The Crappy Photo Thread

Started by Hellscream333, April 11, 2012, 03:29:03 PM

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Hellscream333

Rules -

Find a photo done by me that sucks.

Post it here and I'll re-shoot it (as long as I haven't customized the object lol)
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shmax

No such thing! But if you're gonna throw down the gauntlet, make sure it doesn't land behind the couch:

Hellscream333's photos



Rules -

Find a photo done by me that sucks.

Post it here and I'll re-shoot it (as long as I haven't customized the object lol)

Hellscream333

Is Admin being a troll?! L O L
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tusko

All your pictures are awesome!!

But alright, I'll play your game of pots and kettles....

http://www.shmax.com/img/transformers/figure/large/5000/5704.jpg

Magnus is in too much shadow for my humble taste.  I realize white on white is impossible but the edge retention is lost around the shoulder stacks. Plus I love this figure!! 
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My greed is limitless.

shmax


All your pictures are awesome!!

But alright, I'll play your game of pots and kettles....

http://www.shmax.com/img/transformers/figure/large/5000/5704.jpg

Magnus is in too much shadow for my humble taste.  I realize white on white is impossible but the edge retention is lost around the shoulder stacks. Plus I love this figure!!


Tusko's a harsher critic than me; I quite like that one. I really couldn't find anything from HS that is less than stellar, but it's true that white-on-white is a harsh mistress to us all:


Hellscream333

Tusko, Thanks! I actually like that one from an artsy POV. From the standpoint of 'Clear Database Pics' though, I did indeed settle because I was having lots of trouble with the shoulders getting lost.

Shmax, God I hate that picture but I hate trying to shoot that figure even more!

I think I have a good grasp on how to handle white on white now- Point two lights at your backdrop. move the figure forward from those lights so that it's not between the background and the lights. Then you aim two more lights of smaller wattage at the base of the figure. This way you overexpose your background and not the figure. Unfortunately I have a few problems with this: I only have three lights (of equal wattage) and lack the desk space to actually pull this off. So for now I shoot white toys on black backgrounds.
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Spiff-O-Matic

I think I have a pretty good grasp on shooting white-on-white, with very minimal Photoshopping afterwards. See this example:

http://www.shmax.com/part_details/27370/flameblast

And I only use 2 lights. Crazy, I know. I'll take a pic of my setup soon and post it for reference.

Hellscream333

I'm definitely interested in your set up.  ;)

In the mean time I've been experimenting with popsicle sticks and cut outs from an old USPS envelope.
http://shmax.com/img/transformers/figure/large/24000/24297.jpg

http://shmax.com/img/transformers/figure/large/24000/24293.jpg


Tape two popsicle sticks together end to end. Cut the cardboard to an appropriate size and shape and tape it to the popsicle stick. Use your new apparatus to stop light from hitting your subject. After that it's some careful post production and clean up.

I've also recently discovered that using the airbrush tool in combination with a soft eraser does wonders for stray shadows. The airbrush is absolutely necessary when using the "Popsicle Blockers." The popsicle sticks keep your hands from entering the frame but they also minimize loose shadow outside of the subject. Despite this they do still leave a shadow that needs to be remedied. Even without this complication the subjects shadow is still something that needs a little fixing up because of the nature of white on white.

The only thing that sucks is that this whole thing takes 3-4 times longer than just shooting any other colored object on white. But it works.
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shmax


I'm definitely interested in your set up.  ;)

In the mean time I've been experimenting with popsicle sticks and cut outs from an old USPS envelope.
http://shmax.com/img/transformers/figure/large/24000/24297.jpg

http://shmax.com/img/transformers/figure/large/24000/24293.jpg


Tape two popsicle sticks together end to end. Cut the cardboard to an appropriate size and shape and tape it to the popsicle stick. Use your new apparatus to stop light from hitting your subject. After that it's some careful post production and clean up.

I've also recently discovered that using the airbrush tool in combination with a soft eraser does wonders for stray shadows. The airbrush is absolutely necessary when using the "Popsicle Blockers." The popsicle sticks keep your hands from entering the frame but they also minimize loose shadow outside of the subject. Despite this they do still leave a shadow that needs to be remedied. Even without this complication the subjects shadow is still something that needs a little fixing up because of the nature of white on white.

The only thing that sucks is that this whole thing takes 3-4 times longer than just shooting any other colored object on white. But it works.


How 'bout a pic?

Hellscream333

Of what, the popsicle stick? Or a shot pre post production?
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Hellscream333

Well here's this. The first shot is straight out of the camera. Here you can see that I have the figure supported with a makeshift stand made from LEGOs(tm) and you can also see my Popsicle Blocker.

In this particular example the Popsicle Blocker is cut to the shape of the top view of the object so that it blankets only the object. There are times when I'll use one of these to bock a specific side light, two for both side lights or whatever combination I happen to need which is dependant on the shape and size of the object being photographed.

In post production I cut out the stand and then use a combination of Fuzzy Circle Eraser and Airbrushing to even out the shadow.

It's such a lengthy and involved process... but it works well and it beats tracing around objects. I do this for white on white only. Every other object and example gets minor adjustments in Curves and Contrast and that's it.
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Spiff-O-Matic

So here's my setup. I have two lights, one above and to the right (looking at the subject), and one above and to the left, pointing toward the background as much as possible. This highlights the white background without casting too much light on the subject to wash it out. (see pic 2)

Then I cut a round hole in a piece of white posterboard to fit around the lens of my camera (see pic 1). Conveniently the focus ring on the lens has a lip that holds the posterboard in place so I don't have to hold it. This white posterboard reflects the light back onto the subject but not too harshly. See pics 3 and 4 for straight-from-camera and final pics for CA-02 Flameblast. Since my camera shoots RAW photos, I can do some correction before doing any final cleanup. I can white balance it easily, and I up the "Detail" slider to about 50 (out of 100) to make edges and blacks pop a bit more. Then in PS I just macro a thin white border around the image and adjust Levels to lighten everything until the background blends into into the white border. If the subject ends up washing out during the Levelling, I back that off a bit and use a 25% soft eraser to clean up stray shadows.

I usually have to do nothing more than that. It sounds like a lot of steps, but in reality it's much simpler than what Hellscream333 (Dx3 now?) showed. No custom cut-outs, no tedious erasing for the most part.

shmax


Then in PS I just macro a thin white border around the image


Whazzat mean?

Spiff-O-Matic



Then in PS I just macro a thin white border around the image


Whazzat mean?


Means I have a macro set up that adds a 50px white border around the image.

Hellscream333

You have a major advantage over me; camera. I've a crappy point and click - Kodak Easyshare 8.2. The internal software is a joke when it comes to post prod.
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