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Pictures Of Your Works
31 replies to this topic
Posted 19 April 2011 - 03:27 AM
I have done a brief search of the forum, and couldn't find any answers. Not sure if this is the appropriate place to post this either, but what the heck.
I just posted a couple of cranks on the gallery section, and I am really happy with them. The only problem is the pics are pretty crappy. I was wondering if you guys have any tips on taking pics of your lures. Up until now I haven't cared too much since the bad pics hid my mistakes, but my most recent paint jobs are awesome in real life and mediocre in the gallery. Thanks for your help.
Posted 19 April 2011 - 06:09 AM
There are several ways to improve pics. These can be broken down into three areas:
composition - setting up the picture, selecting a background. This could be a set up like a log, shells etc. but don't get too crazy. Plain backgrounds can be very effective too. Choose a contrasting color, if the color is close or matching your lure, it will tend to get lost. Next time you are out shopping with the missus, drag her into the materials shop and see if they have any scraps of plain colors. Get some netting while you are there. Strong vibrant colors like red, blue etc. are nice, but they screw up the automatic color balance in the camera, but the pic can be rescued in editing. Play with the lighting, try the main light off to one side, with a smaller fill in light, to reduce the shadows. You do not want to eliminate shadows completely, they are a fact of life and add depth to the pic.
Actually taking the picture - a light box is favorite here. Doesn't need to be anything fancy, a lined cardboard box will do nicely. It will need at leas two light sources, to eliminate hard shadows. Drape the material rather than fix it down, this way you eliminate distracting creases. If the size of the lure is important, include something to add scale to the pic, like a simple rule.
If you are just using a camera with a built in flash, cover the flash with a few layers of white tissue. Experiment with the layers and see the results. This will reduce the shadows and reduce washout of whites and yellows. You will probably have to do a little work while editing, to put a bit of contrast back, but only takes seconds.
Editing - A good photo editing software will allow you to rescue just about any badly taken pic. I use photoshop. First thing I do is crop the pic to look presentable. I then go to brightness/contrast and play with the sliders. Color balance next, I tweak the sliders to see if things can be improved. I save the file now to preserve the original. Next, image size, to modify the pixel count. The TU rule is 600x400, although you would not think such a rule existed judging by some of the 3Mb advertising hoardings posted here. I usually edit mine to 800x600, then 'save as' and give it a new name. Photoshop now allows you to change the JPEG quality, I set mine to 3. This has now reduced the 3Mb monster down to 50Kb or less and you cannot tell by looking at the picture, all the quality is there still. You cannot zoom in on TU, so why publish all the pixels that the human eye cannot see.
All I can think of at the moment, but there is a lot more and I am sure plenty of tips will be comming your way.
Posted 19 April 2011 - 10:15 AM
Where are your pics? I tried checking your "gallery" link but didn't see anything - did you delete them coz they sucked? You should repost them here so that people can critique them. #1 tip is to use a tripod (get one at dollar tree) which will eliminate camera shake and give you crisper pics. If you're using a digicam set it to best quality / fine mode or choose GIF as the pic format. Take your pics on a bright sunny day outdoors - in a SHADY spot. Get away from strong winds. Use slow speed film if using a film cam. Slow film (100 speed Fuji Velvia) will give you downright better pics with still shots especially with a slow lens. Don't use the zoom unless you have to. Dig into the manual and learn the minimum focus distance for your cam. Don't use anything but a lens cloth or brush to clean your lens and dust it first. You should tell us more about your setup.
Posted 19 April 2011 - 08:31 PM
Might have to disagree with a point in the last post - don't use GIFs, they're limited to 256 colors, which causes weird banding in images. I personally prefer PNG files, because they display "millions" of colors and aren't compressed like JPEGs. Your mileage may vary, experiment. But start with PNGs.
Good advice on rolling your own lightbox, you can do that pretty easily and most likely without spending any dough.
Same goes for the tripod. I use an iPhone and I created a decent tripod in my shop with a little Velcro. iPhone also shoots fairly remarkable images, for an -ahem- phone. I'm sure you could figure it out with a standard camera, main point is to keep it steady.
Posted 19 April 2011 - 09:57 PM
In the words of my idol Dr. McCoy aka bones "D@# it man Im a bait builder not a photographer"
I cant take a pic but I can build a bait
Posted 19 April 2011 - 10:45 PM
Thanks to everyone that replied. I like the idea of building a light box. Thanks for the photoshop instructions Vman, I have the program, but its a little complicated for me to go in blind with. It will probably be a couple weeks before I get this done (finals week is fast approaching at school), but I will post some pics of the resulting box and photos from it.
I didn't delete my pics, but they are hidden right behind gunnie's most recent set of masterpieces. Should be able to click on my name and go to my gallery or something too, so idk why that isn't working.
Posted 19 April 2011 - 10:54 PM
Turns out blazt was right, its not in "my albums" but its on the gallery. Figured that would autoadd that to my albums. Any idea on how to upload to make an album?
Posted 19 April 2011 - 11:31 PM
DH, when you get around to having a go at the photoshop, post your questions, no matter how dumb they might seem. There are a lot of guys that use PS here. The questions will also help a lot of others, who maybe have PS, but are put off by its aparent complexity.
Best of luch with the exams.
Posted 20 April 2011 - 08:55 AM
If the $$ of Photoshop is too high, Gimp is an open source (read: free) product that is (somewhat) comparable. If you're on a Mac the built-in iPhoto program has a surprisingly robust set of color correction tools. But if you can get your hands on it, PS is the way to go.
Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:52 AM
Yes he's right. My blunder...I meant PNG or especially TIFF which is usually uncompressed (top quality).
Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:54 AM
I tried clicking your "gallery" link and it didn't work. Is the something different since the upgrade happened?
Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:00 AM
I already talked about using a tripod and staying away from wind, both of which will give you sharper pics. This is because anytime the shutter is open (or CCD) and the camera is being shaken even a little it will show up in the photo as either blur or a subtle lack of clarity. But here's another awesome tip: use the auto timer along with the tripod. The camera shouldn't shake at all if you do that , keep it out of the wind, and don't take your pics next to the train tracks heh.
Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:04 AM
And if you want to drop some cash and get serious you could get an SLR and a macro lens, made for close up shots. You can get truly amazing results with the right lens, film (100 velvia) and technique.
Posted 20 April 2011 - 01:37 PM
I have no idea. I have pictures in the gallery, but that link seems to be taking me to my gallery album, which is empty. Not sure how to add to it.
After a little bit of looking, I actually can't find anybody's pics through the gallery link on their page. Something has definitely changed.
Edited by dhockey11, 20 April 2011 - 01:44 PM.
Posted 20 April 2011 - 03:27 PM
Our gallery is laid out much like the luremaking forums, we have separate albums for hard baits, soft plastics, etc.
We do not yet support individual member albums like a typical photo hosting service does, but its something we're looking at for the future.
For now, if you want to see posted photos restricted by a particular member, that functionality is available by using the search function in the gallery itself.
Hope that helps,
Posted 20 April 2011 - 03:40 PM
Thanks for your reply. I guess we all got used to being able to click on someones name to look at all of their past photos.
Posted 20 April 2011 - 03:46 PM
I understand...... the functionality is there, as you pointed out, perhaps I can look into the system to see if it can be used as u describe.
If you followed the discussion on the new gallery format, you may be aware that I was unprepared for the upgrade
thanks for the input, always appreciated.
And +1 on the lightbox, pvc pipe & an old pillowcase works well. if you have a macro setting on your camera, use that, avoid zoom & get close to the subject when shooting.
good luck w/ it.
Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:24 PM
As Blazt said; painters [sellers] really need to drop the cash for a quality SLR camera. The right camera can even let an idiot like me take decent photos. If your selling lures I promise it will pay for itself in no time. A light tent helps a lot too.
Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:46 PM
I'm not selling baits, just a hobby. I will try to get a better camera, but some new fishing rods don't sound too bad either =).
Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:08 PM
There has been some great ideas posted in this thread. Try a few out and see what you can do with your current equipment first. A new camera is always nice, but may not be necessary to fill your needs. Post pics as you go, in this thread, so that we can all see the differences, doesn't have to be baits, this thread is about pics.