Business Photography Tips
August 30, 2004 2:13 PM   Subscribe

DigiPhoto Tips: I'm going to be building a website for my dad's one and half person materials testing shop. As I head up to Tulsa for Labor Day, I'm going to head out there to take some pictures for the site. The only problem is, the lighting there is all flourescent and, well, machine shop like. Any tips for taking the pictures (while using very pedestrian digicams) or manipulation in photoshop are much appreciated.
posted by Ufez Jones to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
close-ups of machinery, at odd angles that emphasize perspective. If your camera has a little flower icon button for close-ups, even better.

I would try to show some of the machinery in the shop from an abstract perspective, more for visual feel than function/showing off the stuff. You can list what they use if that is what people will be looking for. But I'd say just make it look sleek and professional.

You can always drag some lamps from your dad's house if you need better light.
posted by Espoo2 at 2:47 PM on August 30, 2004

If it has that option set the white balance to "flourescent".
Don't leave it in "Auto".
posted by golo at 3:12 PM on August 30, 2004

Werd, set your white balance, and you can tweak the "Color Balance" afterwards in Photoshop to get it right where you want it.
posted by trbrts at 3:16 PM on August 30, 2004

That's the way to do it. Be sure to avoid mixed-lighting situations, though (e.g. a scene illuminated by both the fluorescents and sunlight).

Any errors in the white balance can be corrected later in Photoshop (Photoshop's built-in auto correction is actually pretty good for these sorts of things, if you're not being overly picky).
posted by neckro23 at 3:28 PM on August 30, 2004

Another, different solution: I was asked to design a site for a non-profit, highlighting a fund raiser they'd had. Unfortunately, the photos were not even as good as snapshots - over- and under-exposed, oddly framed and angled. I tried to clean up the photos in Photoshop as much as I could, but when the source isn't great, there's only so much you can do to make them appear to be "professional photos." Instead, I ended up using a set of Photoshop filters that turned the photos into "paintings." It gave the site an original and unusual "look," covering a multitude of photographic sins.

In the case of a machine shop, how about turning the photos into line drawings, with some kind of really precise cross-hatching or something - make the photos look like engineering illustrations?
posted by JollyWanker at 8:48 PM on August 30, 2004

Response by poster: Awesome. Thanks folks. Will definitely keep the white balance in mind.

That's an interesting though, JW. I've not got the best PhotoShop skills in the world (although I know people who do), but I may give that a shot just to see how it turns out.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:08 AM on August 31, 2004

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