Photographing loaded cartridges


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Squeaky Wheel
February 9, 2013, 10:18 AM
As a beginner reloader, I'm interested in learning how you guys take such good close-up pictures of loaded cartridges. This may be important for asking online questions about something odd that crops up.

What are the do's and don'ts of taking great close-up cartridge photos?

What type of cameras do you guys use? Can a smartphone work well, or does it require a 'real' camera?

Thanks in advance!

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Reloadron
February 9, 2013, 10:38 AM
Personally I try to employ all of my photography skills. I set the camera on auto and press the shutter button and also pray a little. Fortunately with a camera brighter than I this generally yields good images. :)

Seriously, we have several very good photographer types here who can likely give much better advice than I can. However, here is a little of what I try to do. When photographing brass cases or loaded ammunition I generally polish the brass a little using a non-ammonia based brass polish. Also consider the background color(s) and texture, you want emphasis on the brass.Using a good camera with manual settings I try to use a short or narrow depth of field so my subject ammunition is well defined in focus with the foreground and background is out of focus or blurred. I try also to pay attention to my ambient lighting and the lighting color temperature to get a good white balance in my images. For close up images I like to use a good macro lens when needed and use a few different lenses as needed. For a basic point and shoot camera pay attention to the lighting and background. Positioning of the brass is important. Without getting crazy or pedantic the layout plays a big roll in the end images.

Smartphones can really vary tremendously as to the image quality, just a matter of how good the camera in the smartphone is, everything from how many mega-pixel to how well it affords flash as needed.

Again, we have some members who really do excellent not just ammunition but gun photography. This has come up in a few threads with incredible images posted. I just dabble in it. A good Photoshop software program helps also.

Just My Take
Ron

SSN Vet
February 9, 2013, 11:16 AM
Macro mode helps

SuperNaut
February 9, 2013, 12:03 PM
Personally I try to employ all of my photography skills. I set the camera on auto and press the shutter button and also pray a little. Fortunately with a camera brighter than I this generally yields good images. :)

Like I always say, "'A' stands for Awesome..."

Recon Ron
February 9, 2013, 12:13 PM
Take your lens off the camera body, turn it around and tape it to the camera body, now you have a Macro lens with a small DoF.


Otherwise use Macro "mode" or Av mode set to a small f-stop.

bds
February 9, 2013, 01:08 PM
What are the do's and don'ts of taking great close-up cartridge photos?

What type of cameras do you guys use? Can a smartphone work well, or does it require a 'real' camera?
I took photography in high school and did yearbook in college - still, I am just at hobby level in my picture taking skills.

Here's my set up.

I do not have a fancy setup like a light box. I simply drape my reloading bench with an old towel with clips (BTW, that's my 2'x3' portable castered reloading bench inside the 5'x6' walk-in closet so often the single 13W CFL on the ceiling is enough lighting to take pictures). I keep brass in plastic Folgers coffee containers in a shelving unit next to the bench so I just grab one and set a dollar store cooking/baking pan on top of it. I set a couple of 8.5"x11" copy paper I use for targets on the pan rolled up against the Lee powder measure mounted to the bench to show continuous white background. I use two 13W CFL gooseneck clamp lights I use for the reloading bench flipped down for taking pictures and flipped up for reloading. (BTW, this picture was taken with a LG smartphone with a single 13W CFL mounted on the ceiling of the closet)

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=179406&stc=1&d=1360433259

Here are my tips:

1. Having the right equipment really helps. Most of the pictures I post on THR is taken with LG android smartphone model LG-C800 (T-mobile myTouch phone) and Olympus SP-600UZ digital camera.

I have taken close-up pictures with several different smart phones and the quality of close-up pictures are not the same. The LG camera has zoom, brightness control and flash and I usually take the pictures with 25-35% zoom, brightness set to max and no flash to reduce reflection/glare (two CFL clamp lights provide more natural light color and reduce shadows). With the digital camera, I use the macro mode with the lens almost touching the object (like taking pictures of barrel chambers/rifling).

The LG smartphone is not active for cellphone use as I have other smartphones so I use it primarily as a bench camera. You probably could find used one on craigslist/classified for cheap.

2. Don't use flash or too bright of light as it creates glares. The two 13W CFL clamp lights have provided enough lighting for all the pictures I took for THR threads the past 3 years. On occasion, I have used small LED flashlights as supplement lighting but most of the times, the gooseneck clamp lights provided enough directional adjustment to reduce glare/reflection and shadowing.

3. Try tilting the camera with close lighting. You don't always have to take the picture at perpendicular angle. To show maximum detail, I will actually take off one of the clamp lights and place it right behind the smartphone so I have plenty of lighting without shadowing and zoom in 25-35% while holding the smartphone back a bit from the object. If I see glares or dark reflections on the cases, I will angle the smartphone slightly so I see bright brass cases. Personally, I think some shadowing makes the pictures appear more natural/real but will use a small LED flashlight if I want to eliminate all shadows.

4. If you can't hold the camera steady while it is focusing to take the picture, pictures will be blurry/out of focus/not sharp. Rest your body/elbows/hands on something steady (doorway, bench etc.) or use a tripod.

5. Don't laugh but although I have photo editing softwares, I prefer to use Microsoft Paint program to crop and insert texts/arrows (it's quick and easy for me). I open the pictures with the picture viewer and adjust the window size to get the right size of objects in the picture and press the "Print Screen" button (above the Home button) to copy and paste into the Paint program. After I crop/edit the pictures, I save it as JPEG compression to save space on server harddrives (I am currently using 41 MB for 635 picture attachments).

Reloadron
February 9, 2013, 02:13 PM
Like I always say, "'A' stands for Awesome..."
So the A setting stands for Awesome? That was great and I have to remember that. :)

Something I should have mentioned is when using flash I do use things to diffuse the light so it isn't harsh. Paper tissue sometimes fills the bill.

bds, that was a great post and the setup really shows what a little imagination can do. Really, really nice. I have been meaning to put together something similar. With retirement on the horizon that will make a real good project. Thanks for the motivation and ideas.

Ron

JSmith
February 9, 2013, 02:23 PM
Cartridges are bright (or should be), so I often have trouble with glare. I get better results with indirect flourescent lighting and no flash.

bds
February 9, 2013, 02:42 PM
Sometimes glare/reflections cause optical distortion. Here's an example of picture I took on a rush that shows this affect.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=179431&stc=1&d=1360439421


When a concern for bulging of cases came up in another thread, I took this dark/shadowy picture to prove the cases are not bulged - it was just glare/reflection (Berry's reload in the center between two factory rounds).

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=156022&d=1325564824

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=155962&d=1325535755

243winxb
February 9, 2013, 03:01 PM
For close up, Macro setting on Auto with a Canon camera. Best light is outside shade, no flash. Window"s 7 program can adjust dark areas, making them brighter & easer to see. http://s338.beta.photobucket.com/user/joe1944usa/library/Items%20for%20Sale-Gunbroker?#/user/joe1944usa/library/Items%20for%20Sale-Gunbroker?&_suid=136044021676906051606134419079

horsemen61
February 9, 2013, 03:11 PM
Very cool thread guys

Reloadron
February 9, 2013, 04:12 PM
Nice stuff there bds.

We know how Remington has been big on using bees in naming some of their ammunition. Names like Hornet, and Yellow Jacket come to mind. Years ago they did a really cool and interesting picture and used it on the Yellow Jacket .22 ammunition boxes. They went out and caught some yellow jackets. They were placed in a jar and in a refrigerator. When the bees get cold they get sluggish and somewhat dormant. Several cartridges were painted with a clear sugar water solution around the bullet.

The bees were removed from refrigeration in a warm area where the cartridges were. Using tweezers the bees were placed beside the cartridges. As they warmed up and slowly became active they began to climb the cartridges attracted by the sugar water smell. A series of photographs were shot making for some really cool images. Really slick how it was done and the bees cooperating. The bees were actually released and the claim was no bees were harmed in making the images. That had to be early 60s and I have never forgotten those pictures.

This summer I want to try a few things like this once I am retired. I will finally have the time to experiment a little with the cameras I have. Maybe even learn something along the way. :)

Ron

TexasShooter59
February 9, 2013, 04:16 PM
One thing I have discovered in the last year, is that the iPad2 takes pretty good photos close up. Do not use any zoom. See attached.

Onewolf
February 9, 2013, 06:27 PM
If I want to take a GOOD photo of a couple rounds then I break out my Canon DSLR, EF-S 60mm macro lens, and a TRIPOD.

The most important item is the tripod. :) This allows a long exposure at high f-stop for maximum DOF.

Sometimes I resort to a wider angle lens if the macro lens won't work. Like for this photo:

http://www.onewolf.org/Album/LongRangeShooting/slides/IMG_5844.JPG

WardenWolf
February 9, 2013, 06:32 PM
Taken with a 10.1 megapixel Sony Cybershot camera:

http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s279/WardenWolf_1982/225Ammo-1.jpg

I sold my father's .225 Winchester Model 70, then sold the remaining ammo we had for it.

Jesse Heywood
February 10, 2013, 07:19 PM
The most important item is the tripod.

And following closely is a remote shutter release, or the use of the camera's timer to reduce camera shake.

rfwobbly
February 10, 2013, 07:58 PM
Study this picture carefully. Do you see what's missing?

http://www.onewolf.org/Album/LongRangeShooting/slides/IMG_5844.JPG


This photo is proof that you loose your I playing with guns.

:neener:

rikman
February 10, 2013, 08:07 PM
iPhone

dubbleA
February 10, 2013, 08:50 PM
I like working with color and lighting. Playing with depth of field you can emphasize your main subject.


http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/b1.jpg

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/CartridgeComparison.jpg

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/223comp.jpg

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/DSC00018.jpg

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/IMG_0268.jpg

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/IMG_08411.jpg

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/IMG_8111.jpg

Steve C
February 10, 2013, 11:22 PM
Lots of good tips. I've found that lighting is very important and selecting the proper while balance for the lighting you have goes a long way to get good looking pictures.

Defuse lighting reduces shadows.

Remember that for most pictures you want to post on the net you don't want a large file or high resolution picture. VGA 640x380 is usually quite adequate to illustrate your point. If you want a real close up you can use the higher resolution of your camera to take the picture and crop the subject to make an "enlarged" picture for the net at lower resolution.

Example, the picture below was taken at 7 meg and the subject area was cropped to show a close up of a primer.

http://i1171.photobucket.com/albums/r552/s_o_cikkubs/Primer.jpg

bds
February 11, 2013, 01:35 AM
For extreme close up shots, try LED flashlights as your lighting source at various angles.

When I tried to capture the details of primer cups/anvils, the usual 13W CFL clamp lights did not bring out enough of the details. I have 80/120 lumen and 100/250 lumen LED flashlights and toilet paper tissue over 80/120 lumen flashlight at different angles/distance worked to capture these shots - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7794378#post7794378

This shot was fairly straight forward. The LED flashlight was held overhead while I took the picture.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=154597&stc=1&d=1323680311

Notice the difference between overhead vs angled lighting? The bottom picture of anvils show greater detail with angled lighting.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=154678&stc=1&d=1323749923

With this shot, I wanted to highlight different anvil tips and shapes. I angled the LED flashlight and this was the best of like 10 different light angles.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=154677&stc=1&d=1323749923

CGT80
February 11, 2013, 03:51 AM
I am lazy, so I usually just use my Droid Bionic phone to take photos. My camera is rated at 8MP and I recently figured out that I can set the focus point to where I want it on the subject. I should work on some close-ups with my DSLR.

Here is one from the shooting range on Saturday, taken with my phone. It does pretty good for a built in camera that is always with me.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k484/CGT80/photobucket-67859-1360572530429.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k484/CGT80/ee8e5a4a-263a-4133-86bc-d3e36c5d72db.jpg

edfardos
February 11, 2013, 09:57 AM
squirrel shot is LOL funny! Awesome tips and examples!

edfardos

kingmt
February 11, 2013, 12:01 PM
I know a professional that uses her Android for the most of here work.

I have two cheapy phones that I use. One takes nice pictures the other is good enough to get your point across.

Funny thing is the one with the worst camera & cheaper display shows the best images.

Walkalong
February 11, 2013, 12:11 PM
this was the best of like 10 different light angles. Yep, good lighting, multiple pics, from multiple angles. "Pic" the best one.

I use a lens held up to my little Sony camera to simulate a macro lens for closeups. It does OK. Lighting is probably the most important.

ryan3465
February 13, 2013, 03:27 PM
Here's one I took today. Lighting seems to be a big part of it, as well as appropriate background. My iPhone doesn't take the best close ups, but my fiancÚ's tmobile sidekick takes the best close up shots I've ever seen from ANY camera.

TexasShooter59
February 20, 2013, 03:18 PM
Post #13 should have said "iPad3", not 2. iPad2 does not take very good photos in my opinion.

William May
June 13, 2013, 09:31 PM
What is that bullet on the far left, it looks familiar but it's been such a long time since I have seen one.

hostjunkies
June 13, 2013, 11:30 PM
What is that bullet on the far left, it looks familiar but it's been such a long time since I have seen one.
The bullet on the left is "unobtainium"

Walkalong
June 14, 2013, 09:20 AM
Was for a while anyway.

Use lots of light, take lots of pics, and look for the best one. I might take 5 to get one good one, or 50.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=185202&d=1371076620

Reloadron
June 14, 2013, 10:20 AM
Use lots of light, take lots of pics, and look for the best one. I might take 5 to get one good one, or 50.


I tend to be more in the 50 to 100 to get one good one myself. :)

Ron

RandyP
June 14, 2013, 10:37 AM
Some VERY impressive photos have been posted here - congrats guys!

I confess I just set my Canon "A" series Powershot on Auto and Macro and hope for the best -LOL

Salmoneye
June 14, 2013, 11:19 AM
I came out of the 70's and 80's with a bunch of nice Pentax K-Mount Asahi glass, so I now run Pentax digital backs...

Started with an ist-D, and moved up to a K-x...

Clark
June 14, 2013, 12:46 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=49766
This pic I took on Sept 12, 2003 uses a wood color back ground to mimic the brass.
My hand also has about the same reflection as the brass.
Since then I have learned how to use Gamma correction.
Gamma correction works like night vision on under exposed digital pics [does not work on film images].
Most pics of objects benefit from some gamma increase.
Scans of light pencil sketches benefit from reduced gamma that makes the pencil marks darker.
I keep all pics in IrfanView.
That program is free.
http://www.irfanview.com/

1) Select "image" from the menu bar
2) Select "color correction"
3) This will display the original and the pic to be corrected.
4) Slide the "gamma correction" bar until the corrected pic looks best.
5) Click on "ok"
6) Save

Odd Job
June 14, 2013, 02:48 PM
Also, a flatbed scanner can be used for items that are almost flat, such as headstamps and primers.
You just have to make sure you have cleaned the scanner glass and take care not to scratch the glass when you set the cartridge case down on it (watch out for firing pin impressions especially).

The main thing to be sure of is use a high enough scanning dpi (dots per inch). Most scanners these days can do at least 1200 dpi, which is what you need if you are going to post a headstamp on the forum at a matrix of at least 700 x 700. Otherwise it comes out too small.

Here's one I did earlier. I didn't even clean the case, I just scanned it directly on my Epson 4870 scanner at 1200 dpi:

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g154/Odd_Job/Cases020_zps1b255ec4.jpg (http://s55.photobucket.com/user/Odd_Job/media/Cases020_zps1b255ec4.jpg.html)

TexasShooter59
June 14, 2013, 03:04 PM
Cool!

:cool:

Reloadron
June 14, 2013, 09:00 PM
Pretty nice job using the scanner. Never gave using the scanner a thought till I saw that.

Thanks
Ron

Reloadron
June 14, 2013, 09:02 PM
@ Clark

Haven't used it in awhile but yes, Infranview is one of the best free software applications for doing photo work. I would always suggest that to people so thanks for the reminder.

Ron

Hondo 60
June 14, 2013, 10:25 PM
Some of you guys are wasting time at your day jobs. :scrutiny:

I'm in awe of some of these GREAT shots. :D

Clark
June 15, 2013, 08:35 AM
http://i757.photobucket.com/albums/xx220/ClarkM/worksclean.jpg

Odd Job,
That took me about an hour to figure out how to do that:)

This may only work with my computer, Paint, and my HP Photosmart 4200 scanner/copymachine/printer/card reader/can opener

Before starting high resolution scan:
A) Practice low resolution to map what corner of the control panel applies to what corner of the scanner.
B) The first high resolution scan will reveal dust all over the scanner. Clean the scanner.
C) Turn off the lights in the room for a black background, turn the lights on for a white background.

1) Paint
2) Pull down from "file" in menu bar
3) click on "from scanner or camera"
4) If it looks like the right printer, click "ok"
5) adjust size of screen to be scanned by moving corner of picture, to reduce scan time.
6) Click on "adjust the quality of scanned picture"
7) roll up "resolution dip" from default 200 to 2400
8) Click "ok"
9) click "scan"
10) when the high resolution slow scan is done, click on dotted square in side menu bar.
11) draw a square around case head image
12) pull down "image" in menu bar
13) click on "crop"
14) save to desktop

Kuyong_Chuin
June 15, 2013, 09:02 AM
These three were taken with a Kodak Easy Share Z990 on super micro mode. It is just a split shot lead sinker that was lubed up and shoved through my M44 barrel.
http://www.webb-hollow-photography.com/zenphoto/zp-core/i.php?a=world-arms&i=100_0506.JPG&s=595&cw=&ch=&q=85&wmk=!
http://www.webb-hollow-photography.com/zenphoto/zp-core/i.php?a=world-arms&i=100_0509.JPG&s=595&cw=&ch=&q=85&wmk=!
http://www.webb-hollow-photography.com/zenphoto/zp-core/i.php?a=world-arms&i=100_0510.JPG&s=595&cw=&ch=&q=85&wmk=!

There is a mod here (Oleg Volk) that takes real good close up photos of ammo among other things. I should know, not only was he my professor for several classes, I count him as a friend even though I do not get to see or talk to him as much as I would like too, but he has photographed one of my rifles and ammo from it.

Mohave-Tec
June 15, 2013, 09:15 AM
Subdued light at my left shoulder
http://i414.photobucket.com/albums/pp230/igonator/308_zps8b61b7f7.jpg (http://s414.photobucket.com/user/igonator/media/308_zps8b61b7f7.jpg.html)

Angle your light. Shadows give depth.
http://i414.photobucket.com/albums/pp230/igonator/scope-left1b.jpg (http://s414.photobucket.com/user/igonator/media/scope-left1b.jpg.html)

Mix of natural and electric light. Tripod. Shallow depth of field. Remote shutter release.
http://i414.photobucket.com/albums/pp230/igonator/270_zps508a56de.jpg (http://s414.photobucket.com/user/igonator/media/270_zps508a56de.jpg.html)

TexasShooter59
June 15, 2013, 10:52 AM
I'm liking this thread! :cool: (Photography was my very first hobby at age twelve. It still is a hobby, but not nearly as active these days.)

Mohave-Tec
June 15, 2013, 11:08 AM
Every image in this thread properly conveys a message. The images are what the photographer was seeing and in a properly conveyed message, I, the one the message is being conveyed to, understand what it is the photographer is trying to say to me. But I can't fathom how many times I've seen images where someone is trying to impress a fact upon me/us that all I can say is ***. A guy wants to sell one of his 50 guns in his $40,000 dollar collection and doesn't own a $20 Wal Mart camera; instead takes a cell phone picture, into the light to portray the shaded side of his blurry image....and does this over and over again. How can somebody be this lacking in insight. LOL.

Walkalong
June 15, 2013, 03:57 PM
That gets me as well, folks selling pricy guns with crappy pics, when it is so easy to get at least decent ones. II never look twice at an auction with bad pics anymore. Good pics don't lie.

Reloadron
June 16, 2013, 01:50 PM
OK, time for a spoof picture and some humor:

http://bearblain.com/images/Bullet%20Anim%201.gif

Smart bullest as they know what they are.

Ron

Hondo 60
June 17, 2013, 08:42 PM
Reloadron - that's awesome :D

James2
June 18, 2013, 12:50 AM
What type of cameras do you guys use? Can a smartphone work well, or does it require a 'real' camera?


I have 2 digital cameras and also a smart phone camera. It is amazing how good the phone camera is. I do not hesitate to take pics with it. Even those need to be reduced for posting. Some photo editing software is in order. I find myself taking pics often with the cell phone, likely because it is always with me. Getting a good shot has lots to do with good lighting and composition. Play with it and you may be surprised even with a phone camera.

rcmodel
June 18, 2013, 01:37 AM
and also a smart phone camera. It is amazing how good the phone camera is.See, that's my puzzlement??

There are many brands of Smart Phones.

An Internet search for 'best smart-phone camera' a few weeks ago yielded one that was best for outdoor daylight landscapes.
Another was best for indoor shots in the dark, and yet another was best for natural skin tone portraits with flash.
And then there was the other one that was 'best' for outdoor nighttime landscapes, with flash. And another without flash.

So what brand of smart phone are you talking about that is doing so good for you, for everything??

rc

Mohave-Tec
June 18, 2013, 07:20 AM
Pentax dSLRs

Reloadron
June 18, 2013, 09:04 AM
I like the way Mohave-Tec explained the images he posted. How the light was used and the types of light as well as an example of depth of field.

In my opinion using a cell phone camera is fine for many basic shots. However, since the device was designed with several applications in mind it is not always going to be the best camera.

The merits to using a good digital camera and especially a good DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) are many. While a point and shoot (automatic) digital camera is fine for snap shots a good camera needs manual features to take pictures like Mohave-Tec's last shot showing depth of field where only a range within the image is in clear sharp focus. Pretty nice effect but not a feature available on most basic digital cameras. The list of features goes on but selecting a nice depth of field by using manual F-Stop settings is nice to have. Also Mohave-Tec used a remote shutter release in that last shot, another sweet feature using external hardware to eliminate camera shake in longer exposures. Nice stuff! :)

Finally having decent software is also a big help.

Ron

bds
June 18, 2013, 10:39 AM
In my opinion using a cell phone camera is fine for many basic shots. However, since the device was designed with several applications in mind it is not always going to be the best camera.

The merits to using a good digital camera and especially a good DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) are many. While a point and shoot (automatic) digital camera is fine for snap shots a good camera needs manual features to take pictures like Mohave-Tec's last shot showing depth of field where only a range within the image is in clear sharp focus. Pretty nice effect but not a feature available on most basic digital cameras.

Finally having decent software is also a big help.
I beg to differ as many newer smart phone cameras are quite capable of macro/super-macro shots and while I sometimes use Linux based Gimp image editing software, most of the photos are cropped using the humble and simple Windows Paint program (I run both Windows 8 and Ubuntu/Linux on my computer).

While I occasionally use my Olympus SP-600UZ 12 MP digital camera for certain close-up shots with macro/super-macro mode using manually adjusted F-stops, most of my THR posted pictures are taken with the LG android smartphone model LG-C800 (T-mobile myTouch phone) with built-in flash or 1-2 13 watt CFL clamp lights with smartphone held in hand or resting on the bench top.

All the close-up shots in the Tula SP thread were taken with the LG phone camera like these - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=630512&page=3&highlight=Tula+sp+primer

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=154940&stc=1&d=1324182422

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=154941&stc=1&d=1324182525

Reloadron
June 18, 2013, 11:01 AM
I beg to differ as many newer smart phone cameras are quite capable of macro/super-macro shots and while I sometimes use Linux based Gimp image editing software, most of the photos are cropped using the humble and simple Windows Paint program (I run both Windows 8 and Ubuntu/Linux on my computer).

While I occasionally use my Olympus SP-600UZ 12 MP digital camera for certain close-up shots with macro/super-macro mode using manually adjusted F-stops, most of my THR posted pictures are taken with the LG android smartphone model LG-C800 (T-mobile myTouch phone) with built-in flash or 1-2 13 watt CFL clamp lights with smartphone held in hand or resting on the bench top.

All the close-up shots in the Tula SP thread were taken with the LG phone camera like these - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=630512&page=3&highlight=Tula+sp+primer

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=154940&stc=1&d=1324182422

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=154941&stc=1&d=1324182525
I remember those excellent primer shots. Please don't misunderstand, I am not saying all cell phones are a bad choice for photography as they have come a long way. My Blackberry is several years old and does a good job. What I was saying is that using a camera, a good digital camera, usually offers up more options and control.

Gimp is also a good and free software program for the Linux community. Haven't used it in years but remember it being pretty robust and of course free open source. There is also good and free photo editing software out there for the Windows based community.

I am again not knocking cell phone cameras. Please do not take it that way.

Ron

bds
June 18, 2013, 02:37 PM
Not at all and I agree with you that there are differences in cellphone camera quality and options.

I am on my 4th smart phone and while the previous phones did take good portrait and outdoor scenery pictures, they did not take as good of close-up pictures.

The LG phone don't even have an active service plan and I just use it for taking close-up pictures.

The key difference on the LG phone camera is that it has zoom, brightness control, flash and auto image select options to allow magnifying and focusng on close-up objects. For these close-up shots, the built-in flash is not helpful as it produces too much glare. As I posted previously, one or two 13 watt CFL fixtures usually provide enough lighting but I also use 80/100+ lumen LED flashlights (sometimes covered with tissue paper to diffuse the light intensity) to provide sharper shadowing effects for even more detailed pictures.

What I would suggest is to try different cameras (dedicated or phone cameras) of 2 mega pixels or higher using different settings and lighting angles to see what set up produces the best images. If you want to, you can often pick up used LG smartphones on the classifieds/craigslist for cheap and take some close up pictures before you buy.

Mohave-Tec
June 18, 2013, 08:46 PM
Kind words. Thank you.
I've been a photographer for many years but have only been shooting the shooting sport for a few. I've found many interesting ways to capture "on film" this sport of ours and it just makes everything all the more interesting.

bds
June 18, 2013, 10:20 PM
What type of cameras do you guys use? Can a smartphone work well, or does it require a 'real' camera?
I have 2 digital cameras and also a smart phone camera. It is amazing how good the phone camera is. I do not hesitate to take pics with it. Even those need to be reduced for posting. Some photo editing software is in order.
Here are some more pictures taken with the LG phone camera and cropped with Windows Paint program (yes, all these pictures were indeed taken with the phone camera).


Comparison picture of max powder charge fill in the case for the same 185 gr 45ACP bullet (It took several tries to focus on the powder flakes instead of the case with different lighting angles)
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=167327&d=1341162642

"How to" picture of "slugging the barrel" using an expanded lead bullet
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=163899&d=1336153682

Glock 17 barrel rifling - This was probably the most difficult shot I took and required about 50 attempts using different lighting and background as the LG phone camera kept trying to focus on the background instead of the rifling. I am still not happy with the results but it's the best of what I have so far and probably will try to take a better picture.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=163255&d=1335152658

Ohaus 10-10 - Focus was on the importance of keeping the "V" notches of the agate stones clean so they can "free float" to self-align with the knife edges for the scale to read consistently and accurately (agate stone was tilted just a bit to emphasize the "free float" point).
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=161917&d=1333074888

Removing military crimp on primer pocket - Intent was to show that it can be done using simple Lee chamfer tool and pocket cleaner.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=161643&d=1332740129

Before and after removing crimp
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=157546&d=1327381401

Comparison picture of bearing surfaces of same 200 gr weight but different nose profile bullets
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=161530&d=1332513601

Comparison of "brass" jacketed Montana Gold and Remington Golden Saber bullets instead of "copper" jacketed bullets
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=159922&d=1330276195

Accentuated picture to show excess bulging caused by tilted bullet during seating
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=158882&d=1329063625

Compared to "normal" evenly bulged and seated bullets
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=158881&d=1329063625

Sig 1911 railed TacPac with the focus of more traditional slide cut
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=158734&d=1328855006

Sig 1911 barrel drop test pictures
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=156850&d=1326499138

"How to" burnish Pro 1000 primer feed attachment surface to repair surfaces using folded copy paper
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=156621&d=1326177937

Bottom of Pro 1000 primer push rod hole (To make the LG phone camera focus on the bottom of the hole instead of the top, I took couple of shots focusing on the spring then took the third picture of the hole)
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=156616&d=1326177123

Close up of primer feed attachment with primers - lighting was used at sharp angle from the left to accentuate the components
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=156613&d=1326176687

Odd Job
June 19, 2013, 02:35 AM
Nice pictures, BDS. I particularly like the barrel rifling images, those are difficult to get right.

TexasShooter59
June 19, 2013, 10:12 AM
Great photos! I might have missed it, but which LG phone?

bds
June 19, 2013, 10:30 AM
It's the LG android smartphone model LG-C800. It's also sold by T-mobile as myTouch phone.

Since T-mobile has been giving out this phone free with a contract, you can buy used phones on classifieds at very good prices that are out of contract.

The camera is 5 mega pixel with auto focus, macro mode, LED flash and digital zoom with brightness control.

TexasShooter59
June 19, 2013, 11:06 AM
It definitely takes great close up photos!

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