Author Topic: DINO-FIGUREs PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )  (Read 11419 times)

RobinGoodfellow

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2015, 07:20:33 AM »

If you're taking pictures of long, big dino-models select a f/8 or even closer iris stop on lens (so you'll have better depth of field and the model will be ALL in focus).


I'm a bit confused here.  What I know is to have a wider depth of field (to have your subject all in focus), you either move far away or adjust your camera with a higher F/number meaning a smaller aperture. Is this what you mean, because this knowledge satisfied the thing I was looking for in my photos?  BTW when you use those lights, do you adjust your white balance to "Sunlight or daylight"?  Thanks for all the tips! :)



Probably I wasn't clear enough in my post. Sorry for that.
With a F-Stop aperture of f/8 -  f/11 - f/16 - f/22 you'll have more depth of field and the subject will be more in focus.
With a F-Stop aperture of f/5,6 - f/4 - f/2,8 - f/2 - f/1,4 you'll have less depth of field and more focus problems.

Depht of Field ( the area -in front and behind- where the subject is ALL in focus) is determined by:
1) The aperture ( F-Stop )
2) The distance from the subject ( in macro photography there are a lot of focus problems ).
3) The focal lenght of the lens ( a 24mm has always more depth of field than a 135mm ).
4) The Circle of Confusion ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_of_confusion )
For Reference:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_of_field

My Philips lamps are 6500K. A "Sunlight or daylight" setting of camera is fine.
My camera is a Canon 5D.
You can freely adjust the white balance.
I used a manual 6500K setting for a perfect white balance.
But I also used a 5600K setting to add some little blue to my pictures or a 7500K to add a little of orange.
You can play with white balance for creative purpose.  :)
Adding or subtracting  1000K to the right color temperature for creative purpose is fine. More is a technical error.  ;)
I hope I was clear enough.....
« Last Edit: July 05, 2015, 11:53:51 AM by RobinGoodfellows »


docronnie

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2015, 08:41:33 AM »
I have the same lightbox, rarely use it though ! Always take my figures outside...
I use a Nikon D300 with various lenses, and a Fujifilm x100 the most.

Wow Iso 100!  Wish I could do that, I'm limited to 200.


Thanks Robin for the lucid explanation!  :)
Keep The Magic Alive and Kicking! :-)

RobinGoodfellow

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2015, 09:01:52 AM »
I have the same lightbox, rarely use it though ! Always take my figures outside...
I use a Nikon D300 with various lenses, and a Fujifilm x100 the most.

I like outdoor photography and diorama.
But I do images for a living (it's my job).
So, when I'm not working, I don't want to shoot photo again...  ::)
As a collector, I like to share my collection with other people.
My gallery is more a dino-models reference ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157650140713189 ).
I need a balanced light for that.
And the Light Box is perfect for me.  :)
« Last Edit: July 05, 2015, 09:05:19 AM by RobinGoodfellows »

RobinGoodfellow

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2015, 02:48:05 PM »
The most common problem shooting pictures of little dino-models is the focus.
Usually a standard lens of a still camera can't go as close to the model as you want to.
There are 3 solutions to solve that problem:
1) A Macro Lens
2) Diopters
3) Extension Tubes

The first solution is the most professional.
Every serious producer has a Macro lens in his catalogue.
A Macro lens is specifically designed to do macro photography as close as possible to 1:1 scale (or even more..).
The pictures obtained by a macro lens is spectacular.
Unfortunately a Macro lens is quite expensive ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/Canon-100mm-f2-8L-Macro-Lens/dp/B002NEFLD2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1436190196&sr=8-2&keywords=canon+macro+lens ).

Canon 5D with 135mm Macro Lens



The second solution is the most common way to close-up photography.
Diopters are optical elements that you can put in front of your existing lens, like filters.



The most useful Diopters are +1, +2 and +3
Higher numbers mean that you can go closer to the subject.
Because Diopters stay in front of the lens, the optical quality is extremely important.
Stay away from cheap diopters.

Canon 5D,  50mm lens and +2 Diopter


The last solution is the Extension Tubes.
The Extension Tube is an empty ring that you can put between lens and camera.
It turns any lens into a macro lens.



It is very important that the Tube has electronic pins for data transmission between the lens and the body of camera.
Usually you can buy a set of 3 different Extension Tubes in one package.
The price is not too high.
You can shoot quality macro pictures with them.

Canon 5D,  50mm lens and 3 Extension Tubes



In this picture I used Extension Tubes


Have a nice day   :)

laticauda

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2015, 09:30:23 PM »
Yet, I still have to use my cheap Kodak digital camera.  None of those solution help my poor substandard camera.  I just get creative, and hope one or more pictures turn out.  Someday I'll get a good one, maybe.

RobinGoodfellow

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2015, 10:10:02 AM »
In the last post I tried to explain some tips to improve your dino-images.
I used professional or semi-pro equipment.
As Halichoeres said in his post (  http://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3390.100 ) new smartphone, iPhone and iPad have professional features like HDR.
The REAL HDR needs almost 3 pictures:
a well exposed picture
an overexposed picture
an underexposed picture
(Please, see my HDR post for info)
A smartphone can't shoot 3 pictures at the same time and can't elaborate them in real-time.
Usually a cell HDR picture is based on 2 shoots  (with different exposures) merged into one picture.
HDR from a cell is a little bit poor.
You have to load your images into a proper App to improve the effect.
My favorite HDR App is SNAPSEED ( available for Android and iOs ).

iPad Air WITHOUT HDR. As you can see, the lower part of the image ( in the left ) is too bright.



iPad Air WITH HDR. The exposure is quite good but the HDR effect is poor


The SNAPSEED HDR function


Same image after  SNAPSEED's HDR function


HDR is really impressive in outdoor photography.
Unfortunately I don't have any dino-diorama to show you.
Here a landscape picture with HDR (and Snapseed)

iPad Air, HDR, Snapseed  ( Comacchio - Italy )


Have a nice day   :)

Bokisaurus

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2015, 02:51:55 AM »
Very informative and impressive setup for dino pics ^-^
I just use a black cloth and my base rock for my photos ;)

docronnie

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2015, 02:33:18 PM »
Very informative and impressive setup for dino pics ^-^
I just use a black cloth and my base rock for my photos ;)

Thanks for sharing Boki! Now the question is, what camera are you using and what model?  :)
Keep The Magic Alive and Kicking! :-)

RobinGoodfellow

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2015, 07:17:47 PM »
Hi guys,

I'd like to show you a little trick to increase the white background in dino-figures photography.
In the first part of this thread you can see the light box that every serious photographer always uses in still-life images.
Even if you are using very well balanced illumination inside the box, it's difficult to have a "cool" pure white background.
You need some simple Photoshop trick.
The magic Tool is CURVES.
Please, use Photoshop Help or a Google help to know where you can find CURVES inside Photoshop (it depends on the version you are using..  ;) ).

This is a picture I shoot inside my Light Box, straight from my Canon 5D (no Photoshop):



As you can see, the background is bluish WHITE not PURE white.
You can easily modify that.


First load your picture inside Photoshop.
Then use CURVES Tool.
The Tool looks like this:



In the left/low part of the line you can find the dark area of the image ( known as SHADOWS ).
In the right/upper part of the line you can find the bright area ( known as HIGHLIGHTS ).
The center part is about all in-between Highlights and Shadows ( known as MIDTONES ).

If you need a pure white background you have to modify the HIGHLIGHTS part of the line without touching all the rest.
Add some new points to the line and move them in this way:



Job done! Pure white background without changing all the rest...   ^-^

That's the result:



If you have any question, please feel free to ask me  :)

Have a nice day.

Halichoeres

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2015, 08:57:23 PM »
That's slick!
In the kingdom of the blind, better take public transit. Well, in the kingdom of the sighted, too, really--almost everyone is a terrible driver.

My collection: http://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3390.0

My trade/sale/wishlist thread: http://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3299.0

eBay: http://www.ebay.com/sch/bookhuntingtim6o9c/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=

Everything_Dinosaur

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2015, 09:00:37 PM »
Thanks for the tips, most useful.

mest

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2015, 11:55:39 AM »
Shooting in bright daylight illuminates nicely whatever you are shooting. But inside with flurecent light it will become more precise. By taking a macro photos you will have to take a shoot, then load it into computer to see the actual results.
So can you explane little bit about camera settings like ISO's - what is the best range to shoot small objects in close range with artificial light. And should the camera be as close as possible or will the result be better with a bit of distance and zoom?
As a photographer you can probably explain better a subjects backdrop. It can be pure white or totally black or any other possible color. So what to keep in mind when choosing a backdrop color?

Viking Spawn

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2015, 01:51:31 PM »
Cool thread!   I definitely can use this!  :)

mest

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2015, 02:52:10 PM »
My Light Box and result.




RobinGoodfellow

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2015, 03:27:26 PM »
My Light Box and result.




Your picture is quite nice and your setting seems right except for the light.
As you can see, your picture has dark shadows and still-life photography doesn't need.
It's better to use a diffusion filter (or diffusion paper) between lights and subject to smooth the dark areas around the subject.
You can easily create by yourself an inexpensive (but technically correct) light box:



Choosing the right lamps is quite important: I prefer a circular neon because of its smoother light:



Also it's important to use DAYLIGHT neon ( 5600 Kelvin or 6500 Kelvin ) - called " COOL DAYLIGHT "  -
Every time I use a third neon OVER the subject to light the background properly:



If you will improve your lighting technique, you will obtain better pictures.


RobinGoodfellow

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2015, 04:26:32 PM »
Shooting in bright daylight illuminates nicely whatever you are shooting. But inside with flurecent light it will become more precise. By taking a macro photos you will have to take a shoot, then load it into computer to see the actual results.
So can you explane little bit about camera settings like ISO's - what is the best range to shoot small objects in close range with artificial light. And should the camera be as close as possible or will the result be better with a bit of distance and zoom?
As a photographer you can probably explain better a subjects backdrop. It can be pure white or totally black or any other possible color. So what to keep in mind when choosing a backdrop color?

It's not easy to give you a full explanation about your request because it should require a long answer...  ???
I'll try to make it easy and short.

ISO:  Every digital camera has a wide range of ISO values to choose from like 12-6400 ISO or so.. But every range you can find doesn't tell the truth  ;) 
A single CMOS or CCD sensor has an unique ISO value called "Native ISO "; using the Native ISO value of a sensor you can obtain the best quality in your pictures.
For example the Canon 5D MK2 has a native ISO value of 160.
Shooting with a different ISO value means that your camera will use electronic interpolations or electronic gain.
It's very important to choose the native ISO value of the camera you're using (  with a simple Google search... ).
Probably you'll find that the native ISO value of your still camera is quite low: a solid tripod it's VERY important in still-life photography.  8)

DISTANCE BETWEEN LENS and OBJECT: If you're taking macro shoots, it's better to stay as close as possible to the subject.
The real problem in macrophotography is the depth of field ( the goal is to obtain ALL the subject in sharp focus even with big objects..):



You'll shoot the best pictures with a medium lens (like a 50mm), in MACRO mode, close to the subject, with an high f/stop ( F/11 - F/16 - F/22), using a SOLID tripod with an exposure time quite long  ( 1/3 or 1/6 sec or a second ).
The result using a long telephoto lens ( a 100mm or a 200mm) far from the subject will be a little depth of field ( the subject isn't TOTALLY in focus..  :-\ ).
You can use telephoto lens and a poor depth of field for creative purpose ( also called "selective focus"):




BACKGROUND: In still-life photography you're taking pictures of an object so your attention should stay ON the object NOT on a disturbing background.
In classical still-life photography the background is PURE, OVEREXPOSED white:



But you can choose colored background for creative purpose:



The most important thing about a colored background should be a different color from the subject so the background and the subject doesn't mix each other...  8)

If I was not clear enough, please let me know and I'll try to explain in a better way.  :)

Have a nice day  ^-^

« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 04:55:11 PM by RobinGoodfellows »

mest

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2015, 06:55:20 PM »
Thank you for clearing these subjects  :)

RobinGoodfellow

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2016, 09:53:44 AM »
Recently I took some group shots of my dino-collection.
I'd like to share some simple tricks&tips about that.

The main problem is the background.
It's difficult to have an overexposed background with 5 or 6 dino-figures because it's highly probable that at least ONE of these figures have a white color in its paint.
If you select a shutter speed to over-expose the background, you'll burn the white color of the figure too..

The second problem for me was to remove the stands under the figures.

The original picture:



As you can see, the background is a mess.

This picture NEED some post-production improvement.
I used PHOTOSHOP to do that.
The most useful tool in Photoshop is the MAGIC WAND.
If you don't know MAGIC WAND, a tutorial:
http://www.photoshopessentials.com/basics/selections/magic-wand-tool/

Using the Magic Wand I can create a new LAYER with the background ONLY.
( Layers in Photoshop:  http://photoshopcafe.com/tutorials/layers/intro.htm ).

That's the LAYER with the background:


Now I can modify the background without touching the dino-models.
First of all I used the CURVES Tool to increase the white level of the background ( you can read about CURVES in this thread ).
Then I used a DEFOCUS filter in Photoshop to cancel the stands under the figures.
Finally I decrease the color SATURATION of the background almost to zero.

That's the result:


You can totally over expose the background in Photoshop ( PURE white ) if you like.
I prefer not to avoid the dino-figures seem to fly into the picture.. ;)

That's PURE white background:


For any question, please feel free to ask me.  :)

Have a nice day  ^-^
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 12:42:57 PM by RobinGoodfellows »

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #38 on: January 15, 2016, 10:10:37 PM »
Thanks for sharing your knowledge.  Your images are absolutely smashing!

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Re: DINO-FIGURE PHOTOGRAPHY ( Image Heavy Thread )
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2016, 12:19:16 AM »



Lightbox and first test (with minor lighting and sharpness enhancements)  :D