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My Photo 'Studio'

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Kyle, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. DawnC

    DawnC New Member

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    Great thread!
     
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Dawn, you are welcome add to it if anything comes to mind.
     
  3. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Anglican Supporting Member

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    I think rather than fiddling with software corrections, attempt to use a more natural full-spectrum light. Sunlight comes from a giant ball of flame. While this is impractical in the home, one can approximate it with bulbs that also utilize (controlled) balls of burning 'incandescence', i.e. halogen. More specifically, work lights such as those used for constrction sites and available pretty cheap at big box stores. The only downside is they get damn hot.

    Custom white balance is a must.

    Tripod, timer, and Macro setting.

    I'd say that by far, setting your own white balance is the best thing for 'fixing' issues that stem from artificial light. My Canon P&S has a 'super macro' setting that allows you to literally bump the lens into the subject. Its not good enough for the super tiny flowers however. :(

    By the way, when did lens become lense, and why? :confused:
     
  4. DawnC

    DawnC New Member

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    marni, i'll get with my in house photographer on that. lol
     
  5. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Is that like having your staff get back to us?
     
  6. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Marni,

    Which Capsylite bulbs do you use?
     
  7. Kyle

    Kyle Member

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    I agree. I always try to do a minimum of software stuff, but with my setup I need to do them to keep things looking real. I'll look into the construction lights. I think I have one around here somewhere.

    I'm also going to fiddle with the white balance. I've never done it befroe because I've always shot in different light or rooms so the white balance would always be different. Now that I have a consistent setup, I can adjust it once and for all.

    Lense in the british/canadian spelling.

    Kyle
     
  8. DawnC

    DawnC New Member

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    Marni, I dont have staff. I have people! lol I can't take a pic to save my life so DH does them for me.
     
  9. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I use the 250 watt bulbs, it is Sylvania. I've found the 100w in big box stores, but it wasn't strong enough for my work, maybe for a fill light. I found the 250 (or they ordered it for me, don't remember) at a lighting store. They've lasted for years. The white balance I set comes to 2700K. I kept forgetting to reset the white balance when I was using a ring flash and got used to adjusting that in RAW format too. Now I don't bother with trying to remember.

    I guess I am a software-dependent personality. Is there a 12 step program for this?
     
  10. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Now there is a smart woman. If you have "people" you don't have to worry about this stuff, you just hand it over to them.
     
  11. DawnC

    DawnC New Member

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    Marni, besides, he knows the pics make me happy. When Im happy, everyones happy.
     
  12. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    Lighting has proven to be a huge stumbling block for me. I can rarely shoot outside because of a constant breeze, so indoors will have to do for now. I've figured out a dedicated space, but I haven't mastered lighting yet. I have the lighting fixtures (shop lights,) but don't have the right bulbs. I'm going to check out Marni's suggestion on that front.

    So my question is twofold: (1) how many lights are necessary for a room that has no usable light; and more importantly (2) where and how do you position them?

    Thanks for starting this thread, Kyle!
     
  13. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    From his picture, Kyle is using 2 clamp on lights. I have mine on light stands. With the stands I can shift them closer or farther away and also up and down. Sometime I move them so one of them back lights the flower, but most often I have one to the left at about a 45degree angle and another on the right. You can buy inexpensive diffuser paper and clip it on the reflector hood (watch out you don't burn something up) tp soften the light. I have so much cr*p sitting on the floor that I frequently don't move the lights as much as I should 'cause I'm lazy. I also have an overhead boom-type stand, but I mostly use that for reducing shadows when working with pottery.

    Short answer: I think two is plenty. I finally put a Capsylite bulb in the overhead room fixture because I was forgetting to turn off the incandescent light while shooting and it kept messing with the white balance. If finally plug my lights into a power strip near my camera, so I don't have to go tripping over extension cords to reach them.

    Jon has mentioned using a mirror under the subject (which I am using right now) and directing light at the ceiling to reflect.

    In the end, I think it is a lot of trial and error.
     
  14. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    Thanks, Marni! I think you're right about the trial and error part. So far, I have conducted lots of trials that have resulted in lots of errors. I think I need brighter bulbs.
     
  15. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Alexis, do you use a tripod?
     
  16. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    Yes, I use a tripod.

    I bought m'self a Canon Rebel XSi last month, so am in a steep learnng curve at the moment. And Santa brought me a macro lens, which makes that curve exponentially steep. But I have known for a while that my hand is not steady enough to make photos without a tripod. LOL!
     
  17. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Oh, Alexis. Good for you.

    The good news: you got great equipment. The bad news: you can't blame it on your equipment.
     
  18. Kyle

    Kyle Member

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    I think the minimum is 2 lights coming from opposite directions. That way you don't get funky shadows.

    Kyle
     
  19. T. migratoris

    T. migratoris Active Member

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    I have an Olympus "POS" ...

    This thread is a real nuts & bolts eye-opener for me - good, basic info for photo dummies like me. One of my cherished Xmas presents is a decent tripod, but like Marni suggested the problem with good equipment is that you can no longer blame the results on bad equipment. We'll see where this goes ...

    Marni - I just put the pieces together - unless I'm way off base, you're the Marni that's responsible for the fantastic ceramics desplays at the Pacific Orchid Exposition in San Francisco. For a number of years I've suspected that your ceramics are the only reason I've been able to convice my wife to come with me ... I don't recall that you had a booth in 2008. Will you be there in March?
     
  20. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    T. migratoris, yes, I'm that Marni. I wasn't at the POE with a sales booth this last year. I did put in an exhibit with friends (the Four Friends Orchid Group), so I wasn't totally absent. I also worked for Orquideas del Valle for a few of the days. Sorry to have to tell you, I won't be selling there this year either. I was a vendor there for over 20 years, but the last 8 have been declining in reward to work ratio. I decided it would be more fun to be enjoying the show than be working for nothing. I do hope she will still come with you.