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Photographing paperweights - techniques and tips


You all know that I'm far from expert in the field of paperweight identification.  I'm equally inexpert in photography, but I can be awfully stubborn when I'm on a project.  :!:

I have a Canon S1 IS digital camera (needed the big optical zoom for a trip to Alaska a few years ago).  I suspect however, that the ability to shoot photos through the computer (I'll get to that) probably is available with the software that comes with lots of cameras.

I started taking pictures of paperweights the "old-fashioned way" - brightly lit room with as few reflections on the weight as possible, hold the camera as steady as possible and shoot.  With enough shots of the paperweight, I was likely to get some satisfactory shots.

The next big step was when I figured out that I'd be better off with the camera on a solid surface rather than hand-held.  I further refined this trick by setting the shutter on a 2 second delay.  That way I could press the button and get the *&%*&^$& away from the camera before it took the shot.  This technique also let me play around with setting exposures and f-stop (yeah, I guess it's an archaic term, but I'm an archaist).

The problem with all of the above was that I would shoot 2 or 3 or 50 or 60 shots, then download to the computer and start eliminating and editing.  Invariably I'd realize that there was another angle I should have or I really wasn't happy with the shots.  Go back to step 1.....

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered the mother lode:   :shock:  :lol:  I can hook the camera up to the computer, take the pictures using the mouse, have them immediately load into the computer, and be able to see each shot immediately!    :shock:  In the Canon world, this shows up in the interface software as a tab marked "REMOTE".
HALLELUJAH!! I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT!!   :D  :)  :lol:  :shock:  :shock:

My latest revelation is that I can return the Klieg lights to the rental center.  Working with just a low level of ambient light, setting the f-stop to 2.8 (as low as it will go) and using exposures anywhere from 1/10 second to 2 or 3 or more seconds, I'm now getting photos that ACTUALLY look like the paperweight.   AND since I see the photo on the screen immediately, I can immediately decide what to try next.

Look forward to learning what others out there have found!


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