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Shooting Marbles (Camera-Wise)


kbobam
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I've been experimenting lately, and I've come to a conclusion.

It pays to be flexible. Marbles can be fickle, and it's hard to know just what they 'want'.

This shot of a Blood Viper (or what have you) isn't bad, but it doesn't show the marble's

'fire' at its best. I have yet to get a really good shot of one of these indoors. They

simply seem to demand sunlight, and I should probably just accept this.

I also tried using a different post-processing program recently, and was surprised at how

different its results could be from my usual software. Some shots were outstanding in

one and terrible in the other (and vice-versa). No amount of adjusting could change this.

Sometimes I think marbles just like to be difficult. ( :

_DSC1303a2_zps7gi23jei.jpg

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Looks like a drawing.

Funny (interesting). You see paintings which looks like photos. You don't expect to see photos which look like paintings.

But you've managed that before (thinking about a twig with blue shadow).

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Really nice!

And above and beyond all the 'overall' tricky stuff, you also chose to make it even more

difficult by doing a marble shot with limited depth of focus. This is almost always a losing

proposition, but your particular layout/design works wonderfully here! ( :

It's always been a funny 'concept' to me that, when you think about how a camera works

technically and optically, that a 'sphere' is just a ridiculous thing to try to photograph!

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Thanks, Steph!

As you knew when you wrote it, I took your comment as a compliment.

But it did remind me of the frequent frustrations I deal with in my 'camera forum'.

There are so many people there who've been brainwashed that there are certain

rules that must be followed in order for a photograph to be 'real', that they will

probably continue forever to insist that their hideous results are the only way to go!

Real? It's a photo! The only 'reality' is being there at the time!

A good example of this might be the possibly 'hyper-reality' photo I took of my

'marble-mail' Bananas. I loved these so much that I made a point of waiting several

days for what I thought were just the right conditions to shoot them. If you were actually

there at the time, you would have been half-blinded by the low-setting sun and wouldn't

have ever seen this exact situation. But I used some of the same high-tech deflector and

reflector techniques :D they use in Hollywood (black and white cardboard!) to make the final

result look 'good'. Have I 'sinned' against reality?

This is probably a 'semantics' argument. Like most arguments are.

But anytime anyone genuinely feels they captured the 'essence' of a marble as they

personally see it, then they've made a successful 'translation' in my opinion.

Will shut up now before I get into one of my still a hippie mostly 'what is reality really?' rants! ( :

DSC_0851a4_zpsfqasxqd4.jpg

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I can only imagine how difficult that would be.

Making an overall realistic marble image, and at the same time

keeping that 'built in' image looking as it should sounds like a

tough balancing act!

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The banana pic- is beautiful,yet so bright.The other pic- are nice aswell.

I do not have much patience in making them,although I like to take marble pic-.

I'm more of the fast result,maybe it's a pity but...

I agree that marbles with a clear base could be for a good result,taken in direct sunlight.

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Thanks, Winnie.

With this kind of shot, the hardest thing for me is controlling the reflections.

'Control' in this case can mean either the amount or the location or both.

You can sometimes limit the amount of reflection with a polarizing filter, but

for this to work well the sun-marble-camera 'angles' have to be just so.

This isn't always possible, because probably the most important thing is to

position the marble and camera so the location of any bright reflections is

on the transparent part of the marble. This usually gives a much more

pleasing result than having a bright sun spot right in the middle of the pattern. ( :

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Really nice!

And above and beyond all the 'overall' tricky stuff, you also chose to make it even more

difficult by doing a marble shot with limited depth of focus. This is almost always a losing

proposition, but your particular layout/design works wonderfully here! ( :

It's always been a funny 'concept' to me that, when you think about how a camera works

technically and optically, that a 'sphere' is just a ridiculous thing to try to photograph!

I appreciate the kind words! And you're right about trying to photograph a sphere, especially a small one! And the darn things like to roll around! Glad we don't have to pay for film and processing anymore, because it usually take a lot of tries to get the desired result!

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Quote by kbobam "Have I 'sinned' against reality?"

Nope!! Camera reproduction of reality, even with the best of cameras, is almost impossible to replicate perfectly. Working with whatever tools you have in order to get the best result possible is just being a good photographer! That's my thoughts, anyway!

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is an interesting post. I'm am not a photographer, and know almost nothing of these things, but I have been working with my limited experience and equipment and agree with the posts above. I've taken so many marble pictures it's almost made me crazy OCD.  Marbles are tricky to say the obvious.  I've come to appreciate that taking a good mib picture will always be a series of compromises; and different marbles require different approaches. Mostly I've been interested in improving on those really tricky transparent ones...depth of field, achieving a 'rounder' appearing marble, and making the mib appear more as it is 'in hand.'  Taming light is a bugger.  It's so slippery. This example of a shooter wire pull I think, is an improvement in some regard. Will I ever be happy? Probably not. John

Wire1.0.jpg

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Thanks for your thoughts!  I turned off the flash on that one as you might know, but there was a bit of luck in it too, I'm sure. I'd bet I'd have to take a bunch more before I had those results again. As you guessed, I had to tinker with the exposure as well. Back to the marble-lab for more photography.  John

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