Photo set up

Taking good photo's of your tree's can be challenging. Discuss your ideas and tips here.
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melbrackstone
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Photo set up

Post by melbrackstone »

I asked Watto to share a wide view of his photo set up because his images are always so broadly and beautifully lit. It's clear that the natural sunlight is best, but we can't put our trees out in the bright sun and expect to get good detail. Diffused light is much better, either through shade cloth or a sheet or similar, or side light without direct sunlight.

This is my set up. A glass table on the deck, tin roof above, bright sun coming from north and south. I use a large piece of styrofoam that's been painted grey on one side, (just cheap blackboard paint with a touch of flat ceiling white.) I prop it up on a couple of chairs beside the table, and use the side light to give me a nice broad light. Using Auto on the camera means I can hand hold it, but if I want a top notch photo with no grain and low ISO I'll set the camera on a tripod and use manual settings.
20201010_DSC3285.jpg
This is the table with styrofoam
20201009_DSC3274.jpg
This is a kusamono made with blood grass and Dianthus

Honestly, studio lighting to give such good wide light would be way too expensive. Aussie light, even overcast daylight, is cheaper, and more efficient. Just don't try to shoot hand held when it's too dark.
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Re: Photo set up

Post by MJL »

Cheers Mel. Excellent explanation of your set up. I have said before that I miss my digital SLR... I have been close many times to buying a new mirrorless with great low light capability, a small zoom and an additional lens macro but alas. my phone makes me lazy!

I agree that in almost every circumstance - natural side light - overcast and/or in the morning or evening is usually the best light for most of my needs - whether that be trees, landscapes or family and friends.


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Re: Photo set up

Post by melbrackstone »

MJL wrote: October 10th, 2020, 8:15 pm Cheers Mel. Excellent explanation of your set up. I have said before that I miss my digital SLR... I have been close many times to buying a new mirrorless with great low light capability, a small zoom and an additional lens macro but alas. my phone makes me lazy!

I agree that in almost every circumstance - natural side light - overcast and/or in the morning or evening is usually the best light for most of my needs - whether that be trees, landscapes or family and friends.


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I haven't used a digital SLR for years, Mark, the mirrorless Sony I have is far superior in every way, and I'd never waste my time going back. In saying that, I use my phone with this set up too, and despite my phone being a dinosaur, it still gets the pic when needed.

The roof over the deck means even middle of the day sunlight can be fine for this set up, but of course as you say, before 9am and after 4pm the summer light is easier to tame.
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Re: Photo set up

Post by kcpoole »

I like the effect of the glass table :yes:
Almost looks like a water table or lake :-)

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Re: Photo set up

Post by Watto »

Thanks for the info Mel. I try to take my photos when it is overcast and I find that gives dispersed light, not too bright. Your set is great by the way.
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Re: Photo set up

Post by KIRKY »

The effect the glass table is giving is brilliant. It looks like it’s reflecting on water, that early morning misty look. Great shot Mel. Thats one thats worth framing. Well done.
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Re: Photo set up

Post by melbrackstone »

Thanks Ken, Watto and Kirky. It's been fun working with the reflections. When I have to start working on displays with stands etc the reflection is not going to be important, other than the fact I can put something white under the table and that'll throw some extra light in :)
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Re: Photo set up

Post by Bougy Fan »

Don't dis the DSLR Mel ! Maybe in years to come when the glass is much cheaper but ATM I am still really happy with my D7200 :whistle:
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Re: Photo set up

Post by melbrackstone »

I still occasionally use some of my L glass on the Sony still, Ken. I had to ditch the DSLR because it was all too heavy for my problem shoulders...Now I can fit two camera bodies and three or four lenses in a 7kg carry on....well I did, back when we were able to fly... :D
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Re: Photo set up

Post by Bougy Fan »

Who is Ken ? :lost: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Photo set up

Post by melbrackstone »

Soz Tony, you two with your admin colours confuzzled me. ;)
and I forget what ya look like..... :reading:
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Re: Photo set up

Post by Bougy Fan »

Who is this ? :whistle:
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