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 Seeker » Dec 18th, '09, 14:16

Playing some more this morning (not that I have the time :? ahhhhh).
Different subject & setting.
Outside, wb set to daylight, color V.
1st shot tripod at approx 4.5ft, f4, 1/10s.
Image

2nd shot tripod closer at 3ft.
Also, for experiment, changed to f4.5 and 1/13s. (As I write this it occurs that perhaps I should've gone to f5 and played with 1/15 and 1/20 just to get a clearer idea of effect.
Image

Sh!#, I've got to get ready for work!!! :shock:
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Geekgirl » Dec 18th, '09, 14:51

Yay! Good job!
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Dec 19th, '09, 02:31

Thank you GG.
Your comment means a lot.
:)
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Dec 22nd, '09, 22:36

Okay, so, I think I need to just vent...
Hope it's alright. :oops:
Don't know quite what's happening, but - I'm starting to hit a frustration phase with the camera - wanting to be more creative, struggling with light sources, wanting nice images but not knowing how to do that; I have a North-South facing house, no composing-accessible windows facing South where the sun arc is now, and zero windows facing West, the one North facing window is the sliding door opening out to a covered patio, and, you know, *BOO*, *BOO*, *BOO* :twisted: ; camera wouldn't focus today :? - couple of images were just blur and it was a clear sunny day today - this is probably a good argument for a more manual capable camera - there's no way to manually focus with either of my cams. :evil: I know about the partial shutter button press - didn't help hardly at all :twisted:; camera, all set, on tripod, would sort of be moving in and out of focus, and not stay focused, hmmmph; completely confusing to me ).
Also, at this point I'm just sort of playing with the aperture and exposure settings, and looking at the monitor to try to guesstimate whether the image is exposed appropriately enough.
Perhaps this is the learning curve and where much patience will be required.
Urrrr.
My "Today's Matcha" photos today were luckily in focus, but others just wouldn't.
Any idea what's up with the focus thing?
(I was using the Canon S2IS).
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Victoria » Dec 22nd, '09, 22:45

No advice but to commiserate, I spent an hour today trying to photograph anything worth posting. The lighting was just plain bad. I was so disappointed when I looked at the pics about 40 of them and only one decent and it was slightly out of focus. I guess there will just be days like this.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby TIM » Dec 22nd, '09, 23:27

For me, the best way to learn is to look at other photographer's site. Trying first to copy their angles, distances and focal pt.
Here is one good example, whom I love:
http://www.annawilliamsphotography.com/

Hope this helps. Shoot it when it excite your eyes, at the same proportion and context. :wink: T
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby trent » Dec 23rd, '09, 00:48

Tim, you seem to have emulated Anna Williams quite well, your images and hers share some compositional traits that I can't quite describe w/ words. Maybe its the idea of cluttered images that retain a sense of focused minimalism... selective focus in images with solitary objects... or largely monochromatic images punctuated with bursts of color
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Dec 23rd, '09, 01:47

Thanks Tim and Thanks Victoria.
I am comforted.
Whew.
Patience,
always been a bit of a struggle...
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Geekgirl » Dec 23rd, '09, 03:35

Hey no worries, man. Everytime I try new techniques, I churn out a lot of crap at first. That's why they call it a learning curve. It can be very frustrating, I know. I went through a really REALLY bad phase a couple of months back, where I felt like I couldn't get a decent image to save my life. But eventually that passes, and you'll discover you've improved.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Dec 23rd, '09, 03:56

Thanks GG - very reassuring, and I appreciate your support so very much.
Happiest of happy's to you and merriest of merry's.
Cheers.
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Dec 30th, '09, 16:23

This was a stretch for me today - so I thought I'd share.
The only window that emits direct sunlight is on the landing in the middle of a switchback stair - very small area (landing about 3'x6'). So I set up a TV tray on the small landing and had to set myself and my tripod up on the stairs above the landing. Here's a photo of the landing & stair:
Image.
(click image to enlarge).
To add to the difficulty, we are just emerging from a storm pattern, but it isn't fully gone, so clouds are adrift -- the light kept changing! Dramatically! :evil:
But finally the light held (in a cloudy condition - so I switched wb to cloudy). I shot at f3.5 and 1/80 (color on V - doing this always now).
Whew - very difficult and frustrating peeling my 6'5" frame from the camera/tripod setup to attempt to correct composition - I feel fortunate both me and the camera survived! :shock:
After taking a couple of shots, I was sure the photos would be crap. :(
But I uploaded to computer, and checked 'em out.
I was surprised to find myself happy with one of the three shots I took! :o I deleted the other two.
Here's the shot (also on "Today's Matcha"):
Image
(click to enlarge)
Curious what you think?
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Victoria » Dec 30th, '09, 16:37

I think it is a fabulous shot!! I don't care for what is in the background and found it distracting, so I copied and cropped and now I really, really love it!!
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Geekgirl » Dec 30th, '09, 16:56

I love it! Nice light and color, and your composition is pretty good. (I totally understand the difficulties of shooting in an unfortunate position. Two suggestions: in your crop, on the left side of the frame, it's usually best to either crop dramatically, or leave a bit of a border outside of the object. When the crop shaves just a sliver off the object it looks like the framing was a little off.

Your table decoration in the back, same thing. Pull it into the frame slightly, you can still have the suggestion of the toy in the background, but it will feel less like you forgot to clear your space, and more like you want to accent the main object.

All in all, though, really nice! Gorgeous bowl too!

(p.s. I'm only giving these little opinions because you have posted in this thread. I hope it's okay that I comment like this.)
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby trent » Dec 30th, '09, 17:16

considering this is "A Beginners Guide" here are 3 tips:

1. Stuck in an artistic rut? try minimalism
Image
Image
2. long exposures yield surreal images
Image
3. lighting is EVERYTHING
Image
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Re: How to: photograph your teaware. A beginner's guide.

Postby Seeker » Dec 30th, '09, 17:27

Thank you GG!
I post here because I'm hopeful that you will make comments and suggestions.
So again, many thanks.
Wow T, great shots!
Nice advice too.
Hmmm, how can I put those into action...

(and I love that green, translucent tea cup! What is it made of?)
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