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Best background material to photograph picks

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abroxis

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Post Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:05 pm

Best background material to photograph picks

Most lockpicks are silver colored.

Any suggestions on what background materials and colors help give the best results?
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Josh66

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Post Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:24 pm

Re: Best background material to photograph picks

Wood looks nice to me.

Stainless looks good to, if the lighting is from the right direction.

Image

Image
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Presumedsublime

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Post Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:34 pm

Re: Best background material to photograph picks

I've never taken pictures of picks but I have done a lot for different items that are equally as reflective. Background is up to your personal taste. Mirror works nice with small objects when you can get separation from the object. More importantly is the light. The softer and more diffused light the better.
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PickForge

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Post Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:12 am

Re: Best background material to photograph picks

I like using sandpaper or stone slabs/concrete.

I like how this picture turned out.

http://imageshack.us/a/img339/5745/img2 ... 145411.jpg
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abroxis

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Post Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:08 am

Re: Best background material to photograph picks

Thanks for the ideas. They got me thinking about more than a sheet of black or white paper.
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elbowmacaroni

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Post Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:01 pm

Re: Best background material to photograph picks

Yeah, I know... kind of a necro post, but it is with good cause...

seamless white or black paper is a very good choice. Or a light table if you don't want shadows. YOu'll want the external light to be coming down at about 45deg from above and 45deg from each side. You can shoot anywhere from directly above to 90deg inline with this configuration. There will be a few locations where the lights will glare off the metal, you can use this for effect by moving side to side and getting it in an aesthetically pleasing spot, or just move up or down to avoid the reflection. Or you could use a small light tent, these are awesome!

just some thoughts...
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scudo

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Post Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:16 pm

Re: Best background material to photograph picks

I have found white background best for silver as the camera sets to the lighter exposure giving a more realistic colour to silver.

The example below although not the best pic kind of shows how I make a semi paper tent out of white paper and play around with the tent location and the light behind it. I usually then edit out the background on photoshop. This was a pig of a thing to get a decent picture of as it was reflecting all over the place.

2 - Copy.JPG
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Deadlock

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Post Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:46 pm

Re: Best background material to photograph picks

Hey elbow, nothing wrong with bringing back old threads. I wouldn't have got to see a silver Pot Noodle container if you hadn't!


Now I'm waiting for the gold Irn Bru bottle!
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scudo

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Post Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:09 pm

Re: Best background material to photograph picks

Ha ha and I bet that is the first time you have ever seen a silver Pot Noodle, one of only 200 ever made back in the 80s.

Cant supply the golden Irn Bru but I do have a very old Irn bru bottle which has been authenticated by Barrs.

Its amazing the rubbish we have collected over the years :-)
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Deadlock

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Post Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: Best background material to photograph picks

Don't worry about it. As long as you're not like one of the people on 'The Hoarder Next Door', you're alright.


At least those two things have some interest and value. It was some coincidence or something that you actually HAD a special Irn Bru bottle!


And I reckon if Damien Hirst had thought of a silver Pot Noodle container before anyone else, it would be in some London art gallery with a £10,000 price tag on it.
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scudo

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Post Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:11 pm

Re: Best background material to photograph picks

The silver pot noodle I won for achievment of target, I was pissed off at the time as we narrowly missed out on the solid gold version (just pipped at the post) as I worked for Golden Wonder at the time. I doubt if many of the original 200 actually survive to this day.

The Irn Bru bottle was found during some excavations at a building site, cleaned it up and contacted Irn Bru who asked for it to be sent in, they then returned it with a letter of verification that it was authentic, doubt if it is worth much more a PR exercise for Irn Bru.
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Deadlock

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Post Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:39 pm

Re: Best background material to photograph picks

Yeah, know what you mean, that gritted teeth feeling when you JUST miss is the worst.
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plugspin

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Post Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:06 am

Re: Best background material to photograph picks

Yea, you want plenty of diffused lighting. I like having 4-5 lamps available. For small things like locks and picks I really don't like light boxes as there's no room to work. For this I prefer using lamps without a box and diffuse each light with white paper. Two side lights, one overhead flood, and then two more for getting a good reflection back to the camera. This is the most important part, otherwise anything shiny will look black or have black edges like some of the earlier pictures in this thread. Once you get light bouncing off the metal into the lens your silver objects will light up. Having multiple lights lets you light up multiple areas on the surface (for 3D objects) or more surface area for flat objects. Only one "bounce light" will give you just one bright area on the object with dark surrounding areas. Multiple lights again will let you lighten up all of the dark areas.

Also, if you are doing other macro stuff you can get a lot more control over the shot with a proper DSLR camera. With that you can control your f-stop which in turn lets you control your depth of field. A low f-stop in the 6-10 range will keep just a narrow slice of the image in focus. A higher F-stop in the 20's will keep almost everything in focus. This can be very helpful if want to "hide" things in the background by blurring them out. Shots of keys head on would be an example - there's no good way to hide how you are holding them. But you can use a medium to low f-stop around 10 so only the tips of the keys are in focus, everything else behind the focal area would be blurry and less-distracting.
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Matt689

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Post Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Best background material to photograph picks

If you were trying to convey the relative dimensions, perhaps flat against a piece of graph paper, with the divisions per inch or mm. of the graph noted. It would overcome some of the problems of scaling and distortion.

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