or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Buying and Selling on eBay: Tips, Tricks, Problems & Questions
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Buying and Selling on eBay: Tips, Tricks, Problems & Questions - Page 60

post #886 of 18032
OK, dudes. Advice needed.

With winter approaching, plus my inventory having swelled significantly, I'm pushing hard for an indoor photo setup. As most of us are, I'm working with limited funds and have only a Sony digital camera. So I picked up a few (5, to be exact) 500W halogen shop lights on the cheap from a local hardware store liquidation. Here are the results. Despite the area looking brighter than the sun IRL, the white balance still seems off, and the shots seem dark. So I turned the flash on, but that just seems to wash everything out.

Any advice (OTHER than spend hundreds of $$ on a new camera)? Do you think this will be "acceptable?" (Edit: Ignore the sloppiness of the setup; this was purely proof of concept)

(Setup #1: Very cumbersome to change setup, etc; surrounded by white and color tends to darken unnaturally)


(Setup #2: No flash; white balance too dark)


(Setup #2: Flash; washed out)
post #887 of 18032

You need to get the white balance figured out first. I'm not sure of the color temp of the halogen lamps, but it kind of looks like florescent (green cast). Next you need to figure out how you're going to get less flat light. Here's one of mine:

 

 

Notice that one side is lighter than the other. It looks more natural and gives the figure more shape. 

 

Next you're going to need to figure out the right exposure for the scene with your camera / lens / f-stop. Whites should be bright without being blown out so you can't see any details. 

post #888 of 18032
A couple things you can try in addition to what grendel has mentioned:

White balance is color balance, so dark/light doesn't really enter into it. In the first image you have the greenish cast grendel pointed out, but the darkness will be due to exposure. Many cameras allow you to adjust the overall exposure beyond what the autoexposure finds. You'll usually see this as +/-EV. If you bump it up to +1EV, you'll have one more stop of exposure, which will make the image brighter. If you don't want to mess with that, you can try the contrast adjustment I posted earlier.

If you have a white sheet or shower curtain, I'd use that for the background rather than the colored one. The large expanse of white will give the camera a better base to from which to calculate the white balance.

The flash is going to be a different color temp than the halogen, and the mix is going to make color balancing more difficult. I'd skip it, especially if it is on the camera. The direct light in-line with the lens is just going to wash things out. Grendel bounces his, so the light is coming at an angle.

You can try three lights off to the left, one to the right, and two on the backdrop. Set the exposure so that the white shirt is bright, but not completely washed out, as grendel says. If the camera has trouble with that, compensate with a +/-EV adjustment, if it has that. The two lights on the background should help wash away the shadows, like in the last photos, but the suit itself should still look like the first image.

Hope that helps.
post #889 of 18032
I missed that you said that the background is already white. What model camera do you have? I want to check the white balance options.
post #890 of 18032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mox C View Post

I missed that you said that the background is already white. What model camera do you have? I want to check the white balance options.

Sony Cybershot DSC S980. It's your basic point and shoot, which is likely the issue. But it was a gift and I can't justify spending on a camera.

The first shot had a white sheet background with the sides being very close to white temporary clothing storage closets. The second shots had a green wall in the background. I figured having a colored background would reduce the contrast and the brightness of the light against the white, which would allow the camera to adjust whitebalance better.

I'm way beyond my depth when it comes to manual adjustments, but I'm willing to learn.
post #891 of 18032
I found the manual. You can try putting it in the "Snow" scene and see what you get. That will boost the exposure, but you can't change the white balance. It will probably default to sunlight. The white balance doesn't have a custom option, but I didn't really expect it to. If you set it to "P" mode instead, you can then manually set the white balance to "incandescent". That may give more consistent results than "auto". In "P" mode, you can also adjust the EV shift yourself. Try it a click towards "+".

Even if it looks better, I'd still go in and adjust the white and black points in software based on the histogram. It's really easy and only takes a minute. I also prefer to get it as right as possible in-camera, but it's the same kind of basic manipulation you'd be doing in a darktroom—it's not about making floating cows against a purple sky or anything. It's difficult to get exposure spot on without experience. What photo editing software do you have?
post #892 of 18032
I pulled that first image into PS to take a look at the histogram. I think light on the background would definitely help. The shirt is actually blown out, so the white point is already past the point you can do anything with it. The black point is at the technically correct place (the deepest shadow). You can sacrifice some shadow detail to give the image more punch, but not much without it looking like crap. It really does need better lighting to improve the image.

For light placement, you can do something like this, with multiple lights in the large umbrella spot.
http://www.portraitlighting.net/example2_2b.htm

Then have a light on either side of the suit shining on the backdrop behind it. Experiment with the angles until you find something that is to your liking. Basically you want strong light on the suit from one side and weaker light from the other, to soften the shadows.

Grendel gets the strong light from the flash bounced off the ceiling and the weaker light comes from the light then bouncing off the close-by wall. For mine, I have a strobe set to full-power on one side and another set to lower power on the other.
post #893 of 18032
BTW, with a while shirt, I wouldn't worry too much about blowing it out. It's not like there's going to be any real detail to see at auction resolutions anyway, as long as there is some shadow under the collar to set it apart. In this shot, the shirt is all white, but I think it still looks fine for an auction.



When I use a blue shirt, it's no longer blown out and the blue is well exposed.



In both of those, the lighting is a titch flat. For my next set, I'm going to dial the fill light back a little more.
post #894 of 18032

I would suggest still turning the light toward the wall / ceiling instead of directly at the subject. The umbrella in that setup is used to make the light source bigger to give a softer light that wraps the subject instead of having a hot spot closest to the light. Bouncing off a big white / light neutral surface will do the same thing. 

 

EDIT: This is as compared with the portrait lighting Mox linked and replacing the umbrellas with the shop lights. 

post #895 of 18032
I was thinking that they may not be strong enough for that. The shadows in his first image don't look too harsh. But yeah, if they have enough juice, bouncing them or shining them through a translucent white shower curtain would probably be better than right on the subject.

As an aside, soft light is more typically used for women and harder light for men, so as long as you don't get glare or exceptionally harsh shadows, harder light can be appropriate and help things like the lapels pop a bit, but that's getting nit-picky. I probably wouldn't want to go much softer than grendel's, or any harder than mine, but anywhere in that range works and is really a matter of taste.
post #896 of 18032
What's the best guide out there for determining the most accurate size for jackets that have no size tag? Various websites have different scales based on shoulder measurements. I am curious to see what you guys were using before you had it memorized.
post #897 of 18032
Quote:
Originally Posted by suited View Post

What's the best guide out there for determining the most accurate size for jackets that have no size tag? Various websites have different scales based on shoulder measurements. I am curious to see what you guys were using before you had it memorized.

I learned to measure here...http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/clothing/style-tips/how-to-measure-a-jacket

 

I use to go by Andy's 4" rule (difference between the chest measurement and the size) but I was getting a lot of returns due to the jackets being too large. I now just use a 2" difference and have very few returns based on fit.

 

That's the easy part...the S...R...L is a bit tricky since the length of a 36R is significantly shorter than the length of a 46R maybe even up to 3 or 4 inches.

 

Above all accurate measurements is the key.  

post #898 of 18032
Quote:
Originally Posted by suited View Post

What's the best guide out there for determining the most accurate size for jackets that have no size tag? Various websites have different scales based on shoulder measurements. I am curious to see what you guys were using before you had it memorized.

As Wes said, somewhere between 2-4" smaller then the chest measures. I usually take into account the shoulders. If the shoulders are really wide and its in between I'll round up, or vice-versa round down if the shoulders are narrower. There is no set "rule" but the more you measure you will get a feel for the size.

post #899 of 18032
Doe anyone know an easy way to resize a bunch of images at once in windows? They are 4mb off my camera, but imgur resizes them to 1mb anyways, so it would be much faster to resize them before uploading.
post #900 of 18032
Quote:
Originally Posted by VLSI View Post

Doe anyone know an easy way to resize a bunch of images at once in windows? They are 4mb off my camera, but imgur resizes them to 1mb anyways, so it would be much faster to resize them before uploading.

Infran view bulk resize. easy peazy

 

Side note...guess I need to start picking more of these up at $5 a pop.... this one was on consignment. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=140858126609

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Buying and Selling on eBay: Tips, Tricks, Problems & Questions