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ukegirl13
05-10-2011, 06:30 PM
Can anyone give me any tips on how to photograph inlay work? I just can't seem to get that nice reflected shine that makes an inlay so special.
The cat I had put on a peghead had some nice green eyes but couldn't for the life of me get them to show up in the photo. I would appreciate any help.

itsme
05-10-2011, 06:47 PM
I can't specifically address your issue, but I have found that standing further away from the object and using zoom helps reduce glare problems if you're using flash.

Or you might want to try photographing it outdoors in good light where flash is not needed.

Oh, and always shoot at the highest rez you possibly can, even if your end goal is a small jpg for web use. Crop, adjust color, downsize... do all of that in a graphics program but start with the most amount of pic data as possible.

olgoat52
05-10-2011, 06:49 PM
Maybe post a pic of what you have so far and an example pic of what you want to get. Lighting can be expensive, but it is 9 tenths of photography.

Michael Smith
05-10-2011, 08:42 PM
I would suggest using late afternoon or very early morning light. I would use a pice of ripstop nylon placed between your piece and the sun as your main light source. I would use white reflectors of just about anything, foam core works well, as a reflector to fill in the shadows. Then you will need to move your uke around until you get the luminance you are looking for and shoot from that angle. If you were looking to highlight the cats green eyes you would use a small green reflector to pop the green eyes of your cat. I at times would spend a whole day on a studio shot trying to get a detail like that just right when I was doing that kind of photography work. You really cant do much with an on camera flash so using natural light is the way to go if you don't have off camera strobes.

You may get away with using a north facing window as your light source. That will be very cold light but you can always warm it up a little in photoshop and keep the green eyes cool.

Allen
05-10-2011, 11:57 PM
I've resorted to outdoor photography in the late afternoon with no direct sunlight. I was having a heck of a time with high gloss finishes while looking nice in person, just being too reflective and showing up as glare, or showing to much of a reflection (like a mirror) to show what the wood looks like. The same goes for the inlay.

I use a medium telephoto lens so its easy to hand hold and still not have to get too close to get the shot. No other lighting or reflectors or diffusers.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-11-2011, 07:43 AM
Good tips. If you are unable to get a specific are to "pop" make sure you adjust your white balance. Especially important if the inlay is in a dark background like ebony. When shooting outdoors i have to schedule my shoots around the weather. For me, morning time on a south facing wall with bright but overcast skies work best. When the weather doesn't cooperate I move into a green house which works well because of the opaque semi transparent walls and roof. Some day I need to spring for the proper light box and reflectors. I sometimes think the best solution is to make friends with a good photographer.

ukegirl13
05-12-2011, 02:05 PM
I've resorted to outdoor photography in the late afternoon with no direct sunlight. I was having a heck of a time with high gloss finishes while looking nice in person, just being too reflective and showing up as glare, or showing to much of a reflection (like a mirror) to show what the wood looks like. The same goes for the inlay.

I use a medium telephoto lens so its easy to hand hold and still not have to get too close to get the shot. No other lighting or reflectors or diffusers.

Thank you Allen. Yes, I was also having the same problems yesterday in photographing a high gloss uke. In the picture, you could see me with the camera in the uke's reflection!!!

ukegirl13
05-12-2011, 02:22 PM
Thank you all for your fine advice! I will try them all. What I'm mostly hearing is that natural lighting is the best. We have had some nice days here in SF so I think I will try that route first. I appreciate your thoughts on this matter.