photographing furniture and other woodworking projects

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On Wed, 7 Apr 2004 22:16:40 -0400, "John Grossbohlin"

Overcast days are PERFECT for outdoor photography, John.

Yeah, books on "how to use software to overcome noobness" abound. I've learned a lot about how not to shoot pics with my newest camera, a Nikon Coolpix 995 digital: It does pretty well with lowered light but hates low light, I need a polarized filter, a lens pen (cleaner) works great for $8, a $50 investment in the lightweight Slic tripod was well worth it, and the cost of studio lighting is staggering.
Here are some interesting links:
http://www.dv.com/features/features_item.jhtml?LookupId=/xml/feature/2001/bjohnson0401&_requestid3143 lighting on the cheap http://www.zenreich.com/ZenWeb/photography/studiolighting.htm http://www.digital-photography.org/digital_studio_equipment/FLAAR_digital_studio_Guate.html quick tutorials http://www.dpreview.com/ Excellent in-depth review/technique/info site! http://www.steves-digicams.com / http://dpfwiw.com/index.htm http://www.photoprojects.net/ cool gadget dude (mostly macro)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - If God approved of nudity, we all would have been born naked. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- http://www.diversify.com Your Wild & Woody Website Wonk
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John Grossbohlin notes:

Go for the overcast. As long as it's not raining, overcast is best, as it reduces harsh shadow, thus reduces the need for bouncing light every which way.
Even light is a help, and you can use reflectors to pick up what isn't lighted well, without having to worry about whether or not the sensor can capture that range of light (digital sensors do not yet capture detail in as broad a range as do fine grain films...almost, not quite).
Charlie Self "Adam and Eve had many advantages but the principal one was that they escaped teething." Mark Twain
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I feel fortunate having a north facing window for dissufed backlight and wifes white table for cutting quilting fabrics stored under that window. Table would be required for your chest so would be rolled out of the way.
On Wed, 7 Apr 2004 22:16:40 -0400, "John Grossbohlin"

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John Grossbohlin wrote:

John,
I came to the thread late, but have seen many very helpful suggestions. The key to lighting contrast is contained in the post by "MP" from which I now quote:
"I'd like to elaborate a bit further on this point, as it's important. The size of the light source in relation to the subject is what determines how hard or soft the light will appear. The larger the light source, the softer the light. When photographing woodwork, it's generally best to flood the item with soft, diffuse light, especially if the item has any pronounced sheen to it."
You mention above that you like some idea of outdoor shooting (which I missed so I'm not exactly sure of the context but) I think you will find that an overcast sky or photographing in the "open shade" of a building so that only skylight and not direct sunlight illuminates your piece will lend a very nice diffused lighting effect. The overcast sky or open skylight is a huge lighting source and, as MP has stated, will result in a very soft light. That's all photographers are trying to do when they employ large reflectors, bounce light from ceiling or walls, use umbrellas, etc. They are tryin to make the light source bigger (and thus "softer" or less contrasty). The sky is the biggest soft box and it is free. A sunny day is usually a poorer choice for photographing especially when the sun is high overhead during midday.
The problem with shooting on overcast days or using skylight as the source is that the light is very blue (has a "high color temperature" in photographic terms). A digital camera with a white balance control or warming filter (one of the filters in the designation 85 series) for the lens will take care of the excessive blue cast. You might want to add some light from a smaller daylight-balanced source such as electronic flash or blue photoflood to add some local contrast to parts of your piece if shot under overall diffused skylight or overcast conditions. A smaller light raking over the surface at a low angle will add a sense of relief and texture when balanced with the overall diffused source.
Joe
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Joe,
Thanks for the additional comments. From the feed back I don't think I articulated the weather pattern well by saying "overcast." Cloudy, windy and drizzly are terms that more accurately describe the weather. Any kind of light-duty light-reflectors would likely be blown over or away... and things would probably get wet if I didn't move quick! It's the kind of weather that goes right to your bones... Perhaps in a few more weeks, as spring develops and moves towards summer, outdoor efforts would work out.
Regarding shooting indoors using natural light I might be able to pull something like that off in the "playroom" if I moved all of the toys, bicycles, etc. out of the way. Just the thought of making room in that room makes me tired! ;-) I'm starting to feel that I'm on a mission though and will explore how to pull it off efficiently in that space...
John
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Try this link
http://www.geocities.com/borhan_azimi/Files/electronics/lights.html

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