Photo's and Writers

Subject: Photo's and Writers
From: "Mark Emson" <mt -dot- emson -at- ntlworld -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2001 18:22:02 -0000

Hi all,

Following on from Jonathan Soukup's message (Hardware Technical Writing and
Photos, 26/01/01).
It seems that many of us 'Writers' end up as photographers and illustrators
as well.
I'm in the same position and would appreciate some advice.

Despite the convenience of digital photography and my best efforts, there
are a number of draw backs, with poor resolution being the greatest problem.
What equipment do you use? In particular, what digital cameras or lenses are
good for taking shots of small components that may need to be enlarged up to
A4 or larger. I'm after personal opinions from users. All I get from the
shops is advice on what is the most expensive gear they 'think' they can
sell me.

We have just started taking our own digital stills of components and other
equipment to speed up the production of assembly instructions which in turn
aid the factory staff. We are trying out a small 'home users' camera. which
is great for long shots of the kids, the dog and the park but not so hot
when you try and get in close for some detailed item.
It is now planned that some of the pictures are be used in product
documentation but as you can imagine, the quality isn't always what you
would expect from professional equipment (or a professional photographer for
that matter). I'm pushing to get a better camera but as always money is the
first hurdle and I need some good testimonials before I can buy.

To try and improve things I am building a small table-top lighting stage
with a range of backgrounds so that objects will always have the same
continuity of appearance, be lit well and be in sharp contrast.
Personally, I'm not unhappy to do this sort of work. It adds another
dimension to the job, another line in my CV and, I get the graphics that I
want, not just the ones I am given. Strangely however, I wouldn't be too
pleased if a photographer suddenly thought that they could my job.

Oh well, such is life.


All the best,

Mark Emson






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