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I've been tasked with taking pics of my wife's handiworks....mainly bowls so far. I've even setup a small area specifically for that..it's just a 2' square board hinged to the wall that I can fold down. It's in the more lit part of the shop. But when I take pics I still am not pleased with them. It seems to mainly be the lighting...it's not lighting the wood evenly, or brightly enough, or there's a glare from the finish on the bowl, or the wood in the pic doesn't look the same color as the actual wood, etc.

I've seen plenty of pics here in the showcase thread with nice soft white backgrounds that look like they were taken in a portrait studio! Is that what it takes, or is there some means that a simply yutz like me with a point and click camera can take *good* pictures to display in an online gallery?
 

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HALL OF FAMER
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My wife wanted a lightbox to take more professional photos in but the price that they ask for them are rediculous. Her and I made one for about $10 using flexible abs 1/2" plumbing pipe, 1/2" abs connectors and an old bedsheet. The backgrounds for the photos are just different pieces of bristol board (as we call it in Canada) or poster board. The backgrounds of the photos appear to have no end to them and it give the illusion of the pieces floating. Depending on what colour of poster board you use, it really changes the characteristics of the photos.
Wood Hardwood Box Wooden block Plywood


You can see in the above photo, that the background has no definitive edges, beginnings or ends. It gives a little extra to every photo. If you like, I can put together a little instructional as to how to make one.
Ken
 

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where's my table saw?
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Good advice above Kenbo

I would add this as far as lighting. There are two kinds of light, direct and reflected or bounced. The overhead spots are too concentrated so use floods if incandesant. Usually a mixture of flourescent and incandesants evens out the color spectrum.
Then use 2 or more lights coming in from overhead but from different directions. A bounce light board is just a white surface that the light reflects off, used to fill in the darker areas. A seamless backdrop like a sheet or other cloth is good if you don't want to use boards. Bowls might be tough because they are round and have no "sides" as such. You can use your flash to fill in darker areas also. Just try it out and see what works best...delete those that don't make the grade. :laughing: bill
 

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In addition to Kenbo's light box - which I'm eager to see too! - here's some other tips:

For color and lighting, many cams have a "histogram" feature. The histogram is to digicams what a good crosscut sled is to table saws..... something really simple to use to get max performance and yet most casual users haven't heard of it. Try googling "histogram for better pictures".

For focus, that might be a matter of "depth of field". To get best depth of field, you'll need to play with the manual exposure settings to get a high F stop (which means small lens opening). If it still seems like the cam isn't focussing right, it might be because of the way the thing thinks.... different cameras use different theories for calculating focus, and you can often tweak that too. Read the manual.

Also, if you need a slow exposure (slower than 1/60th) if you hold the camera you can get operator-jiggle. Instead, try mounting your camera on a tripod or setting it on something solid, and then using the autotimer to take the pic. That way your button pushing is all done by the time the shutter trips.
 

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Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease! :help: You have the 2 most important aspects of what I'm searching for...great pics, and $10 or less. :thumbsup:
sounds like a winner to me as well. x2 on wanting the instructions
 
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