Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Pentax / Samsung dSLR, K Mount Mirrorless

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 24, 2011, 4:30 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default Museum shooting

Decided I was getting tired of the usual flowers and frustrating insects, so I decided to spend a lunch photographing in a museum environment. It was interesting and gave me some ideas about how to approach it.

The first thing is that museums are designed for preservation and security, and not for photography. Non-photographers wouldn't be distracted by some of the things that make taking a good picture either difficult or impossible. Here's how I managed to compensate with the problem of glass everywhere.

First, one of the rooms I was in:



Lots of glass and bright, shiny things to reflect light.

One of the watches in the center case. My first shot of it was over-exposed - the difference between the black background influenced the camera (set to center priority) too much, so I switched to spot metering and metered off of the watch face. I liked how this one came out.



Next, some of the trophies on the bottom row of the wall above. By shooting at an angle to the glass I managed to keep the reflections to a minimum. The perspective is pretty odd though. Also, the dynamic range was difficult - the light coming through the bottom of the case is blown out (no big deal), while the background is actually dark blue, as you can see in the first photo, but is clipped black here. The bottom of the trophies were much lighter than the top, even more than shown here (I used Lightroom to create an exposure graduated "filter" to lighten the top of the photo).



To show what I was fighting against, here's a trophy that was at eye level, showing some of the reflections I was trying to eliminate.



Even shooting at an angle won't always take out all of the glare and reflection. I tried shooting through a circular polarizer and couldn't get it to block much of the reflection I was getting. I didn't figure out a way to get a better shot of this trophy, which is in the center of the room (just out of frame in the first picture).



I don't think I have to mention who's museum I was shooting in.

Some other shots, having to do with some different sports, golf:



This next one is another one that I did some creative processing. This is the impact the scene had on me when I was viewing it, but it wasn't how the camera saw it. The original has the picture much lighter and drew my eye too far away from the volleyball than I wanted or how I perceived it in person. Did I go too far with the processing?



Two of the same trophy, taken from different distances. Because the trophy is rounded (the top is a basketball), it was easier to shoot at an angle to the glass.





Finally, I stood some time looking at the names on the wall behind the last shot above. As you can see in the shot above the lighting wasn't consistent, which also played havoc with the close-up picture. I'm not much of a sports person, but even I recognized quite a few names on this section of wall. Perhaps others will know who the others are.



It was a fun half hour and an interesting photographic exercise. I'd love to have others post any suggestions/experiences they've had shooting in museums. The building I was in is named after a person on this list - J. D. Morgan.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jul 25, 2011, 9:56 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: East Central Vermont
Posts: 1,890
Default

These are very nice photos. I have tried taking photos of items behind glass, and I can attest, it's not easy. You did very well. I like the way you processed the volleyball display. The photo in the background is such a compelling image, it would almost surely draw the viewer's eye away from the ball itself. By darkening the photo and brightening the ball, you kept the viewer's eye (or mine, at least) on the ball.
mtnman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2011, 11:25 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default

Thanks - so I didn't darken the photo too much? I was a little worried that I got carried away with it. I wanted the picture to be there and visible, but more as a background object. And you are right - the photo is very compelling, to the point I almost discarded the picture because the ball go so lost. Sure wish I had taken that photo, it completely captured the incredible joy and excitement of the players. Or perhaps I'd rather be one of the players and experiencing that incredible high. Of all the shots, the watch is my favorite. I think all of these were taken with the K5 and FA 31.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 26, 2011, 12:09 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
JeannieBug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 650
Default

I think that if a photo came out the way you wanted it to come out, then you did it right. But yes, that picture in the background was so compelling that my eyes kept going back and forth between the ball and the photo. But, you did an excellent job of making the ball stand out!

My favorite is the (crystal?) trophy. Your close-up shot.
JeannieBug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 26, 2011, 8:40 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default

Thanks, Jeannie. I put the second crystal trophy in the mix because I thought I needed to explain the odd lighting effect of the signature/names. Guess I get nostalgic looking at famous people (how I remember hearing about Arthur Ashe when I was growing up) and all those familiar basketball players. And I'm not even a sports person (well, I follow ice hockey). The trophy isn't as difficult to photograph as some other items in the museum. The main problem I had was dealing with the dynamic range - it's easy to blow out a lot of the crystal. It's got enough bumps on it that it's easy to focus on.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 27, 2011, 5:42 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
mole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 8,522
Default

Indeed a masterful series - showcasing both your photographic and PP talents! Must agree with MtnMan with the great job on the volleyball...
mole is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:26 PM.