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  #61  
Old 01-14-2005, 12:32 PM
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Coop,

Home depo has that Flourex lights in the outdoor lighting section. I found a whole pallet full of 65 watt with fixtures and bulbs for $39.

Steve


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  #62  
Old 01-14-2005, 01:15 PM
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Thanks, Steve. And eBay has tons of the worklights for CHEAP! Here's the search.

Just another way to go.

Coop.


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  #63  
Old 01-14-2005, 02:52 PM
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Coop, I keep looking over that photo you did with the Fluorex bulb.

Looks kinda soft. Is that because of the diffuser, the bulbs, the low light=low f-stop, ??? So before I invest in 200 of those bulbs (thats an exaggeration) to make my light bank, I wanted to know.

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  #64  
Old 01-14-2005, 03:26 PM
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I posted this on Steve's other thread, but it only cost a dime more to post it here also.......

Steve:

I think the whole key to color balance is "resetting" the camera, regardless of the type lights used.

We all know that incandescent bulbs give a "yellowish, or gold" tint on any point-and-shoot film camera. That is because standard film is designed for "daylight", which is somewhere around 5500 degrees kelvin. That is also why camera flashes, most of which , I think, use xenon gas, are color balanced to around 5500k. (artificial sunlight)

That is also why, with film and no flash, you get a different color variation in early morning light, versus mid-day light, versus late afternoon light. Color film has a certain bit of latitude built in with regard to f-stops. It is more forgiving for an overexposed shot (anywhere from 1 to 4 f-stops), but is not very tolerant of underexposed shots (usually anything over 1 f-stop of under exposure, and you loose the shot)

Flourescent, on the other hand will give a bluish, or greenish hue when exposed to film.

Anyway, enough ramblings on film.............. I ran a studio in a past life.........that was before this new-fangled digital stuff.

HOWEVER.................If you have a digital that will allow you to adjust the "white" balance, and you do this with a white piece of paper, even under incandescent bulbs, I suspect that the camera thinks that it is "true" daylight spectrum it is reading.

I may be wrong, but again, I think the key is setting the camera's white balance, or color balance reglardless of the light source.

Robert
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  #65  
Old 01-14-2005, 05:29 PM
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Coop...I just bought some 6500K CFLs and will be building your light support fixture you started this thread with. I am alo going to make a few mods to my light box. I will hopefully post afew photos this weekend.

Bill


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  #66  
Old 01-14-2005, 07:26 PM
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Steve, you asked about the shot with the Fluorex lamp. Yes, it IS soft. But that is due to a couple of things: I did very little post processing so I wouldn't corrupt the color test. It has such a large aperature the background is not in focus--and maybe parts of the knife. That wasn't my task. And at handheld 1/60th sec it was borderline crisp.

That said, I did take a shot of the knife with my strobes: F/14 1/180sec ISO 100. And on this one I gave it my deluxe wash... You can see the differences.



But.... I don't blame the lights. I think with more lighting and processing I could achieve the same results. I would want three of the 500w bulbs!

Remember as we get more and more involved and educated, that the original purpose of this thread was to K.I.S.S. Long live white garbage bags!

Coop


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  #67  
Old 01-14-2005, 08:39 PM
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Nope, it's still real blurry.



(kidding) )


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  #68  
Old 01-14-2005, 09:20 PM
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Hi guys... here's the ones I have always used..Murray White mentioned these to all of us about 2 years ago when it came up.. My local Home Depot carries these, but Lloyd Hale recently bought a few from this site because his local store didn't have them..I just correct my white balance each time, and my colors are usually dead nuts on.. Pictures are still lame, but color is good..(LOL)

http://www.bulbs.com/products/produc...inventory=8021
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  #69  
Old 01-15-2005, 04:28 AM
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Here's another commercial rig I ran across. I sports two 2800K lights (!?) Not that bad really for under $100.
http://americanrecorder.com/catalog/...d8260787773080


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  #70  
Old 01-15-2005, 09:46 AM
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I've been using several of those flourescent screw in bulbs for some time and finally just got tired of trying to color correct them. I couldn't find any bulbs locally at 5600k so I bought a couple 500watt daylight photo flood lights from the local photo shop. They throw out exactly the color my cheap digital camera likes so I don't have to color correct any more. These bulbs really throw out some heat so I'd like to find some better ones at 5600k but haven't yet. I'm going to have to get some of those Flourex daylight bulbs and see how they work.

On a side note, one out of four males are color blind to some degree. In my day job, I've had to reassign males from selling the clothes to other areas of the store since they can't really tell if something is color co-ordinated or not and they will set up the ugliest color combinations you have ever seen and think it is perfectly fine.
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  #71  
Old 01-15-2005, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
On a side note, one out of four males are color blind to some degree. In my day job, I've had to reassign males from selling the clothes to other areas of the store since they can't really tell if something is color co-ordinated or not and they will set up the ugliest color combinations you have ever seen and think it is perfectly fine.
Tracey. I had to say it...

When I first read this for some reason I was getting visions of "male" hamsters or laboratory mice running around wearing mismatched clothing. Or was it three blind mice?


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  #72  
Old 01-15-2005, 01:59 PM
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I'm still on a quest for consistent quality photos. Every time I start taking pictures, it seems it takes me quite a while to get something decent. One consistant factor I see in my photos is that they are not crisp and always seem to be somewhat cloudy.

I have posted a link to a page where I have some before and after photos. Before I made a decent light box and after building something similar to Coop's. I did not want to post a bunch of large photos to the forum.

My knowledge of photography could be written on a small post-it so any advice or assistance is completely welcomed.

http://www.medawebs.com/knives/photo.htm

Thanks
Bill


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  #73  
Old 01-15-2005, 04:18 PM
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Frankly, there is only one 'cloudy' image in there. IT's the first one that you took years ago. (I remember).

Good definition, good white balance. From what I can see, your lighting is nearly in front of the center of the knife, so there is little or no shadow to offer perspective. I see you 'added' the shadow in the tan background image.

Nope, you are chasing your tail. That's a good thing--to have gotten this close and now wishing *even* more. You might try pushing your lights back so there is just a smidgen of natural shadow. I usually use one lamp high overhead to give an 'overall' good lighting for the knife, and then one aimed much lower to help pick out the reflections and textures and shapes better.

The 'problem' with a decent lightbox and fluorescents is that they are SO diffused, that everything is clear. There is drama in the darkness, and that's a topic for another thread--not the $75.00 'get ya going' aspect!

Coop


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  #74  
Old 01-15-2005, 04:42 PM
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Ok.....Made my Newest, New.....most recent light box today. Its called the COOP Deville. :-)

Heres a pic of the new setup ...basically the same as Coops. The lights that I purchased today from Home Depot are Daylight Flourecent 75W Spiral lamp 6500K

Heres a couple pics of the knife. Now Feel free to critique away. I know im still a ways off but if youll notice. It does actually have bolsters now. Before it looked like on black handle.

Lets here your thoughts....





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  #75  
Old 01-15-2005, 05:17 PM
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Bill - After looking at your images I want to say what Terrill said to me one time. To paraphrase he said, "You are getting closer, just keep working at it. You are almost there." As to specifics - others may wish to offer some. If there were something obvious, I would mention it. But my bet is that as you keep working it, you will continue to re-visit the main issues over and over; focus, aperture, lighting, perspective, post-processing, camera mount/shutter release etc. all the while circling tighter and tighter around that sweet spot you are looking for.

I'm not sure the following will add much to this already terrific thread. But I'll lay it out there in case it's useful.
Here's a 'version' of my set-up:



I say 'version' because I re-arrange things and do things differently depending on the knife I'm photographing and the desired outcome. This is the version I used for this image: http://www.knifenetwork.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=26316

You can see a wood platform just off the floor with opaque sheets mounted around the sides from the lighting section of Home Depot. You can see the mirror clamped to a little ball hobby vise mounted on a moveable block of wood. There are background sheets against the wall and white poster board I sometimes use to block light and/or reflections, especially on the blade.

Then there is the store-bought collapsable diffuser 'tent' that I use for small knives and things. It's very handy in that it offers three different shooting holes for perspective, has some length (but not much width) and really diffuses the light. What I notice in a lot of images is 'hot spots' or uneven lighting that is the result of not enough light diffusion. If you look at the image linked above you see no hot spots or uneven lighting effect, thanks to this item. I can insert different background papers into the tent as needed.

Then you can see two 'soft-boxes', one large and one small. I do not reccommend these as they are very expensive and not necessary. They do have the advantage of being very adjustable which can sometimes be handy when you are trying to create unusual shadows and stuff. The bulbs are 1000W and 500W respectively and of the correct Kelvin value, allow many colors etc. - and again, way too expensive. Coop's strategy and others in this thread are more appropriate.

More and more I try to get outside in the early morning or late afternoon light. Slowly I'm getting things like two saw-horses, a 4X4 plywood sheet, a diffuser panel etc. that I can quickly put into play when the light is right. My week 57 contest entry illustrates the wonderful effect of natural late-afternoon light. Every now and then Terrill or Coop will harp on this and nobody seems to pay much attention but the benefits are obvious just as they are in landscape or wildlife photography.

The money you don't spend on fancy lighting you should put into a really good tripod. Mine features a 'squeeze grip' to adjust the camera angle, and best of all - the extender tube can be pulled out and re-inserted horizontally, as you see in the picture - really useful. The legs fold out all the way to flat as needed to get the camera down low and that extender tube can also be inverted so you can place the camera 'under' the tripod for 'straight down' shots. If you've got the bucks get your tripod in carbon fiber instead of aluminum - not only is it lighter but carbon fiber dampens small vibrations. This plus mirror lock-up plus cable release allow your camera and lens to give you the best of which they are capable.

My set-up is not ideal by a long shot and I fight it continually. Coop's set-up at the beginning of this thread is the way to go, certainly for starters. Also my set-up is in a very cramped corner because my family fails to appreciate that I am a great artist and deserve a better space. Then again, because of all their crap I can't park my car in the garage either!. I suggest you demand adequate space for your studio. There's nothing worse than working up a sweat trying to deal with unsuitable equipment in a cramped setting and accidentally dripping on your camera or worse yet - a carbon steel blade. I actually did just that and ruined a beautiful miniature Scagel style axe that I'd given "my attractive wife" as a gift. I didn't notice that a drop of sweat fell right where the shaft of the axe passed through the guard. Three days later - terrible rust. Accchhhhh! What an idiot!

.

Last edited by Buddy Thomason; 01-16-2005 at 12:40 PM.
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