It's light that makes photos . . .

On this page (below) Doug Smith and Grant MacLaren show ways that light can be controlled to make excellent photographs.

On this page Grant demonstrates how the same simple subject can be lit in a variety of ways. You decide which is the best.

And, on this page Grant demonstrates the use of his simple "light box."

At our 11/14/06 GAMUG meeting, Doug Smith showed us how to make great photos for ebay auctions -- using materials cheaply and easily available from your neighborhood hardware store.

Doug says "ebay bidders don't like surprises" so your photos and text should accurately describe the items you offer for auction.

As part of his presentation, Doug showed us how to use the Mac Utility "Digital Color Meter" to evaluate color in our photos:

For those who want to use it, the Digitalcolor Meter (application) is in your utilities folder for OSX.

It does not correct color for you. It does allow you to accurately compare a color of known values to one on your monitor. It is a tool that will display the percentage of RGB (Red Green Blue) anywhere you place your cursor. If you have a neutral gray (equal values of RGB) anywhere in your photo, it will provide you with info about which colors need to be added or subtracted in your image editing program (eg photoshop) to achieve accurate color. I use it for my Ebay photos with a standard gray background paper, but have used it when shopping for tile as well.

We went to Kansas City and I did not want to bring back tile samples and then have to return them. I laid my gray paper sample next to the tile and used Digitalcolor to balance the color at home. That allowed me to shoot under a variety of lighting and still correct it. Of course, you should set your camera for the light your shooting in to make the job easier. It was fairly amazing how accurate the results were on my Powerbook G4. Mac is good.......

It was my intention at the GAMUG meeting to cut pieces off the neutral gray background that I brought to the meeting for anyone who wanted a sample gray for their use, but time did not allow that. If anyone wants to send me a self addressed stamped envelope, I will send a piece of this paper to them.

The paper is photo background paper and is Superior Seamless #58 Slate Gray. I called around and #58 is available and in stock at Schiller's Video & Photo, 9240 Manchester Rd, St Louis, 63144 - (314) 968-3650 for $26.10 for a 4 foot wide roll. It is also available in 9 ft wide rolls. During my studio years, I always bought the 9 ft wide rolls and, if needed, cut them in half with a regular old fashion hand saw. If two people went together the savings might be great enough to make it worth dividing a roll.

About Kodak Gray Cards: OK, but not as good as slate gray for accurate color matching. Not sure just why, but they seem to have some green that made me feel that they were not truly a neutral gray.

Anyone who wants a sample of slate gray paper please contact me directly for my address.

-=Doug Smith=-
dscpinc at sbcglobal dot net

After the meeting, Doug shot the club's Sony DVD player:

The selection of these two photos was made by Grant MacLaren from 6 files provided by Doug. Look at the subtle differences in lighting and exposure, shadow sharpness, etc. The top 3 photos were shot by Grant -- using a handhold 3.2 MP Cannon PS S230

11/11/06 - More discussion -- here are two photos of the 4 ft. by 4 ft. frame Grant uses to hold light diffusing/reflecting material. Made of PVC tubing and PVC "90's", the frame is cheap and portable. Larger diameter tubing has been cut to serve as clips to hold the various cloth panels on the assembled frame. (KISS!)

Another web page
Grant MacLaren


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