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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 01 Aug 2015 (Saturday) 21:23
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Product Photography - Computing

 
urbanfreestyle
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Aug 01, 2015 21:23 |  #1

Hi all,

I've been wanting to take some decent shots of my computer build for a while and for some reason they all come out crappy,
Can anyone give me some pointers on a few shots i have taken of my PC? These are pretty much straight out of camera converted to jpeg so havent cropped / rotated them etc.

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/265/20183207416_77b35ebae3.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/wKwd​oL  (external link) _D3_2218 (external link) by Geoff Palmer (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/350/19586818944_85d0486865.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/vQPy​SU  (external link) _D3_2217 (external link) by Geoff Palmer (external link), on Flickr

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IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/wNmd​K4  (external link) _D3_2216 (external link) by Geoff Palmer (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/529/19588510303_bfdde12149.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/vQYe​Eg  (external link) _D3_2215 (external link) by Geoff Palmer (external link), on Flickr

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IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/twMM​Bh  (external link) Ocz RAM (external link) by Geoff Palmer (external link), on Flickr

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Capeto
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Aug 01, 2015 22:25 |  #2

I see no reason to use a 30 second exposure for product shots, especially if you're using a tripod and flash. Such a long exposure time will introduce blurriness when either the camera, tripod, or computer case moves (as seen on the Corsair logo on the first picture, or on the third picture with the Asus logo and the cable).

Close your aperture down too, using such a small aperture makes your pictures prone to softness through diffraction.

If you're going to include both your warmly lit room and your lit-up case, your camera will adjust white balance for one but not the other. Since your subject is the case, adjust your white balance for that - white balance is way too cool as it is and everything inside your case looks blue.

Read up a bit on commercial/product photography, or at least look at some examples for inspiration. Clear out your desk if you're placing your computer there, and do not include any other elements (keyboard, mouse, etc.) unless they complement the computer in the picture's composition. I would also unplug every cable except the one feeding power, and try to leave it as out of sight as possible (use gaffer's tape or whatever you may have). Use macro lenses (or close-focusing lenses + some cropping) to take pictures of internal components.

I must admit that I'm jealous of your cable management! When I built my computer almost two years ago I just put everything in there, and as soon as it turned on and worked I closed the case... I'm afraid of opening it knowing the mess that awaits me so I haven't opened my case ever since 'p'




  
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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Aug 02, 2015 09:23 |  #3

increasing contrast with an S curve with the Curves tool would make them look more "dramatic".

But i would ditch the blue LED lights, or over power them with other light.

at the very least, make the room completely dark so that no other ambient light gets in, and see what the LEDs look like.

sorry for the following blunt words but your framing and surrounding scene is pretty terrible. Can you put the computer on whatever black marble looking stuff is under the RAM chips? back up, get the open computer square with the camera and snap the pic. A tripod is practically a requirement for product shots.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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urbanfreestyle
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Aug 02, 2015 10:46 as a reply to  @ Left Handed Brisket's post |  #4

Thanks for all the pointers, I'll see if I can move it into the kitchen (where I took the ram shot) the LEDs are actually pure white when looking at them. So I think it was a conflict with the warm lighting in the room.

I'm currently working on the machine over night so will try to get another shot tomorrow. In the mean time I did get one when I was building it I quite like:

https://m.flickr.com …98925546@N08/20​044229309/ (external link)


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Aug 02, 2015 11:36 |  #5

in that case, it is definitely a white balance issue.

i like that shot. It seems to be a single light source and gives the dramatic contrast/light fall off that i think is appropriate for something like this.


one thing you might want to try is wrapping a black piece of paper around the end of a speedlight to make a snoot, aim that right at the center of the computer and see what happens.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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Alveric
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Aug 02, 2015 12:53 |  #6
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Your composition isn't good at all. I find all the images completely uninteresting—there's no focal point—they're tell me it's a computer, sure, but none of those snapshots really make the subject the 'hero'.

You also have a problem with crooked lines, verticals and horizontals that are diagonals.

You've a nice looking rig there, very neat-looking. Try going at this piecemeal: choose one feature you want to illustrate, say the water cooling system and zoom in on that. Shoot it from different angles, make it follow the Rule of Thirds. Then choose another feature and do the same. For an overall view shot, try getting the machine away from the wall by at least 6 ft, so that you won't get the shadows and artifacts from the case lights on same wall.

Take a look at your mobo box and other hardware manuals, boxes, and ads: see how they shot their images and try to do likewise.

PS: Love that plush lil' PC. Gotta get me one of those. :cool:


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urbanfreestyle
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I am a squirrel who loves rubbing bottles and I have Nuts in my drawers, too!
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Aug 02, 2015 13:06 as a reply to  @ Left Handed Brisket's post |  #7

a good and interesting little tip there, I think i need to stop trying to even the light out and embrace the shaddows and contrast. Will swap out to my 24-70 and try some new techniques :-)


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urbanfreestyle
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I am a squirrel who loves rubbing bottles and I have Nuts in my drawers, too!
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Location: Exeter, Devon
     
Aug 02, 2015 13:47 |  #8

Alveric wrote in post #17653642 (external link)
Your composition isn't good at all. I find all the images completely uninteresting—there's no focal point—they're tell me it's a computer, sure, but none of those snapshots really make the subject the 'hero'.

You also have a problem with crooked lines, verticals and horizontals that are diagonals.

You've a nice looking rig there, very neat-looking. Try going at this piecemeal: choose one feature you want to illustrate, say the water cooling system and zoom in on that. Shoot it from different angles, make it follow the Rule of Thirds. Then choose another feature and do the same. For an overall view shot, try getting the machine away from the wall by at least 6 ft, so that you won't get the shadows and artifacts from the case lights on same wall.

Take a look at your mobo box and other hardware manuals, boxes, and ads: see how they shot their images and try to do likewise.

PS: Love that plush lil' PC. Gotta get me one of those. :cool:

Totally agree, thanks for the feedback. I've spent a lot of time getting it to look the way i want.
here is a quick shot of the mess of wiring hidden in the back

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/384/20046063730_7d6e6361b1.jpg
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And another shot i like...
IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/361/20044229309_189c217482.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/wxeV​3v  (external link) IMG_20150802_083644 (external link) by Geoff Palmer (external link), on Flickr

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Alveric
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Alveric.
     
Aug 02, 2015 15:33 |  #9
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urbanfreestyle wrote in post #17653654 (external link)
a good and interesting little tip there, I think i need to stop trying to even the light out and embrace the shaddows and contrast. Will swap out to my 24-70 and try some new techniques :-)

You bet! I don't know why some people (not you, BTW) insist ad nauseam that all shadows need be obliterated in order for a picture to be decent. Killing shadows flattens the image. Fie on 'no detail lost' thinking.

The one shot that you like is the winner from your series due to the shadows making the subject (the CPU) stand out. Without those inky shadows you'd have a flat snapshot.


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
Why 'The Histogram' Sux (external link)

  
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urbanfreestyle
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Aug 02, 2015 15:37 as a reply to  @ Alveric's post |  #10

Well stay tuned and i'll post back here tomorrow when i have tried to get some better pictures! :-)


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urbanfreestyle
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I am a squirrel who loves rubbing bottles and I have Nuts in my drawers, too!
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Aug 02, 2015 16:22 as a reply to  @ urbanfreestyle's post |  #11

How's this?

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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Left Handed Brisket.
     
Aug 02, 2015 16:25 |  #12

without the box, there is no sense of place.

no box, no "floor" to ground it … i need something to know where this equipment exists.

and the little plastic computer thingy at the bottom? meh. :D

still not a fan of the LED lighting for a product shot.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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urbanfreestyle
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Aug 02, 2015 16:28 as a reply to  @ Left Handed Brisket's post |  #13

ok, that was just a re-edit of the original shots, i'll try again in the morning.


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Aug 02, 2015 16:31 |  #14

i have a product shot of a CL-360 flash and an old camera in my gallery. Check them out and notice the high contrast … black blacks and white whites.

both were mainly lit with grids on a small light source. slight fill from other sources were added to give some detail to the shadow areas.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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urbanfreestyle
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I am a squirrel who loves rubbing bottles and I have Nuts in my drawers, too!
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Aug 02, 2015 16:57 as a reply to  @ Left Handed Brisket's post |  #15

looks good to me. and was that on a black perspex sheet or something?


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