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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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  #1  
Old 2006-07-05, 3:05am
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LavenderCreek LavenderCreek is offline
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Default Amazing what Good Lighting Can Do!

I use to take my photos in a cardboard box, lined with white paper and 2 overhead bare daylight bulbs. It was cheap and worked for about a year, now my cardboard box is disintegrating, the table clamps for the lights are broken and I had to hold the camera with on hand, steady the lights with the other and pray that the picture wouldn't come out blurry or that my lights would fall over

I ordered a lighting box the otherday and it came today
Of course I immediately set it up and took some pictures.

Here is what I bought. It has top, side and underlighting, comes in a metal case for storage and I know if I would of taken to time to build something myself I might have ended up with something better, but I couldn't wait that long! This ended up costing me about $200.00


This is the original image I took in my cardboard box..pictures always came out way too white cuz I had to do alot of fiddling with the brightness contrast to get rid of the green tint


This is using the new box with just the top and side lighting, I hardly have to adjust the image at all.


This one uses the top, side and underlighting.


This is just underlighting



I am so glad I got the underlighting, I really like the effect. The colours are true and easy to see but the image doesn't need to be so blindingly white like my old images were. The only problem now is how to stand my focals without a big lump of fimo showing. Oh, there is also a noticeable horizon line where the background filter lays against the back lip of the metal case...not sure how to fix that yet. I like the middle image but would love to know what you all think.
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  #2  
Old 2006-07-05, 3:36am
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Here is another picture. This on is using a grey background. I didn't have to adjust anything other than size. Also using this background got rid of that horizon line...me likey!



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Last edited by LavenderCreek; 2006-07-05 at 3:42am.
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  #3  
Old 2006-07-05, 4:49am
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Teresa, it looks great!
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Old 2006-07-05, 4:50am
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love the new pictures and old ones too! where did you get the kit at?
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  #5  
Old 2006-07-05, 5:00am
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Teresa,

The pics are fantastic! Very professional and I'm sure as you tweak it you'll find that sweet spot.

Perhaps you can use one of those clear plastic display cube things (the ones with the rod in the center) to display your goddesses? You could adjust the height of the camera to eliminate the cube base and you wouldn't see the rod since it would be hidden?

I have the same problem that you used to have with the pic coming out too white after adjusting to get out the extraneous colors. I still have to tweak my setup more.

Good work!

-Yee
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  #6  
Old 2006-07-05, 5:49am
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Thanks for the comments you guys! I wasn't sure if the pictures were really better, or if I was just excited about the new set up. It will take a while to play and find just the right settings etc. You're right Yee. I forgot all about those cubes, do you have any idea where to find them? That's a great idea! The fimo is really tacky but it works for now.

Oh, I got this on the German Ebay. Iwas looking on the Amercian Ebay at those light cubes they are always selling in the glass bead section but they don't shipp out of the US. I got this one here:
http://stores.ebay.de/technik-und-design-Fotostudios
He doesn't ship outside of Europe though. Probably because this thing weighs a ton and shipping just within Europe is about $45.00.
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Old 2006-07-05, 5:57am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LavenderCreek
You're right Yee. I forgot all about those cubes, do you have any idea where to find them? That's a great idea! The fimo is really tacky but it works for now.
Teresa,

I wish I had the link for the site that sells them but I just can't remember! If you search the Garage Sale I know several people had posted a ton for sale not too long ago. Perhaps the threads are still there.

Unfortunately I don't think we can get your setup here in the US. I did a quick Google search and it looks like German Ebay is pretty much the only place that has them I found one that was 112 euros plus shipping of 11euro or so within Europe but nothing shipping outside Europe. Boo

Ah well, this will motivate me to really work on figuring out how to get the best out of what I've got

-Yee

edited: here are the Garage Sale links!
http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...ighlight=cubes
http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...ighlight=cubes
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  #8  
Old 2006-07-05, 11:33am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LavenderCreek
Thanks for the comments you guys! I wasn't sure if the pictures were really better, or if I was just excited about the new set up. It will take a while to play and find just the right settings etc. You're right Yee. I forgot all about those cubes, do you have any idea where to find them? That's a great idea! The fimo is really tacky but it works for now.

Oh, I got this on the German Ebay. Iwas looking on the Amercian Ebay at those light cubes they are always selling in the glass bead section but they don't shipp out of the US. I got this one here:
http://stores.ebay.de/technik-und-design-Fotostudios
He doesn't ship outside of Europe though. Probably because this thing weighs a ton and shipping just within Europe is about $45.00.
Maybe they don't ship to the US because of the electrical voltage thing? If that's the only hold up, I'm wondering if we can't find the manufacturer and see about getting them to make US models, too? I'd REALLY love to have one!
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  #9  
Old 2006-07-05, 12:58pm
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Thanks for the lead Yee, I'll look around now that you've reminded me of those.

Oh yeah, I completely forgot about the voltage thing! That's probably it, and also why the american one won't ship over here..duh...lol! I'm not sure who the manufacterer is, I'll look at the paperwork I got with it.
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  #10  
Old 2006-07-05, 1:40pm
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I love that new kit, wow, it does do justice on your amazing beads..


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  #11  
Old 2006-07-05, 10:26pm
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WOW, I love the setup and your photos!!! They are fabulous. I spent all last evening looking for tabletop setups, and didn't like anything. I have the square popup tent, but like your's SO much better! Here's a link to the closest thing I found. Maybe it could be adapted with an arched piece of something...??? http://cgi.ebay.com/18-White-BACKGRO...QQcmdZViewItem
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  #12  
Old 2006-07-06, 12:51pm
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Hi Gail, I'm still fiddling with mine today. I haven't seen anything quite like the one I have anywhere else but Ebay.de. Yeah, the one you found might work well if you rigged up some type of dome filter. Mine is made out of flexible milky white plastic about 2mm thick, maybe you could find something like that in a hardware store or something. The one you found is designed to use with a flash...but I wonder how well flash works with beads? Never tried it. Hmm, so you might also have to buy lights for it too. I'm not sure thats a good deal, but I'm no expert at this stuff.
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  #13  
Old 2006-07-06, 12:59pm
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Here is something I found, pretty similar but looks like higher quality than the one I have, also more expensive, but it looks pretty nice.
http://www.webphotosupply.com/pls.htm
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  #14  
Old 2006-07-07, 8:18pm
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Ihre Fotos sehen sehr gut aus. Die Deutschen machen immer die besten Sachen fuer Photographie, nicht wahr?

Eric - wo es kein gutes Bier, Brot, und Wuerst gibt.
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  #15  
Old 2006-07-07, 8:42pm
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Teresa, OMG! You have no idea how much I want one of those now, LOL! Your pictures are fabulous! Hey everyone, if you start to think that contacting the manufacturer and importing a version made for the American market, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do!
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  #16  
Old 2006-07-08, 1:43am
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Hey Kalera, thanks I've looked but I can't find a manufactorer name on the information that I got, just the name of the kit which is also on the picture above.

Geez, these can't be that hard to make, I mean someone over there should beable to put something together for you guys. That link I posted to that place in Houston has pretty similar stuff, maybe if you guys wrote and told them what you wanted, they could put something together for you?

I think it would be really expensive to build over here to American specifications and then ship over there, the price would probably go up alot and this isn't worth paying more for than I paid for it. I mean the lamps are very thin plastic, the reflectors are cardboard with velcro tabs that stick onto the lamps... They would also have to order things from the US like bulbs and convert it to 120 volt. These things are really heavy too so shipping would cost alot. I think you all should write to some places there, maybe show them the picture as an EXAMPLE of what you're wanting and maybe someone would be willing to put something together for you.

Yeah eric, the Germans have always been good with this sort of thing Hey, you probably write better german than I do...lol! I'm not very good at it I'm afraid.
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Old 2006-07-10, 7:58am
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Here's another setup:'http://www.mkdigitaldirect.com/lighting-systems/products/mk-gem-ebox.htm
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Old 2006-07-10, 10:07am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gail Joseph
Here's another setup:'http://www.mkdigitaldirect.com/lighting-systems/products/mk-gem-ebox.htm
Well, I just ordered this one for myself for my birthday. I hope I don't regret it! -Gail
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Old 2006-07-11, 3:26am
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Gail, I think it looks really nice! I want to see pictures when you get it. Oh and Happy Birthday
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Old 2006-07-11, 4:13am
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Teresa, this is such a wonderful "suitcase" ... ... the "new" pictures are fabulous. Would you mind to take a picture of a bigger set ...?! I'm curious how "this masterpiece" is dealing with more beads. My tiny "light box" is always showing some grey spots in the edges ...

Many thanks, for posting ...!!!
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Beadz 4 Sale: ... new beads on
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  #21  
Old 2006-08-02, 12:35am
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Hi PEtra, sorry I forgot about this thread! Here is a picture of a bead set.

This is using a grey background and top, side and under lighting. It gets sort of a pinkish grey in the front from the underlighting and also because the beads are purple, but I haven't figured out yet how to fix this. I am having a really difficult time with supper shiney beads. I get tons of glare but I am fiddling around with which lights to use and it is getting better I think.



Here is a smaller set, using all the lights and a grey background. It has a more bluish tint but I guess that's because the beads are bluer, the angle is also different.
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Last edited by LavenderCreek; 2006-08-02 at 12:38am.
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  #22  
Old 2006-08-02, 12:49am
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THANK YOU, Teresa ...

Have you figured out how BIG a set could be ... I mean ... any idea about the surface area measurements (?!) you would be able to use ... ?!
Not that I do have big sets like this ... I'm just curious (... and like to keep you goin' ... ... before the cozy snow flakes ... )

Enjoy your day,
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  #23  
Old 2006-08-02, 6:01pm
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Oh you can do big stuff, like large sets of orphans with no problem. It's like a small suitcase, plenty of room and even lighting.

Back to my snow chant..."snow, snow snow, give me some snow"
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Old 2006-08-02, 6:14pm
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Teresa, what kind of stuff are you using to prop up your beads? I have tried fimo, but it has oil in it that eventually will ruin the background material. I also got some Museum Gel which is transparent, but it's too soft and has silicone or something in it, also will stain the background. Unless it's a plastic background.
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Old 2006-08-03, 8:19pm
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Kevan, yeah I'm using fimo. I don't like it much but I haven't found anything else. The backgrounds are plastic so I clean them with windex. I used to have a piece of wood with a short piece of mandrel in it, then I pushed a piece of white typing paper over the mandrel so you really couldn't see it, that worked really well, but won't work with this set up.
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Old 2006-08-06, 5:58pm
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These guys sell the cubes!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Photo-Studio-Set...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 2006-08-10, 7:07am
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Teresa -- If you are dissatisfied with all the "hot spots" (the glare flares) that you are getting on the very shiny beads, try photographing them underwater. I know this sounds goofy, but it works very well.

For that set you'll need a big shallow pan, ideally glass or translucent plastic, so as to let as much light in as possible. It also helps to put the pan on the light panel (where the light is coming up from underneath too). If you use a glass pan, you may need to line the bottom of the pan with plastic vellum. Or if you're using the graduated paper, just put it underneath the pan.

I use this underwater trick all the time with my shiny beads. I do focals, so I just have to deal with a small shallow plastic water container. Try it with a focal and you'll be amazed how much glare is eliminated.

JanMD
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  #28  
Old 2006-08-11, 2:06am
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LavenderCreek LavenderCreek is offline
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Thanks Jan! I need to try that because it is really frustrating me. I did try it once but I used an older glass bowl and I could see the scratches in the bottom of the bowl, I think I will buy a new bowl just for photographing. Thanks so much for reminding me about this trick!
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Old 2006-09-07, 9:16am
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Shawn T Shawn T is offline
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Would love to know if anybody ever found anything like Teresa'a wonderful box in the US?
Also Gail how has your light box turned out? Got any pic to show?
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Old 2006-09-07, 2:34pm
Jeri Jeri is offline
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I just noticed this thread, but I have the cubes in stock and you can PM me or look on my site, www.jeribeads.com

I am in pursuit of a Teresa-type photo setup. I need something failproof. Jeri
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