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Marble Photography

 There are many aspects of the marble thing that I like, collecting them is one, the social side of collecting is another and still another is taking marble photographs.  In an attempt  to catalog all of my marbles I thought that the easiest thing to do was to assign them a number, take a picture of them and stick them into a database with all of their pertinent information.  That sounded easy enough but when I first started trying to take pictures of my marbles I came to the realization that I needed some help.  After finding the marble forums I got a lot of tips from there and then after doing some more research I came up with a technique that allowed me to at least take good enough pictures that if I compared the picture to the marble in hand I could tell that it was the same marble!  Here is a brief evolution of my marble picture taking efforts and also pictures of the setups that I use to take them.

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1st Picture


2nd Picture

Here is one of my earliest marble pictures.  Notice the first picture, the marbles in the foreground were what I was taking the picture of but the Master Marble in the back right of the picture is actually more in focus.

 In the next picture I try to take a picture of the Master Marble and you can see the result.  I haven’t got the focusing thing down yet.

4th Picture
4th Picture

These pictures represent my “Nail Head Picture Phase”.  I don’t know why but I thought that it made sense to put the marble on top of a nail head and photograph it.  As you can see I’m still having problems focusing, especially the picture of the Peltier.

5th Picture
6th Picture

After looking at pictures on the forums I noticed that some people were “knocking out” the backgrounds of the pictures and placing the marbles on different backgrounds.  Galen on the Land of Marbles forum was doing some real cool stuff so I tried to figure out how to do it.  This is my first attempt; notice the jagged edges of the Vitro Tri-Lite.

Another picture of a Master Marble with the background removed, sans jagged edges.

7th Picture
8th Picture

At this time I was still using the lens that came with the camera, it was an EFS 18-55mm.  The pictures of this Christensen Agate are pretty much in focus and are about as good as I could shoot using the 18-55mm lens.

9th Picture
10th Picture
11th Picture
12th Picture

Here are four that I took that are pretty much representative of what I’m able to accomplish at this point.  About the only difference in these and the two previous pictures are that I’m now using the Canon EF 100mm macro lens and putting the pictures on a black background.  It is easier for me to focus using the 100mm lens and as a result I get consistently better photos.  Some people use white backgrounds and their pictures look dynamite but my pictures, at least to me seem to look better on black.  I suppose that is one of those personal preference things.

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©2008 Joe Street
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