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Leatherwork

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nutmeg:

I recently took up leatherwork, as well as photography (in an attempt to take better photos of my sewn goods, as I'd like to transform my hobby in an actual business in the near future). I've made a few items for my own personal use:











If anyone has experience in taking quality product photos, and is willing to share some knowledge, I'd love to discuss it. I'm currently having issues taking good images of a pack made from black cordura, as I can't seem to get the details of the pack to contrast properly.

Gear Dynamics:
Black is always hard to photograph nicely. My recommendations below (in general)...and I'm not a professional by any means!

- Always try and use natural light or at least mimic that with the proper temp of LEDs. A cloudy day is best, if you shoot outside.
- Use a matte white background, it'll be the easiest to work with when editing.
- Use a photoshop program to adjust lighting/contrast. All I use is elements. I don't need anything super fancy, and don't have time to learn it anyway.
- To get white backgrounds, there is a bit of magic, but it's not to complicated. The key is havinging a good pictures to work with from the start

My 2 cents.

nutmeg:

--- Quote from: Gear Dynamics on March 14, 2017, 03:58:11 PM ---Black is always hard to photograph nicely. My recommendations below (in general)...and I'm not a professional by any means!

- Always try and use natural light or at least mimic that with the proper temp of LEDs. A cloudy day is best, if you shoot outside.
- Use a matte white background, it'll be the easiest to work with when editing.
- Use a photoshop program to adjust lighting/contrast. All I use is elements. I don't need anything super fancy, and don't have time to learn it anyway.
- To get white backgrounds, there is a bit of magic, but it's not to complicated. The key is havinging a good pictures to work with from the start

My 2 cents.

--- End quote ---

Thanks for the info. I'm using a single 5000k full spectrum CFL bulb, in a homemade diffuser (not sure if that's the correct term for this device, but that's what it does...). I'm gonna try and get some shots outdoors when the weather breaks, and see how that comes out.

It was suggested by another source that I should try using multiple light sources, with one focus solely on the background. This should help develop better contrast with the object against the background.

I think I'm gonna take some pictures of my setup when I get home, and start a separate thread dedicated to the discussion of product photography.

Stone:
My life before embarking into the sewing world was in the commecial and editorial photography world here in LA. Lighting source of all sorts/types. I'm partial to constant source lighting, personally.

Black is one of the EASIEST colors to photograph, actually. It just takes a little know-how to get it right. First off, I would recommend understanding exposure. This means using a grey card, this helps 1. neutralize your color balance for the light source you are using(so colors come out as they look to the eye) 2. zero your exposure

What I would recommend:

1. LARGE light source. As big of a diffuser as possible. If you can build a PVC pipe frame and stretch some thin white ripstop to keep it lightweight, this works great. Can be designed to break down for storage as well this way.
2. Top light, with "bounce cards" to fill in shadows and lower the apparent contast(shadow density)
3. Set your white balance in the camera to match what type of source you are using(the grey card can help set a "custom" white balance if your camera will allow for that. This helps zero the starting file out before you even do any post-production work to fine-tune)
4. Buy a roll of butcher paper. If you have a camera store nearby, check and see if they sell a 4ft roll of white background paper. Savage is one of the bigger names out there for this. Not cheap, but it works great and is thicker than butcher paper.

Don't go crazy boosting constrast, etc. Do as much of the work in-camera, not in the computer.

Just my $.02

-Dan

nutmeg:
A couple photos of my latest leather work. First is a field notes cover, with my logo on one side, and an engraving of the streets of downtown Pittsburgh (my home city) on the other.







The other is another wallet. Black on tan this time.










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