Photographing radios - advice? Jul 9, 2020 15:53:01 GMT 12
Post by Steve on Jul 9, 2020 15:53:01 GMT 12
So having recently complained about the appalling lack of effort in radio photography I thought I should try and up my game. Particularly before I set off overland to Auckland for the upcoming AGM as I'll be stopping in at a few places on the way to take some photos for my current research project, a (possible) book on Radio Corp.
Here is what I think I know: Lighting is critical. Here is what I do know: Lighting is expensive (and beyond my budget). Here is what I've done:
I've set up a mobile studio of sorts using some thermal curtain backing because its thick, not too reflective, smooth, and white. I've used an old mobile wardrobe thing to drape it over, some work lights (all I have that are bright and white rather than yellow) and my camera is a Panasonic Lumix which takes reasonable photos - I also have my daughters Nikon D5500 digital SLR camera but I'm buggered if I can get that to take decent photos - I'm sure its the operator, but the results are out of focus and horrible looking, seemingly no matter what I do - its possible it needs servicing because its been dragged around horse events for a couple of years and probably dropped a few times.
This is all set up by the lounge windows so there is good daylight behind me here as well - although its not that good because we've barely seen the sun for weeks now.
This setup with the Lumix camera produced this photo (which got a little colour tweaking in GIMP afterwards).
Which replaced my previous effort below, which I thought was ok until I took the new one which just seems worlds better although a little darker. I particularly like the clear dial in the new photo, because there is an obvious reflection in this old one. The new photo also minimises the obvious hole in the grille cloth (accidental, but convenient).
Compared to anything I have done before, the first one above is absolutely brilliant and I'm really happy with it. However, like good rum its hard to know what makes it good until you're tried lots of rum. I haven't tried lots of photography, but I do know good rum when I taste it... but that won't help me here... So if anyone out there is a Photography connoisseur I'd love some feedback on how to improve this on my budget of approximately $0
Something I found is that being too close with no zoom gives a rounded photo. In the old 12A photo above the bottom of the photo has a slight curve to it. In the new photo I'm standing back about 1 to 1.5m and letting the lens do the work by zooming in a bit. The lines seem straighter to me.
Two things I am aware of that I can fix sort of - one is the shadow - I intend to pick up another work light to apply light from the other side as well. The second is the hard line of shadow. Soft-boxes would be great, but again - budget. I discovered an opaque plastic lid from an old 50 litre plastic storage container held over the lights fuzzed the light enough to remove the harshness of the shadow - but it also dropped the light levels too much - although I think a second set of lights with the same diffuser might solve both problems.
I also updated the photos for the model 4 while I was messing with this setup
This one has a definite shadow in the dial due to the way its made. I took this before messing with the diffuser - will diffused light largely fix this problem?
And finally I also updated the 108 photo... I really noticed the glare from the finish on this one and had to be very careful where I took the photo from to try and minimise the bright spot. This is something I'd love to know how to avoid. You can still see a little bit of it at the top of the forward-facing shoulder.
But compared to my previous effort below, I'm happy with the results
So, thats my new photography pseudo-studio (or psteudio? no, that sounds like a Phil Collins song) I'd love some feedback from those who know on how to make it better, or how to use it better. I'm loving the improvements in the photos I can take like this, but I'm accutely aware there is a lot of room for improvement. I'll be happy when I can take photos like DucatiDave60 on Flickr. I love his photo of the AEW1