The Official Coil Photography Thread

Discussion in 'Coil Building' started by CrazyChef v2.0, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. WPMac

    WPMac Silver Contributor Unlisted Vendor

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    LG X-Charge. Cheap phone with a decent 13mp camera. My shots are hit or miss. Some come out amazing but some like the last one up there. You know, you've seen most of it. I am like 99% sure it's in my shooting techniques (lighting, focal point/zoom choices, ect ...). I do know that my camera will, at some point, put a ceiling on me. But I can't seem to find a rhyme or reason as to why it works well somtimes and visa-versa.
     
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  2. zephyr

    zephyr Meg, the Dirty Pirate VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    The point of that post was that rooting was Not necessary - it was a waste of time for photography :cheers:
     
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  3. zephyr

    zephyr Meg, the Dirty Pirate VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    Well...the only thing I can think of that I Know is that the whole coil needs to have no light shining directly on it - so lots of paper towels or a white t shirt or what have you, between it and all light sources, so there is no shine/glare on any of it


    I keep a white cloth between the coil and the lights, and put a piece of paper on the side opposite the lights to reflect light to the other side of the coil, like raymo said the other day

    My lighting needs a lot of work though, it's a hassle every time and still isnt ideal
     
  4. gsmit1

    gsmit1 Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year

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    I know and of course I'm kidding, but it still kills me not having root on my phone. :wait:
     
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  5. WPMac

    WPMac Silver Contributor Unlisted Vendor

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    Here's an example of some good shots and I have no idea why they turned out so much better than the last one lol. I almost always use the same lighting set-up.
    More practice with focus bracketing and helicon.
    First shot is wide angle macro with a base 1:1 crop
    second is full macro at about 2.3x zoom then super cropped.

    PicsArt_12-18-04.05.57-2.jpg PicsArt_12-18-04.09.52-2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
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  6. WPMac

    WPMac Silver Contributor Unlisted Vendor

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    Been a while. There's been a big upswing in the builder population over the past year on a number of social platforms. And I've been investing more and more time into the photo end of coil building. But, in the end, for me it's still more about the wire than the pictures. And I'm still a poor man so I've been looking for the cheapest ways to get the best outcome. Here's where I am at now.

    For reference I use an LG X-Charge (13mp) to shoot with. And I use a free mobile app for full manual control of the camera. As well as focus bracketing up to 100 shots, though I typical range between 5 and 20. OpenCamera - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.sourceforge.opencamera

    Let's start with the Physical "Studio". I shoot mostly indoors. Though I do like the occasional natural light session.
    Materials/Cost/Set-up
    -Cardboard box: Free
    **Open up 1 end completely and cut out 3 of the adjacent sides leaving an inch or so to tape your paper to.
    -Scotch tape and a few sheets of medium/heavy white printer paper: Pennies
    **You can use any pure white material (Polyester/Silk Cloth, paper, tissue, ect...). Depending on what it is it will block and reflect different amounts of light.
    **If the inside of your box is anything other than pure matte white then fully cover the inside with the white paper. Try to keep the seems as thin as you can and in places that you are not likely to shine the light through ... overlapping paper will cause shadows. And use as little tape as possible. I used 3 ~1" pieces per side/seem.
    -3x Table lamps (top one is a clamp base) with standard bulb sockets and deep conical shades: $8 each
    -75w daylight (5000k) LED bulbs: 4 pack for 7/8 bucks
    **Make sure they are LED because they will be up-close and personal with paper/cloth and standard bulbs will get hot as hell
    -Fully adjustable table-top tri-pod: $15-$20
    **Don't get the cheap cheap ($5) ones. They don't stand up well, break, and just all around not worth it.
    -Clip-on lens set: $25

    photostudio.jpg

    IMG_20190515_093436-2.jpg

    The Digital Studio:
    Cost:$0-$30
    -I started with a free mobile app called PicsArt https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.picsart.studio
    **It's a great, little, easy to use editing program with a lot of options. The best thing about it is how quick you can do minor edits like cropping, clarity, exposure, saturation, ect... And the ability to add a watermark. I could literally spend like 1-2 mins bumping sliders around and adding my watermark and improve the picture quality with very little time/effort. It has so much stuff I never even messed with so I'm not entirely sure what all you can do with it. There are a million little apps like this and they are a great introduction to editing software. I still use this for cropping and adding my watermark.

    Here's a couple shots done only using PicsArt with 1-2 mins of post-editing. And these where shot with only 1 light, on a desktop, not in a box, defused with a single sheet of paper approx 6 inches from the subject, and the light approx 6 inches from the paper.
    IMG_20181025_143427_417[1].jpg
    IMG_20181117_122824_912[1].jpg

    -GIMP: Free https://www.gimp.org/
    **GIMP is a freeware version of PhotoShop. It has been around forever and works just as well. It's safe and effective and has freeware plug-ins to further expand it's functionality. I really enjoy G'MICQT https://gmic.eu
    -Helicon Focus: $0-$30 https://www.heliconsoft.com/heliconsoft-products/helicon-focus/
    **Helicon is a focus stacking program with a free 30 day demo that you can subvert with your PC clock or making new emails. I just went ahead spent the $30 on a year subscription after a couple of months with the trial. It also has some other editing functionalities with a higher price point but they don't do anything I can't do in GIMP. In all honesty You can focus stack for free with GIMP as well. I posted a tutorial up in this thread somewhere. But it is torturous and tedious for anything more than stacking a few shots.

    Some work in a lightbox with GIMP and Helicon. Post-edit time can be anywhere from 5 mins to hours depending on what I'm trying to accomplish and if I'm practiced in the specific techniques I'm trying to apply. Though non of these took hours. I'd say on average 10-15 mins from start to finish?!? Not including the actual taking of the pictures.
    IMG_20190513_072246_072[1].jpg
    IMG_20190427_140245_245[1].jpg

    IMG_20190514_141409_745[1].jpg


    So, for $75-$100 you can get some outstanding results. Truth be told you can get reasonable results for just about no financial investment - see some of my previous posts for other cheaper ideas. And you don't have to invest all at once. Get 1 good bulb and some paper towels/white paper, for defusing, to start with and build up from there.
    I still have work to do to be more consistent with my shots. And editing can only do so much. A dressed up pile of crap still smells bad lol
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 11:54 AM
  7. raymo2u

    raymo2u VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 3 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    Got a new lightbox a while back, Ive had great success with it so I thought I'd share. They make them in multiple sizes from 12"x12" to 32"x32", I got the 32" version so I could play with more than close up shots/alternate photography. It was $80 on Ebay but it comes with everything you need, the lighting, diffuser and the box itself is fully adjustable.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    It has allowed me to photograph things much larger and it offers "windows" for shooting above, from the side, the front and you can lift the entire front end if need be. It also helps that Ive purchased Photoshop and have slowly learned to use it instead of Paint.net....

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 2:26 PM
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  8. WPMac

    WPMac Silver Contributor Unlisted Vendor

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    That is much more reasonable than 480 LMAO!!
    Having gotten that out of the way ... How do you feel the foil reflection is compared to a matte finish?? I've considered going this route but I've been concerned about harshness.
     
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  9. raymo2u

    raymo2u VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 3 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    I noticed a few typo's and fixed them :D

    The diffuser can be adjusted as well as the lighting to the sides, over the top, from the back, ect. The diffuser and lights clip onto the bars...so you can have the lights over the top but angled towards the the front and rear and then have the diffuser just above your object (this is what I do). The foil sides havent caused the reflections or harshness...I was also concerned about this at first. The only time I have had it be an issue is with mirrored surfaces exposing the foil, other than that it acts like a light reflector no different than paper but conveys more light. - which I like because then I can drop my shutter speed. The lights are dimmable and you can move your object away from the sides or front, so you have total control over your lighting.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 5:15 PM
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  10. WPMac

    WPMac Silver Contributor Unlisted Vendor

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    Alright now you got me ... where can I gander at said lightbox?
     
  11. raymo2u

    raymo2u VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 3 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    Right HERE or HERE
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 7:25 AM
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  12. CrazyChef v2.0

    CrazyChef v2.0 Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years VU Challenge Team ECF Refugee Reddit Exile

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    Dude - that's a grow tent!
     
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  13. raymo2u

    raymo2u VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 3 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    lol Its just the pictures they used, I dont think the lighting would be good for growing ;):D
     
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  14. Carambrda

    Carambrda Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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  15. WPMac

    WPMac Silver Contributor Unlisted Vendor

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    Last edited: May 18, 2019 at 10:41 AM
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