photographing a computer screen?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Hugh Nagle, Oct 16, 2004.

  1. Hugh Nagle

    Hugh Nagle Guest

    Now, I know I could do a screen capture, but I was wondering if anyone had
    any ideas on how best to photograph a computer screen.

    Saw a very nice pic on a newspaper today. Shallow depth of field - far
    greater "feel" than could be generated with software from the contents of a
    screen capture.

    Any ideas?

    Hugh
    Hugh Nagle, Oct 16, 2004
    #1
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  2. Hugh Nagle wrote:
    > Now, I know I could do a screen capture, but I was wondering if anyone had
    > any ideas on how best to photograph a computer screen.
    >
    > Saw a very nice pic on a newspaper today. Shallow depth of field - far
    > greater "feel" than could be generated with software from the contents of
    > a
    > screen capture.
    >
    > Any ideas?
    >
    > Hugh


    Long exposure. At least twice the refresh rate.

    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    Joseph Meehan, Oct 16, 2004
    #2
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  3. Hugh Nagle

    Hugh Nagle Guest

    On 10/16/04 11:04 AM, in article
    BD96B0B0.2C6A9%, "Hugh Nagle"
    <> wrote:

    > Now, I know I could do a screen capture, but I was wondering if anyone had
    > any ideas on how best to photograph a computer screen.
    >
    > Saw a very nice pic on a newspaper today. Shallow depth of field - far
    > greater "feel" than could be generated with software from the contents of a
    > screen capture.
    >
    > Any ideas?
    >
    > Hugh
    >

    I should have elaborated. I'm using a Nikon d70 to photograph the flat, LCD
    screen of a Mac PowerBook G4.

    Hugh
    Hugh Nagle, Oct 16, 2004
    #3
  4. Hugh Nagle

    HRosita Guest

    HRosita, Oct 16, 2004
    #4
  5. "Hugh Nagle" <> wrote:
    > Now, I know I could do a screen capture, but I was wondering if anyone had
    > any ideas on how best to photograph a computer screen.

    <snip>
    > Any ideas?



    Yes, do a screen capture. You get 100% resolution, 0% distortion, perfect
    color representation, what more could you want? :)
    --
    Judson McClendon (remove zero)
    Sun Valley Systems http://sunvaley.com
    "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that
    whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
    Judson McClendon, Oct 16, 2004
    #5
  6. Hugh Nagle

    b4 Guest

    You won't need much depth of field if it's flat then ! :)

    "Hugh Nagle" <> wrote in message
    news:BD96B5D5.2C6B0%...
    > On 10/16/04 11:04 AM, in article
    > BD96B0B0.2C6A9%, "Hugh Nagle"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > > Now, I know I could do a screen capture, but I was wondering if anyone

    had
    > > any ideas on how best to photograph a computer screen.
    > >
    > > Saw a very nice pic on a newspaper today. Shallow depth of field - far
    > > greater "feel" than could be generated with software from the contents

    of a
    > > screen capture.
    > >
    > > Any ideas?
    > >
    > > Hugh
    > >

    > I should have elaborated. I'm using a Nikon d70 to photograph the flat,

    LCD
    > screen of a Mac PowerBook G4.
    >
    > Hugh
    >
    b4, Oct 16, 2004
    #6
  7. "Hugh Nagle" <> wrote in message
    news:BD96B0B0.2C6A9%...
    > Now, I know I could do a screen capture, but I was wondering if
    > anyone had
    > any ideas on how best to photograph a computer screen.
    >
    > Saw a very nice pic on a newspaper today. Shallow depth of field -
    > far
    > greater "feel" than could be generated with software from the
    > contents of a
    > screen capture.
    >
    > Any ideas?
    >
    > Hugh


    Do you have an LCD monitor? I just picked up my camera and took a
    picture with my little Nikon 3200. It's fine; no bands or anything but
    with a CRT, I'd use an exposure several times the refresh rate.


    --
    James V. Silverton
    Potomac, Maryland, USA
    James Silverton, Oct 16, 2004
    #7
  8. Hugh Nagle

    Gadgets Guest

    Maybe expose and balance on a mid-grey filled screen and use a medium
    telephoto to maintain squareness. Low ambient light, watch for reflections
    of white objects like your clothes, tripod or papers etc. Shoot 1- 2 stops
    down from max, using the sharpest range of your lens.

    Shutter speed shouldn't be much of an issue with LCD, but for CRT 1/30 ish
    or slower should be fine. You can also crank up the screen brightness to
    get some more light...

    Cheers, Jason (remove ... to reply)
    Video & Gaming: http://gadgetaus.com
    Gadgets, Oct 16, 2004
    #8
  9. lcd monitors do not flicker like crt screens do... nothing special to do to
    get a bright image that is not banded like crt images are known for... try
    it.

    "Hugh Nagle" <> wrote in message
    news:BD96B5D5.2C6B0%...
    > On 10/16/04 11:04 AM, in article
    > BD96B0B0.2C6A9%, "Hugh Nagle"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > > Now, I know I could do a screen capture, but I was wondering if anyone

    had
    > > any ideas on how best to photograph a computer screen.
    > >
    > > Saw a very nice pic on a newspaper today. Shallow depth of field - far
    > > greater "feel" than could be generated with software from the contents

    of a
    > > screen capture.
    > >
    > > Any ideas?
    > >
    > > Hugh
    > >

    > I should have elaborated. I'm using a Nikon d70 to photograph the flat,

    LCD
    > screen of a Mac PowerBook G4.
    >
    > Hugh
    >
    Christopher Muto, Oct 16, 2004
    #9
  10. Hugh Nagle

    Hugh Nagle Guest

    On 10/16/04 11:04 AM, in article
    BD96B0B0.2C6A9%, "Hugh Nagle"
    <> wrote:

    > Now, I know I could do a screen capture, but I was wondering if anyone had
    > any ideas on how best to photograph a computer screen.
    >
    > Saw a very nice pic on a newspaper today. Shallow depth of field - far
    > greater "feel" than could be generated with software from the contents of a
    > screen capture.
    >
    > Any ideas?
    >
    > Hugh
    >

    Thanks to you all for your help/opinions on this.

    Regards,

    Hugh
    Hugh Nagle, Oct 16, 2004
    #10
  11. Hugh Nagle

    Mark M Guest

    "Hugh Nagle" <> wrote in message
    news:BD96B0B0.2C6A9%...
    > Now, I know I could do a screen capture, but I was wondering if anyone had
    > any ideas on how best to photograph a computer screen.
    >
    > Saw a very nice pic on a newspaper today. Shallow depth of field - far
    > greater "feel" than could be generated with software from the contents of

    a
    > screen capture.
    >
    > Any ideas?


    1/15th to 1/30th depending on your refresh rate.
    Slow is always better so long as you've got a stable camera (no movement).
    Mark M, Oct 17, 2004
    #11
  12. Hugh Nagle

    Mark M Guest

    "Hugh Nagle" <> wrote in message
    news:BD96B5D5.2C6B0%...
    > On 10/16/04 11:04 AM, in article
    > BD96B0B0.2C6A9%, "Hugh Nagle"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > > Now, I know I could do a screen capture, but I was wondering if anyone

    had
    > > any ideas on how best to photograph a computer screen.
    > >
    > > Saw a very nice pic on a newspaper today. Shallow depth of field - far
    > > greater "feel" than could be generated with software from the contents

    of a
    > > screen capture.
    > >
    > > Any ideas?
    > >
    > > Hugh
    > >

    > I should have elaborated. I'm using a Nikon d70 to photograph the flat,

    LCD
    > screen of a Mac PowerBook G4.


    LCDs are much easier to shoot since they don't flicker.
    If you've got a D70, then surely you can shoot a series at different shutter
    speeds and find out what the answer is here within about 30 seconds time...
    Mark M, Oct 17, 2004
    #12
  13. Hugh Nagle

    Guest

    Kibo informs me that Hugh Nagle <> stated
    that:

    >Now, I know I could do a screen capture, but I was wondering if anyone had
    >any ideas on how best to photograph a computer screen.


    It's easy. You'll need a tripod, positioned with the camera as parallel
    as possible with the screen, & a shutter speed that's an *exact*
    multiple of the displays refresh rate to prevent dark bars appearing in
    the photo. Eg: to photograph an American TV screen (60Hz field rate,
    30Hz refresh rate), you'd use a shutter speed of 1/30th, 1/15th, etc.

    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
    , Oct 17, 2004
    #13
  14. Hugh Nagle

    Guest

    Kibo informs me that Hugh Nagle <> stated
    that:

    >I should have elaborated. I'm using a Nikon d70 to photograph the flat, LCD
    >screen of a Mac PowerBook G4.


    If it's an LCD, you don't have to worry about the refresh rate. If you
    have *very* steady hands, you won't even need a tripod.

    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
    , Oct 17, 2004
    #14
  15. In addition to the slow shutter, as others mentioned (for a CRT
    monitor) here are some other tips. Room must be completely dark. If
    your camera has chrome or any high reflectance surfaces, cover them
    with black. Either use a timer or wear black clothes. Timer is
    better- get everything ready, set timer, and get way back. Also,
    clean screen before you begin- easy to forget this step.

    Light from monitor can bounce off of any surface close to it, and go
    back and hit screen, reducing contrast. ANY ambient light is
    detrimental.

    Hugh Nagle <> wrote in message news:<BD96B0B0.2C6A9%>...
    > Now, I know I could do a screen capture, but I was wondering if anyone had
    > any ideas on how best to photograph a computer screen.
    >
    > Saw a very nice pic on a newspaper today. Shallow depth of field - far
    > greater "feel" than could be generated with software from the contents of a
    > screen capture.
    >
    > Any ideas?
    >
    > Hugh
    Don Stauffer in Minneapolis, Oct 17, 2004
    #15
  16. Hugh Nagle

    Mark M Guest

    "Don Stauffer in Minneapolis" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In addition to the slow shutter, as others mentioned (for a CRT
    > monitor) here are some other tips. Room must be completely dark. If
    > your camera has chrome or any high reflectance surfaces, cover them
    > with black. Either use a timer or wear black clothes. Timer is
    > better- get everything ready, set timer, and get way back. Also,
    > clean screen before you begin- easy to forget this step.
    >
    > Light from monitor can bounce off of any surface close to it, and go
    > back and hit screen, reducing contrast. ANY ambient light is
    > detrimental.


    One must also turn around three times, say "Boogula boogula boogula" and
    then don the foil beanie.
    :)
    Mark M, Oct 17, 2004
    #16
  17. writes:

    >It's easy. You'll need a tripod, positioned with the camera as parallel
    >as possible with the screen, & a shutter speed that's an *exact*
    >multiple of the displays refresh rate to prevent dark bars appearing in
    >the photo. Eg: to photograph an American TV screen (60Hz field rate,
    >30Hz refresh rate), you'd use a shutter speed of 1/30th, 1/15th, etc.


    Mechanical shutters are just not that accurate on their own. Some
    high-end video cameras have electronic shutters that can be adjusted to
    almost exactly match a computer monitor, so there's only a very fine
    dark or light line left moving up or down the screen, but still camera's
    can't get exposures that accurate.

    The simple way to get around this is to expose for 1/2 to 1 second.
    That way, any spot on the screen will get about 15 or 30 refreshes of
    the same image, and although there will be some portion of the screen
    that gets 14 or 16 instead of 15 (29 or 31 instead of 30) the difference
    becomes small enough not to see.

    The more sophisticated method, used in video-input film recorders, is to
    switch the video instead. They open the camera shutter with the signal
    blanked, wait for vertical retrace, turn on the video and count some
    integer number of video frames, then blank the video and close the
    camera shutter. This obviously requires a dark enclosure for the camera
    and CRT.

    Dave
    Dave Martindale, Oct 17, 2004
    #17
  18. Hugh Nagle

    Big Bill Guest

    On Sun, 17 Oct 2004 20:00:05 +0000 (UTC), (Dave
    Martindale) wrote:

    > writes:
    >
    >>It's easy. You'll need a tripod, positioned with the camera as parallel
    >>as possible with the screen, & a shutter speed that's an *exact*
    >>multiple of the displays refresh rate to prevent dark bars appearing in
    >>the photo. Eg: to photograph an American TV screen (60Hz field rate,
    >>30Hz refresh rate), you'd use a shutter speed of 1/30th, 1/15th, etc.

    >
    >Mechanical shutters are just not that accurate on their own. Some
    >high-end video cameras have electronic shutters that can be adjusted to
    >almost exactly match a computer monitor, so there's only a very fine
    >dark or light line left moving up or down the screen, but still camera's
    >can't get exposures that accurate.
    >
    >The simple way to get around this is to expose for 1/2 to 1 second.
    >That way, any spot on the screen will get about 15 or 30 refreshes of
    >the same image, and although there will be some portion of the screen
    >that gets 14 or 16 instead of 15 (29 or 31 instead of 30) the difference
    >becomes small enough not to see.
    >
    >The more sophisticated method, used in video-input film recorders, is to
    >switch the video instead. They open the camera shutter with the signal
    >blanked, wait for vertical retrace, turn on the video and count some
    >integer number of video frames, then blank the video and close the
    >camera shutter. This obviously requires a dark enclosure for the camera
    >and CRT.
    >
    > Dave


    I've taken many screen shots with my C3030; no problems at 1/60 or
    1/30 sec.
    I also did this with my older Konica FT-1 Motor.
    I've never heard that mechanical shutters aren't good enough for this
    before. Where did you get this info?

    Bill Funk
    Change "g" to "a"
    Big Bill, Oct 18, 2004
    #18
  19. Hugh Nagle

    Guest

    Kibo informs me that (Dave Martindale) stated that:

    > writes:
    >
    >>It's easy. You'll need a tripod, positioned with the camera as parallel
    >>as possible with the screen, & a shutter speed that's an *exact*
    >>multiple of the displays refresh rate to prevent dark bars appearing in
    >>the photo. Eg: to photograph an American TV screen (60Hz field rate,
    >>30Hz refresh rate), you'd use a shutter speed of 1/30th, 1/15th, etc.

    >
    >Mechanical shutters are just not that accurate on their own. Some
    >high-end video cameras have electronic shutters that can be adjusted to
    >almost exactly match a computer monitor, so there's only a very fine
    >dark or light line left moving up or down the screen, but still camera's
    >can't get exposures that accurate.


    The above method's worked fine for me, every time I've tried it.

    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
    , Oct 18, 2004
    #19
  20. Hugh Nagle

    Al Dykes Guest

    In article <>,
    <> wrote:
    >Kibo informs me that Hugh Nagle <> stated
    >that:
    >
    >>Now, I know I could do a screen capture, but I was wondering if anyone had
    >>any ideas on how best to photograph a computer screen.

    >
    >It's easy. You'll need a tripod, positioned with the camera as parallel
    >as possible with the screen, & a shutter speed that's an *exact*
    >multiple of the displays refresh rate to prevent dark bars appearing in
    >the photo. Eg: to photograph an American TV screen (60Hz field rate,
    >30Hz refresh rate), you'd use a shutter speed of 1/30th, 1/15th, etc.
    >



    Not to diminish the fine photography advice here, but there's gotta be
    a way on a MAC to grab the screen and save it to a file in some
    graphics format.

    I don't do MAC. In a windoze system I can save the entire screen, or
    just the active panel to a BMP file, and then do anything I want with
    it.


    --
    Al Dykes
    -----------
    adykes at p a n i x . c o m
    Al Dykes, Oct 18, 2004
    #20
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