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Tips for photographing your models


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#1
Modeler12

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Here are some suggestions and the way I approach almost every picture I take and post on this forum.

 

1.       Use a tripod for your camera.

2.       Don’t use flash if you can forgo using it. Use natural or artificial light from the side or top.

3.       If your camera has it, use the A setting and adjust the depth of field as needed.

4.       Use a background material such as a sheet of matting board and eliminate the clutter in the background.

5.       Purchase or download a picture editor so you can crop, straighten and reduce the picture size for posting. I use mine almost all the time and will enhance the exposure and color if necessary.

 

Some examples:

finished 32.jpg  mill 341.jpg  vise 1.jpg  finished10.jpg


Edited by Modeler12, 31 October 2015 - 11:26 PM.

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Jay

 

Current build Cross Section USS Constitution  http://modelshipworl...s-constitution/

Finished USS Constitution:  http://modelshipworl...n-by-modeler12/

 

'A picture is worth a  . . . . .'      More is better . . . .


#2
hornet

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I would add to that set your picture size settings to the maximum if you want close ups. That way you can crop heavily and still end up with a good quality image.
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Hornet

 

Current Build: - Caldercraft - HMAV Bounty

 

Completed Ship Builds:

                                     Caldercraft - HM Brig Supply (In Gallery)

                                     Aeropiccola - Golden Hind

                                                        - Constitution

                                     Clipper Seawitch (maker unknown - too long ago to remember!)

                                     Corel - Victory

                                     Modeller's Shipyard - A Schooner of Port Jackson - In Gallery

                                                                      - Brig `Perseverance' - In Gallery

                                                                      - Cutter `Mermaid'- In Gallery

                                                                      - Sirius Longboat (bashed) - In Gallery

                                                                      - Sloop Norfolk - In Gallery

                                      Completed Cannon:   - French 18th Century Naval Cannon

                                                                      - Napoleonic 12 pound field piece

                                                                      - English 18th Century Carronade

                                       On the shelf awaiting construction: - Caldercraft  - HM Bark Endeavour 


#3
Chuck Seiler

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6.  If you are going to take pictures naked, make sure there are no reflective surfaces in the shot. :rolleyes:


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Chuck Seiler
San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Nautical Research Guild

 
Current Build:
Continental Sloop PROVIDENCE
Continental Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (1/2" Scale Model Shipways Kit)
Colonial Schooner SULTANA (scratch from Model Expo Plans)


On Hold:
Colonial Pinnace VIRGINIA (1607)(scratch)
18th Century Longboat (Model Expo Kit)
 
Completed:
Missouri Riverboat FAR WEST (1876) Scratch
1776 Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (Scratch 1/4 scale-Model Shipways plans)


#4
Captain Slog

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Photo Resizing & Retouching

 

Hi,

 

I would like to expand on what Jay mentioned about picture editing and resizing in particular.  I have been on for MSW for a number of years now and a familiar question throughout that time was ‘How do I resize my photo’s for posting on the site?”

 

I could not understand the amount of responses saying to buy this or download this or you need this freeware etc.  I think that alone would put people off posting their photos.

 

What are you options;

 

Microsoft Paint

Okay you are not interested in photography but want to resize for posting.  If using a PC all versions of Windows as far as I am aware comes with ‘Microsoft Paint’. This was all I used for many years until earlier this year.  Fire it up, open your picture and click resize.  Job done.

 

I would select changes by pixel and make sure the keep aspect ratio is ticked to simplify and would select 800x600 for general stuff or I didn’t want people looking to closely.  If it was something I was proud of or really detailed I would go 1600x1200 the maximum MSW allows.

 

 

Microsoft Picture Manager

Aagain comes included with Windows. I would use this to tweek the white balance.  You may notice a lot of my build log photos had something white in them usually the corner of a white sheet of paper sticking in the frame somewhere. This is so I could click on the paper to tell the program this is supposed to be ‘white’ so it (or I ) had a reference.  I might do a whole post on White Balance at some time.

 

There you go, two free options you already have (sorry Mac users I know nothing of your options) without downloading, paying for etc.

 

 

“But Slog I am interested in furthering my photography and interested in photo editing”.  Okay here are few options.  I am no expert in any of them but here is my thoughts.

 

Photoshop

Advanced very expensive and in my opinion not worth it for photo editing.  Yes it is powerful but only if you want to lose a few pounds from the cover model of ‘Vogue’ or clean up her complexion or remove unsightly tattoos etc. Even add in or remove people.  The learning curve on this is long and steep.

If you really want to get into heavy manipulation a similar program which is free is GIMP.

 

Lightroom

This is aimed at photo retouching and is a fantastic program.  I started using this when I started DSLR earlier this year.  A fraction of the cost of PS but is designed around photo editing workflows for professionals. I use it to tweek the exposure slightly, recover details in shadow areas or go the opposite for a contrasty black and white.  Lift up or reduce colours. Sort white balance etc. As jay said increase the saturation of everything or specific colours.  Straighten buildings and horizons sort perspective etc etc.  Strange but apart from cropping for composition I don’t use it for cropping the picture size?!!??

It is relatively quick to pick up the basics.  As you can see I am fairly biased to towards LR.  There are similar free ones out there such as Google Picasa but I have no experience of these.

 

 

There are many options of software out there but these are a few I am aware of and have comments on.

 

I might add, as a few people on this and different threads have said is to shoot the maximum size your camera will allow whether it is JPG or RAW (or both).  The more information that is recorded the more editing can be done with it.   Yes the file sizes are big but it doesn’t cost anything other than memory space which is ridiculously cheap now.

 

 

Summary;

If you just want to just resize save your time, download quota and money and use the free software you most likely already have.

 

If you want to edit your photos to correct/tweek colours, exposure, contrast etc use Lightroom or try a free one like Picasa.

 

If you want to totally manipulate photos like having sharks jumping at helicopters beside the Golden Gate bridge (please don’t post the photo of this anyone, we have all seen it!)  then throw your money at Photoshop or try GIMP for free.

 

Cheers

Slog


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#5
Modeler12

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6.  If you are going to take pictures naked, make sure there are no reflective surfaces in the shot. :rolleyes:

I did that once but it turned out that the reflection was not me but my wife.

DELETE. . .  Delete . . . or else!!!!


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Jay

 

Current build Cross Section USS Constitution  http://modelshipworl...s-constitution/

Finished USS Constitution:  http://modelshipworl...n-by-modeler12/

 

'A picture is worth a  . . . . .'      More is better . . . .


#6
GLakie

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Ha ha ha !  I think he means shooting them in the "RAW" format Jay.  But keep in mind, if you do that, you'll need to edit the picture yourself to get the look you want, including adding color.  Had Photoshop and Lightroom myself, and tried GIMP. And if I decide to start editing pics again, I'll go back to Photoshop. You can rent it now for $20 a month.  However, most of the guys here just use a "point and shoot" camera, and editing pics or making professional looking photographs is not even a consideration.


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GEORGE

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#7
Modeler12

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Summary;

If you just want to just resize save your time, download quota and money and use the free software you most likely already have.

 

If you want to edit your photos to correct/tweek colours, exposure, contrast etc use Lightroom or try a free one like Picasa.

 

If you want to totally manipulate photos like having sharks jumping at helicopters beside the Golden Gate bridge (please don’t post the photo of this anyone, we have all seen it!)  then throw your money at Photoshop or try GIMP for free.

 

Cheers

Slog

I am sorry, but I assumed that re-sizing and correcting pictures on the web was not all that difficult.

For many years I have been using Microsoft Digital Imaging but now I realize it is no longer available. 
I still use it with no problems.

 

So, this opens up a whole new area about what Slog was mentioning.


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Jay

 

Current build Cross Section USS Constitution  http://modelshipworl...s-constitution/

Finished USS Constitution:  http://modelshipworl...n-by-modeler12/

 

'A picture is worth a  . . . . .'      More is better . . . .


#8
Modeler12

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However, most of the guys here just use a "point and shoot" camera, and editing pics or making professional looking photographs is not even a consideration.

George, that is true, I am sure, but then those pictures will come out to look, at best, poor to start with.

Do those guys need 'tips and suggestions'????

On occasion I have taken pictures with a cell phone but seldom used them for anything else but 'sent to family and friends'.


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Jay

 

Current build Cross Section USS Constitution  http://modelshipworl...s-constitution/

Finished USS Constitution:  http://modelshipworl...n-by-modeler12/

 

'A picture is worth a  . . . . .'      More is better . . . .


#9
GLakie

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Jay the RAW format is exactly that. A high resolution black and white picture. From that you'll need to edit the contrast, light, shading, color, FOV, and a myriad of other things that are available. Your point and shoot cameras won't have the RAW capability though.  For a background, a regular white sheet will work. 


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GEORGE

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#10
Captain Slog

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I am sorry, but I assumed that re-sizing and correcting pictures on the web was not all that difficult.

Hi Jay,

 

You are correct it is not difficult.  The problem as I see it is for someone who just wants to resize images for posting on their log and the majority of responses tell them they need to download this or buy that when they most likely have something suitable on their computer already that will meet their minimal needs. 

 

0511-0810-3119-1749_Cartoon_of_a_Photogr

 

 

 

I wondered how long it would take before the random picture posting would take effect.  You made very valid and insightful points with words and then detracted from it with the 'picture'. I am sorry but this need to include irrelevant pictures really bugs me and serves no point IMHO.

 

Cheers

Slog


Edited by Captain Slog, 01 November 2015 - 03:24 AM.

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_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Current Build HM Bark Endeavour (First Wood)

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#11
Captain Slog

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Hi,

 

I don’t mean to come across as harsh, but if you want to include random photos lets look at an example posted by Jay (Modeler12) in another thread.

 

Good Random Example.jpg

 

I think this is an awesome photo for 3 important reasons in order of importance.

 

Firstly the composition is great, the photo is balanced and there is nothing but the subject.

 

Secondly, its technically good, the black and white works in this, the tonal range is heading to the contrasty side which in this instance conveys the subjects emotions.

 

Finally and more importantly it evokes emotion and thought in the viewer (IMHO).  For me I see this and I would assume it’s a self-portrait.  The  photographers weapon of choice is a camera, which he shoots with.  This to me shows frustration  (look at his shoot me now expression) perhaps with his chosen field/career.  The ‘gun’ to head  shouts ‘arrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh’

 

The use of this random picture by Jay was perfect.  I assumed it was to show his ‘frustration’ at the direction the thread it was posted in was going.

 

Cheers

Slog


Edited by Captain Slog, 01 November 2015 - 03:25 AM.

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_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Current Build HM Bark Endeavour (First Wood)

Current Build Borodino (1:200 Card)

Abandoned Build Bismarck (Card)

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#12
hornet

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Captain Slog.

I purchased Photoshop as part of the 'Master Collection' from Adobe ( in fact I have photoshop version 4, 5 and 6) I love it! I know that the learning curve is steep if you want to be an 'expert' but I am NOT and have still restored lot of old photos with it and played with a lot of RAW files using it. I recently restored some old sepia prints for a friend. She was amazed with the results. I admit that some people go overboard when 'photoshopping' their images, but it is, in my opinion, an awesome piece of kit.

Edited by hornet, 05 November 2015 - 02:30 AM.

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Hornet

 

Current Build: - Caldercraft - HMAV Bounty

 

Completed Ship Builds:

                                     Caldercraft - HM Brig Supply (In Gallery)

                                     Aeropiccola - Golden Hind

                                                        - Constitution

                                     Clipper Seawitch (maker unknown - too long ago to remember!)

                                     Corel - Victory

                                     Modeller's Shipyard - A Schooner of Port Jackson - In Gallery

                                                                      - Brig `Perseverance' - In Gallery

                                                                      - Cutter `Mermaid'- In Gallery

                                                                      - Sirius Longboat (bashed) - In Gallery

                                                                      - Sloop Norfolk - In Gallery

                                      Completed Cannon:   - French 18th Century Naval Cannon

                                                                      - Napoleonic 12 pound field piece

                                                                      - English 18th Century Carronade

                                       On the shelf awaiting construction: - Caldercraft  - HM Bark Endeavour 


#13
Chuck Seiler

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Ha ha ha !  I think he means shooting them in the "RAW" format Jay. 

In the RAW FORMAT.  NOW you tell me!!!!!  When you said to shoot in the raw, I thought you meant..... :D

 

Never mind....

 

Back to serious stuff.    I do alot of basic photo editing; for this and for my club newsletter.  I use Microsoft Photo editor.  It allows for quite a bit; resizing, cropping, color saturation, lightening and darkening.  I have Windows 7.  Hopefully they kept it for follow-on editions.


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Chuck Seiler
San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Nautical Research Guild

 
Current Build:
Continental Sloop PROVIDENCE
Continental Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (1/2" Scale Model Shipways Kit)
Colonial Schooner SULTANA (scratch from Model Expo Plans)


On Hold:
Colonial Pinnace VIRGINIA (1607)(scratch)
18th Century Longboat (Model Expo Kit)
 
Completed:
Missouri Riverboat FAR WEST (1876) Scratch
1776 Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (Scratch 1/4 scale-Model Shipways plans)


#14
GuntherMT

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Jay the RAW format is exactly that. A high resolution black and white picture. From that you'll need to edit the contrast, light, shading, color, FOV, and a myriad of other things that are available. Your point and shoot cameras won't have the RAW capability though.  For a background, a regular white sheet will work. 

 

RAW format is not black and white.  RAW format is a format that DSLR camera's use where all of the information available to the camera is stored without any compression or manipulation by the camera.  Because all of the same information that was coming into the lens and hitting the sensor is recorded, programs like Lightwave that can import RAW format can then 're-shoot' the original with different settings without any image quality loss (i.e. you can manipulate any 'camera' setting in the software and get a new image as if it was shot with completely different settings originally).

 

Since the camera original data is in color, so is the RAW format image.  You could turn it into a B&W image of course in post, but when you import a RAW image into Lightwave, it's in full color as was stored by the camera when the shot was taken.

The RAW format takes considerably more storage space than a JPG which is a compressed format.  I believe a typical RAW format photo on my camera comes in around 24-28mb, compared to a JPG in the same resolution at 10-12mb.

 

The only reason to shoot in RAW is if you plan to do post processing, as the image will need to be converted to a 'normal' format before it can be uploaded to the forum anyway, and most 'basic' resizing/manipulation programs like MS Paint won't be able to read the RAW format.


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#15
GuntherMT

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Copied from the original thread - The Power of Cropping (or how to get super close-up macro shots without buying a $1000 lens).

 

Cropping is simply the act of cutting out a portion of a larger image, rather than (or in combination with) resizing to a smaller size to upload to your build log.

 

The camera used for this is a Nikon D3300, an entry level DSLR with a 'kit' 18-55mm lens which is a 24 megapixel camera (stores images in 6000x4000 resolution).

 

For this example I first took one of my build photo's and re-sized it to the size for a 12 megapixel camera as my starting point - so 4288 x 2848, and I used that as my original, as this is a fairly average size for both entry level DSLR, and decent Point & Shoot cameras.

 

This picture was taken with the lens at 55mm, showing that it doesn't take a "long" expensive lens for this either.  Settings were f20 and 1/3 second exposure under LED shop lighting.

For purposes of the build log, I resize all my images to 1200x on the long side, which with 4288x2848 resolves to 1200x799, so lets just call it 1200x800.  I made some copies of the original, and then re-sized the original as if I was going to put it into a build log, and here is the resulting 'build log' image at 1200x800:

 

CropExample1200_01.jpg

 

So that is the original photo that we are working with as our source, but what I really want to do is show the details of a particular point of the rigging.  Instead of using a magnifier and trying to fill up the frame of my camera, or needing an expensive lens that is capable of focusing very close on a very small portion of my model, instead what I will do is simply take a piece of the original photo, and crop down to the area I want, rather than simply re-sizing the original and showing a much larger area.  

 

So how big is a 1200x800 box on the original 12 mega-pixel photo?  It's much smaller than you would probably think!  The red rectangle is 1200x800 portion of the original.

 

CropExample02.jpg

 

So that little red box is what will become the entire image if I simply crop out a 1200x800 part of the picture and post that as my image.  Like this:

 

CropExample03.jpg

 

Of course you can also crop out a much larger portion of a photo, and then resize that to the build-log size, but this is to demonstrate the maximum effect of cropping.  If you have a larger original photo, then the effect is even more pronounced.

 

This is a 1200x800 piece of the original 6000x4000 photo from my camera:

 

CropExample04.jpg

 

Cropping is a *hugely* useful way to get a very close-up photo, without losing any of your sharpness or image resolution, and without using magnifiers or expensive lenses.  Every computer that has Windows installed is capable of doing this as well, as the super-expensive program that I used to do all of the image manipulation for this post was...  MS Windows Paint.


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#16
GLakie

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Thanks for explaining the RAW format for us Brian.  As I said earlier, most of us don't have an idea of the complexities of all this "tech stuff", including me.  :P The Raw images I "played" around with were downloaded off of other sites, and came as black and white.  Based on the beautiful close-ups you've got there, the RAW format absolutely has it's advantages. 


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GEORGE

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#17
Modeler12

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As item 3 above I mentioned using the A setting and adjusting the depth of field.

Here is a quick example why that can be useful to reduce the background 'noise' and focus on the subject of interest.

The first picture was taken with the A setting at f:29 and the second one at f:5.0.

I had focused the camera on the barrels in front.
I did nothing to the first two pictures except reduce the size so I can show them here.

The third one is after I staightened the shot and cropped it.

focus 1.jpg   focus 2.jpg  focus 3.jpg

Normally I would put a piece of plain cardboard (matting board) in the back and I would straighten the shots, etc. But I wanted to emphasize how you can simply use the f-stop as a 'tool'.

When I reduce the picture size, I use the actual image size - 4.0 inch vertical in most cases - and not worry about the pixels 


Edited by Modeler12, 01 November 2015 - 03:23 PM.

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Jay

 

Current build Cross Section USS Constitution  http://modelshipworl...s-constitution/

Finished USS Constitution:  http://modelshipworl...n-by-modeler12/

 

'A picture is worth a  . . . . .'      More is better . . . .


#18
GuntherMT

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Thanks for explaining the RAW format for us Brian.  As I said earlier, most of us don't have an idea of the complexities of all this "tech stuff", including me.  :P The Raw images I "played" around with were downloaded off of other sites, and came as black and white.  Based on the beautiful close-ups you've got there, the RAW format absolutely has it's advantages. 

 

I don't actually use RAW format George, my images were shot in JPG just like any Point and Shoot camera would take.  My two posts are not meant to be connected in any way.  Anyone can use the cropping to their advantage.

 

 

When I reduce the picture size, I use the actual image size - 4.0 inch vertical in most cases - and not worry about the pixels 

 

The problem with this Jay, and this is purely my opinion, is that your images are absolutely tiny.  Those 4" tall images are only 288x192, and don't really allow me to see any detail at all.  They appear to be well taken, but are so small that the details are simply lost.  Also, what I mean is your choice of 'size' to use, not that using actual image size itself is bad, simply that using 4.0 inch results in a very small picture.  I have no idea what a good 'actual size' would be for getting somewhere near a 1200x or 1600x image though.


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#19
Chuck Seiler

Chuck Seiler

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Chuck Seiler, thanks for the info about Microsoft Photo Editor. That is just the program I need, as I am soon to present a log on the scratch construction 1/8 scale of the sloop-of-war PELICAN, from the plans of the late Harold Hahn. I have Windows 10. Is there a free version of Microsoft photo editor available for me ?

Inquiring minds want to know.

 

 

 

Crackers,

    As far as I know, that is pre-loaded into WINDOWS.  It was for WIN7.  When I want to use it I just right click on the photo and choose "Open With" and the choose "Microsoft Photo Editor".  Nothing elaborate.  If it's not in that particular drop down menu, you can choose a default program.  At this point we are in the weeds of computerdom and I usually need somebody to guide me. 

 

   Give that a try and see what happens.  If WIN10 is not loaded with that program, hopefully a WIN10 peerson has more info.

 

All,

 

    More on cropping.  This is a great way to help getting a close-up shot without the problems of geting close up.  If I am getting a model shot for the newsletter, I may not have the luxury of getting ll the lighting conditions and background conditions to my liking.  I have had problems getting real close in conditions where I need flash.  The result was either I was unable to focus or the flash cause it to be too light in one area and too dark in another.  By stepping back a bit and getting a larger field of view, the quality of picture improved for me.


Edited by Chuck Seiler, 01 November 2015 - 04:21 PM.

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Chuck Seiler
San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Nautical Research Guild

 
Current Build:
Continental Sloop PROVIDENCE
Continental Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (1/2" Scale Model Shipways Kit)
Colonial Schooner SULTANA (scratch from Model Expo Plans)


On Hold:
Colonial Pinnace VIRGINIA (1607)(scratch)
18th Century Longboat (Model Expo Kit)
 
Completed:
Missouri Riverboat FAR WEST (1876) Scratch
1776 Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (Scratch 1/4 scale-Model Shipways plans)


#20
Modeler12

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Point well taken, Brian.

When I selected the 4 inch size I was thinking of saving space on this forum. I still have the originals and can modify them when needed.

However, for this forum I don't think it is crucial that the image size is very large. Below is the same picture at 1330 by 1474 pixels versus the second one at 325 by 360. Can you really notice the difference?

 

focus 5.jpg  focus 7.jpg

 

Of course, if someone were to copy either one or both and further cropped the images, he/she would be able to tell the difference.


Edited by Modeler12, 01 November 2015 - 05:03 PM.

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Jay

 

Current build Cross Section USS Constitution  http://modelshipworl...s-constitution/

Finished USS Constitution:  http://modelshipworl...n-by-modeler12/

 

'A picture is worth a  . . . . .'      More is better . . . .





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