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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
January 28, 2022, 11:41:02 am
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A super inexpensive yet excellent photo taking technique

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Author Topic: A super inexpensive yet excellent photo taking technique  (Read 980 times)
Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush
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« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2017, 02:08:08 pm »

Dear Adrian,
what you said about the exposure time and way of light metering is absolutely true, but especially for the times of film cameras. With film camera, I only did use incident light metering because as you said it is the best method for determining the correct exposure. But now with digital cameras that is almost impossible, at least not practical, so the only way to overcome that is to use a bit of experience and correct the exposure compensation if the object is prevalently dark or lighter, and use the bracketing method as I do.
I do insist that what the globe lighting method is doing is indeed spreading the light over the complete surface of the bottle, because of the multiple light bouncing as you say, and this inevitably reduce the contrast of the image. If you take two pictures of the same bottle, one inside the globe and the other one under direct lighting, you will see that the second one is more sharp and detailed.
If you remember, in the old times even in black and white picture development, according to the type of lamp that is inside the enlarger, if it has a visible filament or if it has the whole bulb matt white, your printed image turned out more sharp or soft.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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Peter Bentley 彭达理
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« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2017, 06:59:37 pm »

Hi Giovanni, Adrian,

Great inputs!  Thanks !

I  fully agree with what you  wrote, Giovanni, about reflections : they are  inevitable, so  try to make  sure they come from a  part of the  SB where  it  does  not matter  too much.

When  photographing  IP bottles  I try to  get as  much front light as  possible, but  make sure that  if there  are any reflections they come from the shoulder of the bottle  where  there  is no painting.  The stopper of course  always has some reflections especially if it is a hemisphere.

To make  it  even  more complicated  for IP bottles there are basically three kinds  when it comes to  photos:

1. Bottles which are "thinly"  painted  - as in  Adrian's examples (sort of water color type paintings on the pale
    background of the  glass/crystal of the  bottle )

    These are the easiest to photograph

2. Bottles which are "thickly" painted as per the pic I have  attached (these are mostly copies  of  oil
   paintings)
 
   The  bottle in the  pic I attached  is one I  own (I bought it from Bill  Patrick / painted  by Wang Sihjia)
   and  it THE  most difficult bottle to  photograph because of the very dark lower half which reflects the
   base on which the bottle is standing (unless I use a matt black base )

3.  Bottles which show their best colours when using back lighting, i.e.  light shining  through the 
     bottle.

     I have a small number of bottles like this: they look completely  "dead" in front  light  but with back
     lighting they light up like a Christmas  tree.

     These are even harder to photograph well, needless to say  !

BTW:  There  is one  little trick I  learned early on which  is  very good for amateur photographers  like me.
          Having taken the pic I make a copy and then  open  the  jpg  with MSN  Picture Manager  (which is a
          very handy program for cropping and  compressing  jgs : In Windows 10  it's  Microsoft Office  2010)  . 
          There is a  very handy function in Picture Manager  called  "Auto-correct"  and in  60-70% of cases this 
          brightens up  all the colors and makes them more  vivid, as  if the  pic was taken  in brighter front 
          light One can  achieve the same effect manually by adjusting the brightness and contrast in Picture 
          Manager (or an equivalent  program which edits  jpgs  - like Photoshop ) . 
          But in most cases  I  find Auto-correct gets  95%  of the way to  "as good  as  it gets"  just with one 
          click.

          As  an example I used  one of  Adrian's  pics  and used Auto-correct on it - see  attached. Note that
          it also changed the background  from yellow to  grey

Aaaaaaaaaaggghhh !  When it comes to  photographs  I  sometimes  wish I had  not started  collecting IPs !

I think that the  basic  lesson for anyone who is not a  photography expert reading this  thread with a view to photographing a collection for the first  time is that  there  are variety  of  different  methods  described  here  (and elsewhere  in this section of the Forum) . Try a couple of methods and once you find one that works  for you, then stick to it.

Cheers
Peter



* wsj_030b.jpg (123.71 KB, 1443x1709 - viewed 13 times.)

* P1010474.jpg (56.38 KB, 336x480 - viewed 13 times.)

* P1010474 - Auto-corrected.jpg (56.98 KB, 336x480 - viewed 10 times.)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 05:42:15 pm by Peter Bentley 彭达理 » Report Spam   Logged

forestman
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« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2017, 11:18:04 am »

Hi Peter and Giovanni,

I tried this as a seemingly easy way to get pretty good pictures with no specialist or expensive equipment and in that respect it does a good job.

The pictures I've shown should be achievable by anyone for the cost of a 15 light which gives the globe and a small piece of glass or perspex for the shelf.

I just set the camera to automatic and took the pictures in as simple a way as anyone else can easily do.

Yes, they can be improved but colour temperature settings, bracketing and the like may be beyond some peoples cameras ability or their own level of interest in how far they want to take this.

As I have said, I will keep on experimenting to see what is possible.

Regards, Adrian.
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