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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:37 am 
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Location: Sweden
Rudall & Rose no. 1918 is in the coming Truro Auction Centre on 17th/18th September, 2020.

https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auct ... 9-FpogqU3A


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:22 pm 
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Boy, with that detailed description and clear photo, I’m surprised the bidding isn’t up to a million pounds. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:06 am 
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Yeah, it was quite early in the piece when I realised taking an image of a black flute on a white background was just damn stupid. The camera just shuts down on all the light coming from the white. Too much contrast.

Black on black doesn't work either (Sorry, Andy Warhol!). There is no contrast.

I finally settled on a medium grey. And lots of light.

My favourite is to take the image outdoors on a bright cloudy day. No shadows, plenty of soft diffused light. But you can fake it inside if you have to.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:27 am 
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It's why cameras have exposure controls :D

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:24 am 
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Indeed. But the problem is, if you have black subject against a white background, the automatic exposure control will shut right down because of the assault of light from the white, and show no detail on the black. Which is what we see on the auction image.

And even if you turn off auto exposure, by the time you manually open up the iris to be able to discern any detail on the subject, the background will be flaring. The challenge is finding the right level of darkness for the background. Too dark, and there is no contrast. Too little, and there's too much.

Where is Goldilocks when we need her? She could help us find "just right"....


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:10 am 
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Terry McGee wrote:
My favourite is to take the image outdoors on a bright cloudy day. No shadows, plenty of soft diffused light. But you can fake it inside if you have to.


I had heard this in theory but I hadn't really tried practicing it until recently. Sooooo true. Nothing beats natural light under the right conditions. I have a pretty nice product-photography studio (decent DSLR camera, good lighting, etc..) and it works wonderfully for most everything except ebonite. Highly polished ebonite is really difficult to get good photos of! I've never been totally happy with my results until a few weeks back when I was heading for the photo studio and noticed the bright morning light diffused through a high cloud layer. On a whim I took a background board (white) outside along with some ebonite flutes and did my shots there. The results were infinitely better than anything I've achieved under lights.

Now if I could only arrange those conditions at will....

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:40 am 
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Geoffrey Ellis wrote:
Now if I could only arrange those conditions at will....

(Retired commercial photographer here) An overcast sky is just a big diffuse light source. There is no reason you can't duplicate that with a tabletop setup indoors, unless you're working in a very cramped space. Use either a large enough "soft box" over the product, or if you want no shadows at all, a "light tent" surrounding the product with a porthole for the camera.

Usually I prefer using one huge softbox for this, because it's easier to place smaller reflectors to put highlights where I want them. With a lighting tent it's all or nothing, and I don't always like that fully diffused effect, but you need it for some things like jewelry.

BTW, I'm not knocking the idea of shooting outdoors under an overcast sky. It's quicker than messing with studio lights and diffusers, but sometimes the sky doesn't cooperate!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:57 am 
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Conical bore wrote:
Geoffrey Ellis"] unless you're working in a very cramped space.



Yep. Very cramped. I have softbox lights but they are not powerful enough to be far from the flute, nor is there enough space. Cloudy day with bright sun is the ultimate softbox! Someday I hope to improve my studio space (ie get a bigger one).

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