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The Dark Room -- Photo Editing and Picture Taking. Advice, tutorials, questions on all things photoshop, photo editing, and taking pictures of beads or glass.

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  #1  
Old 2013-12-28, 6:39pm
Heather Behrendt's Avatar
Heather Behrendt Heather Behrendt is offline
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Default Bead Photograph Critique

Which background do you prefer? Black, Grey or white?

2056 by HeatherBehrendt, on Flickr

2056test by HeatherBehrendt, on Flickr

2056test2 by HeatherBehrendt, on Flickr

I don't like how sterile the white looks. The grey has a warm sepia look that isn't there in real life and I'm not sure how to get rid of it. I like the black, but I don't think the shadows are flattering.

I'm using a canon dslr and a popup white fabric lightbox with three daylight bulbs from home depot. I have the light adjustment on the camera set for tungsten and that helps make them look less yellow, but it still has a warm look that I don't think should be there.

I tried using the manual white balance and took a picture of a white piece of paper, but it made everything look too blue to me.

Thoughts and suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 2013-12-28, 7:22pm
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I'm not totally happy with any of those, either, but I think some photographic help would help you far more than helping choose which one is best. Once you have the colour issue sorted out, you can use a lot more different backgrounds and will have plenty to choose from without worrying about colour tone.

I like the loose leaf scrapbook pages from Michael's for backgrounds.
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  #3  
Old 2013-12-28, 7:34pm
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I do like the top one as it appears (except it seems to have stuff on the background). I definitely do not like the middle one and you're right - I think the white is too sterile.

But you're right - if those are black and grey, you have some funky things going on in your white balance. Try adjusting it in PS or whatever photo editing software you use. I use Aperture for minor adjustments and can adjust the white balance by telling it what is actually black or white in the photo. I do like the colour that the black is showing in the pic, though. I guess the bead is not showing true either?
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  #4  
Old 2013-12-28, 7:59pm
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Heather Behrendt Heather Behrendt is offline
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Yeah, I can't figure out why the color is so off. The black tends to pick up every bit of guck from my poster putty that I use to balance beads, but other than that, I'm reasonably happy with them. Tha black also appears more grey since it's slightly reflective. Maybe I should try a matte black?

The bulbs I'm using have been used since 2009. Would they wear out or something?
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  #5  
Old 2013-12-28, 8:00pm
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Hi Heather,

I adjusted the grey level using Photoshop Element 12 and it removed the pinkish tone. Not a major change but a slight difference that I believe makes a difference. What do you think?




Lyne
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  #6  
Old 2013-12-28, 8:17pm
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Heather Behrendt Heather Behrendt is offline
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Lyne, that does look like an improvement to me. Thank you for doing that. I use photoshop. Any idea how I would adjust that in photoshop?
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  #7  
Old 2013-12-29, 11:15am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather Behrendt View Post
Lyne, that does look like an improvement to me. Thank you for doing that. I use photoshop. Any idea how I would adjust that in photoshop?
Use levels and it automatically corrects everything. You might have to use the brighten and contrast afterwards.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/16432/483/
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  #8  
Old 2013-12-29, 12:45pm
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You are welcome Heather. As Lisi said, you use the levels feature and play with it. I also use the tone enhancement at times as a first step to adjust the colors and then I go into levels. Sometimes you don't want the levels layer to be at 100% as it may be too much. I played with the software and discovered what works for me.

Good luck!

Lyne
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  #9  
Old 2013-12-29, 6:17pm
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Heather Behrendt Heather Behrendt is offline
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I will play around with settings. I'm always hesitant to use anything that's auto because I feel like it usually works and then occasionally something is crazy off. I guess I want the control of it.

Thanks for your help and I'm still open to ideas if anyone thinks of why everything shows up pinkish and warm.
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  #10  
Old 2013-12-30, 8:50am
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Heather Behrendt Heather Behrendt is offline
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I thought you guys might find this interesting. This picture was taken with the exact same lighting and same camera position with no editing. This picture was taken with my cell phone.
The consistent light pattern seems to be an indicator that my lights are flickering because they've aged. The background on this picture is supposedly white and looks white in real life. My cellphone's camera is not quite as nice as my DSLR so it takes a slower picture and picks up the weird lighting pattern.
I have had these lightbulbs for about 5 years and they were not particularly expensive. If I remember correctly they are daylight bulbs from home depot.

2013-12-29 20.33.13 by HeatherBehrendt, on Flickr
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  #11  
Old 2013-12-30, 10:05am
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I would start with trying a new bulb. You are using a CFL 100W equivalent (23W) Daylight bulb, right? When mine age, then photos get darker. Speaking of which, I need to replace mine soon.
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  #12  
Old 2013-12-30, 11:52am
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Heather, what kind of camera? It looks like you need to mess around with the white balance.

I have experienced your exact issues.

First, I adjusted the white balance in the camera, the DLSR I use has a complicated special tool for this (had to actually read the manual to figure it out, LOL), my other camera, a point and shoot, has a few pre-set menu choices, so on that I just toggle through until it looks as "correct" as possible.

Second, I adjust the Exposure (EV+/-) in the camera, especially if shooting on all white or all black background. Go + when the review image in the camera appears too dark and vice-verse.

Third, I use the "Correct Color Cast" tool in Photoshop Elements 9 for Mac. This tool has a little dropper that you use to sample a part of the photo that should be white, black or gray. I find that by trying a few different spots on the background I can pretty easily correct the purplish/pink cast I get (and it looks like you get it too).
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  #13  
Old 2014-01-23, 1:02pm
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Just can't seem to get it right on my Canon DSLR. Critique and suggestions welcome


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  #14  
Old 2014-01-23, 6:22pm
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Two thoughts:

Looking at the string of beads -- What F-stop are you using? The larger the number, the smaller the opening in the lens and the deeper the depth-of-field is. Suggest you go with a number like F16 or F22. It will slow your shutter down so you will want to have the camera on a tripod or supported solidly. Also use your timer to delay the actual taking of the picture so you don't introduce camera shake into the picture when you push the button.

Looking at the second picture -- it appears as if you are using natural light. That is great except it makes for large reflections on the bead surface. Try using a light source with a sheet between it and the beads. It will difuse the light and reduce the reflections. The lights that Doug Baldwin sells are great for this as they have diffusers over the lights. Reflections make glass one of the most difficult surfaces to photograph.
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  #15  
Old 2014-01-24, 5:34pm
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Your images are underexposed. Are you using the camera meter with the fstop and speed in auto? Is your camera set for average meter reading or spot? You want it on spot if you have that option. Then you half press the shutter button and a red light should come on showing where the meter point is. If you have several of them come on, change the setting to just one focus and meter point in the middle.

I suspect that when you meter, you are metering on the lighted background area and that's making your camera think that it doesn't need as much light as the beads need to be properly exposed. You can either meter on the beads and lock the exposure, or fill the frame with a bead and see what the setting is and then put your camera in manual mode and use that setting. You can also use aperture adjustment and dial in a stop to a stop and half of more light to increase the exposure on the beads.

Mike
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Old 2014-01-25, 9:32am
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  #17  
Old 2014-06-22, 2:30am
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I like white. It clearly shows the color of the glass without distortion from background color.
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