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Taking photos of models

18 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi everyone, I am looking for some help in taking photos of models. I am not a photographer at all! I also know nothing about cameras! These will be taken with a new DSLR camera

that is my daughters. She also is new to taking photos, especially of models. We will have them on a white table top in an area that is very well lit. The main problem that we are having is

when trying to get a good close shot of the model, part of it is in very sharp focus and part of it is very blurry. We typically take a 3/4? view from front to back and either the front or back is in focus. Is this a setting that would be on the camera? I cannot remeber what the camera is right now and I dont have it handy. We are using a tri-pod to keep it steady. Any tips, tricks or info would be greatly appreciated! Thanks everyone in advance!!

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Posted

It sounds like you have everything you need to successfully take great model car pictures. Here's a check list:

1) Brightly lit area. - The more light the better.

2) Decent quality camera - Likely to have high resolution imaging and a macro setting (see below) for closeup photography.

3) A tripod - often overlooked by some photographers, this will banish the ""shakies" forever, and, along with bright lighting and a macro lens setting, will virtually guarantee tack sharp pictures.

The problem you are having is lack of "depth of field". The foreground of your photo is in focus while the background isn't. But with the tools you have available to you this is easy to solve.

Most modern cameras are highly automatic, and, while manual settings have the potential to allow you to experiment for best results, trusting to the automatic settings on a good camera is, for many photographers, a good solution to getting first-rate results. So, assuming that the camera is mounted to the tripod and that your model is bathed in lots of light, look for the "macro" or close-up setting on your camera. If you have the manual it will tell you where to find it. Set the camera to Macro or Close-up mode. Then frame your shot in the display so that the resulting image looks as close to how you want the final image to look as possible. If you want to get in close and fill the frame with the model, the Macro setting will take care of making sure everything is in focus, including parts of the image that are further away from the camera. Then, rather than manually pushing the shutter button, use the camera's timer to trigger the shutter after a delay. This will totally eliminate any risk that you will shake the camera when you push the button.

Besides Macro Mode, the other key is to provide lots of light. The more light the smaller the lens opening (aperture) the camera will set itself to. I'm assuming that the camera automatically calculates the ideal lens opening size (aperture) and exposure time for you. Typically on modern digital cameras this is referred to as Auto.mode. The smaller the lens opening the deeper into the background you can go and still have objects appear in focus.

However, for the absolute maximum depth of field, if your camera allows it, you can set it to Aperture Priority, which allows you to lock the lens opening into a pre-determined size and then allow the camera to set the exposure time based on the amount of light available. For maximum depth of field set the camera to the smallest lens opening size (f-stop) it will allow - this will be the largest f-stop number. For example an f-stop of 6.4 indicates a larger lens opening than an f-stop of 8, and an f-stop of 11 would be even smaller still. Again, if you have the camera's manual, look for Aperture Priority (or fixed aperture) to see how to do this. Because you are using a tripod, even if the exposure time is long, if you use a timer, you will have eliminated any possibility of camera shake.

But even without using Aperture Priority mode (combined with the Macro setting), as long as you are in Macro mode modern cameras will adjust everything else for you to get maximum depth of field.

If hope this info is of some help.

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Posted

If you've got a DSLR, then you'll be able to access and control everything you need to. The first essential is LOTS of light. If possible, light from the sides as well as above, and if you have the option, use daylight or cool white LED bulbs. (If this isn't an option, you can correct the colour in a picture editing program or set your camera to compensate with "white balance") Regular household lighting will have a yellowish tinge. Use a 50mm or so lens (the standard regular lens that comes with the camera is usually 55mm), or set your zoom to around 45mm. Put the camera on the tripod, and set it up so the model pretty much fills the image frame. Then set your camera to "Aperture Priority" and f/32 (if you have it, 28, 25 or whatever the biggest number you can get is if you don't). Now, set the camera to use timer, not take a picture when you press the button. Mine has a 10s and a 2s timer: use the shortest one you have. Line up the shot, press the button to autofocus and shoot, and step back. The exposure will be long-ish -- maybe 1/2 second depending on how bright your lights are. The small aperture gives you depth of field, and the timer means you don't wobble the camera during the long exposure.

Good luck!

best,

M.

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Posted

I will try your tips tonight! Thanks again for the help!

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Posted

All the above info is true and correct, but it's most important to remember LOTS OF LIGHT and USE A TRIPOD & THE AUTO-TIMER (to prevent jiggles)...no matter WHAT kind of camera you have.

These shots were taken with a very cheap and "obsolete" ($15 used) 4.1mp "point-and-shoot" Nikon that only has "macro" and "zoom" extra functions.

MARCH%2025%202015%20079_zpsk7n85jv0.jpg

Image result for ace-garageguy 70 chevelle

Related image

This is the el-cheapo lighting setup...three swingarm lamps with 100-watt equivalent compact-flourescent bulbs...

Image result for ace-garageguy lighting options

 

 

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Posted

Great photos! Thanks for the tips + I love the track roadster! What nose/grille did you use? It almost looks like the old Monogram indy car, or is it scratch built?

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Posted (edited)

Awesome models!

Edited by fordf-100
double post

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Posted

Everyone has already given great advice. Since model cars are stationary subjects, the tripod will be your best friend. I use a wireless trigger on my camera when I shoot, so I do not have to use the camera's timer. The timer and remote triggers are just ways to get your hands off the camera before the photo is taken.

I use my camera in aperture priority, set it to f36 and let the camera do the rest. I generally get pretty decent results without a lot of effort.

Once you start getting nice photos, you will soon realize that you just picked up another hobby....photography.

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Posted

One of the tips I read on here about taking photos of model cars was to get down on the models level. IOW, don't shoot all the pics from above the cars belt line. Take some pics outside too. Lots of light there except next Monday around 2:30 here in east Tennessee.

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Posted (edited)

Great photos! Thanks for the tips + I love the track roadster! What nose/grille did you use? It almost looks like the old Monogram indy car, or is it scratch built?

You are correct sir...it started life as the old Monogram Indy Kurtis nose...and thanks for the compliments. :D

One of the tips I read on here about taking photos of model cars was to get down on the models level. IOW, don't shoot all the pics from above the cars belt line. 

Excellent advice also. This was shot with the lens just about centered at the beltline...

DSCN9772_zpsivodptfp.jpg

...while this was shot at approximate eye-level of a scale human...

DSCN9779_zps58r3quab.jpg

...and this was shot considerably lower.

Image result for ace-garageguy 32 ford gluebomb

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Posted

 

Once you start getting nice photos, you will soon realize that you just picked up another hobby....photography.

This right here,  and we thought building models could get expinsive :lol:

But I agree with Michael here,  taking photo's of models has really increased my interest in photography and videography.

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Posted

I also recommend that since you are new to photography and DSLRs, you should pick up a book on photography basics. There are lots of books on the subjects (maybe there is even a Photography for Dummies book out there). Or find some free online resources. It really helps when you understand things like f-stop, lens focal length, exposure time, white balance, depth-of-field, etc. etc.  It will make you a better photographer. Like others have said, it can even become your new hobby (whether you are planning on it or not). :)

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Posted

Thanks again everyone! I have a lot of tips to try out!!

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Posted

One downside to making good photographs is that it will show every minor imperfection in your build.  One tip I would like to add is to be sure you really dust your model well before taking the picture.  Nothing detracts from a well-built model more than flecks of dust all over it.

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Posted

 

One downside to making good photographs is that it will show every minor imperfection in your build.  

and on the upside... take a lot of progress photos.  You will find the imperfections you won't see as you work! 

And Miatatom's advise about getting down to your subject's level is spot on.  I see too many model show photos where people took pictures of the models down on the tables from their standing height.  I've seen entire show albums of roof tops as if you went to a car show and took photos from a third story window!

And some final advise...  with modern digital cameras anyone can take decent photos.  My cell phone has a better camera than my first digital camera was!   Digital camera "film" is free!  Take a load of pictures and you are bound to get some really good ones.  Delete the rest!

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Posted

One downside to making good photographs is that it will show every minor imperfection in your build.  One tip I would like to add is to be sure you really dust your model well before taking the picture.  Nothing detracts from a well-built model more than flecks of dust all over it.

+1

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Posted

Something you might want to consider in the way of a tripod would be a mini, or tabletop, tripod versus a standard version. I have an inexpensive Targus 6" model I picked up at Adorama a long time ago. Space is always a problem for me. I have way too many hobbies and other interests for my small office/man cave. The tabletop tripod means I don't have to have one of my 60" or 72" tripods set up and taking space. Here is a link to what Adorama is selling now. I guess maybe the Targus version isn't available anymore.

https://www.adorama.com/tptt1.html

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Posted (edited)

Some great advice here, but lets not assume you need a photo booth and a camera to share your work.

These were done with my Samsung Galaxy S6 smart-phone sitting on a couple books, against a piece of poster board with some extra lights added.

For an amateur they are pretty good and just for sharing with you folks I can't really justify spending more.

 

20160730_162906_zpshoyi6bnz.jpg

20160423_145205_zpskhzugwwb.jpg

20160305_133842_zpsztzloxep.jpg

Edited by Jantrix

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