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Trying to improve my photography


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Hey all,


Just a for fun post. Had some pieces out to re-oil the other night and tried my hand at working on my photo skills with the lighting and black backdrop. Happened to be probably my easiest and hardest examples to capture the activity.

The first is soshu style and the activity usually pops, in fact some of my less staged photos even capture the hamon  activity better, but here to contrast with…


The second. I really tried hard with the suguha blade, it’s an older polish to begin with and looks so much different in hand, this was my best effort yet but still doesn’t quite get it. 

These have been on the board before and I’ll drop the smiths (first is contested tough) and the activity I see in hand below for those who don’t want to guess. 







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I find it too difficult to shoot a sword with direct lightning.


Instead I shoot when the sword is lit by the (preferably low) ambiant light to avoid very high contrasts. This also requires a very long exposure (10+ secs), low ISO (to avoid noise), a tripod and a remote (or 2-sec delay).


I believe that the end result better shows the hataraki in those conditions. Here's an example (edited in Lightroom).



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Really Nice shot Francois. 


I ended up using a really similar setup

I was playing around recently and found the direct light was too destructive to the shot.

In the end my perfect light setup was low ambient light 
2 x diffuse lights 

I also had a single warm ring light that I moved around to highlight areas



This was with a standard light and it blew out so much at some angles that I lost the detail as soon as the light reflected




This was shot with very very low ambient light and a single light source to the left, this pulled out all the details, doesn't look like the blade looks in hand due to every little detail being pulled out by the tight angle.



here are a few while i was playing with different light setups, I think next time I will use a different lens because the focus is very shallow on the lens I used and i could only get close up detail shots









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18 hours ago, Stephen said:

Ive had good luck outside with sun at my back.

Thanks Stephen. I think natural light works great. Been hard to get the timing and the angles right here, down between all the skyscrapers. Had much better natural light back in Virginia. 

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I'm hoping to make a catalogue of my collection. Would most likely post it as a gallery on the forum. I remember reading ages ago someone saying it would be nice to have a few threads that are diffeent people's galleries.


Just finding the time to do it.

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