How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Chip » Oct 13th, '10, 12:19

Geekgirl wrote:The part you're not happy with is just a light issue. You've got too much on the left. Are you using dual flash? (should we move this over to the "how to photograph" thread? We could use some lightbox content over there.)

Oh yeah ... it did not occur to me this was your TA topic and not the "how" topic ... must be brain dead.

I can move this over if wanted?
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Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Seeker » Oct 13th, '10, 13:22

Thanks everyone - very encouraging!

Yes - I say let's move it.

I had been grappling with where to post, and must have also been a bit brain dead not to have thought of 'how to'.

btw - I actually had put the box outside, so that's direct sunlight coming in on the left and also top (that was direction of light, high and left). I tried fiddling with stopping down, etc, but outside, geeez, I can't see my led screen worth a #@^^. I don't have any flashes other than the one that pops up on the cam (Canon S2IS). I don't even know if I can hook up external flashes to this cam. Have to peak at manual. :?

:D
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Oct 13th, '10, 14:22

Here's another (2nd outing with the box) attempt this morning.
Indoor where I usually shoot, kitchen, with over-the-sink light on, dinette light on, overhead flourescents on, and stove lights on, also a little light coming in (indirectly) from sink window. WB set to incandescent.
Image
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Victoria » Oct 13th, '10, 14:25

Wow, vivid!!
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Geekgirl » Oct 13th, '10, 15:06

That second shot really works well!

For the one where you were using direct sun on your light box, you could try throwing a white sheet or something over that side to further diffuse the light, or you could use a reflector to get light onto the right side, then just use a faster shutter speed to compensate.

Sunlight is hard to control, :wink: but it sure is pretty when you get it right.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Oct 13th, '10, 20:48

Thank you all!

Just got some cardstock posterboard today for what will hopefully provide a bit better backdrop material (was using a piece of heavy drawing paper).

:D
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Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby rdl » Oct 14th, '10, 16:21

Seeker wrote:not happy with how the chawan blends into the background on the left.

seeker,
if you don't have very much control of your lighting, a white backround sweep is maybe not the best choice. it does tend to burn out where direct light is hitting it.
a light gray and a thunder gray (if you can interchange sweeps) may give better results on the light and dark range of backround sweeps. if you do have good control of lighting these also can be made to go either darker or lighter so just the two can provide a wide tonal range, but stay neutral and not visually interfer with the object.
i hope that helps.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Oct 15th, '10, 02:01

Hi rdl,
Funny you should mention...
Image
Image
wasnt going to post these, I dont know, just wasn't excited about them.
But since you mentioned a grey sweep, and since I got one (also a black, which I haven't used yet).
cheers.
ps - wonder how to get a graduated light effect? probably have to totally control the light, i dont know, like a spot or something and do a setup with that somehow (that's what I imagine) - but I dont know.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby rdl » Oct 15th, '10, 14:23

Seeker wrote:Funny you should mention...
wasnt going to post these, I dont know, just wasn't excited about them.
But since you mentioned a grey sweep, and since I got one (also a black, which I haven't used yet).
cheers.
ps - wonder how to get a graduated light effect? probably have to totally control the light, i dont know, like a spot or something and do a setup with that somehow (that's what I imagine) - but I dont know.

seeker,
a few thoughts. i agree the middle gray is not too exciting. your first photos are so much nicer, just a bit hot on that left side.
it seems best to stay away from black (goes too dark and has no detail texture) white (burns out and takes away shadows so things seem to float in space) and middle gray (boring).
a light gray can go close to white but still seem like a surface, or can go darker if desired. a dark gray can go darker and seem black but not loose its texture. the decision to make is which pieces look best on a lighter or darker backround.
you'll see a lot of black used on ebay to make a light toned piece to really pop. not the most interesting photography but the piece looks appealing.
to get falloff on the back of your sweep (there are some photos of tabletop setups that show this in this topic) you do need a top light shining down. it must have some kind of lightbox or shade to be able to direct the light to fall off. it seems the box you use has a solid top (or is it open?) so a top light won't work. if it's open try to simulate what you see in a tabletop example.
soon your photography will make a $3 bowl look like a masterpiece, and your beautiful bowls will make your photographs into masterpieces. just a little more practice.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Oct 15th, '10, 16:07

Thanks rdl - so helpful. So fun to read your post and watch my mind imagine possibilities and grapple with how to attempt something given my situation.
I worked with the black sweep this morning. Here is a photo of my 'setup' and then of the chawan.
Cheers!
Image
Image
ps - my box is open on top (I've got tissue paper taped onto the top and then right and left. Back and bottom are closed. I used a piece of the sweep from cutting the sweep to size on top to attempt a graduated effect.
I'm posting two other shots from the session - one on today's TeaDay, and the other on Today's MatchaWan.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby debunix » Oct 15th, '10, 16:52

I think the only way to do justice to that lovely chawan is to shoot it repeatedly from different angles with different backgrounds, full of different teas. It will look a little differently splendid each time.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Chip » Nov 28th, '10, 16:22

Pardon the interuption.

OK, a touch off topic, but close enough since it is related to teaware photos posted on TeaChat via photo hoster ... or more precisely, no longer posted on TeaChat.

I am currently working on a Hagi topic that will include a chronological photo history of Hagi SOs. I will be drawing on photos from around TeaChat including the individual SO topics, the Official Hagi Topic, and Show Off topics. If you want to submit a new one, please send it to me as well.

This does bring up a bit of a problem with projects like this. As I go through the older pages ... and not so old pages, a lot of photobucket, flickr, etc. links have expired, likely due to being deleted by members from their albums, not realizing it at the time that the photos were linked on TeaChat.

Solutions, posting photos as attachments, but then the forum itself could lose photos as well when updating, etc.

Or maybe creating a TeaChat album in your individual photo hoster account. Thus any photo you have in the TeaChat album, you know not to delete since it is somewhere on TeaChat. I did this and it is helping me.

I know most of you already know, from your photo host account, you cannot move or delete photos, cannot even rename an album last I checked, without breaking your link posted on TeaChat. It is a bit of a problem when trying to manage your albums, unfortunately.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Victoria » Nov 28th, '10, 16:33

I have a Hagi SO chronological photo album:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52128369@N ... 930094985/

Of course sadly, mine stops at #12 since I did not get the "Tempest" cup.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Chip » Nov 28th, '10, 17:14

I guess please PM possible additions to this project.

Thanks! :mrgreen:
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby AdamMY » Jan 16th, '11, 01:03

I was given a DSLR Camera second hand, and I was wondering if people might have suggestions as to how I can improve my lighting. Lets just say Winters in West Michigan are nearly always cloudy so in the day it is still hard to get a substantial amount of light on my pieces even though they are right next to the window.

For example this photo was taken in what is usually decent lighting for my apartment, with I believe ISO setting 1600, I forgot to check the Aperture settings, which I may play with tomorrow.

Image

Clearly that photo is much too dark, and it was fixed slightly using the Auto fix setting on Picknik.

Image

Which I still find way too dark especially given the light that was in the room.

I think part of the problem may be that I am currently trying to do something close to macro photography, with a lens that is not meant for it. ( Currently saving for a Macro lens).
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