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Author Topic: Isolated photos setup  (Read 8466 times)

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Fotonaut

« on: August 29, 2010, 12:39 »
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I am looking for a new solution for shooting isolated (cut out) objects.

Currently I have this: http://is.gd/eK5gv
Which is crap. Within 6 months I have had to replace all the fluorescents (costly, and the new ones work about a week), had to replace the trafo, etc.

I am now considering this solution: http://www.lastolite.com/litetable.php

Any experience with the Lastolite, or other suggestions appreciated. Within a reasonable price range and no DIY projects, though.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 17:07 by Fotonaut »


« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2010, 15:10 »
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There is no easy way of doing isolated shots of every object. Everything depends on the object.

If you want quality photographs, you cannot just put a light under the object because it will look just like that: object on a light table. For example if you look at Lastolite's example photo with a tractor, you can see from the tires that the tractor is lit in a bad way.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 15:12 by Perry »

vlad_the_imp

« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 08:56 »
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I use this method, crude but effective and have never had an isolated on white image rejected by istock.
Shoot subject on a white board, outside on a still day, with light cloud.
Take it into Capture NX2, sample the white board with the white picker and set it to 1000% white.
Job done.

« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 09:15 »
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I use this method, crude but effective and have never had an isolated on white image rejected by istock.
Shoot subject on a white board, outside on a still day, with light cloud.
Take it into Capture NX2, sample the white board with the white picker and set it to 1000% white.
Job done.

Yor method doesn't work if the subject has white parts, or some glossy metallic parts or...
And with your method you don't get crispy textures (as with careful studio lighting). The technical quality could be enough for IS, but carefully lit photos sell much better, I have noticed.

Fotonaut

« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 11:01 »
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Thank you for your replies.
I am not looking for perfection (just close enough), mostly an effective solution. I did this isolated photo with the mini studio table: http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-12797622-powerful-energy-saving-led-light-bulb.php (blocking the upward light in select areas).
If I can achive the same with the Lastolite, it will suffice.
I failed to mention that I have limited space, no studio, so a practical and space efficient solution is preferable.
As I live in northern Norway, shooting outside is unfortunately usually not an option, with either darkness or bad weather.

« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2010, 07:51 »
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I'm having a few problems with isolation.

  • I've purchased two interfit flash units. I position them either side of my object on a white surface. One unit has a softbox and the other an umbrella to diffuse the light.
  • WB is set to flash.
  • The only processing I do is to adjust the levels in photoshop.


Can you suggest how I need to change my setup/techniques to improve the lighting:



lisafx

« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2010, 12:05 »
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I would say your problem(the syringe disappearing) is one better solved in Photoshop or lightroom.   Lightroom 2 and above have a brush where you can brush exposure just where you want it, then use sliders to get it right.  I would just brush a darker exposure (maybe -30) over the syringe and move the slider until it shows up.  The rest of the image looks fine. 

« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2010, 14:08 »
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Great! I appreciate your input.

« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2010, 14:53 »
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Can you suggest how I need to change my setup/techniques to improve the lighting:

You might try some black of grey "reflectors" on the both sides of the syringe. You may need to put them so close that it shows in the image, but removing them in PS is a quick procedure.

« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2010, 15:13 »
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Try putting some distance between your subject and the light table. 

« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2010, 18:37 »
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Try putting some distance between your subject and the light table. 
Can you explain what you mean?

« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2010, 18:38 »
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Can you suggest how I need to change my setup/techniques to improve the lighting:

You might try some black of grey "reflectors" on the both sides of the syringe. You may need to put them so close that it shows in the image, but removing them in PS is a quick procedure.

I'll try this. Thanks.

« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2010, 19:11 »
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Zach Arias' recipe works pretty well for me, from small objects to full-length group people-shots.  Briefly, the formula is, use 1 or (preferably) 2 strobes on the white background with measured exposure of around f/11 for the background.  Position bifold doors to block background light from getting on the subject.  Use a large softbox in front of the subject plus whatever reflectors and hairlights you want, with an exposure of about f/8.  Position the subject on a shiny, white tileboard (sold at hardware stores for around $10-70 depending on finish and durability).

But I nearly always have to use PS to whiten the lower regions where (depending on angle and shadows) the tileboard is slightly less than pure white.  Cranking up the background lights will help whiten this, but it tends to create too much wrap-around light on the subject, not to mention more color fringes on the subject's edges.  If I had more room and a longer lens (around 100mm) then possibly I could get a nicer, white reflection off the tileboard by having it at a lower angle which would reflect the white background better.

I get nearly 100% acceptance with this setup, for nearly all subjects - except food shots which don't look very appetizing in this light.

Getting large, outdoor objects accepted which have mostly-photoshop isolation is hit and miss with the inspectors.  There is always "something" that doesn't look right that they can criticize.  One of the problems is that not having an actual white background when you shot it, the subject tends to reflect (or refract) the color and brightness of whatever is behind it.  For example a rope holding up a tent will look green where it has grass behind it, but will look blue if a blue tent is behind it.  When isolated the rope will look multi-colored or will be fat or thin depending on how bright the background.  That is evidently why Dorling-Kindersley brings assistants with long poles and white background sheets when they go out shooting stuff, according to a video I saw years ago which had some "behind the scenes" action.

« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2010, 19:18 »
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Try putting some distance between your subject and the light table. 
Can you explain what you mean?

Lay the syringe on the light table and look down on it from above. Note that its boundaries (edges) are hard to distinguish.  Now lift it about a foot above the table, while continuing to look down on it. 

« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2010, 03:57 »
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All really useful. Thanks. :D


 

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