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12-03-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
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Product Photo: Pen
Lens: SMC 18-55 Camera: K2000 Photo Location: K2000 ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/15s Aperture: F8 

New pen photo shot ready for loading on my Etsy shop. Now using three 27w CFL 5500k bulbs with my light box. I did set custom white balance using white printer paper. Your critique and advice please. Thank you for your help.

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12-03-2012, 10:44 PM   #2
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Hello Glen
Looks like you've got things looking good. WB, setup, framing look fine. Some small tweaks that you may or may not find necessary. I might suggest getting a large piece of white cardboard or better still 1/8" foamcore board from the dollar store. Cut a hole in it so you can poke the lens through to reflect light back onto the pen. The camera position is open and dark. It has caused dark reflections on the silver. It's not really to much of a problem on the pen but at first I thought there was a dark triangle pattern at the top of the pen cap but since I was looking for it I saw it was the lighting setup that was causing it. Circled it here. Glen's pen | Flickr - Photo Sharing! Again since this is a product shot it's important to get things looking their best. The problem I see might be someone looking to buy this pen might see that and think it was part of the design rather than reflections and might like it or not like it because of it. Just some food for thought.
Cheers
Greg
12-03-2012, 11:14 PM   #3
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I like the setup. The thing I see that is distracting is the end grain on the dowl pin used to prop up the pin.
12-03-2012, 11:57 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcamero Quote
The thing I see that is distracting is the end grain on the dowl pin used to prop up the pin
Totally agree, it brings down the perceived quality of your offering.

I would also move the pen top back a bit so the entire clip can be seen. I get suspicious when I cannot see the complete product.

Other than that, plus, the eliminating the darker reflections as Gregory_51 called out, it's a nice shot.

M

12-04-2012, 12:59 AM   #5
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Hello Glen
Regarding the end grain of the oak dowel. It is what it is but it seems to bother a number of people. I wonder if a different wood like maple or maybe some other fine grain wood might be an option.
Cheers
Greg
12-04-2012, 12:55 PM   #6
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Thanks all; your input is appreciated. I will try the posterboard/foam board suggestion. I've seen that in a tutorial on www.penturners.org and was thinking of it but not gotten there yet. I like Greg's idea of a less grainy wood as opposed to red oak and may give that a try. Oak was used because of the tie in to my logo and it is a woodworking business. Thanks again.
12-04-2012, 01:55 PM   #7
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Hello Glen
I just clicked on your link. Didn't know that there was a website for pen turning, should have, there's a website for everything. Amazing work you guys do, they are little works of art. I clicked on some of the photos and there is a wide variety of photographic presentations. They really do have an impact on how the finished product looks. Cool stuff.
Cheers
Greg
12-04-2012, 02:50 PM   #8
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re: the dowel.

The timber it's made from looks fine, My main concerns about it are:

The end looks unfinished, the toolmarks are quite visible.
It just looks like an offcut.


I think it would look nicer to have something that looks purpose made, maybe make something like a chopstick rest?
http://www.hugel.com/pdf/Hugel_Chopstick_holder.jpg

I would actually recommend making a few, in the more common timbers you use for the pens (that way you can use a complimentary timber hue with the pen much like with the dowel)

12-04-2012, 04:02 PM   #9
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Hi Glen

Have you considered hanging your pens up by attaching (with a bit of blue tack in the back) a very thin fishing line, then when you take the shot, as you do, in front of a plain back drop you can easily clone out in PP the lines that hold them up.

I have actually done this from time to time, makes the subject float in mid air.

And as previous posters said try to get rid of the dark shadow banding. And your images are still too soft for a good product shot.

Greetings
12-04-2012, 04:07 PM   #10
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Looks good, But I would have used a colored backdrop.

Curly Maple is so light, That I think a Burgundy Red would look great.
12-04-2012, 08:39 PM   #11
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Really appreciate the continued input. Here is a new photo taken using white poster board with a hole for the lens as suggested above. I've also repositioned the cap so almost none is hidden. The only difference between the two pens is the wood used. No change in the dowel yet.

I had not considered suspending the pen. The time required both to set up the shot and process the photos will probably rule out that idea. My goal is to have about 100 pens in my shop (just over half way there) and each one gets 5 photos. Time is critical and in short supply.

I will try to learn what to do about the "softness" of the shots.

Thanks again.
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