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!
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.