I have always found getting good photos a challenge. Actually I am not very interested in photography. I have never found a book or talking to people who know about photography, able to explain apperture, focus, stops, and lighting, so that I can understand and use these settings successfully. For some people it seems to come naturally, but for the rest of us we go Digital and use "Auto" .I am sure as I progress through my photographic career, that I will come to terms with and use more of my cameras full potential.So,what that all means is get yourself a good camera,by good I mean a camera which takes great photos using the basics.
Fugi FinePix S5500
This is a great little camera for taking either close-up portrait or landscape photos. I have found it hard to take a bad picture and I recommend it if you are looking to upgrade or buy new. I found the Finepix software easy to use for basic clip, re-size and colour adjustment.It's an S.L.R. style camera which I think means, when you look through the view finder your actually looking through the lense,which is important for close up photography. Thank you to the guys at zeald.com my website designers and administrators for recommending this camera to me.
Taking close-ups on jewellery, for me has come down to three things, Light,Light and Light. I find the best light is outside on our verandah 9 o'clock through to 11 o'clock,for some reason after that time the light seems just too bright and harsh.If I can't get outside, I'll use my workshop which has daylight flourescence lighting which does give a blue tinge to the photos but it's not hard to correct using the colour adjustmentment software.
That light has to be diffused or broken down so that you don't get to much shadowing or the bright reflections which bounce off a polished surface, you can do all sorts of tricks to achieve this.
I've made a box using sheets of opaque plastic (Plastic matting found in a Payless Plastics store) around 1mm. thick.The top section slides back so I can easily reload, I set the camera up on the tripod with the lense poking through the whole in the front, yes, crude but effective, the stand is soft wood (Great for sticking pins in to hold stuff) and adjustable,I have lines marked on the base of the box to keep my stand distances consistant
Getting a good clean focus took a while,distance from object to lense is criticle,when you find that sweet place ,make sure you have a system for marking it. The Fuji has a macro setting which is good but I found problems with smaller objects getting good detailed close ups ,such as rings.You then come up against"Depth of field", that is, the top or closest part you're focusing on is in focus but the surrounding or lower parts become fuzzy.In general I find that I compromise, or take different shots at different angles to get around this problem.
I have played around with adding lenses to the camera to get better close ups ( mine is a magnifying glass from a $2 shop) which gives exellent close up shots, really, so much so, I had to refinish some items.Have a go, I was amazed how easy it was.
My next project will be to make myself a bigger zoom lense,any body got some good ideas on that one ,please ,let me know.
I hope this info has been some help, I will be adding to it as we learn more............
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