10 August 2012

Photo Friday: Photographing Artifacts 3 (Name Bracelet)


I began my pictures with my light box stationed on the daybed on a Sunday afternoon. The first object in my first session was the Military Name Bracelet. The second memento was this name bracelet of my grandfather. Though I learned the same things as I did with the Military Bracelet, it's well worth seeing the improvements as they apply to a different subject.

As a reminder from the previous post, I used the light from the widow and a work light through the side of a box. It's safe to say I didn't use the flash with any of these pictures. And, I used the Macro setting in the “P” mode. I also set the White Balance manually. And the Exposure bias is set to 1.0.



Exposure: 1/80
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 11.5 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Center Weight Average

Good start, way too dark

Exposure: 1/80
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 14.4 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Center Weight Average

Improved name readability, too dark

After a series of shots of this bracelet, I tried out the other objects in this series. After a 3 hour time lapse, I came back to the bracelet to see if I could improve the photos. I put the camera on a tall tripod, left the light box on the bed. The room was completely dark except the two work lights. 

Exposure: 1/80
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 14.4 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Center Weight Average

Still horribly dark, name legible, composition not great. Didn't attempt further




After doing some online research, I decided to move the light box to a nearby window, use the afternoon light on one side and a work light on the other side. I still have the camera mounted on a full-length tripod. The improvements were much better.

Exposure: 1/160
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 16.1 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering: Center Weight Average

In full size, the name is readable, the colors more accurate. I like this one.
Exposure: 1/100
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 14.4 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering: Spot

Switching to spot focus seems to have made these pictures brighter, plus moving the positions of the lights has improved these pictures.
Exposure: 1/50
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 14.4 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Spot

Shaping of bracelet looks nice, much brighter, name readable
Exposure: 1/125
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 14.4 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Spot

Box and light shift made this picture horribly dark again.

Exposure: 1/80
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 14.4 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Spot

This is my favorite.
Exposure: 1/100
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 14.4 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Spot
Color Setting: Vivid

Not as good as previous.


After thoughts

My first attempt were pretty good. I still wanted to overcome how dark the photo was. I also wanted to see if I could improve the readability of the name.

4325 Good Start

4404 Better

4426 Getting Closer

4428 Best of the bunch


I think changing to spot metering improved the quality of my photos. I was also becoming well acquainted the the Custom White Balance setting and the placement of the lights around the light box which was on the desk near the sunlight window.

I also think using a natural light and work light combination worked better than a dark room with two work lights. Maybe it could work, but I don't know how to yet.

4325 was a nice photograph, but still too dark.
4426 If I had stopped here, I was have been pleased.
4428 The best of the bunch.

I would be happy to include pictures 4426 or 4428 in any of my family history projects including heritage scrapbooks. I hope this post has helped you. In the future posts with this collection, I only took pictures of all the pieces in my first and third photo sessions.


I had considered polishing up this very old piece, but was afraid that it would destroy the piece so I left it as is.

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