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Photographing Military Items


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Does anyone have any pointers on photographing items so I don't get just a bunch of wavy lines? I've noticed this especially on green field gear and ribbons. I thought I remembered a topic on this from a year or so ago, but my head hurts from using the search function and not finding anything. Thanks for your help.

"When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson

 

 

Sgt USMC 1989-1995

Co. A 8th Engineers

HE Platoon 6th Bridge Company

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What I have been doing is using a mid-range telephoto lens, putting the item on a neutral background ont he floor and shoot standing. I set the digital camera to a "medum format" then crop out anyhting on the edges that I don't want. This also reduces flash glare! By setting the format to medium or large you can get great detail after cropping & resizing.

If the images aren't loading - please check back later. It means my webserver is wedged!

 

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Does anyone have any pointers on photographing items so I don't get just a bunch of wavy lines? I've noticed this especially on green field gear and ribbons. I thought I remembered a topic on this from a year or so ago, but my head hurts from using the search function and not finding anything. Thanks for your help.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "wavy lines," but anytime you are close to an object you should use your camera's "macro" setting which is usually indicated on the camera menu or controls by a small flow symbol (since that is the setting you'd use for photographing flowers close up).

 

You want to be sure that the objects being photographed have lots of strong even light with no shadows. If the light is not strong enough then the camera shutter speed will be too slow and you'll get shaky, out-of-focus pictures. I always used the camera flash (camera's usually have auto flash, no flash, or full time flash - sometimes called fill flash). I have a piece of white foam - about 3/8ths of an inch thick - that I attached to the camera with Velcro: it covers the flash and diffuses it so that it does not washout close objects. You can also take a piece of white paper and fold it up several times and hold that over the camera flash to get the same effect. Experiment to see what works best as far as reducing the flash impact. Always photograph against a plain white background: that ensures better light coverage of the object being photographed and it provides a reference point if you need to adjust the color balance). Also don't leave a lot of space around the object: we see far too many large photos on the forum that show a tiny medal or wing etc. in the middle of a large brown background (often a bedspread or carpet). Get in close, light it evenly and you will get good results.

 

Here's a closeup of a patch I did using these techniques:

 

2.jpg

 

And here's some pilot wings:

 

wings1.jpg

 

wings2.jpg


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It was mentioned above that you can place the camera far away from the object to reduce flash glare and that dfoes work, but it will not capture the details you get from being in close: and please - no more carpet backgrounds! A piece of foam core board from the crafts store make a dandy backdrop.


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Thanks for the quick replies...I will try your techniques to see if that helps. I do try to use either a white foam background or a white sheet. I'm including a pic to explain what wavy lines I am refering to.

 

post-1642-1251227481.jpg

"When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson

 

 

Sgt USMC 1989-1995

Co. A 8th Engineers

HE Platoon 6th Bridge Company

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I work as a photographer, so I can shed a little light on this. The wavy lines you describe are an interference pattern called a Moiré pattern.

In digital cameras this is a result of the pattern of the fabric clashing with the pattern of the pixels on the cameras sensor. Most digital cameras have a Anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor which slightly softens the image but removes the Moiré. If you're experiencing it, its probably more of a problem with your equipment than technique, your camera might not have an AA filter.

 

EDIT: More info on the subject http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/misc/DigPhotog/alias/

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I work as a photographer, so I can shed a little light on this. The wavy lines you describe are an interference pattern called a Moiré pattern.

In digital cameras this is a result of the pattern of the fabric clashing with the pattern of the pixels on the cameras sensor. Most digital cameras have a Anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor which slightly softens the image but removes the Moiré. If you're experiencing it, its probably more of a problem with your equipment than technique, your camera might not have an AA filter.

 

EDIT: More info on the subject http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/misc/DigPhotog/alias/

 

Thanks for that link. These were always a problem form television: if you watch some old black and white programs from the 50's or 60's you sometimes see those show up because of the pattern on someone's clothing. I seem to recall that grid-like patterns were the worst.

 

I find moire patterns sometimes happen or get worse as a result of shrinking photos down to a size suitable for the web. For web photos I recommend not using your camera's highest resolution settings, but rather something that will produce images now more than perhaps 1600 pixels wide. For web use those generally will have to be shrunk down to now more than 600 pixels in any one direction. I have also found that moire patterns can be more noticeable depending upon how I shrink something. For instance shrinking an image from say 1600 pixels wide to 700 pixels might introduce a strong pattern, but shrinking it to 800 pixels might look okay.


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Ahhh, ok, that makes sense. My camera is about 2 years old, so maybe it didn't come with that filter. Is it something thats always on or do you have to enable it like you do the macro? I also noticed that when I went to resize them that the lines weren't as noticeable in the larger sized pics. I'll try kaosdad idea of changing the resolution and see if that helps. Thanks again guys and thanks Forum Support for some of the photo taking tips.

"When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson

 

 

Sgt USMC 1989-1995

Co. A 8th Engineers

HE Platoon 6th Bridge Company

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Thanks for that link. These were always a problem form television: if you watch some old black and white programs from the 50's or 60's you sometimes see those show up because of the pattern on someone's clothing. I seem to recall that grid-like patterns were the worst.

 

I find moire patterns sometimes happen or get worse as a result of shrinking photos down to a size suitable for the web. For web photos I recommend not using your camera's highest resolution settings, but rather something that will produce images now more than perhaps 1600 pixels wide. For web use those generally will have to be shrunk down to now more than 600 pixels in any one direction. I have also found that moire patterns can be more noticeable depending upon how I shrink something. For instance shrinking an image from say 1600 pixels wide to 700 pixels might introduce a strong pattern, but shrinking it to 800 pixels might look okay.

 

You brought up another point I had overlooked, resizing can have a lot to do with it, some software (IE: freeware with crude resizing methods) can induce moire when down sampling.

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I use ms paint to resize, so that could be part of my problem. Thanks again for all that replied.

"When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson

 

 

Sgt USMC 1989-1995

Co. A 8th Engineers

HE Platoon 6th Bridge Company

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  • 3 months later...
I work as a photographer, so I can shed a little light on this. The wavy lines you describe are an interference pattern called a Moiré pattern.

In digital cameras this is a result of the pattern of the fabric clashing with the pattern of the pixels on the cameras sensor. Most digital cameras have a Anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor which slightly softens the image but removes the Moiré. If you're experiencing it, its probably more of a problem with your equipment than technique, your camera might not have an AA filter.

 

EDIT: More info on the subject http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/misc/DigPhotog/alias/

 

Exactly what he said, I work as a photographer as well. Luckily my camera doesnt have to worry about this, but if your interested in seriously photographing your items, DSLR's are becoming cheaper and cheaper. I happen to shoot Nikon and you can find used cameras for a very good price.

 

Chris

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Another nice background to consider is one of those semi-floppy grid mats (3-4 sizes) used by quilters.

 

Mrs. Bluehawk has one in medium green and a larger one in white, all nicely marked off in perfect increments of inches and half inches, with non-glare surface.

 

I abscond with hers whenever I want to post something :D

 

Here's what the green one looks like in use:

post-3976-1259648468.jpg

HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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  • 2 months later...

I'm sure I've seen a thread about this phenomena on here somewhere, so perhaps someone can maybe point me in the right direction please? I've got a new compact digital camera..Fuji-Finepix, 12.2 mega-pixels, easy to use, lots of nice features etc. However, often, when I post photos of uniforms or canvas webgear etc., the weave of the various fabrics forms an annoying "wavy" pattern. I'll post an example below so you can see what I mean. Solid items..insignia, weapons, helmets etc., seem to be immune from this pattern-effect. Any quick fixes or advice? Thanks!

 

post-8022-1266609954.jpg

 

 

Sabrejet :thumbsup:

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

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John Winston Lennon

 

 

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  • 9 months later...

You can try taking the photo at a 45 degree diagonal to the pattern weave, and then rotate it right ways.

Mr.JERRY
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Ian, Moire effect is relatively common in digital photography. You might try either pulling back on your shot, then cropping to the desired image framing. Or zoom in tighter and see if that eliminates the problem.

 

Another possibility is altering the resolution of your camera settings; try both more res and less res. One or the other should do the trick. Good luck!

Terry

to all who have served!

 

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  • 1 year later...

I notice I get this effect in super macro at 3 feet. Thought it was the material pattern. Because its always on ribbons and uniforms.

Interested in military buttons and insignia

 

Always remember our Girls and Boys in Uniform - Past and Present..

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  • 5 years later...

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