View Full Version : blue bottle engraving and bottle stopper

Kenneth Hertzog
10-01-2007, 9:16 PM
Here is a couple of items that I've been working on.
Also been working on taking pictures. It seems I'm no good at it.
I may get it right some day. Camera does not want to take a close pic.

72870 72871

thanks for looking ( hope you didn't hurt your eyes :D )


Darren Null
10-01-2007, 9:39 PM
Sweet. How did you do the stopper? On mine, you have to wedge small stuff between 2 smartie packets or modified toilet rolls otherwise the head bangs against the head of the rotary.

Stephen Beckham
10-01-2007, 10:03 PM
Ken - I've done a couple bottles as well - I too like the colored ones because of the white contrast. I've lasered a bottle and placed it back at the store where I purchased it to show the capability. I also told the owner to tell anyone that buys from him - to bring their pay stub to my store for a 10% off... It only brought a handful in - I bet that rascal drank my wine by now...

If you figure that camera focus thing out - let me know - I have problems getting my pictures also...


Darren Null
10-01-2007, 10:19 PM
Assuming a cheapish (3+ Megapixel) handheld automatic digital with an auto-focussing lens, take the image from about 3 feet away (maybe 4 feet- depends on the camera) and then crop the bit you want before resizing the image. It'll look tiny in the viewfinder, but it'll be in focus and there's plenty of image there to work with. When you're converting images for the interweb, you throw loads of pixels away, so look at it at 100% in your image app and crop what you need, THEN resize.

If you're trying to take photos of small things with a camera phone, you're probably not on a winner.

Kenneth Hertzog
10-02-2007, 7:18 AM
Nope not a camera phone
I have two sony digital camera's I've tried manual focus and auto focus and both seem to work not very well. BUT I'll try what you said it may be the ticket and thank you all for comments.

Darren Null
10-03-2007, 9:29 AM
These all-in-one cameras have one lens to do everything, and they're generally configured for 'holiday snapshot' photos, because that's mostly what they're going to be doing. So compromises have to be made and it's normally sacrificing the close-focussing (although some cameras do have a 'macro' mode these days- but you have to remember to reset it after use otherwise everything else comes out blurry).

It varies from camera to camera, but 3-4 feet is about normal for the minimum focussing distance on the 1-lens-fits-all variety of camera, assuming it's not an expensive one; and sometimes even if it is.

The instinct when you're taking the photo is to fill the viewfinder up with your object, thus possibly bringing you inside the distance that your camera can focus at. So just stand back a bit and take the photo so it's in focus. For web images, there's usually plenty of picture there to spare, so just select the bit you need and use that.

When I had a camera like that, I took a photo along a metre ruler, trying to focus it as close as possible, so I could tell by which bit of the ruler was in focus what the minimum focussing distance for that camera was. Then I just cut myself a bit of dowel the same length for a quick reference. Worth doing if you're going to be doing a lot of close-ups, but 'just stand back a bit' if you're not.

Kenneth Hertzog
10-03-2007, 9:44 AM
when a person uses a photo tent to take a picture is he still following the same rule you listed previous and then croped the photo? Or is he using a different camera.

Mike Null
10-03-2007, 10:09 AM

Depending on the model you have you should have a focus button for different distances. You should be able to find a setting that will let you take a picture from a foot or less in focus.

Kenneth Hertzog
10-03-2007, 10:16 AM
I have two sony digital cameras and each one has an auto focus and manual focus switch. there is nothing else unless its in the menu settings. Maybe its time to upgrade to something and if so witch model of SONY ( just to keep it simple) would be chosen. ( hope I didn't open a can of worms here :D )

Darren Null
10-03-2007, 11:34 AM
Photo tent?

If all you need is closeup shots for the interweb, you should be able to get perfectly satisfactory results with what you've got, just by stepping back far enough that the camera can focus. Certainly you should be able to do wine-stopper-sized objects and probably down to coin-ish-sized objects. The only exception to that is if you have a REALLY cheap camera that ONLY does JPEG, with the compression too high so that you get JPEG artifacts whatever you do...the only solution is to not buy the camera in the first place. Often cameras are set on JPEG by default, but if you're having problems with the compression, many cameras offer other formats to save images in...usually RAW and TIFF. You are zooming in and using pictures at closer to 100% of the actual size, so compression may be a factor.

Make sure that your camera is taking the biggest photos that it can. Many cameras offer you a choice of image sizes- I didn't think of this earlier because I always set it to HUGE when I buy the camera and then forget about it.

Also, consider taking product photos outside. Indoors tends to be a lot darker (although you don't really notice due to the way your eyes work), so the camera will have less light to work with- this can lead to less depth of field or grainyness in the photo. You have to be careful of reflections, of course, but that applies wherever you're taking photos. You can get pretty good results in seconds by just throwing a dark-coloured t-shirt over a chair, placing the object on the seat and popping away.

Your camera is almost certainly taking pictures with much more information in than is needed for interweb stuff, so your priority is getting the object in focus, not composition or filling the viewfinder. It's slightly different if you need to print because you should have more image detail, but if you can get an image looking good on the interweb, you can usually get away with it in print- only image professionals and anal retentives like me will notice.

For quite tiny objects, you can also use a fresnell (SP?) lens- these are sheets of plastic etched with lines that bend the light. They come in A4 (and bigger) sizes and are as cheap as chips. Certainly a cost effective alternative to upgrading your camera if you're not going to be needing to photograph tiny stuff all the time.

Tiny Object----Fresnell Lens----Camera

...then just crop the image so your lens doesn't show. I suppose a professional wouldn't consider this because the lines on the lens will degrade the final image a bit, but if you're just after a result, it'll work. Cheaply.

I can't give you a Sony recommendation- I use a Canon EOS 400D, which is serious photography firepower for the money and comes with pretty well all you need for most normal use in the box. The only extras I have are a telephoto lens and a tripod. And the software is comprehensive too.

Incidentally, 2 excellent freebie programs are:

(stitches images together to make panoramas/REALLY big images)

('stacks' images to give you phenominally long exposure times, for star trail type photos or taking photos in almost complete darkness)

Bob Cole
10-03-2007, 11:40 AM
I have a sony camera 5.1Mp and it has a "macro" button. You will need to use this feature if you want to get closer. On my camera, the button has a flower on it. I take a lot of close up pictures and you can't get focus up close without doing this.

You should be able to focus between 6" - 1 ft with the macro feature on.

Kenneth Hertzog
10-03-2007, 12:24 PM
thanks Darren and Bob
I will check this out later this eve.

Ed Kloppenburg
10-03-2007, 4:50 PM

I've been looking for a deer scene graphic. Where did you get yours?


Darren Null
10-03-2007, 5:10 PM
I looked up photo tent. That's a bit posh. I'm more of a duct tape together what you need for the shot type. And then airbrush out anything that you don't want.

For the small ones that only have a slit to shoot through, you'd need a camera with macro. If you can unzip the front of it, you can step back a bit and use your existing kit.

Kenneth Hertzog
10-03-2007, 6:39 PM
I was thinking more in the line of cheap. My wife brought home an all white lamp shade which I wanted to mount a camera on the top to shoot down and shine the light thru the outside in.
also not sure on the graphic will have to look where it came from myself.

Kenneth Hertzog
10-06-2007, 9:27 PM
I would like to thank all of you folks for the camera lesson.:rolleyes:
I finally got some time to play with the camera and like everyone said don't use the zoom and just get close. I can almost put the item in the lens and it is still in focus. Again thank everyone for the info. The pics should get better now.:D

Mike Null
10-07-2007, 7:37 AM
Here is a link to a tutorial site on lighting for photography.


If you're interested in building your own light box do a search on this forum and I believe you'll find the links you need.