Author Topic: Cells getting decent shots  (Read 7182 times)

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p51

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Re: Cells getting decent shots
« Reply #105 on: April 25, 2018, 01:10:54 PM »
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That's beautiful.  If I had that view on my layout, I could stare at it until the sunset faded to a night sky.  How cool!  Hmm, can you catch a really cool crescent moon just after sunset from that angle?
Thanks, but no, the moon is usually far to the south (left) of where you can see at this angle. There's no way I'd be able to get the moon and locomotive from about 4 inches away in the same depth of field shot.
I have, however, seen a blimp out that window!  :o

I saw this through the open blinds while I was having my very first op session on my layout, in 2015, as it was heading to the US Open in Tacoma (I assume, anyway).
Several others airplanes have been spotted out that window, though. Everything between CH-47 chinooks refueling from a C-130, various ultralights, plenty of Blackhawks and night qualifications with C-130s and C-17s. I've seen several WW2 planes pass over the house, too, including P-51, B-17s and B-24 over the years...

davefoxx

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Re: Cells getting decent shots
« Reply #106 on: April 25, 2018, 02:16:16 PM »
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There's no way I'd be able to get the moon and locomotive from about 4 inches away in the same depth of field shot.

There's always focus stacking software.

DFF

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robert3985

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Re: Cells getting decent shots
« Reply #107 on: April 25, 2018, 08:54:48 PM »
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My old Samsung Galaxy S5 finally bit the dust, people not being able to hear me speaking.  The camera is still okay, but time for a new smartphone! 

I thought I'd do a Pelle Soeborg trick and get a phone with an offset camera so I could get down really close to N-scale eyelevel, and in my research, it became pretty evident that out of all the 2018 smartphones, the Google Pixel 2, and its bigger brother the Pixel 2 XL are top-of-the-line as far as the camera is concerned, at least in reviews by photographers who actually pixel-peeped the results and weren't iPhone fanboys.

I chose the bigger Pixel 2 XL because the camera is significantly closer to the edge of the phone than the smaller Pixel 2, with 128Gb.

My layout is still in pieces in the train room so I haven't been able to do any of my standard N-scale shots yet.

I'll be building a Pelle Soeborg-like camera holder for it, which should steady it for track level photos, and using HFPro to combine the shots. 

Several companies are manufacturing smartphone auxiliary lenses to add to your phone, with various mounting protocols, and I'm thinking a telephoto, ultra-wide, and a macro would add to the phone's versatility, the only drawback being the diameter of the macro makes the height of trackside photography a lot taller than just the phone's standard lens.

If anybody is interested, I can do a list of things which convinced me the Google Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL were the camera to get...with a smartphone attached! :)

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

MK

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Re: Cells getting decent shots
« Reply #108 on: April 25, 2018, 09:21:03 PM »
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Bob, I've heard the same thing about the Pixel so you made a wise choice.

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Cells getting decent shots
« Reply #109 on: April 27, 2018, 06:46:41 PM »
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Pics, or it didn't happen...
As to the Pelle stand, Daiso sells a nifty little one for like $3.99 :facepalm:
Otto K.

« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 06:48:57 PM by Cajonpassfan »

robert3985

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Re: Cells getting decent shots
« Reply #110 on: April 28, 2018, 12:02:53 AM »
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Any of you wanting the best deal on a Google Pixel 2 XL should look into Google's $300 off price for the XL right now (as of 4/27/2018).  That brings the price down into the 600 dollar range for the 128 Gb version.  Get it while it's hot!

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore
 

nthusiast

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Re: Cells getting decent shots
« Reply #111 on: December 05, 2018, 08:25:38 AM »
+1
IMO the key to model photography is lighting and angle. Nail these and the smart phone produces fabulous results.

peteski

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Re: Cells getting decent shots
« Reply #112 on: December 05, 2018, 12:38:41 PM »
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IMO the key to model photography is lighting and angle. Nail these and the smart phone produces fabulous results.

For truly fabulous results, the depth of field matters too.  :)
--- Peteski de Snarkski
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robert3985

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Re: Cells getting decent shots
« Reply #113 on: December 06, 2018, 12:21:49 PM »
+1
For truly fabulous results, the depth of field matters too.  :)

The three parameters for photography...any kind of photography...are (1) Light, (2) Composition and (3) Subject.  If you take a photography class at your local college, or at a renowned photography school, this will be drilled into you, with examples of famous photos from famous photographers to illustrate this, and when your work is being critiqued (graded) by the professor (instructor). 

Of course, each parameter can be broken down into sub-parameters...and DOF...being able to control it and use it, is definitely part of the parameter "Composition" with both shallow and deep DOF being used and controlled by the photographer and his equipment to achieve his artistic goal.

Unfortunately for model railroad photography, the trend for smart phone cameras is a smaller f-stop for the main lens which allows less noise in low-light photographs because of the increased light gathering of small f-stop lenses...but this trend decreases DOF markedly.

After a lot of research, it has become evident that the only way to get control of a smart phone's DOF, is by taking multiple photos focused at different distance, then combining them with a post-camera program, which will render the results into a single photo that has the DOF the photographer wants...allowing you to isolate a subject from the background, OR including the background, as well as everything else into your photo.

Although Samsung incorporated a "Selective Focus" feature in its old Galaxy S5, it would combine only two photos...and was designed for normal photography, not close-up photography...which led many times to the front and the rear of a model railroad subject being in focus, but the middle part being blurry.  If you wanted a more overall photo of your layout, or a scene, then it worked pretty good...but not for really up-close photos of long subjects which are so common in our hobby.

Along comes Nikon and introduces it's 40+MB sensor D850 DSLR, which is designed for professional fashion, portraiture and landscape photography...and they design a "Focus Stacking" feature into it that will allow the photographer to select both near and far points in his photo...and then select how many separately focused photos the camera should take between the two points...up to 100 photos.  The camera doesn't render the final single combining of all the shots, but puts them into a folder to download to your PC where you use your favorite focus stacking program to render them.  I thought this was a GREAT idea!...but, many reviewers of the new camera, obviously didn't have any idea what this feature was for, some of them actually downgrading the camera for it! Dumba$$es!

Wellll...I thought this would be great for a smart phone camera to have!  After all, it's only a software solution....the hardware is already there in our little (but powerful) computers we carry around with us everywhere...smartphones.

A couple of days ago, I was looking for focus stacking apps for my Android OS Google Pixel 2 XL, since out of all smartphones today, it is most dependent on the phone's AI to render its photos to the ultra high quality they are known for. 

I wanted an app that would (1) let me choose the near and far points of focus, (2) let me choose the number of photos between those two points (3) Let me control the shutter with my voice so I didn't have to touch the phone to activate the shutter, and (4) take all the photos in a high-speed burst so hand-holding the camera was possible.

Too much to ask??

Nope, I found exactly what I was looking for, and the app is called "Open Camera" and is only available for Android...particularly for newer phones.  It gives me all of the above plus an automatic leveling feature, and produces different grids of my choosing to aid me in composing my shots...along with many more features that allow me to manually control my phone's camera, or give it a "facial focus" priority. 

You can find the app here, as well as instructions on how to use its features and what they are:  https://opencamera.sourceforge.io/

There's a link on the page to "Jump to Instructions" at the left-top of the page.

See my initial DOF test results here: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=45972.0

This app gives recent Android OS smartphones the capability to handily shoot whatever DOF the photographer wants...which should satisfy model railroad photographers' needs in that category which brings the smartphone camera even closer to being "ideal" for model railroad photography!  :)

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

nthusiast

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Re: Cells getting decent shots
« Reply #114 on: December 15, 2018, 08:40:14 AM »
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The three parameters for photography...any kind of photography...are (1) Light, (2) Composition and (3) Subject.  If you take a photography class at your local college, or at a renowned photography school, this will be drilled into you, with examples of famous photos from famous photographers to illustrate this, and when your work is being critiqued (graded) by the professor (instructor). 

Of course, each parameter can be broken down into sub-parameters...and DOF...being able to control it and use it, is definitely part of the parameter "Composition" with both shallow and deep DOF being used and controlled by the photographer and his equipment to achieve his artistic goal.

Unfortunately for model railroad photography, the trend for smart phone cameras is a smaller f-stop for the main lens which allows less noise in low-light photographs because of the increased light gathering of small f-stop lenses...but this trend decreases DOF markedly.

After a lot of research, it has become evident that the only way to get control of a smart phone's DOF, is by taking multiple photos focused at different distance, then combining them with a post-camera program, which will render the results into a single photo that has the DOF the photographer wants...allowing you to isolate a subject from the background, OR including the background, as well as everything else into your photo.

Although Samsung incorporated a "Selective Focus" feature in its old Galaxy S5, it would combine only two photos...and was designed for normal photography, not close-up photography...which led many times to the front and the rear of a model railroad subject being in focus, but the middle part being blurry.  If you wanted a more overall photo of your layout, or a scene, then it worked pretty good...but not for really up-close photos of long subjects which are so common in our hobby.

Along comes Nikon and introduces it's 40+MB sensor D850 DSLR, which is designed for professional fashion, portraiture and landscape photography...and they design a "Focus Stacking" feature into it that will allow the photographer to select both near and far points in his photo...and then select how many separately focused photos the camera should take between the two points...up to 100 photos.  The camera doesn't render the final single combining of all the shots, but puts them into a folder to download to your PC where you use your favorite focus stacking program to render them.  I thought this was a GREAT idea!...but, many reviewers of the new camera, obviously didn't have any idea what this feature was for, some of them actually downgrading the camera for it! Dumba$$es!

Wellll...I thought this would be great for a smart phone camera to have!  After all, it's only a software solution....the hardware is already there in our little (but powerful) computers we carry around with us everywhere...smartphones.

A couple of days ago, I was looking for focus stacking apps for my Android OS Google Pixel 2 XL, since out of all smartphones today, it is most dependent on the phone's AI to render its photos to the ultra high quality they are known for. 

I wanted an app that would (1) let me choose the near and far points of focus, (2) let me choose the number of photos between those two points (3) Let me control the shutter with my voice so I didn't have to touch the phone to activate the shutter, and (4) take all the photos in a high-speed burst so hand-holding the camera was possible.

Too much to ask??

Nope, I found exactly what I was looking for, and the app is called "Open Camera" and is only available for Android...particularly for newer phones.  It gives me all of the above plus an automatic leveling feature, and produces different grids of my choosing to aid me in composing my shots...along with many more features that allow me to manually control my phone's camera, or give it a "facial focus" priority. 

You can find the app here, as well as instructions on how to use its features and what they are:  https://opencamera.sourceforge.io/

There's a link on the page to "Jump to Instructions" at the left-top of the page.

See my initial DOF test results here: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=45972.0

This app gives recent Android OS smartphones the capability to handily shoot whatever DOF the photographer wants...which should satisfy model railroad photographers' needs in that category which brings the smartphone camera even closer to being "ideal" for model railroad photography!  :)

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

+1 -- so agree. I have another way to look at it too. I have to work with a lot of location photography that is amateur. It's taken with available light, which is often times too high in the sky, forground elements often backlit, poor composites, the wrong lens -- all the no-nos. IMO it's worthwhile to sometimes explore ways to recreate these mistake when shooting models, especially period modeling. Railroad folks and enthusiasts who photographed the real deal didn't always take the time -- or know how -- to do it right. Adding film grain, fuzzy focus, hard light, etc. can make for a cool photo.