Old machine photos

From: Erik S. Klein <classiccmp_at_vintage-computer.com>
Date: Sat Jan 11 21:27:00 2003

I agree that a lot of the collector sites have pretty poor photos of the
machines they are built for. My site is a perfect example. Most of my
pictures simply suck. On my oversized project list is to pull out and
re-photograph my entire collection.

I agree with all of the recommendations I've seen so far. Here's how
I've had the most luck (and what I'll do when I get around to taking
pictures again):

- Use a medium or dark colored matte item as a background. I have an
old black bed sheet that I use as well as a large piece of cardboard
with a matte black finish. Between the two I'm able to pretty much
black out everything but the computer.

- Use a tripod and turn off the flash on your digital camera.

- Use multiple diffuse lighting sources. If you can't get those big
photography lamps and diffusers then just bounce the light from spots or
lamps off of a wall or use something else (like a cardboard box) to
block the light that would go directly from the source to the
photographic subject. The goal is to light the computer well and
eliminate glare - especially on screens.

- Prop the machine up at a good viewing angle to show off its form. My
biggest mistake is that I take too many head-on shots which make most
machines look awful. (See my site for proof) I use milk crates and
wooden blocks under the sheet to position the machines.

- I like ACDSee for photo editing. It's a great tool for cropping,
adjusting levels, changing image formats and sizes and generally
preparing a picture for the web. I rarely use Photoshop for much

- I try to do multiple angles and inside shots as well as detail
pictures of interesting items (such as cards, unusual cables and the

   www.vintage-computer.com (home of hopeless pictures of hopeless

-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk-admin_at_classiccmp.org [mailto:cctalk-admin_at_classiccmp.org]
On Behalf Of Jeffrey H. Ingber
Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2003 6:22 PM
To: cctalk_at_classiccmp.org
Subject: Re: Old machine photos

On Sat, 2003-01-11 at 21:04, Eric Smith wrote:
> > Poor photographs of computers are a pet peeve of mine. All of the
> > photos I've seen on the web (with rare exception) are generally
> >
> > The photos, IMHO, are just as valuable as having the documentation
> > software for any system. It is a useful tool for making
> >
> > Jeff
> That all may be true, but it's not very constructive. How about
> us what people are doing wrong, and suggestions for improvements?

Without pointing out specific examples -

1) The size of the pictures are generally too small, sometimes not much
larger than a thumbnail. There should be several sizes available,
including very high resolution shots.

2) The pictures are often out of focus, grainly, or have poor lighting.

3) Labels or markings are often impossible to discern.

The "pictures", as I refer to them, are those generally seen on
classic-computer collection-related web sites. Obviously, there are not
too many of us who moonlight as photographers and I'm not faulting any
individual or collection of photos.

Why I brought this up (possibly in a more negative tone than required),
is that often I'm left wishing that the pictures were better than they
are - the owners have interesting machines, and it would nice to see
higher quality photos that can accentuate details, markings, and


Received on Sat Jan 11 2003 - 21:27:00 GMT

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