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Photography Hints from Reynold

It took a lot of experimenting plus advise from various "experts" to finally have some success with taking photos of Marcia's dolls and beaded items.

I tried to use my automatic 10 year old Yashica 230-AF SLR (both auto and manual) with various light and filters plus another newer small point and shoot automatic 35mm without any results I could depend on. I also have an old manual Olympus OM-1 with a 50 mm lens. I tried to use a 70mm - to 210mm zoom with the OM1 and that was not successful. The bottom line is it became very simple in the end.

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My Olympus OM-1 can get very close with the stock 50mm lens, about 10 to 12 inches. If I need more detail I use a set of three close up lenses (Screws into the UV haze filter which is already assembled to the camera lens) They are numbered #1,#2 and #4 so the highest accumulative number gives the closest magnification. For ex: #1 + #2 = #3 so it is possible to go as high as #7 with the three lenses. Easy to screw on and inexpensive to buy.

I set my aperture to f16 for greatest depth of field and adjust the light meter in the view finder to center, optimum light, by rotating the shutter speed adjustment. Sometimes I over or under expose 1/2 a position to compensate for some reflections.

Always use a tripod with a cable shutter release. This allows an f16 aperture setting and still take photos at very slow shutter speed. Wait a few seconds after adjusting the camera before releasing the shutter. This lets the camera settle down so it is vibration free as the shutter is released.

I built a 2' X 2' X 2" shadow box from 1/4" white foam core board. Just scotch tape it together, real easy.

We have used both white fabric drape and more recently a beige fabric drape as background. Marcia makes that decision based on the subject. Various supports are used under the drape to position the subject. Sometimes I just hang a flat item on the wall of the box.

The lighting is accomplished with two (sometimes three) flood lamps with BCA No 1 Blue bulbs...at camera distance, real close to right and left of the camera. (It can get hot sometimes). Make sure all areas of the subject are covered by the floods. You should have at least on adjustable flood stand to raise the flood high if needed. We also use clamp on floods which can be clamped on the back of a chair or stool.

I have been using Kodak Gold ASA 200 or a German film Perutz ASA 200. The Perutz is from our local camera shop and it is inexpensive and great because it comes in 12 frames so we don't waste if we only have a few quick frames to take and need development ASAP.

Well that seems to be all I can think of. If you have any questions call or send an e mail. After so much experimenting with the auto cameras I now find it is so simple with my (old 1979) manual OM1. I always have control and nothing changes unless I change it.

Let me know how you make out.  Good luck.

 

Best regards,

Reynold F. Missall (a.k.a. Frog Prince)


Copyright ?2002 Marcia Acker-Missall
For Comments or Questions contact: potdfrog@bellsouth.net
All Patterns Copyright by Marcia Acker-Missall, The Potted Frog. 
All Rights Reserved
Last Updated 16 December 2003