Practicing my stock photography


RalphHardwick

Link Posted 29/04/2014 - 19:35
My 16-50 has had terminal sdm failure and so has gone back to SRS, under warranty, for repair. With my K5iis and 12-24 also away I am a bit 'light' in the wide angle department. As such I have bitten the bullet and bought a 18-135 as a backup lens. It will also serve my wife who will use it on the K5iis on our next expedition.

Anyhow, having converted my garage (sort of) into a studio I want to start shooting some stock images and build up a portfolio. The QC can be very strict and so I need plenty of practice before I submit anything.

I thought I would share some of my efforts here for your 'entertainment'. I took the opportunity this evening to take few shots of my acoustic guitar.

The lighting was one elinchrom D-Lite 4 fitted with a softbox, set on medium power, mounted low down to the left. The guitar was laid on a cardboard box (to lift it from the ground) which was in turn laid on a roll of black background paper. Below the camera was a silver reflector and to the right was a white card to provide some fill.

Camera was K3 with 18-135 with DA 18-135mm WR, ISO 100, f10 @ 1/100.

The images was tweaked in LR5 (clarity, white balance and saturation) and I used the local correction brush to darken a few areas of the background. Finally I finished it off in Photoshop CC to remove a few dust specks and blemishes.

All in all it took about an hour from setting up to finished.

I still need more practice and this image still isn't good enough to submit but I am interested in any comments you may have. Hopefully you can click on it to see it full size.



---------------------------------------------------------------------
CaptureLight Ltd
flickr
"I carry a camera to capture memories and the occasional photograph worthy of sharing"
Last Edited by RalphHardwick on 29/04/2014 - 19:40

Fletcher8

Link Posted 29/04/2014 - 20:21
Ralph, the lighting on the body and neck of guitar works nicely, especially the on the frets. My only suggestion would be trying to add some rim light to give the image more punch and depth. Without teaching you to suck eggs, have you considered making a DIY strip box using card and large sheet of tracing paper? You can then fine tune of any spill of rim light via Photoshop.
Fletcher8.
Last Edited by Fletcher8 on 29/04/2014 - 20:23

RalphHardwick

Link Posted 29/04/2014 - 20:36
Gareth, thanks for the comments. Yes I think you're right it does need a bit more 'effort' with the lighting. I do have a 60 x 90 and a 60 x 120 softbox that I could use. For my Saki bottle shot (link) I 'masked' off some of the softbox to produce the thin edge lighting. I will probably have another try using a similar idea.

Unfortunately I'm away for the next 2 nights and I have some portrait sessions booked for the weekend so it may have to wait

Still it's always handy to have something to do when its raining

PS. I've never been very good at sucking eggs
---------------------------------------------------------------------
CaptureLight Ltd
flickr
"I carry a camera to capture memories and the occasional photograph worthy of sharing"
Last Edited by RalphHardwick on 29/04/2014 - 20:37

Glowingblue

Link Posted 29/04/2014 - 22:04
I find it strange that you ask for comments regarding a Guitar image but are quite relaxed about portraits sessions this weekend!
I presume you feel your portrait skills are up to scratch?

RalphHardwick

Link Posted 29/04/2014 - 23:17
Glowingblue wrote:
I find it strange that you ask for comments regarding a Guitar image but are quite relaxed about portraits sessions this weekend!
I presume you feel your portrait skills are up to scratch?

No. I just haven't taken them yet

I have previously uploaded my portrait images for comment on here and may well do again. However I have another route for critiquing my portraits as I am currently enrolled on a portrait course and homework is 'marked' by a recognised professional.

I'm trying a wide range of photo styles and subjects and will regularly ask for comment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
CaptureLight Ltd
flickr
"I carry a camera to capture memories and the occasional photograph worthy of sharing"

Glowingblue

Link Posted 29/04/2014 - 23:20
In that case I'll look forward to seeing your portrait shots. As for the guitar, maybe a little more of the body could be shown, enhance that third dimension

Fletcher8

Link Posted 30/04/2014 - 07:36
Ralph. the edge / rim lighting on your Saki bottle shot really works nicely, if you could add a similar effect to one side of the Guitar, it would give your above image a lot more punch and depth.

A future project for a rainy day, not that I want it to rain at weekends as I to am doing a few outdoor environmental family portraits mixing flash with ambient.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing more of your images involving lighting.

Regards Fletcher8 (aka Gareth)
Fletcher8.

RalphHardwick

Link Posted 30/04/2014 - 08:01
Gareth. I must admit that I am loving playing with the lights and I have plenty more subjects I want to get 'just right' so there will be more to come. Thanks

Just in case any of you technophobes are interested here is the setup:


---------------------------------------------------------------------
CaptureLight Ltd
flickr
"I carry a camera to capture memories and the occasional photograph worthy of sharing"
Last Edited by RalphHardwick on 30/04/2014 - 08:02

johnriley

Link Posted 30/04/2014 - 08:33
The body of the guitar is blending into the black background. Generally, I think you'd be better off with a white background.

In any event, check the spec of what is required by your image library.
Best regards, John

RalphHardwick

Link Posted 30/04/2014 - 09:23
Thanks John. You're absolutely right. TBH I chose black because it was more of a lighting challenge and I think Gareth's point about edge lighting would solve the problem.

The biggest difficulty, in lighting this, was to avoid 'light spill' onto the background whilst still lighting the guitar sufficiently.

With a bit more time I shall definitely try a white background as this seemed to be the generally accepted style for the vast majority of stock images.

I have registered with several libraries and, once I feel practices enough, I shall choose which one, or ones, I shall upload to. I don't expect to retire on my earnings but, hopefully, I could earn something to subsidise my kit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
CaptureLight Ltd
flickr
"I carry a camera to capture memories and the occasional photograph worthy of sharing"
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.