depends alot on what the thing you are photographing is.

For large objects like furniture I will either stage them in a home setting or even take them outdoors in a garden like setting.
Background is key and the colors should be neutral and not overpower the piece.
All natural light outside, and in the shade, so no glaring or hot spots on the photos. Standard type lighting (incadescent) inside so the color will be the same in a home it ends up in (unless they use curly flourscent bulbs). I do use flood lights for the shaded areas.
"I never use flash!"

Most small cameras do an excellent job at closer work within (say) 20-30ft distance, and 4 megapix is ok. I use a 12.1 megapix pocket Canon Sure Shot, and it is excellent.
What I do do after the photo is taken is photoshop (actually I-Photo, since I'm on Apple) to bring the color to match the original piece. It seems that cameras do shift the color and lighting a tad, so I correct for it.
 

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OP, get a cheap tripod or a bean bag to rest the camera.
taking all comments listed above...

set your camera to AV
set your aperture to your liking... widest aperture (lowest number if you want bokeh) but i think you're using kit lens?

time consuming but shutter release, set it to either 2 secs or 10 secs (iirc that is the standard canon times)

click and let go and wait and see...

what you're doing here is to prevent any vibrations on the shutter release by using the timer... resting it on bean bag or tripod will keep the camera steady even for longer exposure...

now once you see how a properly exposed shot will look like, try picking up some cheap clamp on flood lights and light it or bounce it off a surface.

oh, don't use pop up flash
always remember to set to auto white balance.


and when you have chance, put the camera on Av mode for a month, use it, learn it... Tv mode for month, use it and learn it, then Manual mode... you would be quite surprised what a simple consumer level dslr can do...
 

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Search Google for "DIY Light TEnt or DIY Light Box". there are many examples and instructions to go by.
https://www.google.com/search?q=DIY...fRqqbLRAZe3gZgG&ved=0CDsQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=623

If I am shooting larger items, I try to set up outside and use my flash. Most likely, you can just use the "P" mode (that stands for Professional! :) ) and your camera and flash will talk to each other and determine the best exposure.

However, if it is a cloudy day or shadows, I will first take a pic of the area without the flash with my shutter speed set at 1/250 on shutter speed priority.

Then I switch the camera to Manual and set the shutter speed at 1/250 sec. I adjust the f/stop to what the camera indicated when I took the test shot.

Then turn the flash on and set it at +1/3 exposure compensation. Take a shot and see how it turns out. The flash should create the correct exposure with a little extra to fill in the shadows. The background will be exposed just the way you took your original shot in shutter speed priority. You can alter the background, say make it darker by increasing the f/stop 1/3 or 1/2. That will make your subject pop!

I also use flash when shooting projects indoors such as the miter saw stand construction. I either use direct flash or bounce it off the ceiling or the wall.

If possible, run your pics through a photo editor to tweak the exposure, contrast, and cropping if needed.

Hope this helps,
Mike
 

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