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


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

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

Postby AdamMY » Dec 15th, '09, 15:53

I tried playing around with my camera, I can do a few things with Iso, but I can't seem to find any way for me to play with Aperture. But while I may not be taking amazing shots with my camera, I feel I do a decent job of not taking horrible shots.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Dec 15th, '09, 16:03

Thanks GG.
I think I've actually got it now. :)
(what it is, not how to use it :? )
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby shyrabbit » Dec 15th, '09, 16:45

As GG said ISO (formerly ASA) is a standard that indicate the sensor's sensitivity to light. Generally a best quality image will be shot with a low ISO (50, 64, or 100). A low ISO setting means the sensor is less sensitive to light. This setting will allow the light to "burn in" the image on the sensor with a limited amount of "noise" being added to the image. If you find that even with a open aperture (low f-stop) and an appropriate shutter speed (not slower than 1/60th of a second for hand held) your images are not exposed properly you can increase the ISO to say 400 which will increase the sensor's sensitivity to light which will allow the image to be captured quicker. The increase in ISO will also increase the amount of "noise" in the image. This noise can be seen in a side by side comparison the two images. Images shot with ISO 1000 - 1600 will quite "noisy" and blurry looking. The great thing about digitial ISO is that it allows you flexability from picture to picture without, as we use to, changing rolls of film with different ISO.

Hope this helps a bit.
Michael
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Dec 16th, '09, 02:46

Thanks Michael! Very helpful.
So, I was inspired, so to speak, and as a result of feedback, decided to play a bit with white balance on the "Red" tonight.
This morning's shot was with WB set to "flourescent":
Image

1st shot tonight set WB to "flourescent H":
Image

2nd shot tonight, WB on auto:
Image

All these f4 at 1/4s and tripod about 3ft from subject. I chose flourescent setting because the light in the kitchen is a bank of flourescents set above a grid of plastic sheeting. I wonder if the failure of the wb setting is due to the presence of an additional grolight spot over the sink, and incandescents in the adjacent dining room. In the morning shot there was minimal (I imagine) it was daylight outside, and there is a small kitchen window from a window past the sink (one of those push out windows). The auto setting comes the closest I think (I'm shooting from the dining room, the glare on the chawan must be from the incandescent "candelabra" style chandelier. The flourescents provide by far the bulk of the light, and the grolight spot would be off camera left out past the chasen and stand by about 4ft). Tho in the auto wb shot, I still think there's a sort of 'greenish' cast that isn't right. Hmmm.

Just playing and thought I'd share. :oops:
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Geekgirl » Dec 16th, '09, 03:10

One thing to keep in mind, (that the camera people don't seem to have adapted to,) is that many fluorescent lights are now color corrected, so you might find that you do better with the "shade" setting, or as you see here, with the "auto WB" setting.

I'd also like to see you bump the exposure up just a touch. Since you're already on a tripod, you could easily go one slower shutter speed and see what happens. One more thing: since you are using Canon, go into the color settings (where you can choose black and white, etc,) and set your color to "vivid." It seems to really bring out the reds and blues.

You are using the right techniques to learn your camera - that is trying different settings using the same scene in a controlled setting. Good job, your images are morphing pretty dramatically.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Dec 16th, '09, 03:59

Thanks GG, you rock!
(It's midnight, and so I'm resisting the urge to back into the kitchen, setup again, and try what you've suggested. :? )

ps - your poppets are really with me. They are just so awesome, and they keep popping pleasantly into my head. And you capture them so lovingly. :)

pps - that's where my placement of the buddha came from - I was yearning to and inspired to add a character of some sort. That buddha is awfully big tho. Live and learn!
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Dec 16th, '09, 14:53

Okey dokey, so went at it again this morning.
Went for same subject and setting etc.
The 1st is f4, 0"3s, tripod at 3ft, color set to vivid, and wb set to "cloudy" (which in the manual also says shady):
Image
2nd only changed wb to auto:
Image

Seems like the chawan needs more light on the front, but I couldn't figure out how to do that given the space etc. I will noodle on this. 8)

The final shot is with a "poppet" (god help me, and my apologies!) but you'll have to go to "Today's Matcha to see. :wink:

This is fun! :D
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby AdamMY » Dec 16th, '09, 14:58

Seeker, I definitely think lighting the front of the Chawan will help. But I'm wondering if perhaps a different table, or maybe put something under and slightly behind it that really differentiates the chawan from the surroundings. As the table and Chawan texture and coloring look very similar, I feel in all the pictures it sorta blends in more.

I think it will help focus the eyes on the piece.

Just my 2 cents, and I am by no means an expert, just my thoughts on the matter.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Dec 16th, '09, 15:09

Thanks Adam - great idea!
I've been noticing in Geek's teaching photos, that she put in like a placemat - so I looked thru our place-mats - didn't like what I found. So I'm thinking of heading over to get some, only with photography in mind (and I guess how they'll do as place-mats as well?).
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Dec 17th, '09, 13:50

I hoping for some photo-site advice.
With all this pic taking, I'm needing to either upgrade on flickr,
or move to another.
I'm thinking of the upgrade.
Any advice on flickr or whether I should really consider another site?
Thanks!
all the best,
Seeker :D
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Victoria » Dec 17th, '09, 14:09

I have both Flickr and PhotoBucket, and PB seems easier to post from.
I upgraded on PB. Honestly PB seems easier and I like their photo editing software. Just my opinion.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Geekgirl » Dec 17th, '09, 14:24

I'll take the dissenting view. :wink: I love flickr. Love the groups, many of which have tutorials, I love looking at the daily "explore" offerings, and really love that with a pro account, I can upload full-size, full-res images if I want to do so. I also like the integration with Picnik for photo editing.

PB does have some handy tools like copy and pasting the code for the size photo you want. It's already formatted for phpbb.

Of course, at this point, I could never migrate. With 2000+ photos on my flickr, it would just be too painful.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Geekgirl » Dec 17th, '09, 14:32

A quick note about LCD viewers: Most of them are brighter than your actual image. I've noted (on all 3 of my digital cameras,) that if it looks like the image is exposed correctly on the LCD, it is almost always underexposed by one full stop. Fortunately, all of my cameras tell me when the processor estimates the image is underexposed. Make sure to look for that feature.

YMMV, some LCDs are too dim and you will end up with excessively bright images.

Seeker, I took the liberty of resetting exposure and temperature on your last image. Since I started with a small, lo-res image (I just grabbed it from your post,) there's a lot of quality loss, but you can see where I'm going.

Image

For your next experiment, I'd like to suggest that you go even slower with your shutter speed, if your S2 tells you such things on the viewer, expose it to +2/3. It might be too bright, but let's see what happens. Just for the heck of it, I'd also like you to try the tungsten setting (lightbulb in WB) just to see what you get for color.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Dec 18th, '09, 00:59

Thanks GG!
Will do.
What you did to the image seems to make it look more right, except for the detail of the chawan, it feels tweeked (but it looks good! I like).
Thanks both to you and Vic for online pic feedback.

Also, GG, what software did you use to tweek the photo?
If I move the photo to my mac, I can use iPhoto 06; now that my computer
is 'recovered' I am using Windows 7, and only have that to work with.
(Although I do have my discs for Roxio Easy Media Suite 10; also Adobe Elements 2; also Microsoft Picture It - but some of these are a couple of years old, not sure how they'll be on Win 7). Recommendations?

Thanks! :D

edit/addition - I really like how my "Today's Matcha" photo came out today. And am curious what you think. At this point I'm just leaving the aperture and exposure the same and noticing the increased detail and image feel. Don't know what I'm doing, or how to get creative yet. That may be a ways off I suppose. But it's fun to play and discover these results. Cool. :D
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Dec 18th, '09, 04:23

Ok, did my homework.
As before, tripod at about 3ft, color set to vivid, same lighting as before, but this time wb set to tungsten.
1st shot, f4, 0"6s with white card (you can see a reflective artifact/squiggle on the front of the chawan :( ):
Image

2nd shot, f4, 0"6s, no white card:
Image

These are much more representative of reality I think (just went and checked - these are brighter than reality by a little to my eye).

:)
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