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Photography Isn't Just Pressing A Button


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#21 Natania

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 09:27 AM

I invested quite a bit in lights and background but never got results that really showed off the work. Then I started shooting with natural light from a north facing window, which I slightly diffused with a silk-ish white curtain and a piece of white foam core on the other side of the ware to reflect the light. Now the photos show off my whites better. Also figured out how to properly use the white balance on my camera which was key of course. Wish I could get a refund on all the other equipment but maybe I'll use it someday.

#22 Pres

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 03:09 PM

Sounds like I simplified things too much. Photography is not about just pushing a button, and understanding it takes quite a bit of understanding of lens apertures or F stops, understanding of how these relate to depth of field and Shutter speed. Slower shutter higher F stop, more depth of field and vise versa. Working with a backdrop requires decisions on whether to include the backdrop in the depth of field or outside of it thus blurring the depth of field. Other considerations other than lighting would include gradated backdrops which may be helpful especially if the piece has darker areas and lighter areas. Then comes the lighting. I have worked with pro lighting and with nat lighting, In the end I find that I am satisfied the most with the natural lighting as the shadows are more natural for me. Diffusion or bounced light works well for shadows from pro lighting, but I have not had the same feeling from it as sunlight.  I am just an amateur, and know there are problems with my own photos so this is all opinion.


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#23 Mark C.

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 05:15 PM

(Wish I could get a refund on all the other equipment but maybe I'll use it someday. )

I could retire  year ago if this came true!

I can answer this question for you-you will not use it sell it now for whatever you can get and move on.

Mark


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#24 Chris Campbell

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 05:20 PM

Well, once again, this boils down to "it all depends ..."

 

If you are just starting the process, and time is not an issue, then try all kinds of set ups to see where your work looks best. Time to learn what happens if you do x, y or z. Time to take a course on photography at night or read up on it at the library. Try a roll down shade and stand lighting. A presenter at NCECA last year did all his photography with a large white backdrop, stand lighting and a camera on a tripod. Just worked with exposure times to get depth of field and shadowing. Also knew his Photoshop program very well.

 

But things could get serious before you have time to do all the learning you need to do in photography.

You need your images right away ... need them taken while you have an hour between other things ... you have limited access to using sunlight. e.g. It could be eight o'clock at night or 8 degrees outside. That's when a fast and easy set up comes in very handy.

 

So, there's no one size that fits all. Once again you just have to do what suits you and your work.


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#25 Mark C.

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 05:42 PM

Chris wraped it up well again-I have shot over the years with natural light-strobes color balanced whatever-find what works for you.

What I have found is with the EZ ccube it does not matter time of day or weather and the resultd are always the same. Thats what appeals most to me about this setup. Mea's setup is cheaper and works the same day or night-so find what works for you and go with that.For me meassing with photoshop is a pain so I like to shoot it once and not edit much if at all.

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#26 Isculpt

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 12:05 AM

I agree with Mea, John, Mark and Chris. I used a large Thunder Gray back drop for large pieces. The roll lasted a very long time. Then I went with the easy cube for table top sizes. That also has lasted years. I have two Varitone backdrops. One is large for large work. The other fits inside the easy cube.It is worth the investment and it lasts a long time.

Marcia

Marcia, sometimes I miss the obvious, but I really would like to know how you use a Varitone background inside a cube.  My cube has a round cutout in the top, which means that the rear panel has a lip at the top that forms part of the topside. I can see no way to affix the Varitone sheet to the back wall. I would love to use the cube I paid good money for, if I could just figure out how to use the Varitone with it!  

 

And for the record, when I read John's answer to Kevinharr I couldn't help smiling and shaking my head in wonder.  It's a tough world out here, and making and selling art is a pretty tough way to go. When I see a fellow artist take the time to share, in detail, his vast knowledge, I can only marvel that there are still people who will go out of their way to help someone else. I am constantly awed by the the magnitude of the generosity I find on this forum.    



#27 Mark C.

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:43 AM

My cube has a few loops in upper rear corners-I hang a string and clothespin the backdrop to string and weight the front of backdrop with what ever is handy. for the curve. I had to cut the backdrop down to fit my 40 inch cube. If yours does not  have the loops sew some in.

It also has velcro tabs on top  and the cloth backdrop has velcro so it clips in two ways. The top has a zipper to open up but I use it closed and use side lights and sometimes a front light.

Mark


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#28 Isculpt

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:19 AM

My cube has a few loops in upper rear corners-I hang a string and clothespin the backdrop to string and weight the front of backdrop with what ever is handy. for the curve. I had to cut the backdrop down to fit my 40 inch cube. If yours does not  have the loops sew some in.

It also has velcro tabs on top  and the cloth backdrop has velcro so it clips in two ways. The top has a zipper to open up but I use it closed and use side lights and sometimes a front light.

Mark

Thanks,  I'll check out the idea of the string and clothespin. I gave up on the fabric backdrops right away because I could spend an hour trying to velcro the fabric so that it hung evenly without wrinkles.  All this effort while the box sat on a 36" high table and I stood on a ladder behind it, working through the hole on the top...then climbing down from the ladder, running around to the front of the box to see how the fabric looked. Bad. It was so frustrating that I seriously considered turning the cube into a cathouse for Black Bart, the studio cat.



#29 JBaymore

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:31 AM

I decided not to post in this thread anymore after the "opening salvo" ;) ..... but this is for you lsculpt.

 

Varitone sheets come in various sizes also.  Check to see if there is a better one to fit your particular needs.

 

best,

 

......................john

 

PS:  Thanks for the kind words too.


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#30 Stephen

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:53 AM

What a great thread, getting ready to put this together now and my research is already done :-)

 

Sorry you got dumped on John. As has been stated repeatedly and I'm sure you already know, there was absolutely nothing but great advise in your post, OP just had a chip on his shoulder.



#31 Isculpt

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 10:27 PM

I decided not to post in this thread anymore after the "opening salvo" ;) ..... but this is for you lsculpt.

 

Varitone sheets come in various sizes also.  Check to see if there is a better one to fit your particular needs.

 

best,

 

......................john

 

PS:  Thanks for the kind words too.

John, I don't mind cutting down my Varitone sheet (well, I do, but...!!!).  It's just that I can't stick it to anything with that darned cube.  I gave up on the cube and starting standing a large square of plywood on a countertop, then leaning the plywood against the wall.  I then taped the Varitone to the plywood and let it swoop down onto the tabletop so that I had the continuous background.  I had hoped for a similarly effortless method of hanging the Varitone inside the cube, but that lip at the top of the cube defeated me.  Maybe all cubes aren't made that way. I tried velcro, tape, heavy pins....you name it!  I'm going to try Mark's suggestion of a "clothesline" that I clip the Varitone to, even though that will mean that I lose some valuable height. Shoulda bought a bigger cube, I guess.......






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