Taking photos of displays...

From: Stan Barr <stanb_at_dial.pipex.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 13:35:43 +0000


julesrichardsonuk said:

> Recent discussion about photographing machines prompted this one.
> Has anyone got any useful tips for photographing (with a digital camera)
> running machines such that whatever's on the screen is captured with
> some kind of decent quality?
> I've been playing around with all the manual settings on my camera and
> just experimenting (using any kind of auto mode results in banding on
> the computer's display, and of course use of flash is no use for a shot
> of a glass screen). So far results have been mixed though...

Long exposures a neccesary, several display frames worth if possible.
I usually use a tripod and shutter speeds of about 1/8 sec with a
film camera. Standing the camera on something and shooting with the
self-timer (to avoid shaking the camera with your hand) will work.

Assuming you want to show the equipment in the same shot as the display,
if you can manually meter with your camera - or a seperate meter - adjust
the lighting in the room so that the exposure metered from the computer
or monitor case is about the same or a little less than the exposure reading
from the display. You might need to fill the screen with a screenfull of
characters, such as capital em, if it's a text display, in order to get a
good reading of the brightness of the characters. Meter close up to the
display for this. I cheat and use a proper spot-meter, but not everyone
has one :-) Unfortunately digital cameras don't give you much in the
way of metering options (unless you spend oodles of money!).
Judging the light levels by eye is not *too* difficult, but will take
a bit of practise.

Any lighting should be well off the camera axis, of course, to avoid
reflections and a polaroid filter is a godsend.

Stan Barr  stanb_at_dial.pipex.com
The future was never like this!
Received on Mon Feb 28 2005 - 12:56:39 GMT

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