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Photo set up for little objects


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Photography workshop, International Netsuke Society convention, Miami, Florida, January 26-31, 2007. Gilles Lorin, photographer.









The large lamp units each have a base into which three compact fluorescent (tornado, or twist) bulbs, with the full spectrum, daylight bulbs. Large size = about 100 watt output each. They have a diffuser across the opening, a white fabric made for the lamps.


The compact fluorescent bulbs advantages are: continuous light, the three lights balance shadows, and the natural full spectrum works very well for color reproduction with digital. Also, they are available, and not as expensive as photo-flood bulbs.


The small background equipment: Novoflex, Magic Studio, plastic background. I think that is the name of it. The small unit is adjustable, using the beaded cord to bend the flexible sheet. With lighting and shadow, this contributes to creating a shaded gradient background, otherwise accomplished by distance and darkness. The plastic sheet is white, but other colors may be available. One can also attach a favorite photo paper or other background.


We also learned about the positive reasons to shoot in the RAW format and we were introduced to "Lightroom", a new and well regarded photo editing and cataloging software. Other computer related to digital photography information was shared about connecting the camera directly to the computer for instant feedback, and demonstrations of the Lightroom software.


Another nice discovery was the use of "Huey", a calibration device and software for computer monitors. This one reads the ambient light of a room, and then reads the computer monitor screen, and then calibrates the screen for optimum color.


The hour was very informative and went by very quickly!

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Hi Sebas,


I have not priced them yet. Gilles demonstrated Lightroom, and it looks very comfortable to use. It works with various format images, RAW, TIFF, JPEG, and maybe others (not in my memory today!) The software also offers a way to organize or catalog the images, also there is a search option for images that have had keywords entered for such a purpose. For instance, the piece in a photograph may have various materials, may have a certain carving style, finish, size, subjects, etc. Each informational element could be entered, and when one wants to look for everything in the photo collection that was made of boxwood, all boxwood pieces would be found and shown by thumbnail. This feature is yours to be creative with. The concept that Lightroom was simpler to use than Photoshop was stated also. It is not a Photoshop derivative, but is a very useful tool.


Gilles also uses Lightroom to receive and catalog his photo shoot, directly from the camera. His proof is immediate. Sounds like a great step to take, to replace shooting the limit on a Flash Card, trudge to the house, down load it onto the computer, open Photoshop to review the success or failures of the shoot, then back to the photo set up (at the studio) and change things and shoot again. The idea that one could get the results and and make adjustments to the lighting and positioning immediately is very tantalizing!


The time savings would likely pay for the software after a couple of shoots.

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Janel, Sebas,


the lightroom software can be found here, Lightroom link ; this is a free version and does'nt have all the bells and whistles the final version will have but it's still pretty handy. It's what Giles was using.


You may also find some usefulstuff here too, cloud dome


cheers, Ford


p.s. the first picture actually shows Giles drying and setting his hair.;-)

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Just a couple of points;


Without wishing to be rude to anyone, this topic is a little 'off track',.....there is not much point having a simplified lighting set up for small carvings and then getting involved with complex and largely pointless software such as 'Photoshop', 'Lightroom' or even the cheaper and simpler 'Photoshop Elements'.


All of these software packages are composed in Adobe's usual mode of rejecting simplicity if it's possible to add lots of complexity! Frankly, the majority of carvers will want to get on with carving, not having to attend evening classes for weeks to learn how to use advanced photo editing software.


'Photoshop' is a pro photo editor and requires weeks of work to unlock some of it's enigmas. 'Lightroom' is just launched and, yet again, an entire industry is springing up in offering tutorials, books and 'helpful' online webpages just to get basic understanding. Frankly, unless you aspire to ultra high standard pro photography, you don't need the nightmare (not too mention the expense) of these mysteries wrapped in allegories....


for your basic lighting set up, you will get absolutely superb results working in high res JPEG and quickly editing your files in the free editor supplied by Google,...this is called 'Picassa 2' and gives excellent results to all your JPEG's. Just shoot your pix using the lighting set up then load into 'Picassa' which will recognise any files on the camera which have not been downloaded before. Then, simply screen the pix, move up shadow slider to get adequate shadow detail,..adjust brightness and highlight sliders if neccessary, and finally, carefully adjust sharpening without using too much......job done!.....the excellent results from this software will be more than adequate whether you want to send them over the web or print out even up to A3 provided you use at least a 5 mil pixel camera on it's full resolution. If you spend time getting a good shot by allowing the camera time to focus accurately (or better still, use manual focus) you will find the editing very simple and quick. Unlike the Adobe nightmares, 'Picassa' includes an excellent FAQ and help files which are easy to navigate and understand.

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Hi Guys!

I know that we are all triying to be helpful here, so I only see good intentions in every post. So, here´s the deal: If somebody wants to get tangled in some enigmas, fine by me, If someone -like me ;)- doesn´t, that´s ok too. Too complicate softwares seem to be handle very easy in the hands of an expert, like you with your carving tools!!!! :rolleyes: That´s why expend some time "fixing" the perfect shoot of our creations is well expended time. B)

Thank you all for your information.



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