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How-To capture swirls, scratches, etchings and other surface defects with your camera

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  • How-To capture swirls, scratches, etchings and other surface defects with your camera

    How-To capture swirls, scratches, etchings and other surface defects with your camera

    This may sound stupid.... How do you take a picture of the swirls on a car?

    I tried on my black car, and i am sure there are swirls in there, but it just won't show on the photo.

    I'd like to take a before and after shoot before trying the G100A.

  • #2
    take the car out into the sun and set your camera into "P" i have no clue what that is but i know if you want to capture swirls you have to put it in that mode

    i have a canon S50
    Patrick Yu
    2003 Honda Accord
    2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6

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    • #3
      How-To capture swirls, scratches, etchings and other surface defects with your camera

      A few tips and techniques for helping your camera to focus on the surface so you can capture the defects in the paint you're hoping to remove.


      Finger Pointing Focus Technique
      Besides figuring out the right camera setting for your specific camera, another quick, simple way to help your camera focus on a defect you're trying to capture with a picture is to simply place your index finger close to the defect on or hovering over the finish then carefully captures a few pictures and in most cases you'll get a couple you can use on the Internet. This works for Swirls, Scratches, Etchings, Water Spots both Type I and Type II, Stains, Oxidation, etc. Basically anything on the surface. The reason you need to give the camera something to focus on is because often times when taking shots of a large, uniform, flat surface, once any focus points are zoomed out of the picture your camera has nothing to sense and focus on.

      Detailing Clay
      You can also use a little piece of detailing clay because in most cases you have some detailing clay around. If the paint is clean and it should when trying to capture pictures of surface defects, then when you're done taking your pictures you should be okay to put the little piece of clay back into the large piece you took it from or just through it away. A small piece will work fine. (See picture below).

      Coin
      A coin can also be used if the surface is flat and horizontal like the hood. Place the coin carefully onto the paint so as not to instill a scratch. If you already have a flawless, swirl-free finish then maybe stick with the finger or clay technique. If you're getting ready to buff the car out then as long as you're careful you'll be okay; remember you're going to be buffing out the paint and likely the defect you're trying to capture with a picture.


      Cobweb Swirls or Cobweb-Effect



      Cobweb Swirls or Cobweb-Effect



      Cobweb Swirls or Cobweb-Effect




      Detailing Clay
      Another way to help your camera focus on a surface defect is to place something on the surface of the paint, for example in the below picture we placed a small piece of detailing clay on the paint, then let the camera auto focus and wa-la, perfectly captured swirls, scratches and a bird dropping etching in the paint.





      Random, Isolated Deeper Scratch
      Scratch Removed using Ultimate Compound





      An Isolated Etching
      How To Remove a Bird Dropping Etching by Hand using M105 Ultra Cut Compound
      Mike Phillips
      Office: 800-869-3011 x206
      Mike.Phillips@Autogeek.net
      "Find something you like and use it often"

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      • #4
        Yeah!!! Got it now....

        Look at the SHIIIINE to that SWIIIIIRLS!!!





        My fingers almost got burnt...




        It's amazing how a 3 month old car got these swirls....
        Last edited by zeefauna; May 29, 2006, 01:20 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by zeefauna

          It's amazing how a 3 month old car got these swirls....
          Thank your dealership for washing it for you!
          www.clean4udetailing.com

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          • #6
            The next time i get a new car, i will inspect the paint under the sun...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mike Phillips
              Besides figuring out the right camera setting for your specific camera, I often times place my finger on the finish as though I'm pointing to the swirls, (which I am), but the main purpose of my finger is to give the camera something to focus on so the surface, (where the swirls are), is in focus.
              That was one amazing tip. I've always have problems getting the camera focused on a glossy and "swirly" surface.
              Great idea to give the camera something "solid" to focus on..

              Thanks.
              Last edited by Wingsof66; May 29, 2006, 03:07 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by zeefauna
                The next time i get a new car, i will inspect the paint under the sun...
                ... and if the sun is not there, use a xenon light...



                This is a Brinkmann Dual Xenon, portable and rechargeable.

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                • #9
                  I will be getting my DA polisher soon with some other supplies.

                  Will post the "after" shots... if it turns out well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I was looking around for the Dual Xenon by Brinnkmann and came across this cheap xenon flashlight on eBay for $10 with shipping.



                    Tried it just now with these results...





                    You're right... it's swirl city down there...

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                    • #11
                      "P" mode for a canon

                      Originally posted by sneek
                      take the car out into the sun and set your camera into "P" i have no clue what that is but i know if you want to capture swirls you have to put it in that mode

                      i have a canon S50
                      The "P" is Program mode. I use the Auto and it comes out just fine.

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                      • #12
                        Re: How to snap pictures of SWIRLS?

                        I remember about 2 years ago. I think, Mike showed the tip about using your finger to make the swirls appear in the photo. It has always worked well. I guess the secret so to speak is to direct the auto focus of the camera on something else. This way the swirls appear in the background. Thanks again for the tip.
                        quality creates its own demand

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                        • #13
                          Re: How to snap pictures of SWIRLS?

                          Originally posted by J. A. Michaels View Post
                          I I guess the secret so to speak is to direct the auto focus of the camera on something else. ...Thanks again for the tip.


                          I agree, I have beem searching for these little pearls since I joined. (Especially those regarding technigue.) Also want to shoot some pictures so I can get good feedback.

                          As for now, I am learning from the mistakes of others and hope to contribute by sharing my own. Where's my brillow pad...?
                          Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts.
                          by John Wooden

                          '88 Honda

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How-To capture swirls, scratches, etchings and other surface defects with your ca




                            Just to note this thread has been updated on page one of this thread. If you find a fellow forum member trying to focus and capture a defect in/on their paint try to remember to share this thread with them.

                            You can highlight, copy and paste the blue clickable link into your reply to any thread making it easy for someone to click the link and go to this thread.

                            Mike Phillips
                            Office: 800-869-3011 x206
                            Mike.Phillips@Autogeek.net
                            "Find something you like and use it often"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How-To capture swirls, scratches, etchings and other surface defects with your ca

                              thanks for the bump, I was looking for something like this
                              2004 Mustang GT - Sonic Blue

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