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Taking photos of your pc

Discussion in 'techPowerUp! Club Forum' started by King Wookie, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    (really not sure where to post this thread so if a moderator could please move if needed)

    Seeing as there has been alot of guys battling with getting decent pics of their rigs, I thought I'd try out some different ideas to show how they come out. My camera is a Nikon D5000, with a 50mm F1.4 lens and a SB-600 external flash. I have not tweaked these pics other than to correct the white balance. the ambient light was sunlight coming in through a door on the right.

    Photo at generic settings and no flash:
    [​IMG]
    This was taken at 200 ISO with an aperture of F8. Settings almost any camera will do. Note that it took a 2 second exposure, and I am using a tripod.

    This time at a Higher ISO and bigger aperture:
    [​IMG]
    This time the ISO was 1600, and the aperture F2. The difference is the shutter speed was now 1/50 of a second. And the reason why not everything is in focus is that the bigger the aperture, the smaller the area of focus is.
  2. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    Next up I put the camera on full auto, and used the on camera flash.
    [​IMG]
    As you can see, the camera decided to keep the aperture quite large, so focus is a problem.

    Next I set the flash to slow sync, or fill.
    [​IMG]
    This lets the camera combine the ambient and flash for a more balanced pic.

    Next I used the paper diffuser trick as mentioned here: http://www.lighting-academy.com/index.php?id=820&L=1
    [​IMG]
    Might need to increase your exposure a bit, but works well.
  3. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    Next up I broke out the big gun, my external flash:
    [​IMG]
    Also shot on full auto. Same storey with a serious hotspot.

    Then I dropped the output on the flash by 2 E.V.
    [​IMG]
    Better. You'd be amased how often just turning down your flash a bit can help.

    Lastly I added a Stofen diffuser on the flash. http://www.stofen.com/
    [​IMG]
    Handy little gadget, and helps a bit. Great for weddings.
  4. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    For my next trick, I turned the flash head around and bounced it off a white reflector.
    [​IMG]
    Now this is looking pretty good.


    And the same with the flash turned down by 2 E.V.
    [​IMG]
    A white reflector can be a wall, ceiling, white card, Whatever. But seems to be the best looking way of lighting the pc.
  5. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    And next up was a soft box diffusor on the flash. Similar to this: http://www.lumiquest.com/products/softbox-ii.htm
    [​IMG]
    Better than the flash alone, as it spreads the light more. But still not so good.

    Then I turned down the flash by 2 E.V.
    [​IMG]
    Better, but still not so great.

    Then I switched the camera to slow sync/ fill on the flash at -1 E.V.
    [​IMG]
    Getting there.
  6. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    For my next party trick I took the flash off the camera using an extension cable.
    [​IMG]
    Flash on the left of the camera at -2 E.V. with the softbox on. Not bad.

    Then at -1 E.V.
    [​IMG]
    I could live with that.

    Then with the flash at 0 E.V.
    [​IMG]
    Nope. Too bright.
  7. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    And the last ones are with the camera set to slow sync/ fill on the flash. 0 E.V.
    [​IMG]
    Note the colour looks browner. That is because I'm mixing sunlight and flash.

    Then at -1 E.V.
    [​IMG]
    I think that is a pretty successful photo. Of course the colour can be corrected in the software.

    Please note than other than the first 2 pics, the camera was left on auto, and I wasn't checking the auto focus. The focus here was on how the different lighting would work.
    Of course your equipment will respond differently, but hey, go play. Best way to learn.
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  8. Fatal

    Fatal

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    Great thread I need to get a new camera the two I have are done. Would like to take pictures of my case.:D
  9. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    For all who cannot (or not bothered to) understand what Wookie said, he meant lighting, Lighting, LIGHTING!!! My condensed version: Take your pictures when the sun is up and you are not using artificial lighting. Taking pictures at night with(out) lights is wasting your time unless you are quite good with your camera or you are willing to experiment. If necessary move your rig to a well lit place (under shade) and take a photo there. Don't be lazy, you horrible picture does not do your rig justice.
    King Wookie says thanks.
  10. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    Quite true. My personal favourite is the flash bounced off the reflector, but for that you need an external flash.

    Of course this did force me to dust out my rig.:eek:
  11. caleb

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    Love the title :)

    Alaways try to get low ISO. good pics are 400 max. Computer is 'dead' unmoving object. Try to set the ISO to 200 and increase the shutter opening time. Ofcourse your camera must be standing still or on a stand. Release the shutter with a timer so u dont touch the camera while it takes a pic.

    I also think that bright board LED's are messing with light sensor. Board is almost totally black and it might not be doing its best in setting up shutter/iso.
  12. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    Agreed. Between the black board and components, and the very reflective stickers, my pc is a pain to photograph. Hence why I thought it would be a good subject. But lower ISO is better. Not all cameras work as well as mine at 1600. And there are better cameras out there that will cope with much higher ISO's.
  13. Chicken Patty

    Chicken Patty WCG Moderator Staff Member

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    Great stuff, thanks for taking your time to do this and post it :toast:
    King Wookie says thanks.
  14. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    King Wookie those photos are just awesome. :toast:
    Your informative posts are very much appreciated!

    ______________________________

    I've just started experimenting with an old dslr, so yup plenty of mistakes the first one being still shooting on auto settings, still learning... :eek:
    Here's a shot of my pc in sepia:

    [​IMG]
  15. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    Is it me, or does the lack of colour make it more interesting? Like you have to look more closely to see what is what.

    Nice photo BP. :toast:
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  16. johnnyfiive

    johnnyfiive

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    Nice info for sure!
    King Wookie says thanks.
  17. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    I decided to work a bit on the 2 lighting setups that I think gave the best results.

    First off, the ambient light with camera on a tripod and long shutter release.
    [​IMG]
    Again I had sunlight coming in through a door on the right, but used a white reflector to bounce some light into the darker corners of the rig.

    Next, the big flash bounced into a large white reflector.
    [​IMG]
    Again, the head of the flash was pointing behind the camera into a large white reflector.

    Slightly different look to both, but can't say one is much better than the other.
  18. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    Lastly, I tried to improve the photos with the paper diffusor.
    Best results were having the onboard flash firing through a piece of white typing paper.
    Reason is to see if you can get better results with a camera with built in flash.

    [​IMG]

    Not the best, but better than a bare flash by a big margin.

    End of the day, it seems the best approach is to use a tripod or other solid support and a long exposure. (shutter open for long)

    My 2 cents.
  19. Fitseries3

    Fitseries3 Eleet Hardware Junkie

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    i take all my pics with sunlight(usually outside) and long shutter. usually 6-20sec. using a tripod of course.
    King Wookie says thanks.
  20. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Anytime I use more than 5 sec in daylight the picture gets whitewashed. :eek: Tips?
  21. Delta6326

    Delta6326

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    i don't know if its me but i think the best picture is the very first one :) I'm thinking about getting a Canon T2i i have always wanted to get a DSLR!
  22. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    Comes down to the meter in your camera. Check and see what it tells you. That ambient pic of mine was 2 seconds with not bright sunlight at ISO200. Try taking them at different times to see what works best.
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  23. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    Close encounters - with hardware

    [​IMG]
  24. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    Very nice!
    Experimentation is a good thing in photography. And if it doesn't work, delete.
  25. Chicken Patty

    Chicken Patty WCG Moderator Staff Member

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    Like that last shot BP :toast:

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