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Old 02-23-2008, 12:54 PM
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Default Common Photography Problems, and How To Fix Them

HI Guys. I made this thread on another forum over 2 years ago, but I think it has some valuable information on it, and hopefully will help you take a better picture!

Feel free to ask any questions, and I will do my best to answer.

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So you're sitting there with this cheap old hp(no offense..they just tend to be the cheaper of the cameras...) camera that says it gets 4.1 megapixels but it takes images with as much detail as a 5th grade essay: Meaning the pictures suck. They're blurry, out of focus, and washed out.

But behold! I have solutions!

Alright well I have, for the past few years, gotten into photography and it is true that the more expensive cameras are, the better they'll be. But all you really need is a digital camera, and if you have a macro mode it's even better.

Okay first off I'll get this macro thing squared away. What it means is that it tells your camera that you are trying to focus on something really close. If you've ever tried taking a picture of your RC car, or really anything where you were less than 10 inches from the subject, you probably got a picture like this.


Or this
http://www.geocities.com/photomooshu/washoutNSX.jpg

Now, the flash probably went off too, like in this picture.



The key things in contributing to a bad picture are these:

1. Low Lighting
2. Camera Shake
3. Flash Overexposure

To fix these things, all you need to do is add more light. It's as simple as that. Here's the scoop: You're camera is not stupid. What it is doing is trying to find out the correct exposure and whether or not to use the flash, the Fstops and iso sensitivity as well as trying to figure out what to focus on, etc.

The problem with low light conditions is that the camera cannot really tell what to focus on, and since it will want to use flash, the subject will probably be overexposed. But if you give it enough light, the camera will readily identify the subject, and know exactly what shutter speed (which will be faster since there is more light) so there is no camera shake.

Now, as I add more light, the camera will not want to use the flash and that's good since cars that are very light colored tend to reflect alot of light back at the camera. So you can actually get detailed shots of very white and clean things.




That's pretty much it for solving the bad picture problem. Again, I stress more lamp light or something.

Now I'll get onto my techniques for taking a good picture.

Using Macro mode you'll be able to get up really close to the car and have it bee in focus. By getting really close though, you lower your depth of field. That means the things that are in focus might be the things only 2 inches away from the camera. Everything else will be blurry. As you get closer to the subject, the range in which things will be in focus will lower. And vice versa, the further away you are, the range of focus will get larger.

But I use this to my advantage--by first finding the spot on the car I want to be in focus, I hold the shutter button halfway down while putting the thing I want in focus in the middle of the frame. On the LCD the camera probably will put a little box around the thing you're focusing on, either that or you will see yourself what is in focus. Now leave that button halfway pressed down, and frame the shot like you would have before.

I did this for the same shot only I focused on two different areas. Can you guess which places are in focus? It shouldn't be hard...


And...



The first picture was focused around the back, slightly front of the rear wheel well, as you cans see the wing is slightly out of focus.

The second picture is focused on the front, you can see the back of the car rather out of focus. I personally find these this teqnigue adds to the picture and forces you to look at what I am focusing on.

Then you can take shots likeThis:
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Okay a small note about exposure stuff. I know I said that flash is bad. Recall the picture above with the Hummer and how the chrome is washed out. It really depends, but you'd be better off using natural and constant light so you know exactly what you're taking a picture of. There is no way to know whether the surface will be washed out since the light is bouncing back at the camera.

This picture, although not taken with a flash, shows my point.

See how there is a ton of detail in the NSX, but the eclipse is sort of bland and the lines on the car are not really there? That is because the white reflects the light so much more and there isn't really any contrast in there.

If the following picture was taken with flash, you wouldn't see the detail on the chrome. I'll put a side by side.



Hmm it's late and I seem to be losing my train of thought and structure. But I pretty much said all I needed to say, and if you guys have any questions about pictures I'd be happy to help out and give more suggestions. There is no way I answered every question in what i've said already.
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Old 02-23-2008, 02:21 PM
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Very nice! Hopefully some of our n00b photographers can learn something from this!
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Old 02-23-2008, 04:50 PM
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This needs to be stickied some where.
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:47 PM
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Not bad, Mooshu.
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:32 PM
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good write up, camera shaking is my worst problem. if you have seen, my first 2 pics were good in my thread but the third was terrible. but still Nikon D80 FTW
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:34 PM
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Very informative writeup Mooshu. I didn't figure out how to use the auto-focus properly until about 2 weeks ago.

This should be stickied on multiple forums.
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:08 AM
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Haha thanks guys. I didn't know where to put it so I am guessing this is okay.

I like writing stuff like this, especially cause it helps me understand the subject more too

And I wouldn't mind it being stickied
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:48 PM
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Woah, I guess it was stickied
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:39 PM
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Thanks for this -

It'll help a lot for members to get good pics of their rides!

Good job!
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Old 03-01-2008, 08:36 AM
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yes, this does help alot, i have problems with my camera, actually, its probably just me, but yeah. thanks!
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:38 AM
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May I post up some macro mode pictures (that I took) to show the quality of pictures you can take?
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:12 AM
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Wow, I just took some pictures with the Marco, Haha, there to good, Now they can see my paint flaws!
Hah thanks mooshu! there really good now!!!
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:13 AM
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xmod racer, glad to hear I could help. I certainly would like to see your pictures. Then we can critique them


Low Ride it, that's the only problem with detailed pictures. They bring out the flaws in your car. However, this can be fixed by lighting techniques, or photoshop if you have it. You can post the pictures as well, and we can see what is best for your situation.
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:35 AM
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haah,
Well Im not too worried about it that much.
Haha thank you mooshu!
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:20 AM
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Well, only a few of them are XMOD Pictures. Beware, it was sharpied lol. (Seriously most people here know my F150)
Ack waiting for pictures to upload to photobucket. There are lots of pictures.
First up, 1/64 Scale Toy cars and Trucks(One designed by me)






Next up is a Cheap RC Escalade from Wal*Mart with stretched XMOD Car tires for added grip. I may mount this on my XMOD one day.


Now, a 1:18 model Camaro


Lastly, 2 of my XMODS, the G35 with custom wing and Sharpied F150 which now sits at normal hieght, I took these pictures last week. Oh and my Titan Crawler Project sneek peek








I have more, but these are some of my best ones.
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Last edited by Stampedekid; 03-02-2008 at 11:22 AM..
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:28 AM
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Wow that is a lot of good info. I need to use this now with my pics.

xmodracer1: the second sharpie f-150 pic is pretty good. Where you driving the titan in the sand? You will have some binding problems later.
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fieldfairy2 View Post
Wow that is a lot of good info. I need to use this now with my pics.

xmodracer1: the second sharpie f-150 pic is pretty good. Where you driving the titan in the sand? You will have some binding problems later.
I wasn't driving it, they were propped up pictures. My brother got some fossil dig thing, so I let him do it in my XMOD container, Then I got to use it for some pics and other stuff. Something is not right on my Board or Motor, can't tell. I need a servo motor anyway.
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:27 PM
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Very nice pictures! The truck looks a little too sunken in though
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:10 PM
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Whenever I use Macro on my camera (7.1 MP Cannon SD1000), everything I take a picture of (Xmods), it has some kind of haze all over it. Anyone know how to fix that?

It looks kind of like this:


It usually dosen't do that.
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:17 AM
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Hey Chinesekid, your problem is that it is out of focus. Some cameras cannot focus at a really short distance. Most of the close up shots I took were in "S macro" or super macro mode. Regular macro mode isn't really enough sometimes.

You can see how the forceps and the shaft of the motor and the servo (right?) are in focus. Make sure that when you focus your camera, put the part you want to focus on in the middle of the frame, and press down halfway, to tell the camera you want to focus on it. Make sure that when you do this, the part you want to focus is in focus before you frame the shot to how you want it.

You can do a simple test too:

Take a ruler and put it on a table, with the subject at the end of the ruler. Put your camera lens a centimeter or so away from the thing you want to focus on, and try to focus on it. Something like that axle you have of the truck will work well, because there's a lot of detail there.

If the camera goes through the focus range, meaning that it goes in and out of focus, and ends with nothing in focus, that means your camera is not able to focus on something that close. Try this a few times to verify that it is indeed, too close.

Move the camera back another centimeter or so, and try again. Keep doing this until you find out the minimum distance for the focus. It shouldn't be more than 4-5 inches or around 18 centimeters.

Let me know how it goes, hopefully it'll work
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