Learn How to Photograph Your Product

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NadineJ   8/27/2012 2:58:44 PM
Thank you for these great bullet points.  I studied photography years ago and always had a hard time explaining basic ways to make DIY photography look good.  AS a result, I become the unofficial photographer for quick projects.

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Re: If 1 picture = 1·10³ words, then 250 pictures = 1 Oxford English Dictionary
mrdon   8/27/2012 1:55:01 PM
Hi Jon,

The suggestions made are quite timely especially with a lot of folks submitting articles to the Gadget Freak column. I could have definitely used these photography suggestions for my book Learn Electronics with Arduino just recenty published by Apress. I'm working on a second Apress book and wiil definitely use them for improving my photographs. Thanks for the article and keep up the good work!

Jon Titus
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Re: If 1 picture = 1·10³ words, then 250 pictures = 1 Oxford English Dictionary
Jon Titus   8/27/2012 1:08:49 PM
Hi, Ann. I remember the days of Xacto knives and production editors who ended up with bits of paper stuck on their sleeves.  A piece of frosted glass supported by four stacks of books and incandescent bulbs underneath makes a jury-rigged lightbox.  I recommend against using milky glass or white plastic, both of which absorb too much light.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: If 1 picture = 1·10³ words, then 250 pictures = 1 Oxford English Dictionary
Ann R. Thryft   8/27/2012 12:47:07 PM
Jon, I see that your tip #3 basically suggests the old lightbox. Once upon a time in the ancient dark ages before desktop publishing, this was how anything printed got produced during what was called "paste-up," using Exacto knives. I wonder if those boxes are still sold? If not, they're pretty easy to make.

Jon Titus
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Re: If 1 picture = 1·10³ words, then 250 pictures = 1 Oxford English Dictionary
Jon Titus   8/27/2012 11:23:58 AM
Good points, Dave. Thanks for sharing. Years ago I visited one of the failure-analysis labs at NASA. The lab team had a rack full of power-supplies and needed to analyze why they failed. I recall they took lots and lots of photos before they did anything else

Dave Palmer
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If 1 picture = 1·10³ words, then 250 pictures = 1 Oxford English Dictionary
Dave Palmer   8/27/2012 10:43:03 AM
In my field (failure analysis), photography is all-important.  I spend a lot of time trying to get the perfect photo of a broken part.  One tip I'd like to add to Jon's list is simply this:

8. Take lots and lots of photos.

As Jon mentions, with digital photography, there's no good excuse for not doing this; you can always delete the ones you don't use.  I probably take at least 20-30 shots for each photo I use in a report.

Another tip, which seems obvious, but which I have sometimes forgotten, is this:

9. Take pictures before disassembly or destructive testing.

If you're going to take apart an assembly or cut up a part, make sure you take all of the pictures you need prior to doing this.  Otherwise, good luck getting it back into the condition you received it!

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