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Improving pictures...

discostu004

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Hey guys, it seems i remember (maybe i'm wrong) someone on here knowing how to improvie on the lighting for pix and other things that will make the pix better. i bought a lighting kit and have that set up but want them to be better. anyone have advice they'd impart?
thx
lance
 

Heron

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Invest in Photoshop CS - it will enable you to lighten pics, adjust colours, lighten shadows and remove camera faults (flash halos etc.), reduce file sizes for posting on the internet, change file types and many, many other things.
 

amirrorcrackd

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Well you're lighting clothing, so the most important thing is you're gonna want a nice, even, soft key light. Light the subject from about a 30-45 degree angle on one side.  Take another light, a fill light (not as bright), and light from the other side anywhere from a 45-60 degree angle.  You could also backlight the items to give them a nice halo and show off their shape.  You're not taking headshots, so this doesn't have to be the most exact science and awe-inspiring finish, but the above should give you a nice, clean appearance and representation of the product.  

While you're expanding on your display of items, might I suggest measurements on the website?

Good luck.  I'll keep my eye on this thread too.  Any other questions, ask away.

Dan
 

zjpj83

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I suggest altering the "saturation" using Photoshop.
 

amirrorcrackd

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Just to add a little disclaimer.

Having photoshop is great, and it's an amazing program, able to work wonders - especially if you know how to use it, BUT don't rely on it. While it is capable of most anything, your life will be infinitely easier if you TAKE GOOD PICTURES. It is much harder to fix a poor picture in photoshop than it is to just take a good one in the first place, and the results will never be the same. So get photoshop, and use it, but don't rely on it to make bad pictures perfect without some serious knowledge, skill, and time.

Dan
 

BjornH

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Just to add some random tips:

Find out what the color temperature of your lights are. Then, set your camera to the same color temperature when taking the pictures. This will give you the truest colors and avoid any color cast.

If you are shooting from a tripod, you can use lower (longer) shutterspeeds. This will give you smaller aperture and thus greater depth of field (i.e. the area in correct focus will be larger).

B
 

amirrorcrackd

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I'm assuming that this is all done with a digital camera, in which case the color temp isn't really relevant. Film uses light and reacts to that chemically (tungsten lights will give a blue tint on daylight film which can be counteracted with gels, etc.), so lights affect film differently than with a digital camera which doesn't rely on a chemical reaction.

Dan
 

BjornH

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You mean that one can adjust for the color temperature after taking the picture? Most editing programs can do that, but I am much more comfortable with having my digital camera adjust for it during the exposure. This is really easy to do, even on point-and-shoot cameras so I don't see why not. This should give consistent results every time. I agree though, that with digital media, the cast is much more reversible than with film.

If you use a editing program, the only good way to correct cast is to point the program to a neutral part of the picture (i.e. a monochrome, black/white or gray area). Then the program can calculate the difference needed for correction. Of course, if your lights are standard (as they should be) then it's likeley that the program will have built-in presets for the color of your lights.

B
 

amirrorcrackd

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I was actually just making the assumption that Stu is not a photographer (no offense Stu) and therefore would be using an automatic setting, so I meant that the camera would automatically adjust, as opposed to a film camera that would not. If you are indeed manually shooting this stuff, then yes, there are nuances that you should consider, color temp being one of them.

Dan
 

Dakota rube

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My Nikon 5400 allows me to adjust white balance regardless of whether I am using full auto or one of the many manual modes. Properly set white balance ensures good color representation, something important for Stu.
 

paul44

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Clear natural lighting produces the best results, especially at dusk or dawn.  God has yet to invent a better light kit than a low sun.  Take advantage of it any and every way you can.  Even take your backdrop and items outside if you have to.
 

kabert

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I can't offer any particular suggestions other than suggesting that you take a look at EBay seller "Tom.Jerry" to see what I think are the best pictures yet of Ebay-offered clothes. Stupendous photos -- each suit has about 8 photos. Incredible close-ups too; always includes a photo of the label as well, somethink I don't think discostu does. Perhaps the seller might shed light on his tricks of the trade.
 

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