Lights, camera, bud pic.

Discussion in 'Marijuana Photography' started by nvthis, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Dec 26, 2009 #1

    nvthis

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    Ok, so I have been toying with the idea of a thread like this for a while. A thread that would be universally and ubiquitously useful to everyone, no matter their individual capabilities. Before we begin, I would like to say I am no photographer! I have said this before, and I will say it again, I am NOT the guy you want photographing your wedding, or anything else important for that matter! With that out of the way, let's begin...

    This thread is intended to be a dump for anyone from the beginner (which I am), to the journey man (which I am not). Please fell free to post all the pics you like... But, be prepared to discuss them!! Tips, tricks and hints. And please... No photoshopped pics!! Really we want to focus on our cameras capabilities, not our savvy computer skills.. I will be posting some pics shortly and will attempt to discover various points about them that I am currently focused on. I have been playing with light, colors and backgrounds quite a bit lately. Some of my stoner-redneck ingenuity might be surpising to some of you, and a real head shaker to the rest!:D

    One thing I would like to get to the bottom of is what the different strategies are for trichome photography. My friend Q and I have discussed this once or twice in the past. I have even approached Subcool about it. I would love to hear everyones thoughts on it. I also might have a few tricks of my own to share;)

    Another topic I would love to discuss is symmetry. This is an extremely interesting topic that, I think, is overlooked more often than not..

    Why is it even necessary to have a thread like this? There are a lot of members here and we all differ in respects to life. Politics. Geography. Hobbies. Religion. Belief in extra-terrestrials. Xbox vs. Wii.. Whatever. But there is also a common thread that binds us and brings us all together. Cannabis. Where most folk are smitten to see an obnoxious weed, we see beauty and art. This plant that we all love, cherish and respect deserves it's rightful place in the spotlight.
     
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  2. Dec 26, 2009 #2

    2Dog

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    uh nvthis I thought I was going to be seeing one of your amazing pictures I feel...let down. please post some pretties! imagine your bud with a professional photographer...maybe we should take a class eh?
     
  3. Dec 26, 2009 #3

    nvthis

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    Ok, so to start this off, I am going to put up these pics of a recent Bubba Kush. I chose these because it fits right in to what I am doing, even though they may not be the greatest ever. In a nut shell, these were part of an experiment with a new colored background and attempts to split the light evenly between the bud and the background and everything in between. Here's what can go right, and what can go wrong..


    Tips, hints and tricks: Take tons of pictures! If there was ever a most important tip for amature photography, this would be it! Don't be satisfied with walking up, taking a shot and then walking away. Plan for an extended session. 100, 200, 300 pics should not be out of the question if you are looking for that 'one' pic.

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  4. Dec 26, 2009 #4

    OldHippieChick

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    Good idea NV. I never imagined that some knowledge of camera function and capability would be so important to getting help or showing progress or just showing when I came here. Looking forward....
     
  5. Dec 26, 2009 #5

    Hamster Lewis

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    Nice pics nv....I think the best way to take pics of trichs wld be the eyeclops....I hve been wanting one badly...tried to get the wife to get it for x-mas for me but she laughed it off and thought it was a toy...which I guess it is...but I want it **** it....:)
     
  6. Dec 26, 2009 #6

    Hamster Lewis

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    Ladies are in darkness now...when the lights come on I will snap a few keeping in mind what you said....
     
  7. Dec 26, 2009 #7

    nvthis

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    The last pic in the above series was my original BPOTM entry. I canned it because I am anally retentive and it didn't stand up to what I believed as being a quality worth going up against my friend tc or the rest of the great pics this month. There were several issues with it. Symmetry was one of them. This bud had the most rediculousy random shape to it and I was forced to crop off the largest leaf to keep the bud centered in the pic. Also, when I put it through Picasa to resize it for MP, all that ghosting and shadowing around the bud showed up. That looked just crappy. All in all though, I liked this series and can see a huge potential here for future experiments. The lighting was also lots of fun. This is all done by reflecting the flash away from the bud. Even the last one. Notice how the light seems to come from the top, bottom and everywhere else, eliminating almost all of the shadow? It's almost like the bud was emmiting the light it's self..



    Tips, hints and tricks: Mj has a wonderful symmetry. If you can find it on your bud or plant, take full advantage of it for your pictures! Also, when cropping your final work, absolutely try to NEVER cut off leaves like I did above. This only disrupts the natural symmetry and provids a lesser quality IMO.
     
  8. Dec 26, 2009 #8

    nvthis

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    Thanks folks, but were just getting started here....:D

    Hopefully my friends Tcbud and Qman will stop in shortly..
     
  9. Dec 26, 2009 #9

    nvthis

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    Reflecting light.

    Really, I mean reflecting the flash. This is something I have been experimenting with quite a bit lately. Most pics of mj we will run across will contain a simple point and shoot type technique with little or no regard to camera functions. Like trying to take pics under your HPS, the end product is infinitely predictable.

    There are several ways to do this. The proper way, of course, is to go and get a remote flash and umbrella system. I would love to do this myself, but my skill level hardly justifies it. Enter stoner-redneck ingenuity. Mostly I just use a mirror. This is VERY limiting but serves my purpose for now. That and I can get some crazy cool affects from it. More on that later.

    It would be one thing to somehow mechanically attach a mirror in front of your flash unit for the purpose of consistancy. I do it by hand- For now. This just makes the job that much more difficult as every shot promises to be slightly different. Every shot will vary slightly in degree of angle. This next series will show, again, not only the differences in angle, but also the potential for this technique.


    Tips, tricks and hints: Always kill your fans and exhaust system before shooting! Especially if you are planning to adjust your exposure time. With longer exposures the potential to ruin a shot due to movement multiplies. For extended exposures use a remote button or set your timer for a few seconds off. This will give your camera a moment to settle. Then, don't move and don't breath! hold perfectly still until the shot is over. With longer exposure time the camera will pick up any slight movement from heart beat, breathing, vibration from walking around and any air currents that develope. My friend Qman will reiterate all of this to add weight to it's importance!!

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  10. Dec 26, 2009 #10

    nvthis

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    Ok, nice start. Can't wait to see and talk about some elses stuff later!!:D

    This next series is the epitomy of stoner-redneck ingenuity! These shots were taken with the flash diffused through a bottle of windex!!!:rolleyes:

    I have done some diffusion and had some good results. That is directly related to how I started using mirrors. I had a guy tell me once that he taped rolling papers to the front of his flash to defuse the light. He could add or subtract the layers accordingly. Just brilliant IMO. But why? Generally a point and shoot shot with flash on auto with no adjustments will 95% of the time end up with a bleaching affect on your finished photo. That's not good. Personally I think the raw light from a flash is a very poor light quality source. Ya gotta do something! Anyway, the windex shots.. Kind of dumb, but very interesting results to say the least;)

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  11. Dec 26, 2009 #11

    nvthis

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    Just a couple more random pics taken with light reflection:cool:

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  12. Dec 26, 2009 #12

    nvthis

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    Ok so a little series showing us some uses for backgrounds and how light reflection can affect them.. These are colored sheets. Well, fabric anyway. Darn near anything can be used for a backdrop, it's the camera that makes it work! For example.. Here is a couple of shots that were just 'point and shoot' with direct flash. Note the shadows on the backdrop this creates which is, IMO, not so great.

    Also you may have noted that a lot of these pics are of the same buds over and over. To be honest with you, I don't have 300 buds available to make each one different, nor the inclination to put myself through that kind of hassle! It's just what it is...

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  13. Dec 26, 2009 #13

    nvthis

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    Continuing, here are some backdrops of different colors offering some pretty cool affects. Some look like weird sunsets, some look like they were taken under water.. Take a look. Redneck enginuity never had it so good!:D


    Tricks, hints and tips: In the fabric section at Wamart you can get a yard of clothe for about $2. It's all you really need. The colors there are amazing. But, like I said, almost anything can be used as a backdrop


    Hints, Tricks and tips: The sunset or underwater appearance was accomplished like this... I taped a piece of sheet to the back wall in the corner of my flower room. I set the bud in front of it then reflected the flash blast into the wall directly to my right with a mirror. The wall to my right was lined with mylar, which is crinkly and wavey. This, in turn, diffused the light even more and blasted it onto the backdrop, creating this effect. Basically I bent the light around the bud and onto the background. Pretty cool for a redneck, huh?:D

    Tips, tricks and hints: If you really want to flood your bud with great light, try this... Set up your camera directly under the hood in your flower room. Reflect the flash straight up into your hood. This, with the room surrounded in mylar, will give you the most incredible light flood on your bud!

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  14. Dec 26, 2009 #14

    dragracer

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    very nice pics.....:holysheep: :cool2: :48:
     
  15. Dec 27, 2009 #15

    kalikisu

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    Very artistic, those buds are thick.
     
  16. Dec 27, 2009 #16

    mojavemama

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    OH, Man, NV, I am SO excited about this thread! Your pictures and instructions are just wonderful. I'm confused about deflecting the light with the mirror. Could you talk a little bit more about that? And how about using a tripod?

    Fantastic thread. I'm going to be watching this with eagle eyes and learning tons, I can tell. THANK YOU for doing this, NV!
     
  17. Dec 27, 2009 #17
    Just thought I would throw these in for youre considerations...

    First is the mango in flower right now. Second is some Berry Kush ~ Both are at 200 times magnification although the 100 mag. gives some really nice view as well. Best toy EVER ~

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  18. Dec 27, 2009 #18
    Hahaha cool thread, I'll be following!

    Have you ever heard of the rule of thirds? Not that you need it or anything. :p
     
  19. Dec 27, 2009 #19

    nvthis

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    Hey MM. Ok, the deflection of flash is a manual (for now) equivalent of using remote flash units. Imagine having your camera on a tripod. Once you are ready to take the picture, place a mirror in front of the flash and angle it in whatever direction you wish it (the light) to go. You don't have to have it in contact with the flash housing, but not so far away that it interferes with your picture either. I would recommend angling the flash upwards to begin with, until you get the hang of it. You will notice right away (on the very first pic) that you have done something VERY different. You are going to be adding light you never thought possible. And, as you go you will discover that different light sources seem much more 'natural' and way, WAY more complete and sophisticated.

    As for using a tripod, I will let Q address that one. He is the reason I bought one in the first place;) But if you are asking if you should? Most definitely!:D


    Tips, hints and trickery: When using a mirror, size IS everything. Shape too, to a degree. To start, I would use something square or retangular in the 3"x5" to 5"x7" range. In the hair section at Walmart, you can pick these up for around $2 (I think). Also, everyone asked "how did you get that pink shade thing going?" I figured out where it was coming from. Some mirrors have a plastic frame and handle. They can come in red, blue, green ect. ect. When you flash on the mirror, the handle lights up like a friggin neon tube, throwing some weird colors in the mix. Not necessarily perfect, but not bad either. Just more to explore:D
     
  20. Dec 27, 2009 #20

    nvthis

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    Hey hey meds.. Anything about the eyeclops that you might tell a first time user to make his/her experience better? Yeah, I have been thinking about getting one myself!:D

    SM, what's the rule of thirds?;)
     

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