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Thread: Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

  1. #1
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

    Just thought I'd share this photo of some amethyst crystals. I'm not sure if it's worth commenting on but I thought you might like it. FYI this is focus stacked.

    Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

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    Re: Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

    Impressive stack. How many shots?

    Can we see one with a dark background?

    Thanks.

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    Re: Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

    Lovely colo and sharpness. I am wondering if a black BG would look good with this image...

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    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

    Thank you Bobo and Richard. This stack was 7 images. Here's that dark bg version. I went with 95% black, as solid black felt a bit too stark. I'm not fond of this version, preferring the white one more. What do you think?

    Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

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    Re: Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

    A very nice, crisp shot. I wonder how a strong, relatively distant side light that rakes across the material to emphasize the texture would work.

    I prefer the white background but think it would be helpful to have some variation in tone, such as using an uneven vignette.

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    Re: Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

    Thanks for the dark version. I agree the white version is better. As Mike suggested slightly off-white might be the answer.

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    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

    One more version, white bg with offwhite uneven vignette. (unfortunately showing some weird posterization) What do you think? Thanks

    Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

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    Re: Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

    I prefer the white background with the vignette.

    Try applying gaussian blur or noise reduction to the vignette to get rid of the blotchy appearance.

    I'm not sure that it's actually posterization but it could be. What is the background made of?

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    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I prefer the white background with the vignette.

    Try applying gaussian blur or noise reduction to the vignette to get rid of the blotchy appearance.

    I'm not sure that it's actually posterization but it could be. What is the background made of?
    Thanks Mike. Great idea of yours to add the vignette, I like it much better than the solid white. In this pic I actually have cut the crystals out completely and dropped it on a plain white layer in pshop. Then did the vignette by painting in the color from a masked layer. The reason I suspect posterization is due to the very soft and wide transition of the vignette, making it hard for the bit depth of the image to show that as a smooth transition. I am not sure if I really know what I'm talking about, to be honest, but I think that sounds like something I read recently

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    Re: Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

    If you add a little noise to the entire background, I think it will successfully disguise the appearance of the so-called posterization, though I like my idea of using gaussian blur or noise reduction better to keep the smooth appearance of the entire background.

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    Re: Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

    Nice shot Matt,
    In my opinion the white is too bright and leads the eye from the subject. The black is too dark and Looks like the subject is floating in the air. I think(JMHO) that a nice neutral back ground would be nice. somthing like an oak shelf.
    The photography is spot on though!

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    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    If you add a little noise to the entire background, I think it will successfully disguise the appearance of the so-called posterization, though I like my idea of using gaussian blur or noise reduction better to keep the smooth appearance of the entire background.
    Thanks. I just tried a few things and it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. The "banding' that I am seeing is really only apparent at more extreme viewing angles on my monitor. It isn't too bad, IMO. Either way, this photo is no masterpiece so I'm calling it done for now.

    I'll be doing a couple more pics of this crystal piece sometime soon. I'm going to try other lighting setups as you suggested, having one shearing the surface from the side. I don't have much control over these things as my makeshift studio is rather primitive. I'll see what I can work out. I also plan to do a shot at a sharper angle from front to back, with focus stacking, emphasize depth instead of a straight on shot.

    Thanks for all the help on this photo, Mike!

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    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Amethyst crystals. Nothing special, just pretty

    Quote Originally Posted by mknittle View Post
    Nice shot Matt,
    In my opinion the white is too bright and leads the eye from the subject. The black is too dark and Looks like the subject is floating in the air. I think(JMHO) that a nice neutral back ground would be nice. somthing like an oak shelf.
    The photography is spot on though!
    Thank you, Mark. I appreciate the suggestions and feedback. Welcome to the forums!

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