Mini studio: Photographing model subjects technique.

Woderwick

Woderwick

Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club
24 Oct 2009
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Ia Drang Valley
www.gtrains.co.uk
Variation on a theme on the clear up behind shots thread. There's some nice garden shots there.

If I want to concentrate on the subject, then I place it in a little "studio". This is made of three surplus kitchen work unit doors pegged together with dowels, so I can dismantle after. One for the base and then the other two make a rear and a side. I can switch the left and right side.

In the summer this is usually placed on the garden table with the large (white) umbrella open so as to diffuse the direct sunlight. If I have a dark/black loco then I usually over expose half to one stop to compensate for the light reflecting off the back ground.

This means that cleaning up takes vey little effort. Here are some before and afters. Used Photoshop, clone and blur tools, but most simple apps would take care of this minor editing.

Before.



After.


Oh and you might want to use a tripod :rofl:



All the best

R.
 
Doug

Doug

Live Steam, scratch building
24 Oct 2009
2,209
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West Herts
I use a roll of old wallpaper - use the back of the roll so you don't see the pattern. The roll sits on the top of the computer monitor and the paper unrolled across the desk.



then just trim off the edges.
 
pugwash

pugwash

impecunious pirate
17 Nov 2009
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Luxembourg
This is the same idea as fashion photography, although they don't use wallpaper.
I have sheets of large card in various colours as some subjects (not just railway) look better with a contrasting background. I try not to use white as it glares, especially if using flash, a dull cream usually comes out better. I'm still looking for old retort stands to hold everything in place, typically my dad retired from his job as a physics teacher before I got the idea...
One thing for Wod's studio might be to use a sheet of card around the sides and curved over the joins of the cupboards, this would even the lighting, save time in retouching and prevent the blur from the retouch (look at the back of the tender).
By the way, do you two use DSLRs?
 
Woderwick

Woderwick

Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club
24 Oct 2009
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Ia Drang Valley
www.gtrains.co.uk
Fair point, take less time to alter the pic than to set up bits of paper and card (which are nt wind proof:) I find. I use the white because it refects the light back up to the subject and eliminates harsh shadows. The detail stands out quite well.

 
pugwash

pugwash

impecunious pirate
17 Nov 2009
14,228
118
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Luxembourg
I use a Lastolite folding reflector to even up the lighting and bounce light back to the offside of the light source, usually held on an old tripod with a flexible grip as two hands are definitely not enough! For macro this is often the only way to light as the lens is so close to the subject.
I have seen diffuser tents (marketed as especially for ebay), great idea but look too small and expensive for what they are, where the light source is outside and the light evenly diffused.
And I still believe in the old fashioned "get it right in-camera" ideology, I do use PS5 and PS6, but mainly as I shoot in RAW, and have to convert, but admit to sometimes cleaning up an image.
Incidentally, to hold everything together I use clamps (usually used for welding, gluing etc) from the local DIY shop, they come in packets of various sizes and are cheap.
 
Rob

Rob

Registered
3 Nov 2009
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Liverpool
www.flickr.com
minimans

minimans

Trains, Planes, Automobiles & Shooting
24 Oct 2009
6,593
3
62
San Francisco Bay Area
For close up's and ad's on eBay I use a curtain draped from above and across the table with a pair of tungston lights through a piece of tracing paper................
 
pugwash

pugwash

impecunious pirate
17 Nov 2009
14,228
118
56
Luxembourg
Quite right, diffusion is the way to go. Only for these subjects, of course.
Hang on a tick, Minimans, are those really your curtains?
 
Doug

Doug

Live Steam, scratch building
24 Oct 2009
2,209
0
West Herts
By the way, do you two use DSLRs?
Mainly a Canon DSLR, but the Canon Ixus is almost as good for photos for on GSC, as the normal sized pics are 640 by 480 and don't show the difference. The DSLR is much better in low light conditions and for black objects (most trains!)
 
pugwash

pugwash

impecunious pirate
17 Nov 2009
14,228
118
56
Luxembourg
I wouldn't agree, I have a Nikon D300 with a selection of lenses (and waaaay too much other kit) and a Nikon Coolpix. The little 'un was bought for use at parties etc, where people feel intimidated by an SLR and for use by my wife. The very fact that the D300 hasn't got an auto mode means I control what is going to result, the Coolpix just needs pointing the right way, no ISO adjustment, no DoF control, aperture fixed etc etc. I take my shot with the SLR and resize, bingo, no surprises.
Sounds good in theory, dunnit? :D
 
pugwash

pugwash

impecunious pirate
17 Nov 2009
14,228
118
56
Luxembourg
This total faith in "big bucks (image names) brings results" sounds like bovine excressence to me!
I have a digital compact, 2 digital bridges, and a Nikon D5000, guess which is used the least because (in my hands I admit) it fails to perform?
On the first point you are right, too many expensive brand DSLRs are worn as jewellery or statements. Next time you are near a tourist feature and see people with such a thing round their neck ask what settings they are using, more often than not full auto 'cos they don't know how it works.
A camera is a tool and nothing more. The images and/or effects desired come from the photographer, so no imagination no image. Like any other relatively complex tool the camera has to be understood to use it properly, and equipped or finely tuned for the job you want it to do.
I started with digital about 6 years ago, I wanted a DSLR as I had used film SLRs and knew how versatile they can be. Next question is which one? I subscribed to Practical Photography for a while and then decided what I wanted the camera to do and the choice came down to about 3 cameras, all similar in price and technicalities. I went to a couple of shops and handled the cameras and my final choice was a Nikon D70 as it was larger than the other two and fitted my hands better. I used it, got used to it, bought some specialised and non-specialised gear and took some decent photographs. Then about 2 years ago I thought that my capabilities were now greater than the camera's and wanted something more sophisticated but not auto everything - trouble is I'd got all these Nikon fit lenses and stuff, so it had to be a Nikon or lose loads of money on the gear by changing to another brand, fortunately Nikon bought out the D300 - perfect, but too expensive. I waited a bit then bought an ex-demo one. I love it, it does all I want and more, it is (relatively) simple to use and you can use the handbook as a doorstop or step. Now, people say they can see an improvement in my images (which I deny) and, much as I hate to blow my own trumpet, I'm told I am an excellent photographer. But like I said, it is the photographer, not the camera, that creates an image. If I give my wife the D300 she hasn't a clue and the pictures she comes up with are terrible.
Don't write off your D5000, in all probability it is just a question of getting used to working with it. Take your time, go out and take some shots at different settings/positions/lighting etc and look at them on the computer. Decide which you prefer and why, then look to see if it is the camera settings or your point of view that gives rise to the preference. Persist, you will get the results you desire eventually. It's how I learned.
By the way, to check the camera settings on the computer (if you want to recreate them for instance) right click on the JPEG, click properties, click summary, click advanced and all the EXIF data is there so you can set up the camera accordingly.
As I said in another thread, a good place for tips and info is here:
http://www.photoanswers.co.uk/
:D
If you have some specific problem just ask :callme: there are plenty of us who would like to help.

By the way, I sold the D70 to a client of mine and she loves it too, but when she doesn't understand something she asks me, no problem. :clap:
 
C

corgi

Registered
24 Oct 2009
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0
Melbourne, Australia
I give this post a 10.
I got a lot out of it.
 
Woderwick

Woderwick

Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club
24 Oct 2009
8,888
0
Ia Drang Valley
www.gtrains.co.uk
Oh I forgot to mention, my camera is an old fuji finepix 2800. Chose it cos it had a nice big lens. Pretty dated by todays standards, but as Puggy says, its how you use em.