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Bottled Ship Builder

Ship in Bottle Photography


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I did a photo recently of a current project that came out to be a total mess.  Phone Cameras just don't do the macro photos I need.  So I pulled out my old Cannot Rebel Xti DSLR and through on the 300mm on the macro setting.  It's not a crazy lens but it get's small.  




This led to some messing around with lighting and ideas.







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David suggested that I try a spherical bottle.  With his wind wagon he had tried to take a photo where none of the lighting was reflecting off the glass.  This proved to be a real challenge.  The closest I got was with with back lighting but then the whole ship was black and pointing the lamp straight up but then I got the reflection of the whole room.  I think something like a photo box might be needed for this.  






All lighting can be used to set convey different ideas.  Sometimes back lighting and leaving the subject dark can convey an idea and create an emotion.  In display of the model itself though it's not as effective. All well I had fun.  

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One last photo this one is actually not mine.  It was taken by a man named Bob McCord.  He was a professional photographer who was talking to me about doing a ship in bottle book.  He wanted me to write it and he would do the photography.  I thought the idea might be fun but reading a few sib books out there I felt I had nothing really to contribute to what was already done and beside that he was in and out of the club following other interests so nothing ever came of it.  He later passed away rather suddenly which was really sad.  I still have just a few pictures he sent me.  Only one of which turned out well.  The others was of my America when I had it in a different bottle.  The clarity was awful and I later moved it to a new bottle.  Any how here is the photo he did.  




I like the clarity of this one and the way the light accents the glass.  I do think some reflection is good when it's kept in the right place and adds to the work rather then detracts.  


What photo setups does every one have and what techniques have you found that work well?





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Ok here's some touch up tips that may help bring out your photo's.  FIrst thing you need to do is go to https://pixlr.com/editor/.  This is a free photo enditor that I've found is simple to use and works well.  


Next get a photo.  This one is right off the camera fully unedited.  




Now open it in Pixlr.  Then click adjustment brightness and contrast.  Move the brightness and contrast levels around.  Experiment with is until it looks just right.  Here's what I got.  




Already you can see the difference.  Now this parts a little more touchy.  Go to adjustments again and click on color balance.  The dials allow you to adjust RGB colors red green and blue.  Adjust until it looks just right.  The best way to explain it is try to make it look almost 3D.  




That's it.  I don't feel bad using any of these techniques because they are techniques that would be used in a regular dark room on film camera's.  I've used the same techniques in actual dark rooms processing pictures.  Try it out and see how it goes.  



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