24 August 2012

Photo Friday: Photographing Artifacts 5 (Additional Memorabilia)


This is a continuation of the series featuring what I've learned about photographing family history memorabilia. To read more about the collection, visit the initial post title here or Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3

Having learned so much through the first three objects, I was able to apply my knowledge more easily to the remainder of my collection of my grandfather's objects . For this article, I thought I'd simple include the remaining objects from the first session and the final session. A sort of before and after. Series.

Here are the important things to remember about the two photo shoot setups.

First Photo Shoot Set Up


My light box was stationed on a daybed in a shadowy part of the room on a Sunday afternoon. The lighting was indirectly from widow and directly from a work light filtered through the light box side. I didn't use the flash with any of these pictures. I set my compact system camera to the P mode and took all pictures on the Macro setting. I used the custom white balance setting and my exposure bias was set at 1.0.


Second Photo Shoot Set Up


My light box was stationed on a desk directly utilizing the natural light from the window. I used one work light filtered through my light box on the opposite side. I didn't use the flash with any of these pictures. I set my compact system camera to the P mode and took all pictures on the Macro setting. I used the custom white balance setting and my exposure bias was set at 1.0. I have the camera mounted on a full-length tripod.


From Photo Shoot 1


Exposure: 1/100
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 9.1 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Center Weight Average


Too dark
From Photo Shoot 2


Exposure: 1/60
Aperture: f/3.2
Focal Length: 6 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering Spot

Needs some cropping but much better

The trouble with taking a picture of a picture is the glare that happens when light falls on the object. I simple adjusted the light box until the light from the window and the work light did not reflect of the picture. Then I snapped a picture. This picture is ready for including on a family history page about my grandfather's employment as a milk man.



From Photo Shoot 1


Exposure: 1/100
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 12.8 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Center Weight Average


Too dark
From Photo Shoot 2


Exposure: 1/100
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 6.7 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering Spot


This one works.

I would like to have been close to this very small object, but I was unable to do so and keep the image in focus. I would really like to know what it is before I include it on a digital scrapbook page about my ancestor.


From Photo Shoot 1


Exposure: 1/100
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 11.5 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Center Weight Average


Too dark
From Photo Shoot 2


Exposure: 1/100
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 12.8 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering Spot


Much brighter.

Perhaps a little work with editing software can tweak the second photo, but I'd gladly put this photo into a heritage album about the best of time and worst of times for my grandfather as he probably wore these cuff links when he dressed up.


From Photo Shoot 1


Exposure: 1/100
Aperture: f/4.0
Focal Length: 7.3 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Center Weight Average


Too dark
From Photo Shoot 2


Exposure: 1/125
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 6 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering Spot


Sometimes we to learn more...

I'm still struggling to improve the photos of the pocket knife. I've determined that it would be better if I didn't lay this item flat. Additionally, I need to reduce my reflection, or that of my camera, in the object. When I am able to do these two things, I'm sure that I'll be more successful with the photos.


From Photo Shoot 1


Exposure: 1/100
Aperture: f/4.0
Focal Length: 10.3 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Center Weight Average


The detail in this picture isn't too bad
From Photo Shoot 2


Exposure: 1/60
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 6.7 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering Spot


Much brighter and full of detail

This piece was improved by using better lighting and spot metering.

From Photo Shoot 1


Exposure: 1/80
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 10.3 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Center Weight Average

Dull and flat, I do like the angle. Watch needs to have the 12 on the left side of the picture
From Photo Shoot 2


Exposure: 1/60
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 6.7 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering Spot

Amazing

The watch was again challenging because of it's reflective nature. You can see the colors I was wearing in the second photo. It isn't too distracting, but I'd probably use a black foam or a white cover over myself next time to reduce reflections in the piece.

I also noticed something about the first photo. With the 12 on the right, the picture looked weird. When I flipped the watch over so the 12 was on the left, it improved drastically. I did a web search and discovered if a watch is on it's side it most often will be on with the 12 position on the left. The other most common orientation is to have the watch stand up. I found several DIY solutions to make this orientation possible. However, I'm happy with the result and will move on.

After thoughts

As you can see, using spot metering, Custom White Balance, and placing my light box near a sunlight window and using one additional light greatly improved the pictures. These photos would enhance a family heritage scrapbook about my grandpa who served in the military, worked for Borden's milk company, and was a great father.

4 comments:

  1. I'm enjoying your series. I've been photographing a lot of my own family heirlooms and your tips are really helpful. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww Michelle, thank you for this comment. It means a lot. I'm learning so much right now. I'm glad you're learning something from what I've learned. Perhaps we can all share together.

      Delete
  2. Very Nice, Devon. I'm sure your grandfather would be very proud!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww. That's so sweet. I believe he would.

      Delete

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