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Five Silver Spoons

By Irishkate  
I was going to upload more images of the Chrysanthemums, but I've learned a good few
things from some good comments and critiques for which I thank each of you.
Thank you all for votes and special thanks to andylea and saeid for User Awards
for Gold Chrysanthemums. I do like the image and hope I can improve on it in
future attempts.
So I'll move on to a different subject for which I need more help.
These spoons were given to me by an aunt who was a missionary in India.
They are over 60 years old so even when cleaned they're not perfect.
I could use advice how I could have lit these differently.
I photographed them in daylight with one light as I did with chrysanthemums,
which was cleverly seen by the experts.

Tags: Close-up and macro Silver spoons

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Hermanus 5 4 South Africa
18 Apr 2013 4:09AM
No help from this side - but I would like to say They are lovely spoons and it is a lovely photo SmileGrinGrin

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johnke 5 223 15
18 Apr 2013 5:14AM
They look like Sugar spoons Kate, lovely BG and I think well lit...John
CarolG 11 199 20 Greece
18 Apr 2013 6:12AM
What beautiful spoons, Kate, something to treasure. I would have no idea about lighting, but I think you have presented them well. Carol
ugly Plus
10 9 57 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2013 6:52AM
Very nice spoons...
could have got a little higher to show the handle nice and clear with all that detail.
If you could not get the hight you done very well. Black B/G works so well..

18 Apr 2013 7:19AM
As someone who has been practicing just yesterday to get the floating look of objects with a grey card, I am very pleased and a little envious to see how well you have accomplished this.

paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2013 7:52AM
Two things. If you are after a record image, shoot this type of thing from above, not from one end. That causes distortion. Second, lighting is critical with shiny metal surfaces and the light you are using is not polarised. With care, you can get away with a heavily diffused flash, preferably two, one placed equi-distant each side of the subject, above and at 45 degrees.

That will give even soft lighting from each side. The correct method is a light tent. A come of thin white material or paper. lit from the outside, placed completely over the subjects. You need a hole at the apex of the cone to point the camera through and a tripod. The very soft light correctly illuminates the metal without hot spots and shine.

marktc Plus
7 101 15 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2013 7:56AM
Sorry Kate, nothing I can add to be constructive, apart from to agree with Dave and try to get a higher viewpoint.
CaroleS Plus
8 433 3 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2013 8:08AM
A slightly higher pov would have avoided that foreshortening and enhanced the lovely bowl shape of the spoons at the same time bringing those lovely handles closer and show more detail. A challenge for lighting and Paul has given some excellent pointers.
NDODS 7 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2013 8:16AM
Blue tac and a black felt covered board stood at 90 Degrees works a treat Kate

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
Nikonuser1 Plus
5 153 16 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2013 8:53AM
Nice set of spoons Kate, I can only reiterate the sound advice you have been. SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

9 10 10 England
18 Apr 2013 9:02AM
I don't consider myself to be in the league of experts that can give such help with lighting etc. My thoughts have been explained by Carole (Rolepics). I think a more vertical pov would have shown the lovely handles to better avantage. I'm sure we'll be seeing the perfect image any time soon.Smile
18 Apr 2013 9:14AM
What beautifully crafted spoons, Kate!
Maybe present them radially, with the decorative part of the handles in the centre and view them from above?

18 Apr 2013 9:43AM
think Paul has said it well Kate think about whilst finally getting those damn windows done

gary_d 10 576 13 Wales
18 Apr 2013 10:42AM
Great advice from Paul which helps me too, I love the spoons they are so unusual. - gary
i love the image and have learned all ready ,i was trying to find the words Paul used because i have found the same in my own images.

Herge88 11 40 4 England
18 Apr 2013 11:21AM
Looks like a fine set of spoons here, well exposed so as not to blow the details.

Best Matt
paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2013 4:04PM
The bottom line is to avoid hot spots when shooting anything shiny. A light tent is the classic answer, but is only practical for relatively small subjects.

pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2023 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2013 4:40PM
I can think of numerous compositions for these, Kate, but do agree with the idea of an overhead shot.
1. Placed as they are, but end-to-end, 3 ends and 2 tops in one direction, 3 tops and 2 ends in the other (this is how spoons are often displayed in their original boxes, as here ).
2. Radial has been mentioned, but how about shooting just half the spoons, with all the tops in the centre.
3. Some upside-down.
4. One straight in the middle, 2 crossed over either side, X 1 X.
5. Use a shallow depth of field, focusing on the tops. (I thought this one looked good).
6. Show reflections or shadows.
7. Have the bowls stacked and the tops splaying out like a fan, as here .
8. Stagger them like this .

The composition you show here tends to emphasize the bowls rather than the beautifully carved tops.

You have large reflections in the spoon bowls, probably your house and garden, so it might be best to photograph them inside with lighting as suggested above.

Irishkate Plus
7 41 114 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2013 5:14PM
Many thanks to you all for some great suggestions which I will try out very soon.
It's great to get all this advice in a short space of time.
Lillian Plus
8 22 17 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2013 7:17PM
Wow Kate hope you have a lot of time on your hands
to try all the advice , well given
and a lovely image it is too
achieverswales 7 8 101 Wales
18 Apr 2013 10:32PM
Enough said above Kate, Been on the go all day now doing my emails at 10.35pm.



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