Photo taking technique... A how to guide

Monstermash

Lock Ness Monster
Silver Member
This is a YouTube channel I really like to learn about photography. They present the lessons in a fun and cheeky format with professionally done videos.

https://www.youtube.com/user/DigitalRevCom

Think protection doesn't matter? Here is some fun testing of camera bags.

Part 1 - Water and Drop
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0wLqStdXNw

Part 2 - Drag and Burn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPUZ3BW-k4g

So once you have invested in all the new gear - make sure you get a good bag to protect it. No pro photographer carries their cameras and lenses in a bag that allows them to move around.

The people in those videos are complete idiots. The last thing you ever want to do is start activating the shutter release without a lens attached to the camera body. Doing this will allow all kinds of dust and debris inside the body of the camera and onto the sensor. Not only will all that dust show up in your image, it will also end up in your viewfinder and make it difficult to compose an "important" shot later unless you send it in and have it cleaned. I have an idea John, why don't you call Nikon or Canon and ask them how much it is to send your DSLR in and have it disassembled and cleaned.

Additionally, trying to hold a lens that close to the camera body is going to guarantee that you bang the lens mount against the lens. There are electronics mounted in this area that can be damaged very easily. Not to mention the only people that would be uninformed enough to try something this stupid would be amateurs and would most likely have lenses that are not pro quality and have plastic mounts which would be damaged easily.

So yeah, run around with the lens off holding it against the camera body and let me know how that works out for you. When you attach the lens again to take a "real" image and the camera doesn't auto focus anymore, or read the information from the lens as it should, let me know how that works out for you.

I'm sorry that you can't see that I made this guide to try and help the others on this forum take better photos of their cues and enjoy their hobby a little more and maybe even get them interested in another one. While I appreciate your sense of humor, if you want to post amusing videos please do so in another thread. I'm sure you have plenty available of case making that will be sure to get a laugh. :rolleyes:
 

JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Silver Member
The people in those videos are complete idiots. The last thing you ever want to do is start activating the shutter release without a lens attached to the camera body. Doing this will allow all kinds of dust and debris inside the body of the camera and onto the sensor. Not only will all that dust show up in your image, it will also end up in your viewfinder and make it difficult to compose an "important" shot later unless you send it in and have it cleaned. I have an idea John, why don't you call Nikon or Canon and ask them how much it is to send your DSLR in and have it disassembled and cleaned.

Additionally, trying to hold a lens that close to the camera body is going to guarantee that you bang the lens mount against the lens. There are electronics mounted in this area that can be damaged very easily. Not to mention the only people that would be uninformed enough to try something this stupid would be amateurs and would most likely have lenses that are not pro quality and have plastic mounts which would be damaged easily.

So yeah, run around with the lens off holding it against the camera body and let me know how that works out for you. When you attach the lens again to take a "real" image and the camera doesn't auto focus anymore, or read the information from the lens as it should, let me know how that works out for you.

I'm sorry that you can't see that I made this guide to try and help the others on this forum take better photos of their cues and enjoy their hobby a little more and maybe even get them interested in another one. While I appreciate your sense of humor, if you want to post amusing videos please do so in another thread. I'm sure you have plenty available of case making that will be sure to get a laugh. :rolleyes:

I am not sure but I think that the guys at DigitalRev do their vids on techniques that are already in use. This is a YouTube search on Freelensing So I guess all of these people are idiots as well. I personally don't know whether it's good practice or not but I doubt that the folks at DigitalRev are idiots. I was just adding some more content to your thread to enhance what you put up. Also I was linking to their channel and NOT to any particular video, the one on freelensing just happens to be the latest one.

They do in fact work with lots of pro photographers and do a lot of great videos on how to do great images without spending a lot of money. I have learned a lot about lighting through watching their videos.

I think it's great that you want to help folks to take better pictures. I know I am grateful for your guide. I don't personally like the pictures that you did which look like computer renderings but that's only my opinion. I think that with your advice anyone has a good basis to start with.

There is a vast wealth of information on the web teaching people how to take good pictures and I hope that you don't mind if this thread is used to store the links to those resources.

Regarding the camera bags didn't you think that it was interesting to see them testing them all out? I thought it was funny and informative. As a pro what type of camera bag do you use and recommend? Is is well padded?
 
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Monstermash

Lock Ness Monster
Silver Member
I am not sure but I think that the guys at DigitalRev do their vids on techniques that are already in use. This is a YouTube search on Freelensing So I guess all of these people are idiots as well. I personally don't know whether it's good practice or not but I doubt that the folks at DigitalRev are idiots. I was just adding some more content to your thread to enhance what you put up.

They do in fact work with lots of pro photographers and do a lot of great videos on how to do great images without spending a lot of money. I have learned a lot about lighting through watching their videos.

I think it's great that you want to help folks to take better pictures. I know I am grateful for your guide. I don't personally like the pictures that you did which look like computer renderings but that's only my opinion. I think that with your advice anyone has a good basis to start with.

There is a vast wealth of information on the web teaching people how to take good pictures and I hope that you don't mind if this thread is used to store the links to those resources.

Regarding the camera bags didn't you think that it was interesting to see them testing them all out? I thought it was funny and informative. As a pro what type of camera bag do you use and recommend? Is is well padded?

While I thought the tests were amusing, there wasn't much control in the testing. Personally, when I'm considering the purchase of a new bag to protect my expensive equipment, I want clear, concise, controlled tests rather than slapstick, off the cuff tests that are more about seeing how many hits they can get on youtube.

For portability I have several Crumpler bags. It depends on where I'm going to shoot and what the subject matter is because different subjects require different equipment. For example, if I were to take some gear to the Super Billiards Expo, I would bring my Crumpler "6 Million Dollar Home" bag. It will carry either of my DSLR's with a lens attached, an additional lens, speedlight, and assorted filters and cleaning products. It's light weight and well padded and has a nice wide pad on the shoulder strap. If I'm just going "day shooting" and all I need is a body, all-in-one zoom lens, hood,, filters, and cleaning products I have a nice Think Tank holster style bag.

If I'm going to shoot in an environment where I'm not concerned about portability so much, I have several Pelican hard cases to choose from. Pelican cases are THE best protection in the market for electronics. They are water proof and crush proof. I also have several backpack style cases that I use when on the bike or hiking.

I have spent the past few years going through equipment finding what works best for me. I completey changed my lighting technique and went with speedlights (flashes) rather than strobe style or continuous larger style lighting for portability because I don't do a lot of studio work. I can take 4 speedlights with me in the space that one strobe would take up. I run them off camera wirelessly synced up using my camera body as a master controller and they all fit in my larger Crumpler "Brazillion Dollar Home" bag along with two camera bodies and a few lenses, filters, cleaning products, and a laptop.

Although I use the Crumpler and Think Tank brands, there are MANY great bags out there that offer as good of protection and versatility as Crumpler. A few that come to mind are Domke and Billingham. Lowepro and Tamrac are also pretty good for the money.
 

Jive

Professional Racker
Silver Member
I'm loving this thread! I believe this could be the only and first pool cue related pro photography thread! Think I might just look for a good mentor soon hmm..
 

classiccues

Don't hashtag your broke friends
Silver Member
Just tried some pics off a tri-pod with manual arpeture settings and its a big difference. Did them flash / noflash, 3 different settings and totally blown away at the difference in pictures.

JV
 

Monstermash

Lock Ness Monster
Silver Member
Just tried some pics off a tri-pod with manual arpeture settings and its a big difference. Did them flash / noflash, 3 different settings and totally blown away at the difference in pictures.

JV

Come on Joe.... Don't just tease us, post them up!!! :thumbup:
 

Guerra Cues

I build one cue at a time
Silver Member
Out of the different manual modes P, S, A or M on DSLR what mode do you think it will be the best to apply some of your suggestions?
 

pescadoman

Randy
Silver Member
Out of the different manual modes P, S, A or M on DSLR what mode do you think it will be the best to apply some of your suggestions?

aperture priority is best. since you are controlling the light and speed isn't a priority.

control the depth of field with the aperture and let the camera figure the rest. if you have strobes and wizards, you can pop them with wizards and use a light meter, complete manual is best there. the meter will show you the appropriate stops.. That is what i do in gyms...
 
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classiccues

Don't hashtag your broke friends
Silver Member
Come on Joe.... Don't just tease us, post them up!!! :thumbup:

LOL..
OK here are three identical shots using totally different settings. Same camera position on all shots..

But damned if I remember which settings did which.. lol

JV
 

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branpureza

Ginacue
Silver Member
Am I the only one who thinks that the matte (no gloss) look makes the cues look like graphic renderings rather than actual cues?

That's the just the feeling I get looking at some of these pix. I don't think that this flatters the cue and makes the wood look dull.


Gotta agree with you here John. I don't personally like the look of the cues in those photos either. They don't look true to life and aren't aesthetically pleasing to the eye. To me, one of the most beautiful things about cues is a smooth, brilliant, glassy finish and these look like they were done with a hand-rubbed finish.

That being said I also want to thank the OP for helping out many people who have trouble with photography.

If anyone else is seeking additional help with taking pictures and photography in general, I've found Ken Rockwell's site to be THE most helpful and informative site on the web. Everything you would ever want to know is on this site:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/index.htm


I took this photo standing outside with the cue in one hand and the camera in the other. No tripod, not flash, and no lightbox.
pinkgina.jpg



I really like the look of these photos. They show great detail and luster.
DSC_0073_zps731501d2.jpg

DSC_0076_zps72302b24.jpg
 
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Monstermash

Lock Ness Monster
Silver Member
Gotta agree with you here John. I don't personally like the look of the cues in those photos either. They don't look true to life and aren't aesthetically pleasing to the eye. To me, one of the most beautiful things about cues is a smooth, brilliant, glassy finish and these look like they were done with a hand-rubbed finish.

That being said I also want to thank the OP for helping out many people who have trouble with photography.

If anyone else is seeking additional help with taking pictures and photography in general, I've found Ken Rockwell's site to be THE most helpful and informative site on the web. Everything you would ever want to know is on this site:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/index.htm


I took this photo standing outside with the cue in one hand and the camera in the other. No tripod, not flash, and no lightbox.
pinkgina.jpg



I really like the look of these photos. They show great detail and luster.
DSC_0073_zps731501d2.jpg

DSC_0076_zps72302b24.jpg

First off, are the second and third photos your work? Or are they just photos you posted because you liked them? I ask because they have a watermark imprinted and if they are not your property, you may want to google "fair use" before you start posting other photographer's work without permission. You and this site could get sued for voilating copyright law.

Regardless of whether you and John do not like the look of my photos, I feel they are substantially better than if you have a bunch of glare from the finish. I could have easliy taken my photos using a different method and highlighted the high shine on the cue but it's hard to see the details when done with that technique. And I'm using "technique" very loosely here. Lol. Almost every cue has a high gloss finish so why would it be important to highlight that if it's the same on almost every cue. If there were defects in the finish (as there is in the last photo of the Gina) and you were honest and wanted to show them, then I can understand the necessity of highlighting the finish. Otherwise it just looks amateurish. Honestly, if you took those photos for an actual client on a "for pay" job, you would never get paid. They would just go find another photographer who knew what he was doing. While those photos are very sharp and do show detail, people that pay for photos if their products want to highlight the details what set their product apart.

There are no real secrets in photography any more and you can find any info you really need online. As you mentioned, Ken Rockwell is very good.
The difference is having the info and knowing how to use it in a practical application. It's funny, now with digital photography there are "pro" photographers coming out of the woodwork. I can't tell you how many people I've met that have told me they are pros and then I see their work and I just cringe. Honestly, I don't think I'm that great of a photographer and the photos I do for the gallery and the wanter/for sale sections here are just quick set up and shoot type stuff. I don't spend hours arranging a shot or get to picky about having the exposure exactly the same on all the shots. I just want to show the details and have a little fun with it.
Please do not think I'm putting you down. I just think you're nickpicking a little when all I was trying to do was help some folks improve the quality of their photos.

Next time I'll let you and John write the how to guide.

Ummmmmkaaaaayyy?
 

branpureza

Ginacue
Silver Member
You seem a little defensive. Are we not entitled to have an opinion?


First off, are the second and third photos your work? Or are they just photos you posted because you liked them? I ask because they have a watermark imprinted and if they are not your property, you may want to google "fair use" before you start posting other photographer's work without permission. You and this site could get sued for voilating copyright law.


No, I only said I took the first photograph. The 2nd and 3rd are from a fellow AZer and friend who posted them in the Cue Gallery and For Sale section of this forum. Nice try at an ad hominem attack but a swing and a miss nonetheless.


Regardless of whether you and John do not like the look of my photos, I feel they are substantially better than if you have a bunch of glare from the finish. I could have easliy taken my photos using a different method and highlighted the high shine on the cue but it's hard to see the details when done with that technique. And I'm using "technique" very loosely here. Lol. Almost every cue has a high gloss finish so why would it be important to highlight that if it's the same on almost every cue. If there were defects in the finish (as there is in the last photo of the Gina) and you were honest and wanted to show them, then I can understand the necessity of highlighting the finish. Otherwise it just looks amateurish. Honestly, if you took those photos for an actual client on a "for pay" job, you would never get paid. They would just go find another photographer who knew what he was doing. While those photos are very sharp and do show detail, people that pay for photos if their products want to highlight the details what set their product apart.


Don't take it personally and get all butt hurt about it buddy. John and I just said that in our opinion you're pictures didn't look good to us.

We also thanked you for helping and starting a great thread.

I think if you brought your photos and the ones I posted to a client, you would be the one not getting paid. If we started a poll on here and asked people which photos looked better you would lose terribly. Just saying...


I can't tell you how many people I've met that have told me they are pros and then I see their work and I just cringe.

Ironically I cringed when I saw your "professional photos".
 
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Monstermash

Lock Ness Monster
Silver Member
Photoshop much?

I'm not the one who came here and started nick picking. I tried to help some of the members take some better photos after I was asked many, many times for tips and tricks to get better results. I didn't see you going out of your way to try and help anyone here. The only thing I have seen is you and John agreeing that my photos don't look real.

I will challenge you to show me some examples of a professional shoot where the client wanted a bunch of glare on their product as you have shown in your cues photos and the photos by the other photographer. I'm sorry, but those photos I could do with my eyes closed and the kit lens that comes with an entry level DSLR.

I'm not sure how much you know about copyright law but you are not allowed to post another person's work without their written permission. In other words....... "this photo was reprinted with the express written consent of abc photography".

I'm not sure what you meant when you said "nice try". It is illegal to post someone else's work without their permission. Simply stating that they belonged to a friend is not enough. So I'm not sure how much of a swing and miss it was.

I do believe you are entitled to your opinion but I'm entitled to my own as well so here it is...

Im not sure why you think it's ok to bash my photos and post your own (and some stolen one's as well). This isn't a discussion thread, it was done to try and help people. I didn't solicit your opinion nor did I ask for you to come on my post and hijack it. You didn't offer any help or advice when you posted in my thread. All you did was state you didn't like my photos. I'm ok with that becue you know what? A lot of people like them. It's easy to see the details of the cue and the quality of the workmanship.

But please, by all means take over my thread and help me help the other members get better results. Share some of your techniques and secrets so we can all be a great as you someday. :rolleyes:

BTW, why don't we do that poll you suggested? I'm willing to post it and I'll use my photos from this thread and you can use the photo you took of the Gina and the Capone and Predator cue you are selling and we can let the members decide. Do I have your permission to use your images for the poll?
 
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branpureza

Ginacue
Silver Member
If you re-read my first post in this thread all I said was I didn't personally like your photos, thanked you for starting a great thread, then offered a very helpful and informative site for others to check out and you got your panties all in a bunch.


Photoshop much?

Didn't use Photoshop on a single picture there. I used Lightroom.

I didn't see you going out of your way to try and help anyone here. The only thing I have seen is you and John agreeing that my photos don't look real.

I did offer help and linked some great information. Sorry you missed it.


BTW, why don't we do that poll you suggested? I'm willing to post it and I'll use my photos from this thread and you can use the photo you took of the Gina and the Capone and Predator cue you are selling and we can let the members decide. Do I have your permission to use your images for the poll?

Haha, why are you trying to change the offer? I said the 3 photos I posted in this thread vs. the ones you posted since you said I wouldn't get paid for them if I showed them to a client.

I took the photos of the Capone and Predator cues with my iPhone for Christ's sake. I don't even own a camera anymore.



Anyway, great thread even though I don't like your photo examples.

Carry on then.
 

Monstermash

Lock Ness Monster
Silver Member
If you re-read my first post in this thread all I said was I didn't personally like your photos, thanked you for starting a great thread, then offered a very helpful and informative site for others to check out and you got your panties all in a bunch.




Didn't use Photoshop on a single picture there. I used Lightroom.



I did offer help and linked some great information. Sorry you missed it.




Haha, why are you trying to change the offer? I said the 3 photos I posted in this thread vs. the ones you posted since you said I wouldn't get paid for them if I showed them to a client.

I took the photos of the Capone and Predator cues with my iPhone for Christ's sake. I don't even own a camera anymore.



Anyway, great thread even though I don't like your photo examples.

Carry on then.

Lightroom? I should have known! Lol! Just kidding.

Was the vignetting added to the photos then? It like the effect and I actually think your photos of the people are quite nice. I've never been very good at shooting people. :rolleyes:

I would be willing to use those photos of the Gina for the poll providing your friend would give us his permission to use his images. :thumbup:
 

Jive

Professional Racker
Silver Member
I'm probably in no position to mediate the situation or tell who to do what but I'd like to share my opinion as someone who likes all things beautiful and appreciate fine photography despite my lack of skills in that area.

I love the pictures that Mash has taken and I also agree that it might look artificial to some. Before I contradict myself further I'd explain why Mash's pictures are beautiful.
On top of the difficultly (for me) to capture pictures of this calibre his pictures really capture details of the cues.
Its easy to take pictures with reflection or to show off the glossiness of the cue but its dam tough to take them without. And personally when the cue doesn't reflect light you get to see all the details of the cue (which is demanding of the cue's craftsmanship).

Taking detailed Macro shots of inlays, veneer work and stuff that requires extreme close ups are really difficult and Mash's pictures shows them very well.
Many a time I want to photograph details of a cue's veneer mitre and how tight inlays are without any epoxy and I fail miserably.

I also understand where John and Bran is coming from cos I love the picture that Bran posted of the Gina cue. It's so flashy bling bling and it makes it look premium!

There hasn't been a professional photographer (that I know of for cues) that has been able to juggle between these 2 factors. Great Details of Cue and Flashy Glossy overall look. Reason being there aren't many products out there like Cues where it requires attention like that.

I would love to be able to combine(gotta take some lessons) the photos that Mash has taken with the ones that Bran has posted of the Gina. Different elements and perspective for different shots.
When I wanna show details i don't want no reflection/gloss so that I can capture them details 100%. When it comes to some overall artistic composition or angles, certain amount of controlled reflection is great for creating that bling bling factor who actually creates a stronger appeal for the cue.

Taking pictures of new cars is a great example of controlling the reflection without eliminating it entirely. However the closest product that I'm familiar with and feel is in line with cue photography would probably be taking pictures of watches.

You wanna show how bling the watch is and with polished stainless steel/Gold/Platinum case they often reflect light easily. However when that's in excess you won't be able to see the details and angles of the watch case especially watches that are angular. Then there's the difficulty of showing how shiny the sapphire crystal face is and juggle between showing details of the watch face and all its intricate details.

I might have digressed and confused some as to what I do like but it's tough to put a finger to it. I like Mash's work and technique a lot and I too like Bran's pictures of that Gina.

Let's just all agree to disagree and perhaps let this thread be one that provides option to everyone on AZ who wants to try different techniques and obtaining pictures that they favor?

Peace Guys :)
 

branpureza

Ginacue
Silver Member
Let's just all agree to disagree and perhaps let this thread be one that provides option to everyone on AZ who wants to try different techniques and obtaining pictures that they favor?

Peace Guys :)


Agreed. Great post sir!
 

runwav

Banned
fyi - these shots taken w floppy disc

i'm replacing my trusty floppy disc camera with this nikon digital.
i just cant seem to get out of the eighties :)
 

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