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Old 10-16-2013, 08:40 AM   #261
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Liked the beer and pretzel shot as well. A low backlight keyed on the glass might bring out the tanslucence of the beer, were you so inclined.

If you're shooting digital, under exposing the shot (1stop?) then adjusting the contrast maybe tweaking the histogram - would keep the highlights of the foam and towel, but bring out the texture of them both, without changing the mid tones


Just two thoughts
It's interesting what a more experienced eye catches. After I looked again, I did think about some back-light for the beer, like you mentioned.

But I did not notice that washing out of the high-lights in the towel until you mentioned it, and I really had to look for it. Though this might be the effect of the jpg compression the forum sw applies to these.

It's a lot of work to get that last few percent towards perfection!

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Old 10-16-2013, 11:22 AM   #262
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Backlight will definitely help. I'm making a bigger light box and will add back light. This beer is very light and I need more light to get the right color. Tweaking the will help get the black background / light beer combo
I like using backlight when photographing light-colored beer. Here is a snapshot of a pumpkin ale taken last night using the setting sun as backlight. I like how the beer "glows" against the dark backdrop created by the kitchen counter. It's too bad the backlight also shows all the scratches on the glass.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:01 PM   #263
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I like using backlight when photographing light-colored beer. Here is a snapshot of a pumpkin ale taken last night using the setting sun as backlight. I like how the beer "glows" against the dark backdrop created by the kitchen counter. It's too bad the backlight also shows all the scratches on the glass.
Nicely done- Thats the lighting I'm shooting for
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:42 PM   #264
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But I did not notice that washing out of the high-lights in the towel until you mentioned it, and I really had to look for it. Though this might be the effect of the jpg compression the forum sw applies to these.
I know some photographers are resistant to programs such as PS or GIMP, because they erroneously believe the programs are only for correcting mistakes. They want perfect pictures directly from the camera; which is an extreme rarity. Photography has always been a two step process: record as much detail/dataas possible across the tonal spectrum on film/data card, then use the detail to create the actual image. It the detail is not captured - and I suspect that's what occurred with the towel and foam - it can't appear in the image. So I don't think it was compression which is responsible for the lack of detail, but the exposure. Then again, perhaps Ronstar didn't want the detail. He's the artist and it must be his decision.

I mentioned the two step process because it may help some photographers reading this crystallize their thoughts on exposure.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:04 PM   #265
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Backlight will definitely help. I'm making a bigger light box and will add back light. This beer is very light and I need more light to get the right color. Tweaking the will help get the black background / light beer combo
I'd have to dig through my lighting books but I think I've seen some setups where they drill a hole underneath the glass and light it from below. Just another option.


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I know some photographers are resistant to programs such as PS or GIMP, because they erroneously believe the programs are only for correcting mistakes. They want perfect pictures directly from the camera; which is an extreme rarity.

In this case, since it's a still life, the photographer can have total control over the lighting situation. Genearlly, I think photographers want to get it as close to perfect in camera as possible because it's easier fix things upfront before clicking the shutter than to spend time retouching. Too bad he'll have to drink another beer if he reshoots.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:25 PM   #266
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....
Of the few things I have learned about photography, a very useful piece of advice I received was to think about what I wanted to achieve with a picture before I took it. That way, I could ask myself afterwards whether it achieved that goal. It's a neat way of sidestepping all the "is it good enough/how come no-one else seems to like it/are my photos any good?" malarkey.
That is a really great way to think about it and keep in mind. You really should have a goal in mind, and evaluate your own success in achieving that goal in order to improve.

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I know some photographers are resistant to programs such as PS or GIMP, because they erroneously believe the programs are only for correcting mistakes. They want perfect pictures directly from the camera; which is an extreme rarity. Photography has always been a two step process: record as much detail/data as possible across the tonal spectrum on film/data card, then use the detail to create the actual image. ...

I mentioned the two step process because it may help some photographers reading this crystallize their thoughts on exposure.
That's also a very useful way to think about it. You have to work within the dynamic range of the equipment, and we have a lot of flexibility with post-processing today. But it sure can be easier to get it as right as possible in the camera (if the situation allows for it), the fixes are generally easier with the better source material. I know that from some non-artsy photos I've taken, trying to document something. Now I remember - I thought I could correct some lighting colors with post-processing, and I was having a heck of a time. Then I went back, read up in the manual a bit on how to use manual white-balance for that little Casio, and WHAM! Night and day difference!

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Old 10-16-2013, 10:45 PM   #267
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OTOH, some photographers are really into post-processing, moving photos around several programs, almost painting most of the pixels of some shots.
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:01 AM   #268
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Yes a lot of graphic artists and such. And they can come out with beautiful results, though I hesitate to call the finished Products photographs. There's a simple program called Photogene for iPad and iPhone, which permits basic adjustments. Pretty much my favorite, since I just tweak saturation, histogram and crop. IPhone a nice little camera.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:37 PM   #269
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Genearlly, I think photographers want to get it as close to perfect in camera as possible because it's easier fix things upfront before clicking the shutter than to spend time retouching
You are right.

It is easier to do in the controlled environment of the studio - one can control the tonal range in front of the camera. In real life, however, the range may exceed the capacity of the camera to capture, and choices have to be made. Details at the dark or the light extremes, which are not captured, can never be brought out in the final image.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:46 PM   #270
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Started cleaning up container plants for winter storage. Thought I'd get a photo of some clippings
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:47 AM   #271
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This is from a local railway museum. A toilet in a rail car. Seemed strange to take a photo of it but I really liked the natural light coming in that little room and something about the style of the toilet was interesting.

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Old 10-19-2013, 08:55 PM   #272
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A neat shot. Good exposure and use of contrast. If you're open to suggestions, on the right of the frame, in the middle , on the wall next to to the toilet is a horizontal highlight that pulls the eye out of the frame. IMO, if you darkened that highlight (removed it) it would improve the image.
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Old 10-19-2013, 09:24 PM   #273
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lost boys by jglennhart, on Flickr

When I took this photo, I didnt realize there were three kids going to run across the bridge - one running to catch up. I liked the fact they couldn't be seen in the photo, only their silhouetted reflection - as if they could only be seen through the looking glass, from which they couldnt escape. Reminded me of the moment between nighttime and dawn, when one might glimpse into Neverland. Hence, the title lol
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:53 AM   #274
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The Mackinac Bridge (pronounced Mackinaw) is the longest suspension bridge in America and connects Michigan's lower and upper peninsula's. The five mile long bridge opened in 1957. The body of water is the Straits of Mackinac which connect Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. This photo was taken 10.17.13 from the Straits State Park looking south toward Mackinac City which lies at the northern tip of the lower peninsula.
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:32 AM   #275
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Did some bird watching yesterday
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:10 AM   #276
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Nice wildlife shots.
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:16 PM   #277
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Today's walk in the woods
Nikon - D7000, Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G, hand held, ISO 400
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:21 PM   #278
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Today's Civil War Reenactment
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:18 PM   #279
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Question for the experts. I've started writing a blog that needs photos of rooms in our house before and after DIY renovations.

The problem I'm trying to solve is the lighting in the house is almost non existent in that most rooms have a single light fixture in the ceiling that doesn't enable me to shoot pictures that reflect what the room looks like (wall colors, etc).

Without spending a ton of money how would you suggest I better light the room for low resolution, web only pictures?
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:13 AM   #280
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It would help if we knew a bit more about what camera/lens you're using. DSLR or point 'n shoot? You'll probably want a tripod, no need to spend a lot - $100 should be fine for what you want to do. But know that you'll get what you pay for. There is good reason the high-end tripods are north of $1,000. They'll hold the camera rock-steady. This will allow you to use longer shutter speeds for a room that is not well lighted.

The light in the ceiling is not what you want to use. You can get a couple of utility lights on stands from any hardware store, or better, get a couple of flashes that can be remotely fired and light stands for those. Lights designed for photography will have better color than utility lights.

For color accuracy you'll want something to set a custom color balance in the camera to match the light in the room. I use either an Expodisc or a Colorchecker depending on circumstances.

You'll need image editing software. I've never used it but many speak highly of the free GIMP software or Photoshop Elements would serve your needs. There are plenty of books on Elements to help you learn it. And there is a learning curve.

You'll need to color calibrate your monitor. The ColorMunki Smile should meet your needs. There is a very good series of articles on color management at Cambridge in Colour.

Consider buying or borrowing from the library a few basic photography books. You'll need to understand at least the basics of color management and lighting.
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