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How To Take Closeups...


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Grinler

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 11:12 PM

I have had this digital camera going on 4 years now. I still, though, have no idea how to take a closeup shot. My camera is/was supposedly good. Its a Canon Powershot S50.

I have been trying to make a nice closeup of a USB key I am using in one of my tutorials. The best I could do was this.

Posted Image

The contract on the picture is horrible and it took me about 85 photos to get it where you could read the text well. Any hints?

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#2 tg1911

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 12:21 AM

Are you using the Manual Focus feature, when shooting the picture?
Are you using the Zoom?
Are you using a tripod?
Are you using the flash, direct lighting, or reflected lighting.

Try shooting it against a non-reflective, black background, reflected lighting, no Zoom, Manual Focus, and a tripod.

Edited by tg1911, 12 January 2007 - 01:51 AM.

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#3 Grinler

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 09:39 AM

Ack...

Ok .. dont have a tripod :thumbsup:

I tried no zoom while in Macro mode.

Tried it on many surfaces. Not sure what you mean by reflected lighting.

And manual focus? No idea how to do that

Pretty pathetic huh?

#4 fozzie

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 10:02 AM

Here you can find the manual. (RTFM.... :thumbsup: ) On page 41 you can find how to a zoom. Perhaps you might want to work with picassa to depthen the contrast.
you might want to consider to put in a black cloth.

Edited by fozzie, 12 January 2007 - 10:05 AM.


#5 HitSquad

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 10:15 AM

Hi Grin.
You should have an "mf" (manual focus) button somewhere on the camera.
I use the A540 and it's right above the display and menu buttons on this model.
As a workaround to a tripod, you can use the autoshoot option which will snap the photo on a delay time of your choice. No camera shake that way eiither.

Pretty pathetic huh?

Not at all, unless it's your livelihood.
I still use my manual all the time. There's so many different functions and settings I'd have to use it every day for a year to remember it all. :thumbsup:

#6 Grinler

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 11:19 AM

Yeah I read the manual..it is pretty useless. I also figured out how to get manual focus..the problem is I dont know what to do from there.

#7 stevealmighty

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:58 PM

Really quick, without getting to technical.....have you tried "Portrait" mode? It's the setting that resembles a profile of a girl with curly shoulder length hair. Most typically, this is used for "close up" shots of people, but can prove to be useful with other shots as well.

Also, you can pick up a small cheap camera tripod for a few dollars at most stores....nothing great (or even good), but just one that has 3 flexible legs that will hold a camera.

For a non reflective background like tg1911 said, you could use a black blanket (or anything black) as fozzie had suggested. This will also help to reduce/eliminate shadows, and give a nice contrast between the background and subject.

Have you tried stepping back and zooming in on it?

Let me know if this works, and if not, I'll get a little more technical and give some more (better?) advice!

Edited by stevealmighty, 12 January 2007 - 01:59 PM.

War produces veterans, wounded both physically and mentally. They have sacrificed for us.....and it is now our job to help these veterans, as they have already helped us in ways we will never know, in ways that we cannot fathom, and in ways that we take granted every day.
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#8 Grinler

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 02:04 PM

Going to try all of these things this weekend. Should most tripods fit most cameras? Circuit city or best buy have these?

#9 stevealmighty

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 02:39 PM

For both point and shoot cameras and 35mm, they should all be the same size. It won't change unless you get into special lens mounts or medium format (or other "specialty" cameras).

You can get this one HERE or perhaps this one HERE....both for under $20, and both at circuit city. You can also find really cheap ones for a few bucks that have just flexible wire legs...but I wouldn't trust them to hold my camera!

If it were me, I'd get the second one, as it's adjustable height wise to 17".

If you have a Ritz Camera (Ritz one hour photo), you can stop in there too....they're usually well priced for everything they have, and their "store brand" is Quantaray, which is a good brand IMHO.

Let me know how you make out!
War produces veterans, wounded both physically and mentally. They have sacrificed for us.....and it is now our job to help these veterans, as they have already helped us in ways we will never know, in ways that we cannot fathom, and in ways that we take granted every day.
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#10 Grinler

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 03:04 PM

Looks good..may pick up the second one at CC after work. I am sure we have a Ritz camera here in the city but will prob be a pita to get to.

So that I understand, I am getting the tripod to remove the slight movement of my hands when holding the camera? That slight movement makes it harder to focus?

#11 stevealmighty

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 03:29 PM

So that I understand, I am getting the tripod to remove the slight movement of my hands when holding the camera? That slight movement makes it harder to focus?


Ummmm...sure...that's it, ya, go with that one. :trumpet: When I jumped in on this topic, you were already talking about a tripod to steady the shot....so I was just trying to help.

In all actuallity, it's not so much that you need to steady your hands for the auto focus, but more for the slow shutter speed.

You can try to get around this by manually upping the ISO (ASA) to 400 (which is max for your camera). This should allow you to shoot with less light and no flash at a higher shutter speed with your f/stop wide open.......make sense? Ok, just put your ISO on 400, then put it in portrait mode and snap a shot and see how it looks. If it looks junky, set your camera to manual, put the iso at 400, the f/stop at the smallest number you can get (I think f/2.8 for your camera) and the shutter speed to 1/125 (125) and no flash (but with PLENTY of ambient/natural) lighting and take a shot. Step back, zoom in, turn the flash on and take another shot. See how they look. If it's to dark, you can drop the shutter speed to 1/60 (60) and try them both again.

Not having your camera right in front of me is kind of like guessing what settings you should have your camera set at, but these should get you close. Not using your flash will cut down on the reflections and shadows, specially up close, and backing up and using your flash will allow the light to "fall off" (or diffuse) and reduce reflections/shadows. I'd try these first before you buy the tripod. Setting the ISO higher should allow you to make more adjustments to avoid a slow shutter speed, and blurring of the photo. Also, try setting the ISO to 400 and shooting in "P" with and without the flash from closeup and a distance (zoomed in). Heck, try all the settings! :flowers:

Hope it helps! :thumbsup:
War produces veterans, wounded both physically and mentally. They have sacrificed for us.....and it is now our job to help these veterans, as they have already helped us in ways we will never know, in ways that we cannot fathom, and in ways that we take granted every day.
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#12 Grinler

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 03:32 PM

Good stuff..im sure I will understand it better when I read through this post while having my camera. Will let you know how it goes.

#13 stevealmighty

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 11:05 AM

How did it go Grinler? Did you manage to get the shots that you wanted?
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#14 Grinler

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 01:56 PM

Havnt tried to be honest...gonna give it a whirl this weekend.

#15 stevealmighty

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 02:53 PM

No problem! Give a shout if you need anything! :thumbsup:
War produces veterans, wounded both physically and mentally. They have sacrificed for us.....and it is now our job to help these veterans, as they have already helped us in ways we will never know, in ways that we cannot fathom, and in ways that we take granted every day.
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