Best background for photographing engineering parts

Discussion in 'Photography' started by eganders, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. eganders

    eganders Guest

    I often take photos of components such as circuit boards, mechanical
    parts, etc. The parts can be just about any color and are typically
    from 1 inch square in size to 12 inches square. For quick setup, I
    would like to have a foamcore background to be used for these parts
    that presents them the best way for contrast and lighting.

    I have been using a bright white foamcore and a royal blue foamcore.
    I am wondering if there is a color for general use that is the best
    for making the digital cameras I use end up with the best contrast,
    lighting and color presentation of these components. The photos are
    not for marketing, but for engineering study,

    I am looking for the best color balance, contrast and lighting. What
    would you suggest?
    eganders, Mar 2, 2007
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  2. eganders

    Gary Stewart Guest

    Gary Stewart, Mar 2, 2007
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  3. eganders

    Stan Beck Guest

    It depends upon the use. If you will be having these photos printed (for
    publication or handout), a white background might be less distracting. I
    would pin a white cloth on the wall, and let it hang down and over a table -
    the smooth transition from vertical to horizontal will be less distracting.

    Otherwise, an neutral gray halftone backdrop would work too.

    Both would emphasize the subject.

    I really hate to eat on an empty stomach.

    Stan Beck > From New Orleans to Brandon MS
    To reply, remove 101 from address.
    Stan Beck, Mar 2, 2007
  4. Have a look at:

    It works fantastically - I've been using it for months for circuit
    boards, bugs, etc.

    It's much better having all three corners to bounce the light - it's
    far more evenly illumintated that way.
    Brendan Gillatt, Mar 2, 2007
  5. eganders

    Joel Guest

    I have never done it myself to share my very own experience, but I just
    happen to like reading to learn from others (to me, it's a gem to learn
    someone else's years of experience in few seconds of reading). Anyway, I
    read many people photograph small object like jewel, model car, toy etc.
    saying they build a BOX with several lights around the box to deal with
    shadow and flare (or lighting). Background, using different background
    color depending on the color of the object.

    And the same technique people use to photograph a photo.
    Joel, Mar 2, 2007
  6. eganders

    Richard H. Guest

    You might find this article relevant:

    For backgrounds, consider a chroma-key green or blue (depending on the
    subject color), which can be more easily deleted from the photo.

    If you go down the path of a light tent, I find the Photoflex LiteRoom
    (fabric / wire frame construction) is much easier to use than the
    Paterson Cocoon (plastic sheet) style. The bottom is open, so you can
    just drop it over the top of the subject after it's in position.
    Richard H., Mar 3, 2007
  7. eganders

    editor Guest

    I just generally use the white Formica kitchen counter for most all
    auction photos of smaller stuff. It works quite well.

    No $4 to park! No $6 admission!
    editor, Mar 4, 2007
  8. eganders

    eganders Guest

    All your comments are interesting and I have been experimenting with
    various fluorescent color temps and std 3200 incandescent
    photofloods. In using a white background, I found that I got NO
    detail no matter what light source I used. If I changed the white
    foamcore to a blue foamcore, the detail really came out. See these
    photos to see what I mean.


    I noticed the exposure was a lot longer with the blue and I wonder
    exactly what it is with the blue background that improved the quality
    of the image. The blue foamcore is old and worn, so you also see the
    detail of that.
    After seeing that, I wonder why a white background is used in some of
    the articles you-all pointed me to. Would a gray background be even
    better? Is there something I can do about camera settings to help the
    exposure problem and still use the white background? By the way, I
    used 6500K fluorescent light on both of the photos in the links.
    eganders, Mar 12, 2007
  9. eganders

    Paul Furman Guest

    The blue is fairly dark so the black 'part' is exposed brighter. The
    white background is exposed too dark, the camera trying not to overexpose.
    Paul Furman, Mar 12, 2007
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