Friday, September 08, 2017

The impossible photo challenge

Sometimes it's good to have a bit of a challenge. When Paul Martin of EDM models put a request on his newsletter for people to take photos of his new NBW range of cosmetic bolt heads, I thought I'd have a go.

A few days later a box arrives containing packed of really tiny plastic bolts. It took me a couple of weeks to have a go and the results are getting there. See what you think:

1/2" stud, 3/4" Square Nut & 1" Washer

 1" bolt, 1/2" nut & 3" washer

  5" bolt, 11/2" nut & 2" washer

All were taken with my Canon G12 and are shown here smaller than full size. To get an idea, this is the last photo straight from the camera with only a crop and touch of lightening up. 

Not bad. I think that light matters as much as focus. The really tiny bolts are translucent making them harder to shoot. 

Best of all, I get to keep the bolts for use on future projects. All I have to do is take pictures of many packets. Looking at them, I already have some ideas for their use.


James Finister said...

It does look as if the focus is sharpest on the ruler graduations

Phil Parker said...

Possibly. I still need to play around. The ruler stands out better than the plastic as there are nice clear lines with excellent contrast. The size of the bolts and translucent plastic makes them look less distinct. A coat of paint will cure that on a model but I'm loath to prime these so they stand out better.

James Finister said...

Not sure if I have anything similiar to experiment with. Possibly close to the point where focus stacking would help.

Phil Parker said...

That's where I go next. Got to fiddle with the focal point size first though.

James Finister said...

Three thoughts

1: A "close up filter" I've got a cheap screw on Polaroid set that actually works quite well

2. Light source. I've been messing around with some cheap LED set ups, like the Godox LED 64 I wonder if you could build a macro specific lightbox using one.

3. This might sound counterintuitive, but what about using a camera phone?

James Finister said...

Oh, and worth talking to Chris Nevard for advice?

Geoff said...


I presume tht the G12 is an automatic compact camera. Try the following:
Mount camera on a tripod and aim it at the bolts sprue.
Remove the ruler
Press and hold the shutter button in half way - the camera will focus, etc.
With your free hand slide the ruler back into place
Press the shutter button to full depth to operate the shutter.