Post pics here for critique - must have thick skin

Andre Grobler

Well-Known Member
A recent attempt with a new vinyl backdrop... light from a large window and an open sketchpad reflector below the camera, adjusted curves and temperature... I need to calibrate my screen... I welcome crit... In hindsight i should have used a tripod and probably my sharper lens...
 

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Alden Cole

Well-Known Member
I know that many (including me), struggle with taking good photos. It might help if we started this thread back up. Please critique, I'm building thick skin. I took this pic outside in a homemade trashbag "light tent". I didn't edit anything, just resized it so that it would work on here.
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Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I know that many (including me), struggle with taking good photos. It might help if we started this thread back up. Please critique, I'm building thick skin. I took this pic outside in a homemade trashbag "light tent". I didn't edit anything, just resized it so that it would work on here.
View attachment 74093View attachment 74092
OK. I'll give you my two cents. Overall this looks fairly good. Your lighting is decent and everything is in focus. However in the top photo there is a pretty obvious scuff mark on the back end of your handle. I'd clean that up.

Also while the background is appealing I don't think it provides enough contrast. You have a brown handle and sheath on a dirt brown background. Additionally the dirt is showing up on the blade. While appealing in the sense that it gives a rugged feeling, to me it took away from the blade. I found myself looking more at the specks of dirt than the blade itself.

Hope that helps. Nice looking knife! I like it.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
While Sean's comments are spot on, allow me to say the lighting and photography look really good. Your "trash bag" lighting tent is doing the job.

I like the knife also, good clean grind lines that seem to match up on both sides.
 

Alden Cole

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys, I didn't notice that the dirt was that bad while looking through the camera. I see now that the knife should be cleaned up. I also realize that a contrasting background would be good.

On the grind lines. My D2 comes with some really nice scale finish thing that you see on the flats of the knife. I'm guessing this wouldn't cause any rust issues? Anyone else leave it there? Don't want to hijack the thread of course, just wondering.
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys, I didn't notice that the dirt was that bad while looking through the camera. I see now that the knife should be cleaned up. I also realize that a contrasting background would be good.

On the grind lines. My D2 comes with some really nice scale finish thing that you see on the flats of the knife. I'm guessing this wouldn't cause any rust issues? Anyone else leave it there? Don't want to hijack the thread of course, just wondering.
To the best my knowledge (which isn't much) I don't think a scale finish will be a problem.
 

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
Does it have a sharpened clip or is that just a shadow line? It it is a clip, then you need a second source of light to highlight it, like a piece of white poster board to cast a some more light at that angle. I agree with the other guys, the background is a little busy, but I'd also suggest putting something more under the knife to elevate it off the background a little more. Gives a softer shadow line too.

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Alden Cole

Well-Known Member
The clip is not sharpened, but yeah, I need to make it so that you can see it better. Here is a pic I took the other day after reading all of this. Other than the blade not being completely in focus, I am pretty happy about applying some of the things I learned from you guys.
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Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
The clip is not sharpened, but yeah, I need to make it so that you can see it better. Here is a pic I took the other day after reading all of this. Other than the blade not being completely in focus, I am pretty happy about applying some of the things I learned from you guys.
View attachment 74114
Nice!
Do you have manual over-ride on your camera? If you do, you can change your depth of field to sharpen up your image.

Either that or move a bit further away and then crop your image in Photoshop or Gimp
 

tkroenlein

Well-Known Member
I do all mine outside on the wood pile about a half hour before dark. Is something like this off my phone sufficient? I always have a hard time with the blade washing out. 28471DAA-F9D4-4EBE-BB0F-F1E5A413FE8D.jpeg
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I do all mine outside on the wood pile about a half hour before dark. Is something like this off my phone sufficient? I always have a hard time with the blade washing out. View attachment 74119

In this particular image I think I would turn the blade so it is flatter to the wood. I think that might help
Your handle is in good focus, but as you say your blade is washing out a bit.

I should add a caveat that my photography skills are quite dated. So take what I say with a grain of salt. I mentioned elsewhere on here that I used to do wedding photography. But that was twenty years ago and with a Pentax K1000 and a Pentax LX; both manual cameras.

I still have those cameras and I need to get them out and use them. But like most on here I do all of my current photography with my phone. Depending on your phone you can do quite a bit with them. So I'd dig into your phones camera functions and experiment.

I might also add that really good photography means experimenting and taking lots of photos. So take twenty, thirty even forty different shots in different lighting, different backgrounds etc. And then select your best images. Even then you can clean them up even more in Photoshop or Gimp.

I will also add that I'm lazy and don't do half of what I am suggesting on a regular basis :D
 

Alden Cole

Well-Known Member
Sean: Yes, I have manual overdrive, but when I focus on the handle, the blade is not quite as sharp. I guess you could do an HDR image? I think the pros take multiple pictures and then layer them together, but I have no idea where one would even start to do that.

Tkroenlein: I am a complete newbie, so don't listen to anything I have to say :). The angle that the knife is at makes it hard for me to see the profile of the knife. Lighting looks good other than that I can't tell whether the blade has a mirror polish reflecting the stump, machine finish, or some sort of blueing. Some of the new phones can take really good pictures. Not mine! I like the knife, I would want to use that as a pocket EDC.
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
Staff member
Product picture Rule 4

Lighting the subject properly will improve depth of focus, detail, color and just about everything else.

the more light you have, the more depth of field focus you will have.
Rule of thumb is 2/3 front light and 1/3 behind.

Product picture rule #1
Without question, the better the pictures of your knives are, the more you can charge.
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
Product picture Rule 4

Lighting the subject properly will improve depth of focus, detail, color and just about everything else.

the more light you have, the more depth of field focus you will have.
Rule of thumb is 2/3 front light and 1/3 behind.

Product picture rule #1
Without question, the better the pictures of your knives are, the more you can charge.

That's much clearer than my ramblings.

Do you have a Summary of all your product picture rules that you can post?
 

Andre Grobler

Well-Known Member
HDR is for making high contrast images fit into the dynamic range of a camera sensor, which is less than excellent film of yore...
Sean: Yes, I have manual overdrive, but when I focus on the handle, the blade is not quite as sharp. I guess you could do an HDR image? I think the pros take multiple pictures and then layer them together, but I have no idea where one would even start to do that.

Tkroenlein: I am a complete newbie, so don't listen to anything I have to say :). The angle that the knife is at makes it hard for me to see the profile of the knife. Lighting looks good other than that I can't tell whether the blade has a mirror polish reflecting the stump, machine finish, or some sort of blueing. Some of the new phones can take really good pictures. Not mine! I like the knife, I would want to use that as a pocket EDC.

HDR is for making the high contrast images fit into the dynamic range of a sensor... which is less than some film of yesteryear... in other words, you take three images at different exposures and then software mathematisizes it all together so the the light bits aren't washed out, and the dark bits aren't black... it does it through a few different algorithms which can make it look quite interesting... not great for things that has to have natural colours...

Image stacking or focus stacking, is where you take more than one image of an object, at your camera's sharpest aperture usually, and with each shot, you move the focus backwards a little, the software then detects what is sharp and what is not, and keeps the sharp bits and glues them all together until they look like one incredibly detailed image, with everything in focus... this is very useful in micro and macro photography, but not soooo much in knife photos... rather just choose a smaller aperture on the lens and preview to check the whole knife is in focus... a tripod aperture priority and a remote or delayed shutter operation is your friend here... there are several free image stacking software available on sourceforge...
 
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