Photograph rugs

Old 03-20-04, 10:21 AM
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Lightbulb Help with a Pulley System

I need to photograph my custom rugs. Because they are so large, they have to be hung. I tried a pulley system, but think I did it wrong.
I am using a 3/4" rigid conduit pole 10' long, with eye hooks drilled into each end. I then hung a pulley at the top of the crossbar and strung the rope through it, tying the end to the eye hook on the pole. I then attached the rugs to clips that hang over the pole.
BUT the rugs are so dang heavy, and I have to lift one end at a time, - I know I am missing something as I rigged a two pulley system to lift my Corvette's hardtop years ago and it worked great - the hardtop weighed more and was easier to lift.
What do I need to change?

Old 03-20-04, 05:39 PM
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You need to rig your pulleys to have as many 'lines' as possible holding the load.

If you have the pulley on the load and the rope attached to the ceiling and you are pulling up on the rope, you then have two 'lines' holding the load, therefore your effort is half the load.

If you have the same pulley on the ceiling, your rope would only be changing direction, not halving the effort.

If you need to balance the load (your two ropes) you would need more pulleys to create mechanical advantage. I am thinking your 'vette rig didn't have to deal with balancing the load and therefore allowed for greater advantage.
Old 03-20-04, 06:52 PM
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I agree with Steve.

Can the rugs lay out on the floor and be photographed from a ladder? I have done that with some of my custom area rugs.
Old 03-26-04, 02:17 PM
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Steve is right, here is a nice graphical representation of what you want:
Old 03-26-04, 06:58 PM
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Photographing rugs

Photos from a tall ladder should suffice if defining pattern. Close up photos of backing will identify knots and weft lines. Close up photos of front may confirm pile thickness.

Critics of rugs sold on websites such as ebay complain that at least 3 out of 4 are out of focus, too dark, too light, blurry, or some combination of all these. Accurately photographing a rug tends to be difficult. With enough light and a steady hand, even an inexpensive camera can capture the details of rug. Most recommend taking pictures from both ends of the rug to accommodate for light imbalance.

If you need to photograph your rugs for an insurance company or appraisal, then you need to check with them for specified specifications for photographs to confirm the value, origin, and authenticity of your rugs. In such cases, they tend to specify what types of photos are required before they will insure your collection.

There are books available for rug collectors. You might want to check online or at your local library.
Old 03-26-04, 08:13 PM
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Just in case the rug collectors aren't photographers:

Use a tripod and use the highest f-stop for which your camera can set an accurate shutter speed.

If the floor vibrates, use the timer and get out of the house. Come back in a minute.

A long shutter speed would allow a strobe to be used to fill-in the shadows by walking around and triggering the strobe. With a long exposure, strobes aren't needed. Consider a battery of those quartz-iodide shop lights on tripods.

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