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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see alot of beautiful sticks here and know that part of it's the photo taking. Does folks have tips in pic taking?
 

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I am an amateur.

Worst: my iPhone
Not as bad: my iPad
Best: my low-end Canon digital camera which I usually am too lazy to fire up

Lighting and background: I wish I had more time and was more accomplished.
 

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Wow, well, I attempted to download GIMP and the other photoshop file and immediately removed them......WAY too complicated( one required other stuff to be downloaded before I could download that program) and I'm not sure that photoshopping is what I want to do anyway.

Call me old fashioned, but I'm talking about basic centerpiece setting type photography, like the fruit bowl or something.
 

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Wow, well, I attempted to download GIMP and the other photoshop file and immediately removed them......WAY too complicated( one required other stuff to be downloaded before I could download that program) and I'm not sure that photoshopping is what I want to do anyway.

Call me old fashioned, but I'm talking about basic centerpiece setting type photography, like the fruit bowl or something.
I hear ya! Me too! I can successfully put a picture in a posting, but I have yet to figure out how to get a good picture in my photo album on this forum -- they always get cut off! Or are of poor quality!
 

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Rad, GIMP is not that hard to work with but I understand what you mean. I was pretty overwhelmed at first.

If you don't want to use it, here is the best advice I can offer.

Take your photos in natural light. Try to take them in the evening when the sun is low on the horizon. You can try some photos with the sun directly on your sticks or try them with indirect lighting. Certain sticks work better with direct and others with indirect. Try using your flash and try them without. Again, the lighting and stick sometimes prefer one or the other. Use a natural background if possible. Prop it against a tree, rock, fence, or other natural setting. I like to take a few closeups of the handle and any other detail. Then back up and take the whole stick.

I take a lot of my photos with a Nikon D40. I also take a lot of them with my Samsung S3 phone. I've been able to get pretty good photos from the phone.

Bill
 

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Rad, GIMP is not that hard to work with but I understand what you mean. I was pretty overwhelmed at first.

If you don't want to use it, here is the best advice I can offer.

Take your photos in natural light. Try to take them in the evening when the sun is low on the horizon. You can try some photos with the sun directly on your sticks or try them with indirect lighting. Certain sticks work better with direct and others with indirect. Try using your flash and try them without. Again, the lighting and stick sometimes prefer one or the other. Use a natural background if possible. Prop it against a tree, rock, fence, or other natural setting. I like to take a few closeups of the handle and any other detail. Then back up and take the whole stick.

I take a lot of my photos with a Nikon D40. I also take a lot of them with my Samsung S3 phone. I've been able to get pretty good photos from the phone.

Bill
I think you meant to respond to cchgn -- but I feel his pain and appreciate your input!
 

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Here's a few things I learned from watching professional photographers take archival shots of artworks. Dramatic treatments were rarely sought. Fidelity in reproduction of the objects' color and surface was.

These guys were very concerned w. color accuracy. Whenever possible, they used the whitest light available. Most often, as bright as they could. They hated working under most florescent lights, and there were major problems w. most old fashioned tungsten incandescent light sources. Direct sunlight was not really desirable, and clear blue skies were also problematic. One fellow had painted his studio windows a grey w. a slight green tint to balance too yellow - too blue from sky light. A common trick w. all sorts of lighting was to use very white sheets of paper to reflect the light onto the object.

Inserting a small card (usually produced by Kodak) into the focus that had a white to black series of samples, and several specific color frequencies was standard. Once digital systems entered the process, this remained very important. If one fed the image into an image processor, one could sample the pure white, and see what color impurities it had. One could also work thru the grey to black samples to determine if the contrast balance was good. And, depending on the camera and the light, certain grey ranges would not be neutral.

Glare and overlit areas were a bane. The light almost always was passed thru or bounced of diffusers. The studios were painted mat black. The items were often placed in a neutral grey surround that would not show as either white or black under proper lighting. Some photographers were sufficiently picky that if they were shooting something reflective, like a piece of silver, they would insert the camera lense thru a sheet of black paper so no metal glint from the camera showed on the object.

Sometimes, when showing very fine surface detail was desirable (such as one might find on a carved stick) a strong raking light was used, but there would be enough back fill that the shadow would not come out completely black.

There are any number of articles on how to achieve effective lighting, and add drama and subtlety. Check those out. Typically, you will want to have at least 2 light sources, the key and fill, but if the key is broad enough, and there is something of to side of the object, the reflected light can substitute for the fill.

Myself, all I have is a very inexpensive Canon camera. At low light levels, it completely looses color accuracy, and the image becomes filled w. static. I use a Mac, and the included image viewer, called Preview, does an adequate job of correcting moderate amounts of color and contrast imbalance. I don't have any really white light available, some some color tweaking is usually needed. I also have Photoshop Elements, the hobbyist version of Photoshop.

I used to have both Photoshop and Corel Photopaint, but those are way more than I need 95% of the time. There is a pretty good low cost package called WinImages. I tried GIMP some years ago, but at the time it had a very difficult interface.
 

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Sorry Rad, I didn't mean to reply to you. I don't know why but I've really messed up a couple of posts lately replying to threads you were in. In an earlier one, I meant to reply and quote you but when I look at it, it looks like you made the reply. Go figure.

gdenby, You are exactly right about how picky professional photographers can get with their lighting. However, I'm like you and only have a fairly inexpensive Nikon. I did buy an external flash and built a flash box that is triggered off the camera flash. I've used it to get some indirect lighting but I usually don't take the time to set all this up. I just use Gimp to correct white balance and color then sharpen the image a bit. Seems to work for me.
 

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Sorry Rad, I didn't mean to reply to you. I don't know why but I've really messed up a couple of posts lately replying to threads you were in. In an earlier one, I meant to reply and quote you but when I look at it, it looks like you made the reply. Go figure..
That's OK Bill, it's easy enough to do!
 
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