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Thread: 'No Frills' $75.00 home studio tent/lightbox

  1. #121
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    I thought they were cheap ..... flashlights...... matter of fact I have flashlights more powerful , and it willnot accept large bowies.I'm makin'
    one this weekend to impove on my photos...especially my avatar.Tissue
    paper background fluorescent overhead lighting with a Buck Custom D Guard 901 Bowie dwarfing an 184 Buck both 1985.

  2. #122
    when you do you image editing, start by first taking the camera image and saving it as a .psd file in PS5 (your image editor). Next when you have done the work such as adjusting color, contrast, cropping, unsharp mask, then save the file via "save as" with a new name. Next do a resize to 800 x 600 pixel. There are other settings in PS that I don't know about as I don't us PS but I use Microsofts Digital Image Pro 10 but Coop is an expert and he can explain all this better than I. Next do a Save As with the same file name but this time change the file extension via the drop down menu to .jpg. (not all image hosting sites will use proprietary files like the Adobe PS .psd file.) This is the file you will upload to photobucket. Now I don't know if Photobucket does allow images larger than 640 x 640 but if they do when you post you will have even bigger images than mine. Coop usually uses a 750 x (Y) when he posts as I recall.

    Now, be sure when you are doing the initial images, that you use the largest image size your camera will produce with the least amount of .jpg compression so that you are starting with as big a file as possible before doing any editing.

    A couple of things I notice is that you seem to be getting a mix of light which is likely that while using incandescent, you also have strong daylight coming into your work area. on the blue backgrounded folder one blade is yellow and one is lightly blue. The bolsters are also a mix of light. Something also seems to be giving some flare to the image and I find that the images are not totally sharp.

    Sharpness is a factor of the lens and the f stop as well as the use of unsharp mask in PS.

    As far as background, I think you also may be getting some reflectance of the background onto the knife. Try to use matte backgrounds if possible. I have one background I like but have this same problem

    I tend to use the same background material all the time whereas Coop is so good at finding and using his backgrounds to subtly accent the knife. It is quite impressive.

    to to the Knife Network site and there are also lots of threads there about knife photography-- in fact a whole section devoted to the subject and contests that folks can participate in. Coop and others are in that venue too.

    There are a few other folks doing some nice knife images and I'm sure each have techniques they have learned from others and techniques they have developed themselves. Hopefully they will share the info too.

    here is another background I sometimes use



    Roger P when he does his images at my place will use some other backgrounds that I have also which I don't use much.

    Sometimes I will do this idea



    I have two file sizes of this image as I have gotten lazy and Fototime allows for 1 GB of space. I upload a 1600 x 1200 image and they resize to what you see 640 x 480 but if one goes to the fototime site, when one clicks on this image, the bigger one is available. Unfortunately, it does show just how poor my cutouts are compared to what Coop does.

    If you look on the handles thread in custom you will see how I have manipulated some backgrounds. Here is one where I have mixed a color image with a b/w image of the same knife.



    both images where taken in color. The basic image was converted to b/w but the cutout was left in color. You say "what color"? Well look closely at the ivory of the handle by itself and you will see where the ivory is beginning to take on a beige color tone.

    These are all things you will start doing later one once you have mastered the image taking portion of the task.

  3. #123
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    I followed coops advice when I made my tent and I couldnt be happier.
    I modified the electrical alittle but thats about it.

    Here is som pics of the tent and knives i took.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by adammichael; 12-27-2007 at 02:06 AM.

  4. #124
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    Great information, Murray. Thanks for teaching.

    Dwayne,
    What's up with the upside down images? I'm dizzy looking at them. Forget having to read the maker's name, if that's your intent. They'll know it's you once they see the filework.

    Now, look at how clean Michael Kanter's work is. Damn, I wish I took that shot! There are shadows to show depth and texture and plenty of contrast to give it a 3-D effect.

    Of all the knife photos you shot, Dwayne, the Jason Jacks knife image has clarity, shadows and all that I like. Look at the difference.

    If your lighting is too overhead (I am talking to the crowd here) you will lose the bevel grinds and the flats. Notice how nicely the bevel is displayed on that JJ image to compare. I always adjust my lighting to best show a knife's blade grind without being too dark or too bright. At least I try to.

    Lots of good attention is being paid to learning this craft.

    Coop
    Jim Cooper - Capturing the Artistry and Significance of Handmade Knives. • Makers & Clients: Read Post 815 •
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  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharpByCoop
    Great information, Murray. Thanks for teaching.

    Dwayne,
    What's up with the upside down images? I'm dizzy looking at them. Forget having to read the maker's name, if that's your intent. They'll know it's you once they see the filework.

    Now, look at how clean Michael Kanter's work is. Damn, I wish I took that shot! There are shadows to show depth and texture and plenty of contrast to give it a 3-D effect.

    Of all the knife photos you shot, Dwayne, the Jason Jacks knife image has clarity, shadows and all that I like. Look at the difference.

    If your lighting is too overhead (I am talking to the crowd here) you will lose the bevel grinds and the flats. Notice how nicely the bevel is displayed on that JJ image to compare. I always adjust my lighting to best show a knife's blade grind without being too dark or too bright. At least I try to.

    Lots of good attention is being paid to learning this craft.

    Coop
    Thanks Jim, i am just doing what you told me to.
    You will still be taking all the "Important" pics for me.

  6. #126
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    Murray, I think my camera will only take pics in jpg format, can I and will it help to save as the .psd file.

    as far as my light, I've been shooting in my kitchen, there's no outside light at all coming in, but I have a floresent bulb directly over my light box approx 5ft and other lights on in the kitchen behind the box. The pic shot on the green background w/gold stars that is smaller than the one on blue (& I can't figure out why cause the files are almost exactly the same size) Looks alot better when I have it opened up in PS. I wish it were larger so you could see what I see.

    As far as the sparpness your darking about, I feel the same way you do, Yalls look a great deal clearer & sharper to me. I'll try to sharpen them up a bit. As far as the f-stop, I set my camera on the macro setting and everything else is suppose to be set on the default. Might have to change something there.

    I haven't learned how to cut out a knife like you're doing to put more than one image in a photo. But I want to real bad.

    I love your photo's, almost as much as Coop's, He's the Dog!

    Adam, Yours are sweet too, I went to your website, sweet photos & knives!

    I'm at work right now, get off at 11m then have an 8 hr turn around, have to be back in the morning at 7am so I won't be able to play for a while but I'll review all you said and play some more. Thanks for everything! You guys are great. God bless all, Later, Dwayne

  7. #127
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    It took me awhile to write that last post and when I got it up you guys had already put more up for me to read, You guys are fast! Did I say I was at work I have to leave my post and work on occasion.

    Coop, what are you talking about, Name being upside down? I wish I could remember what I did on the Jason Jacks knife, it does look a lot better. One problem I think I'm having too is my monitor at home is dark, so I tend to lighten up the photo's a tad to much. One of the Cops I work with is building me a new computer and should be done this next week, maybe it'll be better than this one; Also Murray said you was the Man! I'm paraphraising, but as far as changing the file to a .psd, can I do that if my camera only takes photos in the jpg format, will it help?

    Did I say that the last picture I took that has the green background, the smaller one, I didn't have my light box lights on. Dwayne

  8. #128
    Quote Originally Posted by adammichael
    I followed coops advice when I made my tent and I couldnt be happier.
    I modified the electrical alittle but thats about it.

    Here is som pics of the tent and knives i took.
    This is much better - light inside make shadows on the pictures and if it is not interfair with what you like to hilight it just make picture alive, not like police evedence photoes.

    But why it should be in the box? You can have white screens fixed somehow on the table instead of use terrium like setup, which just stuck you inside.

    This is my picture with spots and shadows and difeerentely hilighted blade. And it is impossible or hard to do this in the box but with several white screens randmly setup on the table and lights:





    And shadow itself - nothing wrong with it also, it can be used:



    Thanks, Vassili.

  9. #129
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    Murray, I'm not seeing the handles thread on the knife network, where is it? Dwayne

  10. #130
    Dwayne--the handles thread is in BF Custom and goes on for 6 pages. has a 5* rating too.

    oh, sorry you misunderstood. you will be fine shooting in .jpg (some like to do RAW but I don't bother).

    when you open the image in PS the first thing you do is go to File>save as>when the window opens, select the save location and from the drop down menu, choose .psd. Now another option is to save in .tif also.

    The reason for doing this is that both .psd and .tif are lossless formats whereas .jpg is lossy. A lossy format will lose image quality with each save you make. You will actually see an increase in the file size and I'm sure Coop can explain that one better than I.

    I use to not do this but have learned more as I go along over the past 5 years of doing digital images. More guys have advanced above me than not but if I can add info in a way that anyone can easily understand and they follow the instructions, they will get the results.

    I suspect that the flourescent lights in your kitchen are not daylight flourescents -- few use then in the home. Also, if you have incandescent lights in the same environment will continually give you grief as the camera can't figure out what it should select for a white balance.

    I use daylight flourescents. I use auto on the Nikon 995 coolpix camera. the exposures are generally about 1/8 sec at f 4.1.

  11. #131
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    Thanks Murray, When I get home from work this afternoon I'll play some more and do what you're saying on the file extensions. I've noticed jpg images changing over time but not understanding why; thanks for the explanation. When I got home from work last night at 11, I shot some pics of my wife pocket knife that I made for her 3-4 yrs ago. Most of the lights were out in the house and I only had one of my florescent bulbs on, on the light box. I'll play with them and see what I come up with and share later. I do appreciate all the help, I'm always trying to help others with what I know, the only problems is that's not a very deep well But in the things I do I'm always quick to share, Thanks again, Dwayne

  12. #132
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    Lightbulb Extensions...

    Just to clarify. Here is my experience. Feel free to use your judgement or disagree.

    Your camera can save in two or maybe even three formats: JPG, RAW, or TIF.

    Forget about RAW here. That's a professional quality setting that I don't even spend my time with. Plenty of learning and adjustments, and it is truly advanced with the utmost in image manipulation. But, if you get it right in JPG, you aren't dependent on the changes needed in RAW.

    I write to my CF card with .JPG only in my camera. I shoot too many images to have to process the large RAW files and the time it takes.

    .PSD (Photoshop) and .TIF save the camera's JPG format and do not compress it when it gets saved. Therefore it is a very large file, which is slow to work on and takes a lot of room. A typical 8mp JPG file will save at around 2.5megs, and the equivalent PSD file will save at 18megs. Quite a jump.

    PSD and TIFF are very similar, but PSD allows you to save layers in photoshop, which add even more filesize. I have had PSD images that are almost 100megs each with five layers at full 12mp resolution. But..... I delete them almost immediately. Yup.

    The only apparent degradation of an image comes when you save it. It uses an algorythm to compress similar colors next to each pixel so the block of 50 pixels of one color are saved as a single bit of data. A TIF or PSD registers each pixel. Hence the file size difference.

    Here is my sequence: I open and work on a NEW JPG image and keep it open until I am done, OR save it as a PSD if I am still working on it. When I am satisfied with the image and processing, then I save it once at level 11 compression in Photoshop as a JPG. The image if flattened and all the layers, text, borders, etc are one part of the image with no layers. (I could not see or print any distinction saving at 12 over 11, but the filesize doubled. I dare you to do the same comparison and look for the differences.)

    You can open and close that image a billion times and it will not degrade. If you open and SAVE that image with more changes or even none, then it will compress again, at a slight degradation. Frankly, I have done tests where I opened and saved (90%) and closed a websized file 200 times to see how many times it took before it looked like crap. It took over 150 to even notice. I think most photograpers are fanatical about this loss, but it is not quite as apparent as is made to believe.

    After I am done with a PSD file I save it once as a JPG and delete the PSD. Why do I need a file 10 times larger than I need if I am done saving it? My prints look absolutely no different printed from PSD to my saved JPG so I don't bother.

    Bottom line? Do what you are familiar with, but don't panic over JPG files. They will look fine if you save them once, and they will save a lot of space.

    Coop
    Jim Cooper - Capturing the Artistry and Significance of Handmade Knives. • Makers & Clients: Read Post 815 •
    • SBC on Instagram • SBC on Facebook •

  13. #133
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    then I save it once at level 11 compression in Photoshop as a JPG. The image if flattened and all the layers, text, borders, etc are one part of the image with no layers. (I could not see or print any distinction saving at 12 over 11, but the filesize doubled. I dare you to do the same comparison and look for the differences.)
    Coop, I'm not really up on everything in photoshop but will spend some time when I get time going through tutorials on layering. What is the flatting all about, are you talking about a process that just combines everything once your done? How do you save at level 11 compression, Will I see this when I'm saving now that you've mentioned it? Thanks for all the help. I'm going to play with it when I get home this afternoon. Dwayne

  14. #134
    If two pixels on the photo have different color but difference is so small that human eyes does not see this then compression will make this pixels same color to save few bytes on this. This works fine and you may not see difference until you doing some enhancements, contrast changes make this difference visible for human eyes and on picture of clear sky for example you will see ladder like pattern. So if you do not want to edit picture later JPEG is fine, but if you think you will do adjust contrast, color balance, saturation later you better save it in a form where each pixel has its original color - even if now difference small tuning may make it bigger.

    Also different programms has different way to recognize what difference is small what is big for human eyes. In general everybody pay more attention to human skin color - to make pictures of human looks better, and other colors may not be so accurate.

    I have Canon and Canon has good software in standard free set which come with camera or can be downloaded from their website to work with RAW images, where all this complicated operation made pretty simple to use. I just recently discover it for myself, and also I discover that cost of Compact Flash much cheaper they year ago, so I can shot RAW all the time without fear of filling memory card after few shots. So from last week I use only RAW and pretty happy with it.

    Thanks, Vassili

  15. #135
    When you shoot in RAW, the camera applies no processing of its own to the picture. The data comes straight off the sensor. I've never seen a point and shoot that offered this.

  16. #136
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    Jim (coop)
    two questions

    first
    what is happening to my pictures that are already on the web and not changed, in time they get so dark I have to lighted them back up..

    2nd
    I was under the understanding that if you resize a picture say down to 1/4 the
    size of the original the pixels stay the same size but you now will have squashed up pixels and a distorted picture because they don't change in size..
    straighten me out on these please...Thanks

  17. #137
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    Dan,

    1: I have no idea. Methinks you are getting used to the image and then wish it lighter. I have never heard of this phenomena.

    2: I have no idea. I spend considerable effort sharpening to make a websized photo look as crisp when downsized.

    Clear as mud!?!

    Coop
    Jim Cooper - Capturing the Artistry and Significance of Handmade Knives. • Makers & Clients: Read Post 815 •
    • SBC on Instagram • SBC on Facebook •

  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharpByCoop
    Dan,

    1: I have no idea. Methinks you are getting used to the image and then wish it lighter. I have never heard of this phenomena.

    2: I have no idea. I spend considerable effort sharpening to make a websized photo look as crisp when downsized.

    Clear as mud!?!

    Coop
    Jim I wished that was it..for the first question..
    this is one that was due as you can see ,, it was taken 6+ years ago..

    the only thing I did to it is I just razed the gamma correction 48 points to lighten it up..to this

    nothing else done so you can see the difference time made on it, I've had the same program 6 years ago (pro LVIEWP18) so wishing it was lighter
    was done if needed at that time..
    grant you the picture sucks but the fact remains I've had to do this many times with other pictures also..we're talking 6 year here too.
    I can't see how the information in them can change by being used on the web or just sitting there..
    the pictures when I got my Sony were all not to bad for a block head like me but were nothing like they end up with time going on..I don't know

  19. #139
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    I finally got around to assembling a lightbox. I am still gathering the required lights and poster board. The only bulbs I could find are halogen daylight. Unfortunatly, they cast a red hue. I'll keep searching for the correct bulbs and poster board. Even lacking the correct materials my photos are infinitely better. Thanks to Coop and everyone in this thread, very inspirational.

    ~I'm afraid that my photos might actually start making my knives look half ways decent .

    Blade show mini bowie...



    These last two shots show the red hue




    Matt
    Last edited by LongRifle; 06-09-2006 at 07:57 PM.

  20. #140
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gray
    ...it was taken 6+ years ago..
    Did you use same monitor or you change it? For 6 years I can imagine you may have new monitor with different settings. Can not see any other explanation.

    Thanks, Vassili.

    P.S. It may be new Video Card, I doubt you keep one of this things same for 6 years.
    Last edited by nozh2002; 06-04-2006 at 12:14 AM.

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