Bio pics, experimenting with new camera

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hez1

New Member
I got a new camera, so I thought I'd take a stab at taking pics of two tricky bios. One is my cold cast Gort, the other is a cold cast Tusky that I've been working on, on and off for a little while. Would love to hear from more experienced photographers as to what I could be doing to make the pics better. I have a sheet on either side of the bios, diffusing the light from a couple of desk lamps.

I know it can be better, because it failed miserably when I tried to take pics of my cold cast P2 (the metals are really tricky to capture, for some reason).

Enjoy the pics, and please chime in if you have any experience with taking studio style photos!

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Uratz

Member
Looks damn good man. What Camera is it?

My problem is my hand shakes and often blurry pictures occur.
I have yet to buy one of those super expensive camera that have fast shutter speed like a normal traditional lens. I also suck at adjusting colors in photoshop.

But yeah a good photo needs a bit of cheating and assist from Photoshop to get the lighting and colors correct.
 

xdmray

Well-Known Member
im no expert. but, looks like you are still getting hot spots from your desk lamps. i would try backing them up a bit. or angle them slightly off.
other than the hot spots, the colors seem to show fantastically.
 

tommynator1024

New Member
im no expert. but, looks like you are still getting hot spots from your desk lamps. i would try backing them up a bit. or angle them slightly off.
I don't have any personal experience with that, but usually you'd use multiple indirect light sources, lamps covered with bedsheets (or whatever ;-))
 

Skullsplitter

New Member
Indirect lighting would sure do some good, and I've read some cool product photography tips recently: dimm all lights, put cam on tripod, start lighting the product per side with a spot or different lightsource, so you create some highlights or low-key photography. Do so till you got the whole deal covered. Now fire up Photoshop and stack the photo's together, and set all layers but the base to the "screen" mode on layer blend.

The results are pretty ******* awesome.
This is to illustrate how I make some of my photos, like www.flickr.com/photos/28134808@N02/4793586899/ or www.flickr.com/photos/28134808@N02/4736996764/in/set-7215...

The basic needs for this technique are a tripod, a dark room and some kind of light you can move around. It's absolutely vital that the camera DOES NOT MOVE.
I use a small desk light to get light from all kinds of directions. The bare minimum for me is about 30 pictures, because you never know how a picture might turn out. I try to light the model from every angle, sometimes reflecting it off a piece of paper or positioning it right behind the model.

Once you have plenty of pictures, it's off to the editing room. Using Photoshop*, I adjust the pictures. Most of the individual pictures get darkened a lot, so only the bright highlights show up. I also use Photoshop to add color to the lights where necessary. The pictures are placed on layers on top of eachother, most of the time using the 'screen' blending mode. This keeps all the light areas intact, and the dark areas transparent.

The end result is that you've got much more liberty tweaking and adjusting all kinds of different lights from different sources, without getting out of your seat.

*Or GIMP where necessary
 

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Eaglewood

Sr Member
I know that the white sheets throw the metals off some-- here is a cold cast torso that I did and I used a darker background -- turned out pretty good.
 

strigoi

New Member
The one thing you have to remember when you see a professional picture in magazines or what have you they are, for the most part, pretty heavily photoshopped. Once looked at portfolio of a photographer friend and when I complimented her on how well she captured the color of the grass and tree's she said "Nature didn't make the color's that brillant...my computer did"
 

hez1

New Member
Thanks guys. I think I'm going to build a dedicated light box and buy a couple of extra lamps to play around with. I was pretty limited with this set up as the sheet was being draped over the backs of two chairs on either side, and if I moved the lamps around I was getting shadows off the chairs. I did play around with photoshop afterwards, but I'm hardly an expert.

Mike, the camera is a canon G11. It has most of the features of a DSLR when it comes to settings to play with, the main differences being sensor size, and the inability to changes lenses. I think my next purchase, after building the light box, will definitely be a tripod.

Eaglewood, that torso is pretty cool. Bronze?
 

Eaglewood

Sr Member
Thanks guys. I think I'm going to build a dedicated light box and buy a couple of extra lamps to play around with. I was pretty limited with this set up as the sheet was being draped over the backs of two chairs on either side, and if I moved the lamps around I was getting shadows off the chairs. I did play around with photoshop afterwards, but I'm hardly an expert.

Mike, the camera is a canon G11. It has most of the features of a DSLR when it comes to settings to play with, the main differences being sensor size, and the inability to changes lenses. I think my next purchase, after building the light box, will definitely be a tripod.

Eaglewood, that torso is pretty cool. Bronze?
Cold cast bronze-- Actual bronze mixed with some copper powder into Forton MG
 

hez1

New Member
Thought so. The tracker bio above is the same, although with smooth on 325 resin. Did you tint the resin at all? I always just go with black, but I'm wondering if I should experiment with different pigments, and how much it will change the look.
 

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Eaglewood

Sr Member
Thought so. The tracker bio above is the same, although with smooth on 325 resin. Did you tint the resin at all? I always just go with black, but I'm wondering if I should experiment with different pigments, and how much it will change the look.
No resin in this one-- Just the forton and metal powders.
 

hez1

New Member
Ahh, yeah, I was getting the easyflo and forton confused. Looks good anyway. I love the way the metals look on bios, but polishing can be a pain when there's any texture involved.
 

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