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  #41  
Old 07-28-2006, 1:51 PM
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Default more on balancing....

From what I’ve read, people seem to have an ok grasp on camera function and exposure techniques. The one area that seems the most neglected is color balance. What I mean by color balance is the relationship of color tones in the image to how they really appear to the human eye. If you look a bit “closer” at some of your digital pics or scanned pics, you might notice they are slightly blue or red or yellow or green or whatever. Look at white patches in the pictures or skin tones or earth tones. Your digital camera, once the button is finally pushed, tries to figure out the best balance of red to blue to green and at what percentages to mix them. Sometimes these fields are improperly/inadvertently influenced or your digital camera “leans” more one way than the other. Here’s how to fix this: photoshop (or something similar). In photoshop, you can obviously open your pics and view them. What you can also do is change your color balance, aka levels. First, open PS and open your pic. Never work on a compressed file format (predominantly jpeg) and never save your pics in a compressed format. This has to do with image degradation. Save your pic as a tiff or bmp and then work on them. After you open your pic, change the color mode from RGB (red blue green) to CMYK (cyan magenta yellow black). This mode affords you more flexibility in balancing your levels and is the print-media industry standard. You can now individually change four different levels of color in your pic. Look at white areas or skin tones or colors you know how they appear naturally. Adjust your black areas last, never really going past 85-90% black in the areas that appear 100% black. You’ll be surprised how “off” your typical exposure is in regards to color. Always return the image mode back to RGB otherwise most computers/computer systems won’t properly recognize the color mode. If you can only adjust the RGB levels with your program that will still make a huge difference.

Side note: make note of your light source or sources. Not every light source “burns” at the same color. Incandescent bulbs burn warm so your pics will look initially yellow or redish. Fluorescents burn cool so your pics will look a bit blue or grey. The sun burns warm. Flashes are made to burn at the right temp to produce a nice, neutral white.

ex: If you look at xenos pics, the top two are slightly cyan and magenta. The bottom one came out well because of the white piece of paper. The black levels still need adjustment
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  #42  
Old 07-28-2006, 2:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALI-gula
Your pictures look great!
Thanks!

Quote:
But why do you use a bright white background? It seems like that is already defeating your contrast levels.
I guess it's a personal preference. I really like having no background, as it forces the viewer to really focus on the object you want them to see. Also, it does really help the contrast levels - having a dark object against a light background really makes it stand out.

I also do like Ken Lunde's photos against his blue satin sheet - I've noticed that blues tend to photograph fairly well. Check out this example:



Quote:
This seems to be why the stainless guns look great on the white; they are more close to the background in gray scale.
I actually think stainless guns look better against a darker background, compared to white, but this is my personal opinion.

I agree that Ken Lunde's pictures are awesome - he helped inspire my quest for better photos, as did one of my friends who introduced me to the light box concept.

Turby
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  #43  
Old 07-28-2006, 3:11 PM
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is that you pic, Turbinator? if you are using an SLR, what you might want to try using either graduated neutral density/color filters so you can more effectively expose the lower portion of the pic or a stackable filter unit which would achieve similar results. OR you can do a little trick that is used more often than you think. on a day with nice clouds or a nice sunset/sunrise, just take pictures of the sky. use different angles and bracket your exposure. then with some photoshop work, just swap in and out different skies. this allows you to properly expose the dark area without worrying about loosing the typically brighter sky. yeah, its not quite an authentic picture, but sometimes it looks just right
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  #44  
Old 07-28-2006, 3:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etruscan
is that you pic, Turbinator? if you are using an SLR, what you might want to try using either graduated neutral density/color filters so you can more effectively expose the lower portion of the pic or a stackable filter unit which would achieve similar results.
Yeah, that's my picture, and yeah, there's a problem with the lower portion of the picture - there was a bush or tree in the way. I should have moved and taken the shot from a different angle.

But I liked the color of the sky, so I kept it..

Turby
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  #45  
Old 07-28-2006, 3:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbinator
Yeah, that's my picture, and yeah, there's a problem with the lower portion of the picture - there was a bush or tree in the way. I should have moved and taken the shot from a different angle.

But I liked the color of the sky, so I kept it..

Turby
Or if you're a lazy-***** like me, just run it through Nikon Capture NX. This took about 2 minutes:



With your permission Turbinator (I hope). I personally like the effect you had with the sky. Truthfully, the underexposed bushes are less distracting than when it's lightened up.
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  #46  
Old 07-28-2006, 3:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mute
With your permission Turbinator (I hope). I personally like the effect you had with the sky. Truthfully, the underexposed bushes are less distracting than when it's lightened up.
Hey, thanks - that's great! I have Nikon Capture on my machine here, I'll try that trick out for other pictures that I might have that are underexposed. Great technique for post-processing!

Turby
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  #47  
Old 07-28-2006, 6:51 PM
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a quick photoshop effort. unfortunately its easier to make a lighter picture darker than a darker picture lighter. some cloud contrast was lost and the detail in the hills looks kinda crazy. the good part is that the pic is 300dpi:


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  #48  
Old 01-15-2009, 9:39 AM
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Bump for a new generation of Calgunners. (and photographers)

Turby
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  #49  
Old 01-15-2009, 10:38 AM
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Great thread, glad to see it's been resurrected!
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  #50  
Old 01-15-2009, 10:44 AM
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A $5K digital camera helps too.
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  #51  
Old 01-15-2009, 10:46 AM
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Can this be stickied somewhere?
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  #52  
Old 01-15-2009, 11:26 AM
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8dollar walmart lamp hand held,on one of my Shirts LOL with my Nikon D80 on a Tripod... IMO the key to any keepers is the Tripod

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  #53  
Old 01-15-2009, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
8dollar walmart lamp hand held, LOL with my Nikon D80 on a Tripod... IMO the key to any keepers is the Tripod
Excellent, great example. Any way you can get rid of the highlights on the wood grip panel and on the cylinder?

Turby
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  #54  
Old 01-15-2009, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbinator View Post
Excellent, great example. Any way you can get rid of the highlights on the wood grip panel and on the cylinder?

Turby
This was all done through "Picasa" photo collector and editing (STUPID easy editing) If i hit it up on photoshop i could get rid of it.

JOe
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  #55  
Old 01-15-2009, 11:31 AM
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same setup... the color balance is off in this though.

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  #56  
Old 01-23-2009, 8:19 AM
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Default One light shots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingofthehill View Post
8dollar walmart lamp hand held,on one of my Shirts LOL with my Nikon D80 on a Tripod... IMO the key to any keepers is the Tripod


King,
Great dramatic shot...just for s***s and giggles, try this...fill in the heavy shadows with a tin foil reflector inserting light into the non-detailed places. The shiney side will give a more direct beam than the frosted side. By crumpling the foil and then reopening it you can get different degrees of diffusion. To get rid of those strong highlights you can strategically place strip diffusers in front of the light where it will only affect the glare. Crumpled saran-wrap (or something like it) works well.

Last edited by Toscano; 01-23-2009 at 8:20 AM.. Reason: subscription
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  #57  
Old 01-23-2009, 2:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg-Dawg® View Post
A $5K digital camera helps too.
Nah. I started originally with a point and shoot. I did move up to a more expensive dSLR but it is nowhere near $5K. I'd say a Costco special for about $500 would do it to get shots like these. It's all about knowing HOW to use your gear, as opposed to what gear you have.

Turby
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  #58  
Old 01-23-2009, 2:44 PM
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same setup... the color balance is off in this though.
Great! I like the staging of the setup. Nice job.

Turby
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  #59  
Old 01-23-2009, 2:48 PM
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Great thread Turby I'll set up this weekend with my Canon and see what I can do
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  #60  
Old 01-23-2009, 7:58 PM
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Originally Posted by sorensen440 View Post
Great thread Turby I'll set up this weekend with my Canon and see what I can do
Thanks, I aims to please! If you run into any issues, come on back and feel free to ask any questions.

Turby
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  #61  
Old 01-23-2009, 9:12 PM
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I just wish I lived in a CCW shall issue state: You don't need to spend a ton of dough sometimes - this was done with a $100 Vivitar 100mm macro lens. Normally I don't touch the cheap vivitar stuff - but the 100mm macro is one of the sleeper cheap lens out there.



One soft box directly above, and a reflector to the right to fill in some shadows.

Last edited by creampuff; 01-23-2009 at 9:20 PM.. Reason: forgot to mention lens
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  #62  
Old 01-24-2009, 6:35 PM
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Creampuff,

Nice job on the USP 9 compact! Good, even lighting, and a nice drop shadow. And, totally agree that you don't have to spend a lot of money to get good results - kit lenses often will do the job, or as you mention, the $100 macro lens works great. Thanks for sharing!

Turby
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  #63  
Old 01-25-2009, 7:30 PM
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Here are I couple that I've done for friends using just a flash and a 17-40L or the 18-55 kit lens







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  #64  
Old 01-25-2009, 7:54 PM
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Love the pic of the BAR, nicely done! What did you use for your background surface? Large table and white paper?

Turby
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  #65  
Old 01-25-2009, 8:42 PM
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I used a white cardboard backing for the BAR shots and white paper for the pistols.
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  #66  
Old 01-27-2009, 9:47 PM
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my first shots from a home made "Light Box"... more difficult than i thought actually.









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  #67  
Old 01-27-2009, 9:48 PM
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and one my normal way, just sitting on a piece of clothing, lol

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  #68  
Old 01-28-2009, 9:01 AM
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Keep practicing. Guns are shiney and they have all sorts of different angles and crevices, which makes photographing them challenge. The more time you spend with the light box the better you'll get. Once you master the light, your entire room could be used as a "light box"!
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  #69  
Old 01-29-2009, 8:10 PM
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Very cool thread turbinator! I actually used it today to get some shots of some products I sell to the medical community!

THanks!!
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  #70  
Old 01-30-2009, 9:13 PM
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Lightroom/Photoshop:



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  #71  
Old 02-05-2009, 5:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raceison View Post
Very cool thread turbinator! I actually used it today to get some shots of some products I sell to the medical community!

THanks!!
Glad this thread helped you out!

Turby
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  #72  
Old 02-08-2009, 9:20 PM
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I originally bought PVC piping to make target stands... I will have to forgo the project and make a lightbox instead!

Great info Turby, I passed the info on to some other forums.
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  #73  
Old 02-09-2009, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteQwill View Post
I originally bought PVC piping to make target stands... I will have to forgo the project and make a lightbox instead!

Great info Turby, I passed the info on to some other forums.
Glad it helped! By the way, a friend of mine used PVC to create a target stand. It works, but isn't the sturdiest target stand out there. I'd suggest getting a metal base (or a heavy base in general) and using wood onto which you'd staple your target. The PVC is just too light for a target stand.

Turby
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  #74  
Old 02-09-2009, 1:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteQwill View Post
I originally bought PVC piping to make target stands... I will have to forgo the project and make a lightbox instead!

Great info Turby, I passed the info on to some other forums.
Did you pass it along to wackjum on AZ.com? His pics look like they used the same process described in the first posts of this thread.

Awesome job on their pictures everyone!
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  #75  
Old 02-10-2009, 5:16 AM
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Light boxes / photo tents can be found on flea-bay for not a lot of money these days. I decided to purchase one several years ago rather than spend the time to build one. Here is only one example out of many hundred results to my simple search for "photo tent." If you are non-flea-bay I'm sure they can be found at various other online outlets.
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  #76  
Old 02-13-2009, 12:18 PM
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Not bad for $11.99 and free shipping. Costs less than my "invention" (which by the way I didn't invent) - I think mine is about $20 to $30, not including the lights. The pipes generally are the most expensive part along with all the trimmings - endcaps, fabric, lighting..

Turby
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  #77  
Old 02-14-2009, 10:15 PM
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First shot setup inside my light box

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  #78  
Old 02-22-2009, 2:05 PM
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Newbie on Calguns Forum here. I just found this how to on photographing your firearms.
I did this one a couple of days ago. It was my first attempt at this type of shot. I took several, this is one to the best. The shot was taken using Nikon D50 and it's built in flash.

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  #79  
Old 02-27-2009, 4:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingofthehill View Post
First shot setup inside my light box
Nice, but just a comment - my personal opinion - I don't like how the image gets soft / blurry towards the grip and the rounds at the bottom of the grip. I'd suggest increasing DOF to ensure the entire handgun is sharp.

Turby
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  #80  
Old 02-27-2009, 4:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daBluman View Post
Newbie on Calguns Forum here. I just found this how to on photographing your firearms.
I did this one a couple of days ago. It was my first attempt at this type of shot. I took several, this is one to the best. The shot was taken using Nikon D50 and it's built in flash.
Here's my unsolicited opinion - the image is too cool, not warm enough to my liking. The flash definitely doesn't help too much, the picture definitely has that "flash" look. If you must use flash, you might need to get an external flash and bounce the light, or diffuse it at least. IMHO.

Turby
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