Musings on a K20D and carpets


gartmore

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 15:34
Perpared to be bored to death but I thought some of you might be interested, can you push a K20D to the limits photographing carpets? Read on...

Way back in February I was called by a wholesale carpet retailer asking me to quote for shooting carpet samples for a retailing website.

Most of you are shooting the Red Arrows and damselflies rather well and I'm doing carpets.

This proved to be much more challenging than I imagined, you all know what these 'books' of carpet samples look like - they are just within the focus range of a 50mm lens and I decided that scale was really important so that customers could realistically get an idea of what they were buying. It was equally obvious that lighting and white balance would have to be absolutely consistent and all this was discussed with the client. He then showed me one of his competitors sites. I was blown away by the technical quality, you could almost feel the texture and smell the carpets.

He then told me that his competitor sold really expensive carpets and he sold really cheap ones! I like honesty.

This is where it started to get hard. with cheap carpets you can see the backing and the fibres are, of course, man made.

I decided on a set up of two soft boxes at 45 degrees either side of the camera which was basically correct but carpets have different textures so there was some manouvering and changing of output to show them accurately.

The camera was set to ISO 100 and manual everything using Viewfinder Magnifier Fb to ensure accurate focus. For the first time ever I employed Live View, the magnifier only shows the centre of the screen so it was easier to compose on the LCD using the grid to ensure that patterns were level and symmetrical.

I knew that my flash heads were slightly 'cool' but this had never worried me before since with portraits and so on I would be tweaking the image quite a bit anyway. This time it mattered but by using the K20d's white balance adjustment by +2 in the amber direction I could achieve an accurate result in the JPEG files. No point in RAW here.

I use a radio flash trigger to one flash and the light sensor in the other one to fire it usually, but in this case the soft boxes were masking the sensors so one flash was being fired by radio and the other by a sync cord from the camera's pc socket.

Probably 'belt and braces' since my ancient Velbon tripod and substantial Manfrotto 3-way head were on a concrete floor and the carpets attached to a frame with Calumet Studio 'A' Clamps, but I used the mirror up delay by means of Remote Control F.

I have a very happy client who gives me a cheque every time I deliver a disk.

The only slight downside is that the pictures are so detailed and sharp that their web designer has had to knock down the resolution. On some smaller samples where I had to use a 13mm extension tube you could actually see the tubular nylon nature of the fibres.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

TOZZA27

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 15:58
I like your style sir - well done you........................


Tony
K20D,*istD ( now a dedicated M42 digital ),K100D,MZ5N,P50,ME Super,Spotmatic 1000,Spotmatic,ESII,ES,H2.18-55 II,18-55,75-300 FAJ,35-80 FA,80-200 F,28-105 FA,Sigma 24-70 AF Aspherical,Sigma 28-300 Hyperzoom , Praotor II 500 M42,Centon 500mm mirror,and a few Pentax M42 Taks,super-Taks,smc Taks,A and M lenses.Benbo trekker,7dayshop monopod and a Lowepro rucksack.

I am now on Flickr which is nice !

Gwyn

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 16:11
Quote:
Most of you are shooting the Red Arrows and damselflies rather well and I'm doing carpets.

but think of the dosh you get for it.

Thanks for telling us about your carpet shoot Ken. I, for one, enjoyed reading how you approached it.

Oh and I like your avatar .

snappychappy

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 17:15
An interesting post, thank's for sharing with us.
My piccies.

thoughton

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 17:25
Put some up for critique
Tim
AF - Pentax K5, Sigma 10-20/4-5.6, Tamron 17-50/2.8, Sigma 30/1.4, Sigma 70-200/2.8, Tamron 70-300/4-5.6
MF - Vivitar CF 28/2.8, Tamron AD2 90/2.5, MTO 1000/11
Stuff - Metz 58 AF1, Cactus v4, Nikon SB24, Raynox 150, Sigma 1.4x TC, Sigma 2x TC, Kenko 2x macro TC, Redsnapper 283 tripod, iMac 27”, Macbook Pro 17”, iPad, iPhone 3G
Flickr • Fluidr • PPG • Street • Portfolio site
Feel free to edit any of my posted photos! If I post a photo for critique, I want brutal honesty. If you don't like it, please say so and tell me why!

TOZZA27

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 17:30
You trying to put him on the carpet ??


Tony
K20D,*istD ( now a dedicated M42 digital ),K100D,MZ5N,P50,ME Super,Spotmatic 1000,Spotmatic,ESII,ES,H2.18-55 II,18-55,75-300 FAJ,35-80 FA,80-200 F,28-105 FA,Sigma 24-70 AF Aspherical,Sigma 28-300 Hyperzoom , Praotor II 500 M42,Centon 500mm mirror,and a few Pentax M42 Taks,super-Taks,smc Taks,A and M lenses.Benbo trekker,7dayshop monopod and a Lowepro rucksack.

I am now on Flickr which is nice !

alfpics

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 17:39
Quote:
but think of the dosh you get for it

yes - he must be making a good pile
Andy
Andy

Smeggypants

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 17:41





[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283
Last Edited by Smeggypants on 06/09/2010 - 17:41

Gwyn

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 18:39
What a threadbare set of jokes

TOZZA27

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 18:48
I`ve felt under all day but now I can honestly say this has grippered me and I will lay down tonight feeling really tufted after getting cut and looped and grinning all the way to bed...........................


Tony ( from Axminster near Wilton )
K20D,*istD ( now a dedicated M42 digital ),K100D,MZ5N,P50,ME Super,Spotmatic 1000,Spotmatic,ESII,ES,H2.18-55 II,18-55,75-300 FAJ,35-80 FA,80-200 F,28-105 FA,Sigma 24-70 AF Aspherical,Sigma 28-300 Hyperzoom , Praotor II 500 M42,Centon 500mm mirror,and a few Pentax M42 Taks,super-Taks,smc Taks,A and M lenses.Benbo trekker,7dayshop monopod and a Lowepro rucksack.

I am now on Flickr which is nice !

gartmore

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 19:33
Where is the 'shakes head sorrowfully in despair' smiley when you need it? If any of you are considering a career on stage I can only counsel you not to give up your daytime jobs.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

gartmore

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 19:44
However...

Another couple of things I omitted from the OP:

Attention to detail, the carpets had to be vacuumed, they are covered in stray fibres which you ususally wouldn't notice or ignore show badly in photographs.

I had to very carefully note the names of the samples in shooting order so that they matched up later.

As this has been ongoing with other jobs in between the ability to store the set-up in the 'User' settings has been really useful.

Just for Tim, I've poetically named this one 'Eton Twist Pink 110'



Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

dougf8

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 21:35
We need a library of stuff like this and Don's sci-fi-tut-film.
Lurking is shirking.!

Oggy

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 21:39
gartmore wrote:
Just for Tim, I've poetically named this one 'Eton Twist Pink 110'...

Are you sure that's not magenta?

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 21:46
gartmore wrote:
Just for Tim, I've poetically named this one 'Eton Twist Pink 110'8

Not bad Ken... but maybe a bit flat
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]
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