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Rich Chernosky

Paper background for models

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My first attempt with a background for photographs. Would like some help. In the past I have taken all my photos with just a white background. I have a Sony DSC-H7 that has a 15x optical zoom. Its great for very close detail shots. But I am still learning my way around the camera. I use the auto setting the most, and turn the macro on for my close-ups. I have tried several lighting sources. I also use a tri-pod. Here are some shots with my new background. It was purchased from http://www.modelalice.com/The background was designed for 1/18 scale models.   See the comments under each picture. DSC06808.JPG.d754dedfbecbd06d4e83e8a60d6bc958.JPGThis is my Gunze Hi-tech Ferrari GTO in 1/24. This is the angle I usually shoot at. DSC06809.JPG.fcec51b7dadde5324aa7ae3decd3f2f6.JPG

Same car with a slightly lower angle. I like this 3/4 veiw of this particular model. 

DSC06810.JPG.beab94ee8c78ed423fa56e9bb11c514b.JPGA 1/18 scale diecast of the same Ferrari GTO, taken at my usual angle.DSC06811.JPG.4880f74906b22e5bb51469a621d730a1.JPG

3/4 view of the diecast. 

DSC06812.JPG.877c251b32712fb091b65aea69001024.JPGI have raised the base and lowered the camera angle. Now the car doesn't look so lost in the background. I plan on using this for most of my 1/24 cars even though it was designed for 1/18DSC06813.JPG.5d4415484efb7328e0a155f8ea5e2225.JPG Last shot, changed the angle slightly again and played with the contrast, tone, and brightness. I like this one the best

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Great concept! In the spirit of improving the effect, the background is way too yellow. I think you need to get a background, lighting and camera setting that all have the same “colour temperature “, otherwise you’ll struggle to blend them together convincingly “in post-production”.  The last one is definitely the best. 

For a “realistic” effect, you want somewhere between 40-50mm focal length in the lens, shot from a couple of inches above the surface the model is sitting on. That’s for a regular DSLR “35mm” digital camera. You’ll need to look at your camera manual to see what the equivalents are. If you use a wider angle (20-40mm) you can get the look that real life car magazines get, but the shape is distorted. If you shoot from further away, but with a longer (60-120mm) focal length, you’ll get a more “accurate” picture, with all the dimensions and proportions as they are in “real life”, but it won’t look quite like what you’d see looking at a real car in the street.

HTH,

best,

M.

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This also is a ModelAlice background. It works quite well. I have another one with a warehouse image that doesn't get it at all. I think the colour and the angle of their shot make all the difference. They have several perspective images like Rich's above. I guess it ia a matter of finding the right one. They also have some street images where you park at the curb. I think I want to try one of those.

DSC_0007.JPG

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1 hour ago, Matt Bacon said:

Great concept! In the spirit of improving the effect, the background is way too yellow. I think you need to get a background, lighting and camera setting that all have the same “colour temperature “, otherwise you’ll struggle to blend them together convincingly “in post-production”.  The last one is definitely the best. 

For a “realistic” effect, you want somewhere between 40-50mm focal length in the lens, shot from a couple of inches above the surface the model is sitting on. That’s for a regular DSLR “35mm” digital camera. You’ll need to look at your camera manual to see what the equivalents are. If you use a wider angle (20-40mm) you can get the look that real life car magazines get, but the shape is distorted. If you shoot from further away, but with a longer (60-120mm) focal length, you’ll get a more “accurate” picture, with all the dimensions and proportions as they are in “real life”, but it won’t look quite like what you’d see looking at a real car in the street.

HTH,

best,

M.

Thank you Matt....I will be trying a  lot of different things and that will be one of them. I usually shootin full HD and then  trim away  what i don't want. 

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20 minutes ago, landman said:

 

DSC_0007.JPG

The big problem with all this stuff is that you need the apparent lighting in the background to match the actual lighting of the model. In the example above, you clearly have a strong light source at the upper right, but the light from the windows  is coming from far centre left. Look at where the shadow of the car goes versus the light from the windows on the printed floor. It’s nitpicky, but your eyes and brain are good at this stuff as a result of millions of years of practice, and you’re quickly in the “uncanny valley” where you feel something’s wrong even if you don’t quite know what...

I think the square on curbside  view is probably a better bet. Assuming a photo studio set up like mine, with lights on each side and above, a street scene with a background wall is lit the same way: light coming along the length of the street from each side, and the bright sky above, narrowed by tall buildings.

Whatever... shoot what you want, the way you like it, but this thread has inspired me to try a few different things, so thank you all for that!

best,

M.

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I would never claim to be an expert on this subject.  My attempts use photos that I've taken, mounted on foamcore with the adhesive.  Part of the trick is the base, I see yours looks like leaves to match the background.  Getting the correct scale to perspective is a trick, my attempts capitalize on water which can fake it until I make it.

7983486569_e49cb28ddf_c.jpg
8123551753_16773b030a_c.jpg
 

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57 minutes ago, landman said:

This also is a ModelAlice background. It works quite well. I have another one with a warehouse image that doesn't get it at all. I think the colour and the angle of their shot make all the difference. They have several perspective images like Rich's above. I guess it ia a matter of finding the right one. They also have some street images where you park at the curb. I think I want to try one of those.

DSC_0007.JPG

I like this one....especially the car. My next purchase will probably a warehouse or garage scene like this one.  Eventually I want to do a diorama  like some i have seen here. There is some really nice work to be seen here. 

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15 hours ago, Rich Chernosky said:

My first attempt with a background for photographs. Would like some help. In the past I have taken all my photos with just a white background. I have a Sony DSC-H7 that has a 15x optical zoom. Its great for very close detail shots. But I am still learning my way around the camera. I use the auto setting the most, and turn the macro on for my close-ups. I have tried several lighting sources. I also use a tri-pod. Here are some shots with my new background. It was purchased from http://www.modelalice.com/The background was designed for 1/18 scale models.   See the comments under each picture. This is my Gunze Hi-tech Ferrari GTO in 1/24. This is the angle I usually shoot at.

Same car with a slightly lower angle. I like this 3/4 veiw of this particular model. 

A 1/18 scale diecast of the same Ferrari GTO, taken at my usual angle.

3/4 view of the diecast. 

I have raised the base and lowered the camera angle. Now the car doesn't look so lost in the background. I plan on using this for most of my 1/24 cars even though it was designed for 1/18DSC06813.JPG.5d4415484efb7328e0a155f8ea5e2225.JPG Last shot, changed the angle slightly again and played with the contrast, tone, and brightness. I like this one the best

I agree, this one turned out great!

I tried it once with this one for the Peking to Paris CBP.  My wife bought a frame and this was in it. The stones are real.

IMG_20190529_163516305.jpg

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13 hours ago, 89AKurt said:

I would never claim to be an expert on this subject.  My attempts use photos that I've taken, mounted on foamcore with the adhesive.  Part of the trick is the base, I see yours looks like leaves to match the background.  Getting the correct scale to perspective is a trick, my attempts capitalize on water which can fake it until I make it.

7983486569_e49cb28ddf_c.jpg
8123551753_16773b030a_c.jpg
 

I think they look great Kurt!

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Rich, I am really glad you started this thread and will be following closely.  I have gotten a couple of Modelalice backgrounds but have not tried using them yet.  I used to shoot a lot of film with various backgrounds but don't feel as if I have gotten comfortable with digital yet.  I need to dedicate some time to study and practice with digital.

15242030_Cunningham_C4R_1954_1_001.jpg.7791442a8d3875e382774e699cc28d9d.jpg1924145297_Porsche_936_1978_6_003.jpg.998ea56d9fe0d34a8657b740d7be899c.jpg

 

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Rich, scroll back through the Diorama forum and look for postings by Kodiak Island modeler (Doug Long). He had many postings using images for background that were very realistic.

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15 hours ago, landman said:

This also is a ModelAlice background. It works quite well. I have another one with a warehouse image that doesn't get it at all. I think the colour and the angle of their shot make all the difference. They have several perspective images like Rich's above. I guess it ia a matter of finding the right one. They also have some street images where you park at the curb. I think I want to try one of those.

DSC_0007.JPG

This is what it looks like

Vieil édifice.JPG

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Another thing I did is take pictures of actual buildings and print them to scale. One is a local shop which was photoshopped to represent FTB, my fictional shop in the dios . The other one is my own garage which I use sometimes in Under Glass photos. My next one is the open shed.

IMG_4381.JPG

Avec pavé de l'image.JPG

FTB version 1.jpg

IMG_7755.JPG

DSC_0229.JPG

DSC_0275 - Copy.JPG

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1 hour ago, Gramps46 said:

Rich, I am really glad you started this thread and will be following closely.  I have gotten a couple of Modelalice backgrounds but have not tried using them yet.  I used to shoot a lot of film with various backgrounds but don't feel as if I have gotten comfortable with digital yet.  I need to dedicate some time to study and practice with digital.

15242030_Cunningham_C4R_1954_1_001.jpg.7791442a8d3875e382774e699cc28d9d.jpg1924145297_Porsche_936_1978_6_003.jpg.998ea56d9fe0d34a8657b740d7be899c.jpg

 

Gary....I have been using a digital camera for about 10yrs now. There are so many settings and things you can do that i haven't tried yet.  I am still very much in the learning stage. The chief advantage of digital is you can take 100 pictures and then pick the one you like best and not waste a bit of film  or wait for prints to come back. You can even edit them right on your computer. I really like the shot of the Cunnigham C4R....and of course...you know why. 

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4 minutes ago, Rich Chernosky said:

Gary....I have been using a digital camera for about 10yrs now. There are so many settings and things you can do that i haven't tried yet.  I am still very much in the learning stage. The chief advantage of digital is you can take 100 pictures and then pick the one you like best and not waste a bit of film  or wait for prints to come back. You can even edit them right on your computer. I really like the shot of the Cunnigham C4R....and of course...you know why. 

Rich.....I have not shot film in many years but I guess what I was saying is I am not satisfied with my digital skills.  One issue I have now is my tremors and the need to commit to use a tripod. 

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Just now, Gramps46 said:

Rich.....I have not shot film in many years but I guess what I was saying is I am not satisfied with my digital skills.  One issue I have now is my tremors and the need to commit to use a tripod. 

I have a tripod and all my pictures come out way better with it.  I have "steady shot"  in my camera which is  supposed to take the blurr out of pictures when you hand hold the camera. But it doesn't work for close up detail or even normal distance shots like 3-4 ft. So it is probably highly recommended. 

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16 hours ago, 89AKurt said:

I would never claim to be an expert on this subject.  My attempts use photos that I've taken, mounted on foamcore with the adhesive.  Part of the trick is the base, I see yours looks like leaves to match the background.  Getting the correct scale to perspective is a trick, my attempts capitalize on water which can fake it until I make it.

7983486569_e49cb28ddf_c.jpg
8123551753_16773b030a_c.jpg
 

Kurt....looks OK to me. I think in this respect we are both on a steep learning curve. Most of the relpies to this thread have been a great help and I will use them in the future.  I like your Porsche BTW.  

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9 minutes ago, Rich Chernosky said:

Kurt....looks OK to me. I think in this respect we are both on a steep learning curve. Most of the relpies to this thread have been a great help and I will use them in the future.  I like your Porsche BTW.  

Me too.

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3 minutes ago, landman said:

Me too.

Pat...just wanted to give you a big thank you for all the help. You have some great ideas and have added to my knowledge base. What you said about something not looking right is on the money.  In my modeling if it looks good,  it is right...even if it is not totally accurate. 

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13 hours ago, MeatMan said:

I think they look great Kurt!

 

9 hours ago, Rich Chernosky said:

Kurt....looks OK to me. I think in this respect we are both on a steep learning curve. Most of the relpies to this thread have been a great help and I will use them in the future.  I like your Porsche BTW.  

 

9 hours ago, landman said:

Me too.

Thanks guys!  I didn't really mean to take over this thread.  🤭  I like seeing the other contributions, will check in as others bump this up.  Those other pictures were linked from Flickr, but for some reason this was not available, so I'm posting direct.  The thing about doing landscapes, can get away with loose perspective.  The historic track shots must take more work to get real looking.
 

IMG_6721_Fotor.jpg

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31 minutes ago, 89AKurt said:

 

 

Thanks guys!  I didn't really mean to take over this thread.  🤭  I like seeing the other contributions, will check in as others bump this up.  Those other pictures were linked from Flickr, but for some reason this was not available, so I'm posting direct.  The thing about doing landscapes, can get away with loose perspective.  The historic track shots must take more work to get real looking.
 

IMG_6721_Fotor.jpg

The track perspectives, (which I really want to do), certainly do take more work. Tried one with a poster a friend gave me and it turned out horrible. So much so I am afraid to post it.  Cool Mini BTW

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13 hours ago, Rich Chernosky said:

The track perspectives, (which I really want to do), certainly do take more work. Tried one with a poster a friend gave me and it turned out horrible. So much so I am afraid to post it.  Cool Mini BTW

What I have found is the most difficult thing with track shots is the transition from the surface the model is sitting on and the background.  I have only found 2 options, one is to have a curb or grass or fence and two is to use Photo Shop of some sort to merge the two together.  I also found it helps to shoot as low a perspective as reasonable.

1101923503_Renault_A442_1978_2_small.jpg.dcf9413cae25c89b2a3304af767dc488.jpg

One of my favorites is the sand bank at the end of the Mulsanne Straight.  This one I should have shot from a lower angle to match where the photographer was standing.

2077830612_Cobra_LMCoupe_1963_4_sm4.jpg.3bd7ad1d39c0bde1d1cbcc045e6d2a99.jpg

Edited by Gramps46

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20 hours ago, Gramps46 said:

What I have found is the most difficult thing with track shots is the transition from the surface the model is sitting on and the background.  I have only found 2 options, one is to have a curb or grass or fence and two is to use Photo Shop of some sort to merge the two together.  I also found it helps to shoot as low a perspective as reasonable.

1101923503_Renault_A442_1978_2_small.jpg.dcf9413cae25c89b2a3304af767dc488.jpg

One of my favorites is the sand bank at the end of the Mulsanne Straight.  This one I should have shot from a lower angle to match where the photographer was standing.

2077830612_Cobra_LMCoupe_1963_4_sm4.jpg.3bd7ad1d39c0bde1d1cbcc045e6d2a99.jpg

Thanks Gary,  cool photo,s , this is very helpful information

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I've been experimenting with photographing models and dioramas for several years. After trying a few different cameras, I've come to find that the new iPhone camera is hard to beat. My sister is a retired professor of photography and says the same thing. I'm a retired graphic designer/art director and still subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. I'm certainly not an expert in Photoshop or photography, but enjoy this kind of stuff.

Here is my latest attempt using the iPhone "pano" feature and an hour or two in Photoshop for the background landscape, Shambles logo, and forground "weeds". The other is a garage scene with a printed background and accessories I found on eBay and other model car sites. The garage photos are an initial rough of the diorama concept that I'm working on. Both will be ongoing.

SoldCuda.jpg

Night at the shop.jpg

IMG_4855.jpg

Edited by Shambles

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