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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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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