View Full Version : D***, It's Been Sooo Hard, Complex, and had a Pile of Complications


salleh
02-02-17, 01:50 PM
.......I had hoped to be around here more than I have been lately, but I have had 1 delightful shock ( see my post about a Miracle that happened to me) and then there was this problem .......

......I had decided that I wanted and needed to move up to doing the big arts and craft show in the bay area ( of which there are quite a lot !) ....these shows are expensive to do, booth prices start at $175, and go way up to more than $1000 .....erm yikes ? ......I have poured over the lists of these shows .....( there are several groups who gather and put out info about the shows,..and they, of course, cost a goodly chunk of change...but their info does cut out a lot of extra work.....time that could be better spent making stuff !)

.....Anyway ......they have deadlines to apply to get in .....and the early spring shows I was looking at, had those deadlines rushing up upon me at a speeding bullets rate ......

.....They aren't easy to get into these shows ....you not only have to meet their standards.....you have to jump through their many hoops to show them that you meet those standards .....many photos required ....of the stuff you make, of where and what your workshop looks like, you working in that workshop, you have to promise to have stuff like a fire extinquisher, and/or fireproof table cloths, ( and those clothes have to reach the ground and all your stuff not ON the tables, under those tables and out of sight .....you have to show what your display looks like ....and on and on and on ....

......You have to agree to behave according to their rules...( and each company who arranges these shows has the same basic rules, with variations to each of course) ......

.....Now my friend and backer was willing to cover the fees for the first shows of the year, especially because I haven't been making money since I got here...but the photos through me for a loop .....me ! with my BFA in photography .....of course that degree is from an Ivory Tower artists school, not a place that teaches you the technical stuff ....but even if it had.....most wouldn't translate all that well from film to digital .....

.....Product photography looks so easy when you see it everywhere ....but let me tell you this ....it ain't easy ....not by a long shot ....and I have shot enough stuff for ebay and etsy to know this ....but I packed up my stuff and camera and headed over to the farm...the house there has been remodeled, and no one lives there, ( the family uses it for parties and guests and stuff) ....so it is lovely and empty, with nothing but a stereo ( and my entire collection of CDs ) besides the furniture ......

....I knew it wasn't going to be easy ....but the weather added a whole lot of trouble ......MIchigan, about 97% of the daylight in the winter, is either snowing or clouded over.....So I had less natural light than I needed ....with the low shutter speed, and wide open aperture, I learned the first day, that none of the hundred or so shots I took were going to work out .....I had been thinking that my camera hasn't been focusing for a while now....so I panicked and bought a NIkon point and shoot higher end camera and that company named after a womens warrior group got it to me in 2 days ....

...It wasn't going to meet my needs either ....I tried my phone ....couldn't find them on my computer, the computer told me they were down loaded, but I looked EVERYWHERE on that computer, and they were nowhere to be found ....

....I had been shooting groups of 2 or 3 kinds of the jewelry together and used a lot of examples ....with pieces on the outer edges being the most out of focus....I started making smaller and smaller groups and by day 5 of the shoot, I was down to 1-3 examples of each type ....and the photos were getting better ...


....But on the home front, more troubles ....my computer is one I have had for a while now .....and when I started this project, I had about 8,250 photos already in the computer ...and it was driving me crazy....everything was working slowly, and often not working at all ....picked up a photo program at the store, and nope ...that wouldn't help either ....so I downloaded Picasa, which I used to use with some success.....but no.....the photo I was looking at on the computer, came out about 10 shades lighter when I printed it out ...and it was inconsistant ....so each and every photo had to be started from scratch so to speak

and speaking of printers....we got a new one, but after printing a mere 15 photos or so, it ran out of ink .....it has those all in one color cartridges .....so it was over to the best of stores to get a more complex ( and expensive) printer ......it's a pretty good one, requires more care in operating it ....but the results are pretty good, and I printed about 4 x the amount of prints, that the cheaper printer did on one loading of ink .....the ink is about $10 more
expensive ....so that's 10 bucks for 4x times prints ....


.....I had been working on this for about 9 days when yesterday, I finally got the application, photos, fees, and for one company I had to add a seperate "Artists biography/statement" and a "description representing all the work I intend to bring with me to the show" ( how it's made and what it looks like) .... the first was a page and a half, the second 2 1/2 pages ....

....Got these 3 envelopes to the post office at 4:45 pm, on Feb 1, the deadline for postmarking .....


...I am amazed that I actually got this done.....I cannot remember EVER having to work so hard to overcome obstacles to finish a project .....( oh I ended up taking something like 700 photos in 5 days ....only 1 of which I can say ...that looks pretty good)

...Oh wait, I worked nearly this hard to become a San Francisco Street Artist ....but that was satisfying work, that went smoothly ...it was getting it down to the city to meet the art commission ( it only meets once a month, and you HAVE to have an appointment) that I ran into lots and lots of problems....like my car blowing it's head gasket the day before my appointment.....


.....Actually, I can't think of anything at all at any time I have had to work so long and overcome so many project killing obstacles to finish the project in my entire life ....9 days, each 12-14 hour days ....:giggle:

aeon
02-02-17, 08:07 PM
....but even if it had.....most wouldn't translate all that well from film to digital .....

Thing is, the only part that changes is the film...all the rest...the capture of light...is exactly the same...physics included! ;)

.....Product photography looks so easy when you see it everywhere ....but let me tell you this ....it ain't easy ....not by a long shot ....

No, it isnít. Not if you want the high-end look.

Aside from the knowledge and skills are the tools...a specialized lens, serious lighting, a lightbox, a rock-solid tripod, modifiers, control of white balance...and no part of that is inexpensive, and together it means you are committing to something.

Actually, I can't think of anything at all at any time I have had to work so long and overcome so many project killing obstacles to finish the project in my entire life ....9 days, each 12-14 hour days ....:giggle:

Itís amazing what each of us are capable of if we truly want something.

Congratulations for what you have achieved, and may it continue as you would like it to. :)


Cheers,
Ian

salleh
02-02-17, 09:01 PM
There speaks a man who knows about that subject....the one thing that hampers me though is the difference between the darkroom, and printing from a computer ...

Of course I shot almost exclusively B & W .....so I did my own darkroom work, had a Bessler 4x5 with Leitz lenses for 35mm, 2 1/4, and 4x5.....I had both a diffusing and condensing heads, and a 6 foot redwood sink I made, so I also used double developers when I could .....

.....I was a wizard in that room....while I was dodging and burning I really looked like I was a wizard ...waving my hands in the air in arcane patterns ....my favorite teacher, who I took lots of classes from including my 4 x 5 view camera class.....was the favorite student of Ansel Adams....who, by the way, founded the photography dep't there ....and he taught me every trick in the book ....

....I used paper that had the largest amount of silver of any paper on the market ....glossy but dried matte.....so I covered the zone system in great detail ...


.....I was good ....I got on that bike and zoomed around my art, but I was in control (most of the time) ....

...Digital has me feeling that I am on a bike going downhill with no brakes ....or a surfboard with no skag....slip sliding around ....

....the last 4 photos I shot at about 125th/sec, and at f8 .....asa at 800....those photos should be sharp from corner to corner ....there's no depth of field there and I cannot figure out why .....I froze my keister off shooting on the front porch to use every ounce of light I could get at ....that first product shot, was a slightly brighter day, but for some reason those came out perfectly with just the look I wanted .....the rest ...pffffttt....

...BUt the thing is .....I am no longer a photographer really, just someone who used to be dam*** good.....I don't want to have to gather all that knowledge I need to have to do any better than I am doing now ....I want to spend the time making better jewelry.

...and I certainly don't want to spend more money than the cost of paper, and ink, and batteries for the camera ....

....The problem is that I am continually changing the style of the jewelry I make, so I have to keep up with my current pieces....


argh ?

salleh
02-02-17, 09:04 PM
and I agree ....Photography is all about the light, when you come right down to it ....always has been, always will be

aeon
02-02-17, 10:37 PM
Yes, in the end, all photographs are of exactly the same thing...photons. ;)

---

Jewelry is one of the most difficult products to shoot of all. The need for detail, control of reflection, refraction, and of color by means of white balance...yet, without appearing clinical.

Depending on the look you want, it’s either a macro lens (80% of the time), or a wide-aperture short telephoto that has the right amount of glow due to specular aberrations...that can look romantic and looks great with vintage pieces, I think. That said, wide apertures can mean color fringing on shiny metals, so for some jewelry, it might not be the answer.

---

I know the digital side well from working in commercial lithography for 25 years, so I can post-process like nobody’s business...but if the source isn’t right with a product shot, it’s better to go back and make it right...especially with jewelry.

I’m also G7-certified (color management), so I can make your camera match your computer screen match your proofer match your printer match your product...all that is required is a good spectrophotometer, some time, some math, and the patience to see it through. The spectrophotometer and time cost money, and most don’t understand the math, so between the two, most don’t manage color properly and have to fight and go to battle every time. :doh:

I don’t understand this...measure, calibrate, measure again, build curves, and correct until it is right (low deltas), and then you don’t even have to think and you can relax...because what you see is what you will get. :yes:

Talk of colorspaces, gamuts, color temperature, gamma, tone curves, human optical perceptual limits, transmissive and reflective color...all of this can get me very, very excited. :o


Cheers,
Ian

salleh
02-03-17, 12:15 AM
ok so the day that I shot the last of the groups shots except for that one good one, like I said, I shot at F8, 125th, and 800 iso ....but .....I shot several different modes, auto, ap. priority, shutter priority, and manual ....and the silver and brass jewelry was shot on a medium grey suede cloth background, ....the background color came in a myriad of colors, which blew my mind ...theoretically, shooting that allowed the same amount of light, produced a huge difference in reality ...I got almost bright blue, green, grey, and all layers of darkness of the photos, some so dark as to be almost black, some the dials were bleached out to pure white .....no detail showing at all ....???????

...have you looked at the photos I posted as the post "as per request" ? ....

oh and there is something as difficult to photograph as jewelry ....and that is .....watches !!! since my jewelry is made primarily of watch parts, I am hit with a double whammy .....

when I was a vintage watch dealer I used to go out of my mind trying to photograph them too ....

but at this stage, I'd be thrilled if I could just get the dam*** things in focus !

and I just found that I had brought with me a cr** close up lens, but I also brought a lens I bought, but never really used....it's a Sigma Macro, f2.8 -22....it's marked as a 50mm lens ....I just took a close up of a safety pin that looks pretty sharp .....but I'll tell you I haven't used a fixed focal lens since that guy in Japan broke the barrier that prevented zoom lenses from being anything but a waste of film ....I remember shooting musicians at stage lit shows, with 2 camera bodies, and 3 lenses, and my Pentax had those screw mounts, and frantically screwing and unscrewing lenses like a madwoman to get the shots I wanted ...and having to move all around the venue ...I moved myself ...and when I finally got a decent zoom lens it was such a relief ....got to move the lens instead of myself ....
......and jewelry when I was shooting just a few pieces, not as many problems but I was trying to shoot a 20x30 board 1/2 at a time ....with a LOT of pieces on the boards ....it was a nightmare .....but I had never done anything like that before, and didn't know it can't really be done ....

aeon
02-03-17, 01:03 AM
Achieving consistent white balance in sunlight is all but impossible for product shots. What looks consistent to the eye is anything but.

That's why total control of lighting is called for, and why you can be productive when you have that control.

That Sigma 50mm Macro will be perfect for what you do. Razor-sharp, and it will allow you to get properly close.

Hehe, I've never owned a zoom, only primes. Then again, that works for what I like to do. Also, I love wide apertures like f/1.2, and zooms just don't go there.

Also, zooming changes the field of view, whereas moving means the perspective changes, and I like that sometimes.

Plus, quality zooms are spendy, and I'd rather save for a 200mm f/2. ;)


Cheers,
Ian

finallyfound10
02-04-17, 02:24 PM
I really don't what the heck either of you are talking about but I'm finding it interesting!!! :D