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Thread: Photo Quality

    1. Kit: , by (Member) Rick is offline
      Builder Last Online: Aug 2014 Show Printable Version Email this Page
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      Started: 01-04-07 Build Revisions: Never  
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      In addition to what Mark is doing on his front suspension and motor, I've been admiring the quality of his photos. I'm sure there's others who, like me, would like to be able to take and post better quality photos.

      With that in mind, perhaps Mark and some of the other's could give us a tutorial on taking quality photos for display on SMC.

      Rick
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  1. plane_mc's Avatar Active Member
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    Mark
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    Well I am no photography expert, but what I am doing is using my Kodak Z700 digital camera for my pictures. I take them at 2304x1728x24 bpp (4 megapixel) and then use a freeware program called IrfanView (http://www.irfanview.net/) to resize them to 800 x 600. I do not use any specific lighting, just the regular room lighting. I use the macro mode for most of the pictures and don't normally use a flash Photo Quality . I wish I could give some big secrets, but I don't have any.
    - Mark -
    QUOTE QUOTE #2

  2. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Somewhere on this site ( I searched and couldn't find the link) Steve Osbourne a.k.a. Esteban Loco described his photographic technique. For lighting, he took most of his pictures outside in sunlight. He also used a lot of backdrop shots also. His best was to do the same thing Gerald Wingrove did i.e. put the model on a board over two sawhorses and position the camera so the model was super imposed onto the background the camera saw. It resulted in an almost real yet very professional picture. Check out Mr. Wingrove's website and see how he did his photos. Also, check out our own gallery for pictures submitted by Esteban Loco. The big tutorial section that you can find has it's link at the bottom of the SMC home page. Steve did a great many of those that Dan posted for him. The whole point was to shoot a picture away from the workbench without the dust on the model and any junk in the background that takes your eye away from the model. I crop my pictures as much as possible to eliminate the background. If something in the background is still objectionable, I blur it. I also try to shoot the photos with a white background and a white piece of cardboard on the table under the model.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #3

  3. Rick's Avatar Member
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    Rick
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    Great advice from both of you. Thanks!

    Rick


    Photo Quality
    QUOTE QUOTE #4

  4. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    No problem Rick. I see too many model websites out there where the pics are so messy, poorly composed and the models look so dusty, that it detracts from the final product and makes the builder's technique look sloppy. Unless the model is in some intermediate stage of construction where you can see sanding Photo Quality marks, unfilled defects and such, it should be clean and neat before it is photographed. An example of that is when I show a progress shot after filling and sanding Photo Quality , I wash the model and get rid of the debris. It also shows the defects a lot better.

    Another good reason for trying to get a well done and clean shot is like I just mentioned. It shows the defects much better. You don't have debris all over the place hiding or obscuring a glaring problem that always shows up in the final pictures. In fact, if you really want to know if you're doing a good job, take a good picture with a high resolution camera up close and personal and blow that thing up big. If the model can undergo that kind of scrutiny, you've got good work and shouldn't fear showing it. If not, you know where you need to improve. It's a great quality control tool that can really help refine your techniques. Remember, you can't do what you can't see which brings me to the subject of using strong magnification when you work. But that's another story.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #5

  5. Herman's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    As an example, here Gerald and Phyllis Wingrove are leaning against their $15 million Bugatti Royale, in front of their house.



    This is a 1:15 model, by the way...
    QUOTE QUOTE #6

  6. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Thanks Herman. That's one of the pictures I was talking about. That's part of the great sense of humor Mr Wingrove has. Check out the part on his website that's called "But does it really work?". It's really funny and shows off his humor. Also, somewhere on the site, he shows his photographic setup.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #7

  7. plane_mc's Avatar Active Member
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    No problem Garey, I have been using IrfanView for years and love it. Check the IrfanView website often, he updates the program quite frequently.
    - Mark -
    QUOTE QUOTE #8

  8. Herman's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    For nice photos, lighting is the key issue. Try to avoid using the flash Photo Quality . Take your models into the daylight, or use a purpose built photo setup, like this one.


    The rest of the website is in Dutch, so I will explain a bit.

    Frame is aluminium.
    Opaque white plexiglass is used.
    The lights are IKEA, the bulbs are "daylight bulbs" from the photo store.

    I think modellers can work out the rest. Don't we?
    QUOTE QUOTE #9

  9. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Thanks Herman. That's a very good set up. You're definitely right about not using the flash Photo Quality . It washes Photo Quality out the photo, amplifies any surface dust and gives the work a toy quality look.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #10

  10. EstebanLoco's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Hey guys,

    For me, the photography is just as important as the model itself. In fact, once I have finished a model I will usually donate it to some good cause because I already have the photos (much easier to dust).

    The biggest move for me was purchasing a Kodak DX7630 (I think its 4.1 Mp) mainly for its' closeup ability. It can take clear photos up to 1.7".

    Whenever possible I try to photograph in a realistic setting. For small parts this becomes a challenge. That is why I have scratchbuilt engine stands, utility carts and jack stands to add to the realism.

    As mentioned earlier by Jeff and others, there is no better substitute for sunlight. Of course, this is not always practical - especially in the Pacific Northwest. But I have found that even cloudy days aren't bad.

    Another bonus to outdoor photography is the reflections of natural items (clouds, trees, etc.) that make the viewer think twice about what they are actually seeing. Be carefull to keep your own reflection out of the picture though.

    When I finish a model I like to take it on a "road-tour". I just take my Black & Decker Workmate and a small stool and drive around until I see a cool backdrop. The technique of using forced perspective (taking closeup shots against a natural backgound) was mentined earlier by Jeff. This is the coolest thing I have ever learned. It seems that cameras cannot effectively focus on farway objects if they are being told to focus on the foreground. Our bonus.

    You may want to consider shooting in front of a hot Photo Quality rod shop or other building. As long as you get low enough to keep the horizon at the proper scale height (eye level or about 6" for 1:8 scale) you'll be okay.

    The other bonus of doing location shots is the occasional "million-dollar shot". An example is the horse that walked up when I was shooting with a pasture background. Purely accidental but the effect was perfect. My mall shots were cool to although I later found out that taking pictures in a mall parking lot is frowned upon.

    You don't need an expensive camera to take great shots. Just a few techniques and a little imagination.

    Steve
    [I]I'm just a soul whose intentions are good . . .

    "A picture is worth a thousand words, but a model is worth a thousand pictures." Harley Earl[/I]
    QUOTE QUOTE #11

  11. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    I'm glad you resurrected this thread Steve. When I tald to others about realism in modeling and photography, I refer them to your gallery for examples. To many times all over the net on way too many modeling websites, builders take their pictures on their work benches that are covered with debris, have bad lighting and are flooded with too much flash Photo Quality . All that junk actually draws the eye away from the subtle details we work so hard to put in. Like a wise marketing man once told me, "It's all in the packaging."
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #12

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