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Photographing your Turned Items

Part 1 is the setups I use.  Part 2 shows how editing makes a photo better.  Part 3 is a general discussion of available free software used to make photos better.

 

Part 1  Setup


01 Photo StudioYou can find this Photo Studio on Ebay for $40.  It unfolds from a flat package to a cube with three sides.  It is about 16" on a side.  It has three background colors, White, Photo Gray, and Blue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

02 Photo Studio Back Side

 

 

This is the other side of the package.  It shows the pockets that hold two lights and the camera mount.  The camera mount is almost useless. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

05 Sample Photo Setup

 

This photo shows the light box setup with a pen on the Photo Gray layer.  The cube is 16" on a side.  This is useful for smaller items.  The lights are halogen and get VERY HOT when in use for a period of time.  I usually turn the lights on only when I am ready to take a photo.  LED lights are recommended and stay cool.  Bulbs used in these lights should be daylight with a temperature of 5000 K.  This creates a realistic looking photograph with good  color rendition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

06 Sample Photo

 

This is a photo of the Pen laying on the stage.  This pen I made for a friend over Christmas 2020.  The background is a photo gray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

07 Large Photo Setup

 

This is a simple to use stand made of PVC pipe and fittings.  The pieces are just pushed together.  I purchased several colors from Joanne Fabrics. A satin white, brilliant Blue, and Photo Gray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

08 Large Photo Setup

 

This is the PVC frame.  It can be any size and pieces can be made longer easily.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Photo Setup by Dave Bleil

 

 

Dave Bleil photo setup.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 2 Editing your Photos

10 Item Raw photo 

 

This is the raw photo from the camera.  There is a slight beige tint to the photo and the object doesn't "pop".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Item White Balanced

 

 

The same photo but white balanced.  Much better but can be even better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 Item White Balanced and Enhanced

 

 

After white balancing, the image was lightened, and then the color curves adjusted to make the image clearer.  This is the one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 3 Software

These programs are free to use and work well.  I always try to donate money to programs I use on a regular basis.  I want the developer to continue to develop the program.

  1. IRFanView - Free;  Easy to use basic editing and some more advanced options.  Probably the easiest to use and understand.
  2. GIMP - Powerful but complicated - Free;  Targeted toward image manipulation and creation.
  3. Inkscape - Useful for creating logos and drawings - Free

General rules:

  1. The original image MUST BE IN FOCUS!  An out of focus photo is useless.  Take several images and pick the best one.
  2. Take the highest resolution photo you can. 
  3. NEVER send a photo via any messaging service.  They compress the crap out of photos and you loose details and sharpness.
  4. Most camera photos have generic names.  Immediately rename the photo to make it significant to you.
  5. Only edit the photo ONCE!  Keep the original and make a copy to edit.  Every time you save and re-open the photo you loose details.  It is like making a copy, of a copy, of a copy.  Some programs save the original automatically.
  6. Keep several versions of the same photo.  Use "_thm" for thumbnails,  "_web" for photos on the web, and "_orig" for the full sized photo.
  7. Thumbnails can be between 60 and 128 pixels.
  8. Web photos should be 800 x 600 or similar. 
  9. Full Size photos can be 4000 x 3000, or whatever your camera creates.

 

Now start on the photo.

  1. White balance the photo as a first step.
  2. Now crop the photo if necessary to eliminate extraneous parts.  Try to keep the photo in a standard  4 to 3 ratio.  A  standard ratio would be 800 X 600  or  4000 x 3000.
  3. Now adjust the brightness and contrast.
  4. Adjust the color balances to enhance the colors in the photo.  Don't go overboard on this, just make the photo slightly more brilliant.
  5. Create sizes for the web and thumbnails.

 

 

 

 

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Club Officers

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Mission Statement

Our goal is to spread the gospel of the art and craft of woodturning.  We do this through community events such as festivals and craft fairs; and through individual members selling their creations at craft fairs and juried art festivals.

American Association of Woodturners

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Susquehanna Woodturners is a chapter of American Association of Woodturners.

Meeting Schedule

 

Currently Susquehanna Woodturners meets the second Tuesday of every month at the Harrisburg Woodcraft location, 3831 Union Deposit Rd (Union Square Mall), Harrisburg, PA 17111 and via ZOOM.  Members start to arrive for conversation and camaraderie at 6:00pm.  Meetings start at 7:00pm, and visitors are always welcome. 

The Zoom meeting info is sent to all members on our email list.  If you are not on the email list and wish to attend via zoom, Please send email to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Tell us a little bit about yourself and your interest in our club.

NOTE: IF YOU WISH TO ATTEND IN PERSON YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER  - visit the events page to register to attend in person.  You do not have to login to register to attend in person.