17 August 2012

Photo Friday: Photographing Artifacts 4 (Military Medal)


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 or Part 2.


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.

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

Good start, way too dark
Exposure: 1/125
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 9.1 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Center Weight Average

Still too dark

After a series of shots of all my artifacts, I decided to research how to improve the use of the light box. I did another session with just the military bracelet and the name bracelet of previous posts. I determined that a dark room with two lights and the light box on a bed wasn't working for my artificers. Instead of taking more photos of all the objects. I decided more research was in order.


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


Exposure: 1/160
Aperture: f/3.2
Focal Length: 6.7 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Spot

I was blown away by this photo.
Exposure: 1/60
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 6.7 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Metering; Spot

Although this one isn't as strong as the first, I still think this one is acceptable.


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 album about my military veteran grandpa.



First Photo

Professional quality photo by an amateur.

There are more artifacts to come in the come weeks. I hope you're enjoying learning about taking photos of your heirlooms. I can't wait to see what some of you come up with.

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