Chip Photography Thread

horseshoez

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Searched high and low for a thread dedicated to chip photography but couldn't find one. The purpose of this thread is two-part. First is to allow those in the PCF community that are avid photographers to offer us amateurs some inspiration by way of sharing their ideas, tips, examples, and much more about how to photograph poker chips. The second is to have thread in which everybody can share their creative chip photos. This includes chips stacked, in play, sets, singles, you name it. Other's can probably relate but I'm personally always looking for fun ways to take pictures of my chips and have managed to do so via natural and artificial lighting methods. I'm far from a pro but if there's one thing dabbling with photography has taught me over the years is that lighting and setting are two of the most important factors no matter what you're shooting.

Hoping people can share their stuff here as, including questions and input from our fellow members who are professionals in the field of photography. Right off the top of my head, the first one I can think of is @Eloe2000. I hope you and the others who are pros in the field don't mind helping us become better behind the lens, phone or camera, with some tips and examples.

I'll start by sharing a couple of stuff from my end. Some with the help of a tabletop light box and some without.

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TSSScxR.jpg

Rmkl7KP.jpg

9KmuBha.jpg
 
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horseshoez

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Going to shoot out the first question. When taking pics of chips directly from above without the ability to use natural light, what's the best way to eliminate or reduce shadows? Any recommendations on proper lighting equipment without breaking the bank?
 

Eriks

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Cannot add any value to this thread I’m afraid, so following for selfish reasons
 

Venturalvn

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Thanks for starting this thread! I thought there was something like this out there that I was looking for recently after a terrible photo shoot, but couldn't find anything.

Major problem I'm having is color balances changing for chips/denoms, even when the camera is on a tripod and the lighting is consistent. What the hell, photography?
 

horseshoez

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Would be really cool to see some pictures of the actual setup itself when someone is taking their pics. I'll remind myself to do that next time I take some pics with what little equipment I have. If its possible for those that take really nice shots of their chips to do the same, pretty sure the community will be really thankful.
 

horseshoez

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Eloe2000

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Thanks for the tags. You know, my chip photos are terrible. The thing is that since I am a photographer for a living, I don’t like to spend spare time taking or editing photos when I am not working. In particular I don’t like to fire up the computer unless necessary and would rather take and edit chip photos on my phone. But I am always happy to give people tips or answer questions to improve their photography.

I had thought about doing a thread for basic cell phone photo tips or tips for just using household tools for lighting and modifiers. I think people would find that valuable. When I have time one day I will put that together.
 

horseshoez

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Thanks for the tags. You know, my chip photos are terrible. The thing is that since I am a photographer for a living, I don’t like to spend spare time taking or editing photos when I am not working. In particular I don’t like to fire up the computer unless necessary and would rather take and edit chip photos on my phone. But I am always happy to give people tips or answer questions to improve their photography.

I had thought about doing a thread for basic cell phone photo tips or tips for just using household tools for lighting and modifiers. I think people would find that valuable. When I have time one day I will put that together.

I beg to differ. Quite the contrary actually and I believe your chip photos are pretty nice even if there weren't that many taken. Majority are probably looking for some fun tips using their phones since most of us don't have a DSLR camera in our possession. Call it a DIY photography database. Some will opt to just use whatever is readily available to get better shots rather than go to Amazon and buy lighting boxes, etc...
 

Eloe2000

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Going to shoot out the first question. When taking pics of chips directly from above without the ability to use natural light, what's the best way to eliminate or reduce shadows? Any recommendations on proper lighting equipment without breaking the bank?

You can do a lot with a single large sheet of white construction paper as a “bounce”. I would buy a couple 2’x3’ sheets of this stuff from Staples and just keep it on hand. You can either use that as a surface to photograph on, or bend it up behind the chips and use it as a cyclorama “cyc”, or you can use it to bounce light off.

Edit: actually post an example of the type of photo you are trying to improve. I thought you were just talking about a couple chips but now I am thinking you are talking about something different.

So, in your example if you are photographing chips from directly above you would want to; have your light source to the left or right of the camera, leave the shade on the lamp or whatever you are using and not “bare bulb” to diffuse the direct light, and on the opposite side of the chips stand up the white construction paper to bounce the light onto the otherwise shady side of the chips.

Or are you looking to buy a light source specifically for this purpose?
 
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Rieguy

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I am definitely following this as I am interested.

I can only add a couple things. First, is that natural sunlight makes my chips look nearly the same in pictures as they do in person; the difference in the vibrancy and details of the colors is huge. Second, I took the advice from @JeepologyOffroad and @madforpancakes (I only remember because I had bookmarked their posts on it) and uploaded my images to Imgur and embedded them, before sharing them here. Uploading directly on PCF seems to lessen the quality of the original image. Here is how my pics came out on just my regular iPhone with sunlight, after being uploaded to Imgur first.
 

horseshoez

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I am definitely following this as I am interested.

I can only add a couple things. First, is that natural sunlight makes my chips look nearly the same in pictures as they do in person; the difference in the vibrancy and details of the colors is huge. Second, I took the advice from @JeepologyOffroad and @madforpancakes (I only remember because I had bookmarked their posts on it) and uploaded my images to Imgur and embedded them, before sharing them here. Uploading directly on PCF seems to lessen the quality of the original image. Here is how my pics came out on just my regular iPhone with sunlight, after being uploaded to Imgur first.

Second both of those. Natural light helps present the colors on the chips as close as possible to seeing them in person. Using artificial lighting on chips that are really bright either messes with the hue or makes them look really blown out, especially colors like Blaze Orange, Radiant Red, Mexican Rose and other's just as bright. @JeepologyOffroad gave me the Imgur tip as well and it's been my go-to process for posting pictures. Rarely do I just add them via the "Insert Image" function because they're reduced in quality. The colors really pop and the resolution remains intact when using Imgur to post them.
 

Okku

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Oh boy, I'm going to have to take some pictures of my chips when the time comes. This will be fun!
 

Colquhoun

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Going to shoot out the first question. When taking pics of chips directly from above without the ability to use natural light, what's the best way to eliminate or reduce shadows? Any recommendations on proper lighting equipment without breaking the bank?
Top down shots with minimal shadows can be achieved using a flatbed scanner. Do those exist anymore? :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:
 

Eloe2000

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@Eloe2000 any "quick hitters" for DSLR settings for when the set is out on the table and not in a light box?

Photography is all about lighting. I would focus your attention on the setup and lighting more than anything else. All tools being considered, you are most likely to get the best consistent results using indirect window lighting in a room with no other lights on. Ideally if you are 2-5’ away from as large of a window as possible without having the actual direct sunlight falling on the chips you are going to get consistently excellent diffuse light with correct color requiring little editing.

If you are photographing on your poker table with lights on you can still get great results. My general tips there would be to have more lights on as opposed to less. But try not to mix daylight window light with artificial indoor light. The color temperature of those light are very different and are not pleasing when mixed.

Otheriwise, it’s always much easier to show me a photo and I can help you improve from there since photographing outcome is reliant on so ma dynamic conditions. Happy to answer PMs on that front.
 

horseshoez

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Top down shots with minimal shadows can be achieved using a flatbed scanner. Do those exist anymore? :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:

Funny you mention that, someone told me to scan my dealer buttons to capture the detail and have even lighting. Luckily had a multi-function printer and tried it out. Works like a charm for both buttons and chips. I forgot who gave me the tip. I think it was @Himewad or someone else with a massive DB collection.
 

Eloe2000

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My apologies in advance if I opened the floodgates gate @Eloe2000 and other photographers. Don’t hate me lol
Not at all. I like to help out where I can. I can add value here. It really is easier for me to provide feedback on specific photos and technique as opposed to just broad guidance.

Although sometimes I overcommit which I why I still owe you a response on those design PMs :)
 

Himewad

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Funny you mention that, someone told me to scan my dealer buttons to capture the detail and have even lighting. Luckily had a multi-function printer and tried it out. Works like a charm for both buttons and chips. I forgot who gave me the tip. I think it was @Himewad or someone else with a massive DB collection.
Yeah it was me. I can’t claim the rights, though. I got the idea from @Jeff . It works great for dealer buttons.
 

Jeff

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The type of scanner matters. I have scanned a lot of chips for my site and a lot of them look like crap because I was A LOT of chips through my collection when I realized that some colors didn't reproduce well with my nice scanner. You want a scanner with CCD scanning, not CIS. CCD is required for some colors, which is important for scanning chips. If you see hot pink or blaze orange look like different colors, they were scanned with a CIS scanner. My HP all in one (nice one I use for business) is a CIS scanner. I have a smaller stand alone CCD scanner I bought for chips.
 

horseshoez

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The type of scanner matters. I have scanned a lot of chips for my site and a lot of them look like crap because I was A LOT of chips through my collection when I realized that some colors didn't reproduce well with my nice scanner. You want a scanner with CCD scanning, not CIS. CCD is required for some colors, which is important for scanning chips. If you see hot pink or blaze orange look like different colors, they were scanned with a CIS scanner. My HP all in one (nice one I use for business) is a CIS scanner. I have a smaller stand alone CCD scanner I bought for chips.

Nice! A stand alone scanner just for chips. Next level dedication to chipping right there :tup:
 

Saoliver

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Excuse me, but this is a pr0n thread so... get posting some quality pr0n!

I would, but @JeepologyOffroad says that I need to replace my iPhone 7 first.
 
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