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The Dark Room -- Photo Editing and Picture Taking. Advice, tutorials, questions on all things photoshop, photo editing, and taking pictures of beads or glass.

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  #61  
Old 2006-06-17, 8:14pm
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Thanks Christy, You have two great points! First don't use the sharpen button. Use unsharp mask ( the term unsharp mask comes from a dark room technique. Used to sharpen soft photos back in the day ). And if you can't afford a really soild camera stand you can help yourself ( Huge ). By using the self timer option on your camera. We old school folks call that Bulb by the way. Hee Hee'
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Last edited by Tanner Studios; 2006-06-17 at 8:25pm.
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  #62  
Old 2006-06-17, 8:52pm
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Stumbled on this tutorial at a great time, I am just getting ready to photograph beads for my new web-site. Scott thanks for sharing!
Aloha,Chris
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  #63  
Old 2006-06-18, 9:56am
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Thank you Scott! I'll try these tips out!
Anne (Official Can of worms opener!)
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  #64  
Old 2006-07-19, 6:19pm
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Hi Scott, thank you for doing this. Your photoshop tut's and Evan's have really been insightful for me. I have been using a couple of the tips from this thread and was just getting ready to try some of Evan's tips this afternoon when a transformer blew resulting in a power outage for a few hours. Tomorrow I'll work on it more.

One thing I wish someone would do a tutorial on is learning how to better use the camera. My camera has a lot of the settings, but I get so confused as to when to use this or that, or how to compensate for this or that. I know you have been specifically dealing with how to use photoshop, but I think lending your expertise in how to best use the camera would be helpful as well! Just a thought
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  #65  
Old 2006-07-19, 7:07pm
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Ok glass_beads, Starting at the beginning is a great place to start. But I have to warn you. I'm old school. My camera is set on manual. I still refer to film speed as 'ASA' now thats old school But I'll take your comment into concentration. Maybe We should just have a A to Z tut. A lot of work but my LE friends are worth that. Hope I can deliver. Thats some mondo pressure.
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  #66  
Old 2006-07-20, 3:15am
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I've heard many people say *not* to use the point and shoot feature on the camera, to instead do the manual stuff. I've read the handbook that came with my camera yet I am still stumped as to when to change what setting in the manual mode. White balance, tungsten, ISO...this is a foreign language to me -- LOL.

Thanks to threads like this one I am learning how to properly use Photoshop, I have just ordered the proper bulbs for my lighting and a light tent, now if I only I could learn to use my camera properly. I'm sure knowing/having all 3 things (photo studio setup, camera, photoshop) under one's belt will lead to great photos.

Thanks for all the info you do share even if you don't find the time to do a camera tut, this other info has been so useful.
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  #67  
Old 2006-11-20, 7:19pm
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Unsharp mask is another powerful tool that is misunderstood and misused. This tool should be used everytime, and the final tool used. I spoke of setting up the file for use as a CMYK file for printing or a RGB jpeg for the web. And most importantly a RGB tiff file for the master copy. Now I want to talk about.... why we don't sharpen until we sent the file off (final copy).

The Term Unsharp Mask comes from a the dark room technique. Back in the day. When a photographer had a photo that was soft (unsharp) They could save it in the dark room using a masking technique that would sharpen the edges. Thus Unsharp mask.

To understand unsharp mask, lets understand what the tool is doing. Basically it is adding a white and black dot pattern around every color dot in the image. That is why its so important to do this step at the end and only once.

Scott
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  #68  
Old 2007-01-03, 2:03pm
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Hi Scott! Thanks for this great thread it has really helped me out. I think I have a pretty good start here. Here is a shot of my beads. Let me know what you think.

Now for the question. Is there anything I can do to improve these pictures of a sterling silver ring? I feel like it is too shiny(??). Anyway to tone it down?

I'll take any suggestions you have about any of the pics.
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  #69  
Old 2007-01-04, 5:47am
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Michelle, Your beads look great. Your silver is quite good as well. I reworked one of your photos and this is what I came up with.

All I did was slide the grey point toward the white point to darken the mid tones. Burned in the high light a bit.
And in the color channel, I added a little blue to kill some of the yellow Bias. Silver looks better with a slight blue hue to it.
Scott
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  #70  
Old 2007-01-04, 6:12am
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Ah...that's perfect! I kept trying to slide the gray thingy but didnt get those results. I play with it some more today along with the blue.

Thanks!
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  #71  
Old 2007-01-27, 6:53am
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I'm bumping this up because it is the most awesome tutorial for bead pics. Really
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  #72  
Old 2007-01-28, 6:36pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyQ View Post
I'm bumping this up because it is the most awesome tutorial for bead pics. Really
No doubt it's the best! Thanks Scott. I still have a long way to go with my photo's, but I keep referring back to this and learn something new each time.
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  #73  
Old 2007-01-28, 8:58pm
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Hi Scott May please I ask some questions about lights and setup?

I scrolled the thread, and didn't see a tut or info post, If I missed it I apologize in advance. I used to do professional commercial photography, mostly large format film, of course, and most of it Architectural. The indoor advertising work was all done with Polaroids, then large format with huge klieg type synched lights.

So as you can see, while I know much about THAT sort of film photography, I am crippled when it comes to taking photos of my small beadlies in digital format. I have an 8 megapixel Canon Powershot Pro, and I am finally starting to learn to use it properly. Not that the pics are BAD, but I need lighting suggestions... and I mean what KIND of lights and setup. I am using reveal bulbs in regular lights, but let me show what happens when I do:

Heres a final shot of a single bead


And here is the original tiff before I edited it:


I am displeased because I am losing the impact of the colors when i am editing, and I THINK it's becaise of poor lighting. Any assistance is appreciated
THANKS SCOTT!
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  #74  
Old 2007-01-28, 11:17pm
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Lynnie, Your lighting is not as bad as you think it is. In fact it's pretty good.
Your problem is the photo is under exposed. That is very common when shooting on white. The meter see's all of that white, and has no idea what to do with it. So you need to sit down and talk to your camera, tell it. " I don't care what you think. over expose it!" This problem is worst when shooting in auto mode. So if you can, shoot in manual mode. So you can over ride the meter. Or your camera may have a meter compensation function.

But your real disappointment comes, from having seen a 8x10 or 4x5 transparent piece of film on a light table. Digital will never come close to that experience.

As far as lights go. I'm the last person to ask advise from. It will cost you.
You see I shoot with strobe lights. I don't even know what kind of bulbs are out there. Let alone which are best.

But your color balance is good, your lighting style is clean and your editing skills are well developed. So just work on getting the exposure down.

I posted this photograph of my set up on another thread. But I'll post it again here incase you missed it.

Hope that works for you.
Scott
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  #75  
Old 2007-01-28, 11:47pm
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I get the impression that a lot of people imagine that some people are taking pictures that look like the finished product without manipulating them or something. lol
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  #76  
Old 2007-01-29, 1:57am
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Thought you all might like to see what I do for a day job.
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  #77  
Old 2007-01-29, 2:11am
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Scott, even the photo of your set up rocks. lol
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  #78  
Old 2007-01-29, 12:25pm
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OK Scott, yes it is a HUGE help! And I too am jealous of your set up (although I know you do this professionally so I'll stop drooling so much LOL).

I think you may be correct about the film on a light table.. I can't meet my own standards of photo quality this way after that! LOL

I NEVER use auto settings. That, to me, having been a professional photog would make me feel lazy LOL. That original pic was taken without my tripod set up, as I was in a rush and the tripod was folded on the floor, so I just leaned on the wall and held still, LOL, oh and the camera was in Super Macro mode... does this info change your impression or info?

Oh and I forgot to ask this: I use the "White Balance" setting function. where I can pre-expose the shot. IT is probably what is causing the over exposure... any way to trick it?

What kind of background would be better? If I use colored backgrounds I am struggling with the levels.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
Hugs
Lynnie


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Originally Posted by Tanner Studios View Post
Lynnie, Your lighting is not as bad as you think it is. In fact it's pretty good.
Your problem is the photo is under exposed. That is very common when shooting on white. The meter see all of that white, and has no idea what to do with it. So you need to sit down and talk to your camera, tell it. " I don't care what you think. over expose it!" This problem is worst when shooting in auto mode. So if you can, shoot in manual mode. So you can over ride the meter. Or your camera may have a meter compensation function.

But your real disappointment comes, from having seen a 8x10 or 4x5 transparent piece of film on a light table. Digital will never come close to that experience.

As far as lights go. I'm the last person to ask advise from. It will cost you.
You see I shoot with strobe lights. I don't even know what kind of bulbs are out there. Let alone which are best.

But your color balance is good, your lighting style is clean and your editing skills are well developed. So just work on getting the exposure down.

I posted this photograph of my set up on another thread. But I'll post it again here incase you missed it.

Hope that works for you.
Scott
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  #79  
Old 2007-01-29, 12:32pm
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NOW I am jealous AND I hate you! LOL

Seriously, really LOVELY work!!
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Old 2007-01-29, 2:09pm
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Lynnie, Now not unfolding the tripod is lazy. LOL It is important to use a tripod with low power lights. And Macro photography. You need to shoot with a longer exposure so you can get an f/stop to give you the depth of field you will need. Also motion has a greater impact when shooting close up, just like it does when shooting will long telephoto lens.

The white point is more a function of color balance then exposure. And like I said your color balance looks fine. Although it may look like it has a blue bias. Thats just because its underexposed. The problem really is the limitations of meters reading all of the white in the shot. Ski photographers had to open up at-lease one stop over the meter reading to compensate for the snow ( in the days of film ).

Remember what I said at the first of this tut. About throwing information away. If the image is close, to start with. You will not have to throw away as much. But in this case of underexposure, you have to throw out a lot just to get the background to white. Which means your throwing out the good with the bad. Some of that information was needed for the color saturation. So it is important to start with a good photograph.

Remember the Zone System for printing Black & White written by Ansel Adams? OMG, rather have a bullet in my brain then read that book again.
Simplified It went something like this. There are eleven tones ( zones ) you could achieve with B&W photography. Black was 1 and white was 11. Sound familiar? The goal was to hold detail ( information ) in all zones while achieving all eleven zones. Shoot for shadow detail and process for highlight detail. Levels are the zone system for digital photography.

Sorry bit of a ramble.
Scott
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  #81  
Old 2007-01-29, 10:03pm
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Scott,
These questions may have been asked and answered before, but please forgive me for not wanting to go re-read all the in-between posts from your main tutorials. So without trying to take up too much of your time, which you have so generously given already...do you use the macro function and zoom in on your subject? Or do you take the shot further away, then crop in Photoshop? If you crop, do you use the histogram before or after cropping?
Thanks,
Barbara
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  #82  
Old 2007-01-29, 10:57pm
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Remember slides? I love slides. Sigh.
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  #83  
Old 2007-01-30, 12:13am
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Barbara, Great question. I have talked about it here and there. But this is a good time to really get into. "what is macro in the first place". Macro is the X games of close up photography. Close up photography is not necessary Macro. Example. Lets look at some photos. Heres Lynnie's photo again. This is Macro.

Here is a shot of my beads. This is just close up.

one more photo.


What do you think that last one is?

Answer... a cropped portion of a close up photo of a set of beads. Think of Macro as Microscope. A lens designed to photograph an ant. Lynnie's photo was macro. Because, she set the lens to fill the frame up with just one bead.
Mine is close up because I pushed into the limit of how close the lens could focus without going Macro.

Why is this important to understand? Well first, not all lens are created equal. Their glass right, we all understand the difference between a quality bead and a bad bead. Same with optical glass. Just because they say "Macro" does not mean macro. or at-lease quality macro glass.

The good news is you don't have to photograph ants. And you don't have to get as close as you think you do. Remember most of you are publishing for the internet. we're talking Kilobytes. All cameras work in milobytes. So no matter what. We have to throw away information, from the get go. Remember thats important. ( throwing things away may come back and bite us on the butt ). So just close up is actually better. In most case's

Now about when to use the histogram. Use it as soon as you can. If your camera software has it to convert your images from raw format to tiff format. Thats the best place to start, to get it close. then use it again in photoshop to refine it. Then retouch it ( have not talked about retouching yet ). Then save it to your library. That way you have it already to go for any purpose.

Here are the steps I want you to follow. Step 1 edit... Image correction, ( Levels ). Step 2 retouching... ( I'll start a new thread for that.)
Step 3 Save...( step 2 until we talk retouching ) Step 4 reopen, resize.
Step 5 sharpen. save for intended use. File format.

Sorry Barbara long answer. But you people are starting to get it. So I can't bluff anymore LOL.
Much love
Scott
P.S. Kevan.... yea baby! Thats what we're talking about. Now think of a slide from a large format camera. That is fresh out of the camera that is 8 inches x 10 inches. viewed on a light table that is Balanced. With a really nice loop ( magnifying glass ).We are losing a great art form people. But don't get me started.
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  #84  
Old 2007-01-30, 1:50am
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Scott, what lens did you use to take your photo?
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Old 2007-01-30, 2:00am
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Kevan, Nikon ED Af-s Nikkor 28-70mm 1:2.8 D . Not cheap, but well worth it. If your willing to risk a divorce for just one Lens. This is the one.
Scott
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Old 2007-01-30, 2:14am
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I have the 60mm 1:2.8.

I still have my Minolta SLR. That's what I use to take pics for doing paintings. Fujichrome film. I will miss film when it's gone. Not that I don't appreciate digital, I'm just fond of film too. I used to have a medium format Pentax. Now, those were nice slides too.
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Old 2007-01-30, 2:55am
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Kevan, Get over film. I'll cry with you. I am in the process of turning my darkroom into my flaming space. That is hurting me almost as bad as losing my two Bouvier De Flanders ( big dogs ). And I had my dark room twenty years before the dogs, But in truth. I loved the dogs more. Almost as much as I loved film and the woman with the umbrella. All broke my heart. But still I live.
Just a thought
Scott
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Old 2007-01-30, 3:05am
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But Scott, there was magic in film. Developing pictures from negatives and watching the image emerge under water and deciding just the right moment to stop the process. I can still smell the acid smell of the chemicals.

At the same time I absolutely love not having to go through that whole process just to see the damn picture any more, ya know? lol
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Old 2007-01-30, 6:49am
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Great post Scott I REALLY appreciate all the time you are taking to help EVERYONE here.... I snipped out the tut because I wanted to comment on the end comments... I MISS MY 8 x 10 SLIDES (said for Kevan! Love ya hon, I used to call them that too!) LOL THey Are SO wonderful to look at, and the detail is TDF. If we weren't all in such a darn hurry I'd go back to my 4 x 5 in a HEARTBEAT. Oh and did I mention, TRY to find large format film any more.. sheesh!
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Originally Posted by Tanner Studios View Post
<SNIP?>Much love
Scott
P.S. Kevan.... yea baby! Thats what we're talking about. Now think of a slide from a large format camera. That is fresh out of the camera that is 8 inches x 10 inches. viewed on a light table that is Balanced. With a really nice loop ( magnifying glass ).We are losing a great art form people. But don't get me started.
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Old 2007-01-30, 6:53am
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danelady danelady is offline
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Location: Manchester, NH ~
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As well you should have Scott (Loved the dogs more, that is LOL)
Bouv's are one of my favorites.... sorry bout the darkroom, I lost mine when I moved from NH to FL... I moved on tho...
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Originally Posted by Tanner Studios View Post
<SNIP> That is hurting me almost as bad as losing my two Bouvier De Flanders ( big dogs ). And I had my dark room twenty years before the dogs, But in truth. I loved the dogs more. <SNIP> All broke my heart. But still I live.
Just a thought
Scott
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