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Tips for photographing your models


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#41
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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Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin 

 

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#42
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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Kurt Van Dahm

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#43
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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#44
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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NAUTICAL RESEARCH GUILD

www.thenrg.org


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Butch O'Hare - IPMS

#45
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


#46
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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#47
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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#48
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

 

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


#49
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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       Completed:         Flyer

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#50
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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Current Build: Amerigo Vespucci -Mantua- 1:100 scale

 

Completed Build logs: Bluenose II AL 1:75 scale

 

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Future Build: Royal Caroline -Panart- 1:47 scale

 

 

 

 

 

 


#51
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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Future build - MS Flying Fish

 

"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for." - William G. T. Shedd


#52
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 ( I made some updates)


#53
zoly99sask

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Another visual and written exemple.image.jpeg

http://www.lifehack....iso-images.html


Zoltan

Edited by zoly99sask, 05 November 2015 - 09:13 PM.

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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 ( I made some updates)


#54
Modeler12

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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.

 

Points well taken, Bob.

I did not mean to be belligerent to what Kurt and Dee Dee presented, it is just that I like to take pictures of what I am doing and show them in my log. In low light conditions I often use an ISO of 1600 and never felt that I did any harm to the final results. I think that for showing modeling as I go along the subject and its composition in the pictures are more important than the 'optimum' exposure, etc. But that does not mean that others, who have more expertise, should not present their opinions.


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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 . . . .


#55
Jack12477

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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,

 

I had to go back to your build log(s) and refresh my memory. Your photography is superb. Whatever you are doing with your "little Canon" is yielding some very impressive photos, so don't be intimidate by the "advanced photography" discussions; you're doing a great job both with your model as well as your photographic documentation.

 

Edit:  Jay, looks like our two posts crossed in the ethernet. ;)


Edited by Jack12477, 05 November 2015 - 08:04 PM.

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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


#56
Kurt Van Dahm

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I wish I had access to this chart back when I was doing a lot of instruction to fire and police photographers.  Great way of showing the relationship between the various settings.  But the ISO wasn't used - back to ASA and film.  Sure wish my old Canon F1's were usable for digital - they have a removable back - but then I'd have to chose between the camera back and a car. :)

Kurt


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Kurt Van Dahm

Director - Chairman

NAUTICAL RESEARCH GUILD

www.thenrg.org


CLUBS
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Midwest Model Shipwrights
North Shore Deadeyes

Butch O'Hare - IPMS

#57
Jack12477

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Kurt, ASA and ISO both referred to the same value.  ASA = American Standards Association; ISO = International Standards Organization.  I remember when the film manufacturers made the switch; it was no big deal.

 

I saw some place in the past few weeks were someone was working on a  digital "film cartridge" that could be used in the old film camera(s) but record the images as digital instead of on film.  But I don't remember all the specifics. 


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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


#58
Kurt Van Dahm

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Jack:

I know the ASA-ISO is the same thing - but back then it was ASA only.  I remember the switch too - many of the older working pros really thought it was as bad as taking metric vs inches.  But it was a case of get with the times.

Yeah, the digital insert is a neat idea.  Even with a single adaptation it would be expensive but with the many cameras it would need to be adapted to work with it would be very costly.  Hasselblad digital backs were very expensive and primitive by today's standards. 

I was just sort of wishing the old F1 stuff could still be used because I have 2 F1's, an A1, an AE1 and 18 Canon lenses from 14mm to 400mm that are completely useless now.  Can't even sell them for anything making it worthwhile to go to the effort.  At least I was able to sell the RB67 for some decent $$.

Kurt


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Kurt Van Dahm

Director - Chairman

NAUTICAL RESEARCH GUILD

www.thenrg.org


CLUBS
Nautical Research & Model Ship Society of Chicago
Midwest Model Shipwrights
North Shore Deadeyes

Butch O'Hare - IPMS

#59
Jack12477

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Kurt, I have the same problem with my Pentax cameras, H3, SP500, SP1000, K1000 (2 of these), and iST (full automatic everything), altho I don't have quite the range of lenses as you. Mine will probably go with the Kodak Auto-Graphics I inherited from my grandparents.  Even the Eastman House Museum doesn't want them :(


Edited by Jack12477, 05 November 2015 - 10:48 PM.

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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


#60
Jack12477

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Crackers, there was a short blurb on the TV NEWS a while  back that the "millennials" have discovered vinyl and it's making somewhat of a come-back among them.  Don't burn the 33 1/3's yet :P


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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





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