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11-22-2011, 07:27 AM   #1
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Showing flaws (lighting?)

I'm still mostly a novice, so I need some pointers.

Seems like even high-res photos (and videos) with good DSLRs often hide flaws. Even when the photographer is not trying. Like, a slight blur, evening out the minor bumps or discolorations. But in some lighting the flaws are enhanced.

I have situations where I want to show the flaws. How do I make sure they show up?

And I have no external flash, so I need other solutions. Bright direct lighting, meaning I have to hold up a spotlight?

Don't use diffused on-camera flash if I want to show flaws? (For normal photos, I'm fine with the results with on-camera flash with a diffuser.)

I don't want to magnify the flaws if possible, just show them realistically.

Thanks.

11-22-2011, 07:58 AM   #2
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i'm guessing what you mean is that you want the maximum amount of detail out of your photos? Its a combination of several factors:
1. You need lots of light, no way of going around it. Either buy yourself a flash or wait for daylight.
2. Use either a fast shutter speed or a flash to freeze motion. This eliminates motion blur.
3. Stop down that aperture. All lenses are sharper when stopped down by a stop or two. Make sure you don't stop down too much however, since you'd lose sharpness due to diffraction
4. Get in focus. I think this is easy enough to understand.
5. Lower your ISO so that you don't lose detail from noise and/or noise reduction/smoothing
6. Get sharp glass.

the lighting style to get optimum sharpness isnt all that important, the most important thing is that you have enough light to do most or all of the things above
11-22-2011, 08:12 AM   #3
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They aren't blurry pics but I guess lack of detail describes it.

I'm not sure, it seems like angle of lighting is my main problem, and if it's diffused lighting or not, like the sunlight through the window causes my lamp or flash to get cancelled out.

In my case I guess I have to use on camera flash so the shutter speed is OK, this will be indoor photography, I'll have sunlight sometimes and sometimes none.

ISO and aperture may help. So just choose around f 5.0 in Av mode?

Ok, will use the faster lens when possible. That will probably help, in situations where I can use it.
11-22-2011, 09:39 AM   #4
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can you give an example of what you're going for and what you are getting currently?

11-22-2011, 11:11 AM   #5
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No, but I thought of other explanation. Like the lighting (especially flash) is washing out my shadows, and making any bumps/scratches/holes blend in more, so you can't tell they are bumps as well. Maybe it is also affecting highlights or midtones in a way that hides detail?

I'll try the other lens, aperture, and lower ISO like you said before.
11-22-2011, 02:03 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kitty Quote
No, but I thought of other explanation. Like the lighting (especially flash) is washing out my shadows, and making any bumps/scratches/holes blend in more, so you can't tell they are bumps as well. Maybe it is also affecting highlights or midtones in a way that hides detail?
Yes, flash (especially on-camera flash) can fill in your shadows and hide the texture of a subject. If you're wanting to show bumps and holes, more angular light ought to help.
11-22-2011, 03:33 PM   #7
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In a dimly lit room, try lighting your subject at a 90 angle or close to it with a small, bright light source like a bright flashlight. Imagine your subject is standing at the center of a clock. You stand at 6 o'clock, and put your light at 3 o'clock (or maybe 3:30), and at the 9 o'clock position either have a large empty space, or something black like a large piece of foam core. If you're getting weird light rings from the flashlight's reflector, try putting a piece of white tissue paper over it. Experiment with the flashlight at different distances, and vary the angle so that your subject is just lit by the edge of the cone of light. You'll probably have to shoot at a fairly wide aperture, and crank the ISO up, but the graininess shouldn't be objectionable for what you are trying to achieve.
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