Fenix Outfitters        
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    1,951

    Default Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

    Okay, so to shoot beamshots do I turn the flash on? It would seem to get beamshots one would want the surrounding area dark?

    How do you all shooot beamshots with Digicam?

    The Digicam I ended up getting was a Cannon G6.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* mut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    OK
    Posts
    1,281

    Default Re: Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

    I usually take them with a slow shutter speed. My camera has a fireworks setting which works quite well.
    When I first got it I tried every setting until I got to one that seemed to be the most representative of the actual beam(trial and error for me)

    mut

  3. #3

    Default Re: Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

    Bearing in mind that I've never taken a beamshot...

    Definitely keep the flash off. You'll probably need to play with exposure compensation or possibly even use manual mode to get the details (beam shape, artifacts, etc) you happen to be looking for.

    Hopefully someone more experienced will be along shortly to explain the correct way to do it, but I think I'm not too far off.

    Joel

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Near Silicon Valley (too near)
    Posts
    7,113

    Default Re: Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

    I've done a few beam shots. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Your settings depend on what you are trying to show. You might be showcasing the beam pattern of a light all by itself or you might be showing several lights together. You can highlight the following; corona; hotspot, beam tint, relative brightness, color rendering or beam shape.

    With most cameras you will get a good shot of the hotspot and corona using the automatic settings.

    I usually start with a moderately dark hallway. Depending on the light, I might be 3 feet from the wall or 12 feet. I use a tripod to hold the camera but you can balance it on a shelf or book or hand hold it.

    You can emphasize the corona by setting the camera to extra light. You can zero in on the hot-spot by setting it to dark.

    Virtually every digital camera has white balance controls to compensate for incandescent light vs florescent vs sunlight. It helps to place a white paper somewhere in your picture so the camera can figure out what light source to balance to.

    To get the beam tint, it's sometimes necessary to fix your white balance at 'sunlight' or 'incan' and then take your picture against a white background.

    If you are doing multiple lights, adjust the camera light/dark (f-stops to those familiar with the jargon) so that the brightest light is not washing out the others. If you want to make the weak lights look better, turn the brightness up so that the weak lights are OK but the brightest is washed out. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    If you want to compare several lights at different times, learn to set the F-stop, shutter speed, ISO and white balance manually. This will allow you to take pictures that are consistant with the light being the only variable. This also works for comparing several lights pointing at the same target (such as a distant building).

    Daniel

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    6,331

    Default Re: Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

    hm, I think you guys answered that well enough,

    Man, thats it, we need to make a sticky thread on this, it seems I am explainning this once a week now lol

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Near Silicon Valley (too near)
    Posts
    7,113

    Default Re: Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

    What I forgot to say....

    With film camera's the pros often take a series of pictures that are over and under exposed as well as correctly exposed. This works well for digitals too, as you just delete the ones you don't want. I typically take 25 pictures to get 5 that I want to post. I take them at the highest possible resolution and crop or resize them before posting.

    Daniel

  7. #7

    Default Re: Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

    I set up my camera and flashlight 15 feet from the wall. A 2-3 second exposure seems to yield the most accurate results (of course, a tripod is essential).

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    1,951

    Default Re: Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

    Okay, got my first beamshots.

    Got a ton of beamshots on my TSPs. By turning flash off, I successfully got both corona and hotspot. The beamshot pix shows about 25% of the total artifacts in the corona (the corona has so many its hard to get the camera to show all of them), but the hotspot came out a little better in the pix. Also got beamshots on a Hyper Blaster. Its now a matter of finding out how to post them, as there isn't an apparent way to attach these images to a post....

  9. #9
    Moderator
    Kiessling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Germany, Old World
    Posts
    16,137

    Default Re: Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

    There are two major problems IMHO:

    1) The dynamic range of corona vs. hotspot is usually too big to be properly displayed, so you'll get either an overexposed hotspot or an underexposed corona. I couldn't solve this problem even with my new digicam. A workaraound would be to take seperate corona and hotspot shots with different exposure settings.

    2) to properly compare two light syou need to manually set your exposure settings and avoid changing them.

    If the question isn't beam color, I usually shoot in B/W to avoid distraction by color.

    bernhard

  10. #10
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    1,951

    Default Re: Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

    [ QUOTE ]
    Kiessling said:
    There are two major problems IMHO:

    1) The dynamic range of corona vs. hotspot is usually too big to be properly displayed, so you'll get either an overexposed hotspot or an underexposed corona. I couldn't solve this problem even with my new digicam. A workaraound would be to take seperate corona and hotspot shots with different exposure settings.

    2) to properly compare two light syou need to manually set your exposure settings and avoid changing them.

    If the question isn't beam color, I usually shoot in B/W to avoid distraction by color.

    bernhard

    [/ QUOTE ]

    You're right about the difficulty getting corona and hotspot in same picture. I had to shoot the corona at close range and vary the angle because the corona is too dim to be seen easily at far range. For the hotspot, I shot further away and had to vary the angle a bit. The result is the pictures are slightly non-centered due to the angles, but I was able to get both corona and hotspot fairly well, with some pictures getting one better than the others.

  11. #11
    Moderator
    Kiessling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Germany, Old World
    Posts
    16,137

    Default Re: Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

    Use the exposure settings to adjust for corona and hotspot shots ... it is far easier and quicker as well as better for comparison purposes.
    bernhard

  12. #12
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    1,951

    Default Re: Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

    [ QUOTE ]
    Kiessling said:
    Use the exposure settings to adjust for corona and hotspot shots ... it is far easier and quicker as well as better for comparison purposes.
    bernhard

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'll try this once I understand how to. I'm new to digital cameras and don't know how to change exposure settings yet. I'm right now using auto settings until I get more experience.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic DBrier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Indianapolis IN
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

    Believe it or not, the best beam shots I got were when I put the camera in full auto mode and left the flash on. The secret is to put you finger (or electrical tape) over the flash. It makes the picture more "real world" than the long exposure shots.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Shooting Beamshots with Digital Camera

    [ QUOTE ]
    DBrier said:
    Believe it or not, the best beam shots I got were when I put the camera in full auto mode and left the flash on. The secret is to put you finger (or electrical tape) over the flash. It makes the picture more "real world" than the long exposure shots.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    This may damage some cameras. The instructions for my Canon S60 specifically warn against this, I assume due to heat buildup. It ought to be possible to bounce the light from the flash up and out of the way with some sort of apparatus.

    Bill D.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •