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Author Topic: hazy pictures
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2006 05:07      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My boss is asking me to take pictures of some hazy solutions that were created in the lab here. Everytime I give him some pictures he says that they look blurry and asks me to take some sharper pictures. The problem is that the solutions are hazy, they look blurry. Right now I have it set up so I take the picture with a textured background so that the wall behind the solution looks sharp (You can see the texture) and the wall texture through the solution is blurred, an affect of the hazy solution. Does anyone have any other suggestions for trying to take a picture of something hazy, and have the viewer of the picture think that the solution is hazy and not the camera work?

FYI the camera is a Canon powershot A620.
7.1 megapixels.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

Posts: 3089 | From: Switzerland | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
littlefish
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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2006 05:19      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Stick the liquids in their flasks up against a sheet of contrasting paper - if they are white, put them against a black sheet of paper. If another colour, use a white sheet. Ensure the camera isn't moving by placing it on a rest.

Point out to the person viewing the photos that the images are sharp, by the sharp edges of the containers.

I can't remember the level of your chemistry knowledge, but if the liquid is cloudy, it is not a solution, but a suspension. Sorry if that sounds patronising.

Posts: 2421 | From: That London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2006 06:22      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:


I can't remember the level of your chemistry knowledge, but if the liquid is cloudy, it is not a solution, but a suspension. Sorry if that sounds patronising.

Not at all. The turbid solutions being produced are surfactant systems containing methyl cellulose. The objective of these tests is to produce clear solutions. I refer to them as solutions because I do not know why they are turbid. If it is an interaction of the surfactants (two liquids)making it cloudy it is in emulsion. If it is an interaction of the polymer and salt, it is a suspension. So to make things "clear". I refer to them as turbid solutions.

--------------------
"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

Posts: 3089 | From: Switzerland | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Bibo
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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2006 09:14      Profile for Bibo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A few things to check on the camera:

1) Turn off digital zoom
2) Be sure the image quality is set to the highest (RAW of TIFF if available)
3) Use the manual settings on the camera and bracket exposures
4) Use manual focus if available
5) Use a tripod
6) Try some exposures without the flash
7) Use macro settings if manual focus is not available
8) Your camera supports additional lens attachments which offer macro lenses.
9) Use plenty of light, preferably not fluorescent.

If you still aren't getting the results you want you may want to try using a digital SLR.

Posts: 1641 | From: Grand Rapids, MI | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2006 14:52      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Try writing something on the test-tube, perhaps a batch number or somesuch.
Use a sheet of white paper as the background (to avoid distorting the colour of the solution) and write something on the paper to provide a focus reference.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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CoffeeSmack
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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2006 22:05      Profile for CoffeeSmack         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Also, how are you illuminating the solution? I've tried taking pictures of ink dropped into water to get that swirled look. Imagine black ink, blood, or iodine dropped into water...

I can't suggest a particular way of lighting the solution because I don't know exactly how it will react, but there a couple possibilities. You might want to back-light the flask/test-tube/etc. with a window or lamp. Another option would be lighting it from beneath with a light table. If you don't have one you can get a cheap 11x14 portable from any arts and crafts store (A.C. Moore, Michaels).

By the way, is there a color to the solution? This won't so much affect the actual photo, but it will affect the white balance setting of the camera. This will depend on whether you use daylight, tungsten lamps, flourescent, etc. If the white balance isn't set right you might not accurately reproduce the color of the item you are photographing.

Good luck!

Posts: 62 | From: Mount Joy, PA | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2006 22:09      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tell your PI to stop being such a dick.

If that doesn't work, what everyone else just said.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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canadiangeek
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Icon 1 posted May 31, 2006 05:38      Profile for canadiangeek     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I believe littlefish has an excellent ides.... it's simple, and cheap.... it's at least worth a shot...

Maybe you could write something simple on the paper, or the beaker, like "if you can read this, then this picture is in-focus"

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-whenever you build something that's idiotproof, someone comes out with a better idiot-

Posts: 161 | From: Nova Scotia | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted June 01, 2006 07:35      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That you all for the suggestions. As for telling my boss he is being unreasonable, when is the last time you told your boss he was being a dick?

--------------------
"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted June 01, 2006 08:01      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
That you all for the suggestions. As for telling my boss he is being unreasonable, when is the last time you told your boss he was being a dick?

Yesterday, thanks.
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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted June 01, 2006 08:29      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
That you all for the suggestions. As for telling my boss he is being unreasonable, when is the last time you told your boss he was being a dick?

Eh, usually I just give him the finger. Unless he's really stressed out and ready to explode. Then I wait for a more oppurtune time to tell him he's being a dick.

We've come to the point where suually I don't need to say anything, either with my mouth or in sign language. I just sorta look at him, blink a couple times, and he goes "Okay, I'm being a dick."

Shit flies in every direction in my lab. But that's okay because underneath it all we're all friends and we've all got a common goal: make the boss famous so he gets his tenure and we graduate.

--------------------
And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 6 posted June 08, 2006 07:08      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So my boss asked me today about this project. I had done nothing with it since I originally posted. So I copy and pasted the pics from Word to Powerpoint so it would look like i had done something and emailed it over to my boss. His reaction.

"These pictures are much better than the first ones you took.", "Well done"

I guess I learned that if you ignore a problem, it will go away.

So I will ignore this lump growing out of my neck and hope it will just go away.

--------------------
"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

Posts: 3089 | From: Switzerland | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
maybe.logic
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Icon 1 posted June 09, 2006 12:22      Profile for maybe.logic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
So I will ignore this lump growing out of my neck and hope it will just go away.

Probally not the best policy, unless you strive to look like Quasimodo.
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Jace Raven

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Icon 1 posted June 09, 2006 15:45      Profile for Jace Raven         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
That you all for the suggestions. As for telling my boss he is being unreasonable, when is the last time you told your boss he was being a dick?

Yesterday, thanks.
I'd like to second that.

My "boss" know how i feel at every moment. Currently my "boss" is shitbag. He's getting Admin-Seperated from the Marine Corps because he can't keep his weight down and he doesn't rate to be a Marine.

Posts: 1791 | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged


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