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Tips for photographing your models


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#41
Jack12477

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that is correct and in the day i relied heavy on filters. As Photoshop got better and better and i got better at using it just about anything i wanted to do i could do in Photoshop.

Daves, the point I was trying to make was that there are less expensive and less complicated ways other than going thru the steep learning curve of Photoshop (which I have still not mastered after several years) .  It's a lot easier to pop a filter over the lens and get the effect in 5 seconds versus hours with Photoshop. 

 

I'm a firm believer in the KISS principle ............


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Jack
 
"No one is as smart as all of us"
---------------------------------------------

Current build: MS Willie L Bennett
Completed build log(s): MS 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
Gallery: AL Swift , AL Armed Virginia Sloop, AL Santisima Trinidad Captain's Launch , 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
In dry-dock: AL 1798 US Constellation,  MS Picket Boat,  Dumas Donzi Z65 Tournament Fisherman (R/C)

Other: 1912 Hudson River Ice Yacht Manhasset - RESTORATION - Scale = Full Size, Relief Carving for Model Ships


#42
daves

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your right Jack a filter is a quick and simple solution. There are people just looking for quick tips to a better picture and a filter is great for shooting through glass. I have seen people shooting a model in a glass case using a flash and i think to myself really! they actually think that will work?


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#43
Jack12477

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It will if you can bounce the flash off a diffuser - takes a little playing around with but it can be done.But this requires a DSLR and off-camera flash unit with rotating head. The simple point and shoot cameras with their built-in pop-up flash will never succeed. For all but the most experienced photographers I would recommend turning the flash off and going for a higher ISO value and/or tripod. You might get some limited success if you aim the camera/flash at the glass at a 45 degree angle so the reflection is carried away from the camera not back at it. Sometimes it works - sometimes it doesn't. But shooting straight on (90 degrees) will never work.

 

I was really directing my comment(s) to those who don't have access to Photoshop for a variety of reasons including price or don't have the technical skills to use it.


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Jack
 
"No one is as smart as all of us"
---------------------------------------------

Current build: MS Willie L Bennett
Completed build log(s): MS 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
Gallery: AL Swift , AL Armed Virginia Sloop, AL Santisima Trinidad Captain's Launch , 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
In dry-dock: AL 1798 US Constellation,  MS Picket Boat,  Dumas Donzi Z65 Tournament Fisherman (R/C)

Other: 1912 Hudson River Ice Yacht Manhasset - RESTORATION - Scale = Full Size, Relief Carving for Model Ships


#44
Modeler12

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Back to basics

I started this thread on the basis that there are many of us who don't know that much about taking photographs of our modeling work and a few hints might be in order. The last item (#5) suggested to get a program that would allow you to enhance, crop and do other things with the image you uploaded from your camera to the computer. There have been lots of good suggestions and there are some people who are very adapt with the programs they use.

What I like to do is to take a step back and explain a few basic things you can do. It is intended for those who 'point and shoot'.

 

For many years I have used Microsoft Digital Image Suite (which can still be downloaded from Microsoft even though other programs are also available). So, the following applies to that program.

I have taken a photo shown to us by garyshipwright. I is shown below at a image size of only 4 inches high and I like to show a few things that can be done with it.

gary 1.jpg

The layout of the program is straight forward and almost idiot proof (which is what I liked about it). After selecting the picture you want to edit, you can select one of several options listed along the left hand side. They include Formatting, Touch-up and a few more.

Under Formatting you can 

a. Rotate (a choice of three or a custom tilt) Here is Gary's picture rotated 10 degrees.

gary 2.jpg

b. Crop, which reduces the image size, in the case of the one below it is reduced from 4 to 2.81 inches high.

gary 3.jpg

c. Straighten picture - not done here.

d. Resize image - can be done actual size in inches or number of pixels. 

e. Flip.

gary 4.jpg

Under Touch-up there are several options including 

a. Color and Saturation - you can play with several changes , good or bad :o

gary 5.jpg

b. Exposure  which again can be brightness, contrast or saturation.

gary 6.jpg

And the list goes on, but you can see that right away you can do a lot in a few easy steps.

If I am not mistaken, the other programs mentioned probably have the same features.

 

 


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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 . . . .


#45
Chuck Seiler

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For you flag makers, I have found the "FLIP" feature to be useful when making flags.  By having both sides, I then print on cigarette paper and fold.

 

RED DUSTER2.jpg

 

 


Edited by Chuck Seiler, 03 November 2015 - 07:57 PM.

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#46
Modeler12

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One more and then I'll go away.

Suppose you don't like the rope coil that Gary showed in his picture.

Go to Touchup and eliminate it.

gary 8.jpg


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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 . . . .


#47
Chuck

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Getting back to the phot tip part of this topic rather than the photo-retouching.  I shoot all of my pictures without any flash.   I make sure I use a bright light on my model and simply adjust the camera for the best image...usually the it has a

n exposure setting which can be changed to make your photo lighter or darker.  That is the layman's term as I dont know the photo camera lingo. I also always use a tri-pod....and set the timer.  I see a lot of blurry photos in logs and a ten dollar tripod will solve that problem instantly.


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#48
Kurt Van Dahm

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Here is my set up.  I have enough room to keep this up all the time.  There are various colors of backdrop paper that can be rolled down to vary the back ground color.  The over head unit is a soft box with a studio strobe head that can be raised or lowered.  The lights to the side are smaller units than the over head light.  Each is behind a diffuser of a frosted plastic sheet (similar to a shower curtain w/o a pattern) made for photo lighting uses.  Each of the lights has a modeling light that shows where shadows will fall so when the strobe goes off there are no surprises.  My exposure stays constant unless I want to open up for shallower depth of field or close down for increased depth of field.

 

I shoot in manual model and vary the aperture.  As you can see the tripod is front and center.

 

I use a pro level Canon DSLR but I could substitute my Canon point and shoot and get similar results.  This set up can be duplicated in most shops with regular lights with the over head soft box replaced by light bounced off the ceiling.  The holders for the diffusion panels are made from PVC plumbing pipe - if shower curtain material was used they wouldn't cost more than $7 or $8 for both.  I have given a talk at NRG Conferences showing how to do all of this at home with home made materials.  I have this equipment from my former part time gig of forensic photography on my off days from the FD but except for the actual strobe light system (Speedotron Brown Line D400) it is all home made.  Hardware store light reflectors can be substituted for the strobe lights.

 

Almost shadowless photos can be done with a set up like this.  BTW, I have to seriously dodwn size each photo I take in order to post it here or email to anybody.  But with the light available with the system, the large file size of the image I can crop like all get out for close up images as has been pointed out in other posts.

 

Kurt

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#49
daves

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There is still confusion of posting photos in build logs as to size of photo.

 

my camera has a number of different resolutions and photo size settings i set mine for a photo size of 8x10 which is 23 megs in size. This works out because the images are not to big and the size is good for printing. but it is way to big for posting on the forum.  One way to reduce the size is to change the resolution from 300 to 72 now the photo can be posted because the size is 1.3 which is below the required 2.0 meg size for the forum.

 

First is the original shot

 

 

a problem with reducing the resolution is when you zoom in on the photo it looks like this.

 

 

The original shot has a lot of empty space around it so by fist cropping the shot you reduce the size from 23 megs down to 11 which is still to big for posting on the forum. But the cropped image looks better because the subject of the shot is larger and more detail will show.

 

the resolution still has to be reduced so the image can be posted but not as much as the first uncropped image. when you zoom in you still see a clear sharp image.

 

looking for comments on the steps taken from original image to posted image

 

as just a side note the rigging on the model is actually made of ivory pulled through a draw plate down to .007

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#50
GuntherMT

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In my opinion - never reduce the resolution of your original by shooting in a lower resolution mode in your camera, instead crop and/or resize as needed to fit the forum.  That way you can always crop to a sharp image of a detail if you want.

 

All of my originals are shot at maximum resolution for the camera and saved in a separate folder, I then copy the images for the build log, resize then as needed (after any cropping) to post.  You will never sea a 'jaggy' or pixelated image if you do it this way, unless you are resizing down far more than the forum allows and requires (which can introduce 'jaggies' on things like diagonal rigging lines).  

 

The forum allows 1600 pixels on the long side of your photo (although most of my build log photo's are done at 1200x), and I've never had an image break the 2mb limit here.  My last batch of photo's for the completion of my ship were posted at 1600 on the long side, and one was almost square at 1600 x 1560'ish, and it was still under 1mb in size and posted here without any issue.


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#51
Kurt Van Dahm

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Brian:

Good point.  You can never add detail or resolution.  Best to have the highest resolution image to work with - you never know how it might be used in the future.  Downsizing is not difficult but even Photoshop can't fix lack of resolution.

Kurt


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Kurt Van Dahm

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www.thenrg.org


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#52
Jack12477

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Back in my days of 35mm film photography a wise and experienced old photographer told me to "crop in the view finder before snapping the photo"  - that meant either moving closer to the subject or switch to a telephoto lens or use the zoom lens to bring the image closer and crop out the unwanted stuff before taking the picture. No matter how good the resolution, either film or digital, cropping and enlarging will lose some resolution.  Compose the photo first then edit later in either the darkroom (film) or computer (digital)

 

And as Brian and Kurt point out use the highest resolution your camera provides for all pictures.


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Jack
 
"No one is as smart as all of us"
---------------------------------------------

Current build: MS Willie L Bennett
Completed build log(s): MS 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
Gallery: AL Swift , AL Armed Virginia Sloop, AL Santisima Trinidad Captain's Launch , 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
In dry-dock: AL 1798 US Constellation,  MS Picket Boat,  Dumas Donzi Z65 Tournament Fisherman (R/C)

Other: 1912 Hudson River Ice Yacht Manhasset - RESTORATION - Scale = Full Size, Relief Carving for Model Ships


#53
Dee_Dee

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Whether shooting with my primary camera, Canon 7D MkII or my Panasonic DMC-TZ5 point and shoot camera (2007), I try to 'get it right in the camera' to minimize any post shoot work. 

 

With my Canon, my favorite way to shoot is with Live View and manual focus which helps me get pin point sharp focus.  (A tripod is a must.)  First I compose the image in Live View, then move the focus point over to the primary part and then magnify the image (on Canon, press the 'Magnify' button once to activate, a second time to magnify to 5x and a third time to magnify to 10X.)   I manually focus until my primary part is pin point sharp and when everything looks good, I release the shutter using a remote.  When my image is magnified, I see exactly what's sharp and what's not.

 

Try this - Set up your DSLR camera and tripod.  Using the viewfinder manually focus on one part at a close distance.  When you think you've got it focused, turn on Live View and magnify it.  Move the focus point to the same part that should be sharp and see how close your focus was.  More often than not, you will get better focus with Live View.

 

Other advantages of shooting Live View / Manual focus:

 - In Live View the mirror is up, so there's no camera slap vibrations - remember to use a remote release

 - In Live View, white balance, exposure, brightness can be adjusted before shooting the photo

 - Be sure to use your camera's built in 'Guide Lines' to make sure you're shooting level

 

Here's two versions of a photo I shot in live view.  (Yes!  These photos are related to model ship building!  I'm working on an article about making sails that includes a discussion on various sewing machine feet needed.) 

The first photo is the full frame original photo, resized to post.  The focus point was the '20' which is 2mm high 

The second photo is after I spent less than a minute in Elements to crop, level the colors, resize and another couple of minutes in Picaso to add text.  

 

Original Photo Resized to 1000 x 666 2G7A1336.jpg    

 

27 MF  Zig Zag + Embroidery Feet  2G7A1336 'Corel Sloup'.jpg

 

Other Points:

 -Optimum ISO is 400, Maximum 1000 - any higher will increase noise, especially if cropping

 -Minimum shutter speed 1/60 - any slower will reduce sharpness

 -F Stop - Stop it down as much as possible while staying above 1/60 shutter speed

 -Exposure Compensation is your friend - Experiment using in Live View!

 -If shooting indoors with artificial light, manually adjust white balance - Again, experiment in Live View!

 -Use flash as needed, diffuse the flash with a few layers of 'Bounce' fabric softener sheets

 -Shoot in full manual

 

And that's how I try to 'get it right in the camera'.

 

Dee Dee

 

PS.  I need an editor for my article on making sails!  If your machine and hand sewing skills are above average and can edit, please send me a PM.  I'm located in the north suburbs of Chicago and we would need to meet face to face a couple of times during this project.      

 


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#54
Captain Slog

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Other Points:

 -Optimum ISO is 400, Maximum 1000 - any higher will increase noise, especially if cropping

 -Minimum shutter speed 1/60 - any slower will reduce sharpness

 -F Stop - Stop it down as much as possible while staying above 1/60 shutter speed

   

 

Hi Dee Dee,

 

Not sure I agree with all your points;

ISO100 is optimum.  When ever you increase the ISO noise begins to creep in as you say. Personally being a pixel peeper 400 would probably be my maximum. I am to shoot at 100 whenever possible.

 

Why restrict yourself to 1/60 of a second if you are using a tripod.  True digital sensors don't like long shutter speeds due to noise increase.  My camera can automatically(if you want) engage noise reduction but it only kicks when exposure times are 1 second or longer.  You could get another 3 stops or so before worrying about noise creeping in.

 

I also wouldn't be stopping down the aperature to much either, yes the depth of field will increase but you will start to introduce diffraction which all lenses suffer from. Yes the picture will be in focus but diffraction will cause the image to be 'soft'.  I would probably only go mid way between the minimum aperature and F8 (most lenses sweet spot).  Won't be to much of an issue with standard lense where minimum aperature isn't to small but macro lenses can get down to ridulous numbers like f/45, f/54 etc. Diffraction is an issue at these sizes.

 

Just my thoughts.

 

Cheers

Slog 


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#55
Modeler12

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My, oh my. The two posts above belong in another forum, I believe. 

This is getting way over my head.

I think I will continue using my little Canon, tripod, shoot and do minor changes afterwards.

This is in order to get a picture I can use on this forum about ship modeling.


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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 . . . .


#56
zoly99sask

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I re-size my pictures on these websites ,no need to buy any software

 

http://resizepiconline.com/en

 

http://resizeimage.net/

 

http://www.simpleimageresizer.com/


Edited by zoly99sask, 05 November 2015 - 03:31 AM.

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     Zoltan

 

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        My blog: Historic ship models (not completely updated, yet)


#57
Dimitris71

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I re-size my pictures on these websites ,no need to buy any software

 

http://resizepiconline.com/en

 

http://resizeimage.net/

 

http://www.simpleimageresizer.com/

You can use the paint program from windows to resize your photos ..

 

Cheers

Dimitris


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#58
bhermann

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My, oh my. The two posts above belong in another forum, I believe. 

This is getting way over my head.

I think I will continue using my little Canon, tripod, shoot and do minor changes afterwards.

This is in order to get a picture I can use on this forum about ship modeling.

 

Jay - it is OK that you don't need to concern yourself with what Kurt and Dee Dee are talking about.  I have been following your logs and videos for some time and have been enjoying them thoroughly - as well as learning a thing or two along the way.  Keep going with your point and shoot and presenting the great information you provide.

 

I think what Kurt and Dee Dee have provided also can add to peoples presentation of their ship projects and that this topic is the right place for it as they are indeed tips for producing photographs of models.  Maybe it would help if we considered this from a different perspective:

 

I know I will never get to the level of detail and expertise that Ed Tosti (among others) puts to in his builds.  Do I therefore think that his log belongs in a different forum than the rest of us mere mortals?  Of course not!  His efforts inform us of the possibilities that are out there for the rest of us to aspire to and to appreciate, and rightfully take their place (and a lofty place it is) alongside the work of yeomen and master craftsmen alike.

 

Since the Administrators have decreed that there will be one topic for model photography, there is no where else for those who have expert knowledge of the subject to share that knowledge, and I hope to learn from them. just as I have learned from you over the years.  Please continue to share your expertise and experience on the subject, and expect that others who may be more into the technical details to do the same.  This is what makes MSW such a great place for the community - lots of people interested in model ship building and in sharing their experience with a world-wide audience.  You can be proud of starting a thread that has provided an outlet for those who have technical experience, even if it is more "in the weeds" than you expected when you started it.

 

Thanks for listening,

Bob


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#59
zoly99sask

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Cheat sheet for better pictures



Zoltan

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Edited by zoly99sask, 06 November 2015 - 04:34 AM.

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     Zoltan

 

       Completed :        Armed Virginia Sloop

       Completed:         Flyer

       Current Build:     Santa Maria - Mantua

          Current build:     America's Cup 1930 J Class Enterprise - Amati

 

        My blog: Historic ship models (not completely updated, yet)


#60
daves

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http://modelshipworl...s-part-1/page-3

 

could this topic be mover over here then shut down over in shore leave?






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