Post pics here for critique - must have thick skin

Ebbtide

Well-Known Member
#42
Well since no one else is stepping up :)

Ricky I'd say the photo is well framed and decently lit.
The point of the blade is a little "hot" or bright, but I could live with that.
The entire knife is in focus, nice and sharp too.

I don't know if you have any post processing software like Gimp, but if you do you could punch up the colors a tad and give it a wee bit more contrast.
That'd make the image pop.

Also important is to take some tape and remove the lint from your background. It happens to all of us and these digital cameras see everything.
 

csalt09

Well-Known Member
#44
I've learned more reading this thread than 6 hours of reading a 30.00 book. Photography truly is a art. I'm feeling inspired, thanks.
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
#45
I like the knives first of all.

I think the lighter background has affected the exposure. Looking at the handle in both images, the wood handle is very dark. In the 2nd image the wood is nearly black and I would guess the wood shows different in hand. Even most black woods have grain.
There could be a couple ways to handle this.

Change to a darker background to give your camera light meter less trouble. When we shoot images in house for our web site, we had to switch from a white background to neutral gray since the white kept overwhelming the light meters in our camera and causing spot exposure issues.

Increase exposure compensation to bring out the wood but the back ground will probably be too bright.

Use software in post edit to adjust exposure but then you start running into color shift issues. It's always better to get the lighting and the image as good as you can and minimal post edit.

Throw up another light and aim it at the handle. (which would be the very first thing I would try)

You can use layers in photo software to create a composite image and this is what many/most of the pro's would do on a bigger knife. (on a smaller knife the depth of field and exposure issues are not as big of a problem) Basically, you would shoot two or three images with out moving the camera (tripod). Each image would have a different focus point. One image would focus on the handle, getting the exposure and focus correct for just the handle. Another image would do that same thing for the blade. In photo software the two images are superimposed. The blurry parts on each image are masked out and the remaining composite image is a blend of two pictures that look like one picture.

Generally, the most dramatic images done by the pro's have a distinct drop shadow either added during lighting or if the knife is "lifted" from the background (pretty common), a drop shadow is added. A nicely done drop shadow will change an image from flat and lifeless to something that looks like it want's to pop off the paper.


Here are a couple up for critique



 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#48
Jeff, that blade finish is spectactular. Just beautiful. The knife is a stunner.

As far as the picture, the only thing that seems a little off is the white balance. On the iphone you're pretty much stuck. I'm often shocked by how good my iphone pics come out, and yours is a great one.
 

Andre Grobler

Well-Known Member
#51
My tips for making the most of a smartphone is to understand 3 things
1. The sensor has too many pixels... so hardly any of them are any good this means two things noise and dont crop images much. So you must please the sensor... to please the sensor it means you need as little as possible contrast in brightness, and it must be light enough that it does not decide to boost the signal with those little amplifiers... So a very even brightness in the photo, which means as said above shield or angle the blade from direct light, reflect some extra light on the handle use a background that contrast in colour not reflectance...
2. Dont use a flash, play with the hdr and dro settings, to even out the image, but it comes at a cost... noise and colour distortion
3. Support your phone hands...
4. Use the irritatingly large depth of field to your advantage...
5. Outdoors or interesting reflections are often useful
 

Attachments

David Roeder

Well-Known Member
#53
How’s this ? Not to bad for self taught.
One thing I would recommend to those doing their own pictures is to steady the camera you use, and use a timer or a remote trigger. That suddle wabble can knock your focus out just like that. Soft lighting also is important. If you are adding light to a photo, use something as a defuser to soften the lighting rather than having it be direct.

Hope that helps a little. 4CAA4DA9-0594-456F-9231-184FEEBA04F3.jpeg
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
#54
Pretty good David.
I'd say it's a bit dark but for that knife and color palate it works perfectly. Depth of focus is good all the way on the center knife and it doesn't look like it was pushed too hard in post - something you would expect to see on a low light image. Composition is nicely balanced as you eye wanders around with out getting distracted by the top and bottom detail shots.
I like it.
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
#56
the focus looks soft, especially the back of the handle. It should pop.

brighter lights will allow a smaller aperture and larger depth of field. Use another light on the back of the handle. Occasionally a reflective gray or white card held by hand to reflect more light helps....as long as it isn't picked up as a reflection.

composition wise, the X is harsh, try the sheath in line with the blade.
also, you cropped (or shot) the sheath top out of it.

what software are you doing your post edit with?
Images like this benefit from HDR and using layers with different focus points.


Pro knife photos all have a few things in common.
-multiple light sources, pay attention to the color or K range of the lights - tungsten shades red, fluorescent shades blue, LED can be anything
-2/3's front light, 1/3 back light
- for long knives they use multiple images with different focus points so the whole knife is in focus - each image is overlaid in layers in post edit
- post edit drop shadows add a nice touch - make sure the drop shadows are not conflicting too much from different light angles but that isn't a huge deal
-post edit software is pushed hard to get the sharpness and colors to pop using sharpening and saturation controls
-spot sharpening - this is where you hit it with a sharpening tool in your editing software so you don't pixelize the entire image.
-every pro will tell you the first step is good lighting and at least an OK camera with lights mattering more, they will also have mad skills in post editing software.

We use Photoshop for images here but since we only have one seat, I use Paint Shop Pro which has all the features you need.
GIMP, a free software editor also does a decent job.
 

J. Hoffman

Dealer - Purveyor
#57
the focus looks soft, especially the back of the handle. It should pop.

brighter lights will allow a smaller aperture and larger depth of field. Use another light on the back of the handle. Occasionally a reflective gray or white card held by hand to reflect more light helps....as long as it isn't picked up as a reflection.

composition wise, the X is harsh, try the sheath in line with the blade.
also, you cropped (or shot) the sheath top out of it.

what software are you doing your post edit with?
Images like this benefit from HDR and using layers with different focus points.


Pro knife photos all have a few things in common.
-multiple light sources, pay attention to the color or K range of the lights - tungsten shades red, fluorescent shades blue, LED can be anything
-2/3's front light, 1/3 back light
- for long knives they use multiple images with different focus points so the whole knife is in focus - each image is overlaid in layers in post edit
- post edit drop shadows add a nice touch - make sure the drop shadows are not conflicting too much from different light angles but that isn't a huge deal
-post edit software is pushed hard to get the sharpness and colors to pop using sharpening and saturation controls
-spot sharpening - this is where you hit it with a sharpening tool in your editing software so you don't pixelize the entire image.
-every pro will tell you the first step is good lighting and at least an OK camera with lights mattering more, they will also have mad skills in post editing software.

We use Photoshop for images here but since we only have one seat, I use Paint Shop Pro which has all the features you need.
GIMP, a free software editor also does a decent job.
That photo is fresh off the camera, no editing. My handles always seem to loose detail. I'm just using the overhead LED lights in the shop. My wife has Photoshop, but I have no clue how to use it, and I've tried. She isn't good with it either. I'll try the white card to try to light specific areas.
 
#58
the focus looks soft, especially the back of the handle. It should pop.

brighter lights will allow a smaller aperture and larger depth of field. Use another light on the back of the handle. Occasionally a reflective gray or white card held by hand to reflect more light helps....as long as it isn't picked up as a reflection.

composition wise, the X is harsh, try the sheath in line with the blade.
also, you cropped (or shot) the sheath top out of it.

what software are you doing your post edit with?
Images like this benefit from HDR and using layers with different focus points.


Pro knife photos all have a few things in common.
-multiple light sources, pay attention to the color or K range of the lights - tungsten shades red, fluorescent shades blue, LED can be anything
-2/3's front light, 1/3 back light
- for long knives they use multiple images with different focus points so the whole knife is in focus - each image is overlaid in layers in post edit
- post edit drop shadows add a nice touch - make sure the drop shadows are not conflicting too much from different light angles but that isn't a huge deal
-post edit software is pushed hard to get the sharpness and colors to pop using sharpening and saturation controls
-spot sharpening - this is where you hit it with a sharpening tool in your editing software so you don't pixelize the entire image.
-every pro will tell you the first step is good lighting and at least an OK camera with lights mattering more, they will also have mad skills in post editing software.

We use Photoshop for images here but since we only have one seat, I use Paint Shop Pro which has all the features you need.
GIMP, a free software editor also does a decent job.
Thanks Tracy...i really struggle with knife photos. is the learning curve to GIMP easy? I have used Photo Shop Elements in the past...it's about $90 which if it will do the job isn't too bad. I know I'm battling ignorance. I quit using my son's cell phone for pics and got out my old Canon dslr...and I still stink...but playing with lights I just got as soon as I ship my KITH knife..
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
#59
I haven't used GIMP in a few years but I don't recall it as being overly hard to get. Some of the masking and layers concepts take a bit to get your head around but Youtube can walk you through that. I kinda think Paint Shop Pro is nearly always on sale and one of the best bangs for the buck out there.
 
#60
I moved my photo tent out to the shop where I had better light. I still am not getting photos like I wish. Any tips are appreciated.
More light! I don't think you'll ever be happy with just the overhead lights. I use 3 daylight color LED bulbs right on the diffuser of my light box and sometimes I still want more. I actually turn off my shop lights when taking photos so I can concentrate on the good aim-able lights. You need to be able to adjust where they hit more, like that back corner. If you get the lighting right, there is very little photo editing required for that type of photo. As for composition, I don't really like the sheath going out of frame, but that may just be me. I don't want to keep posting/spamming my light box video, but I can if you want to see it. It's cheap and works pretty good.
 
Top