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FEATURE
Photographing Your Models
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
#406
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
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Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2016 - 07:40 AM GMT+7
Bill Cross shows a quick set-up to photograph your models and dios with a simple light box and lights plus a smart phone.

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If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
windysean
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Wisconsin, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2016 - 08:27 AM GMT+7
Excellent information, Bill. Thanks for sharing. The pictures answer many of my questions!
-Sean H.
acebatau
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Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2016 - 12:36 PM GMT+7
Nice tips, thanks a lot
Biggles2
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Posted: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 - 02:54 AM GMT+7
I just figured out (Duhh!) that it's good to use a tripod, cable release, and expose for 2 - 3 secs at f30 - 32 (or whatever smallest diaphram opening is available) for greatest depth of field. I use available light as flash at close range tends to wash out colors and detail.
bill_c
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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Posted: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 - 03:52 AM GMT+7
Biggles, the small investment in lights will more than make up for the headaches avoided, trust me!
mmeier
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
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Posted: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 - 05:27 AM GMT+7
That light set-up is "nice and simple". Should work well, even more so with a unicolor background.

Ironically using a smartphone makes some stuff easier. The "miniature" sensor (compared to the 36x24 or 25x16mm sensors used in a DSLR) is that you get a better depth of field since that depends (among other things) on the sensor size.

Flash is best not used in "direct mode". Bounce it through a photographic umbrella. If the flash is a filler you might also need to adjust the color temperature to match the main light (Flashes are often "daylight" in color temperature)

If you use those photo lamps and another light source (Say cyling light) make sure they have the same color temperature. While modern cameras can do some nice stuff with "Automatic White Balance" multiple color temperatures can still result in "interesting" effects. More pronounced if you use more complex backgrounds (say a picture) but I still prefer "known color temperature" light sources of the same type for indoor shots.

Still won't exchange my EOS 60D and my 18-35 "evil zoom" (Responsible for a number of spontanous, adrenaline induced self-detonations among prime users) for a mobile phone
bill_c
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Posted: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 - 05:59 AM GMT+7
Thanks, MBR. No mobile phone's camera can compete with a good-quality digital SLR, but for the vast majority of users on this site, it should be enough. But I'm glad to get more perspective from people who know about things like "white balance," a term I haven't heard or used in some time.
SSGToms
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Posted: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 - 06:33 AM GMT+7
Damn you Bill Cross, I just spent $80 on a very nice light tent setup! Great little feature Bill, very informative. Nicely laid out and very understandable. I'm sure I'll be getting great photos with my new setup and your tips. Thanks buddy!
bill_c
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Posted: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 - 09:29 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Damn you Bill Cross, I just spent $80 on a very nice light tent setup! Great little feature Bill, very informative. Nicely laid out and very understandable. I'm sure I'll be getting great photos with my new setup and your tips. Thanks buddy!


That's a good price, Tom! It all depends on how much time anybody wants to put into it. Folks can rummage around Amazon where I got mine (also an ENORMOUS light cube that is waaaay too big for most things). You'll be so pleased with your results, I guarantee it.
mmeier
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
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Posted: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 - 12:07 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Thanks, MBR. No mobile phone's camera can compete with a good-quality digital SLR, but for the vast majority of users on this site, it should be enough. But I'm glad to get more perspective from people who know about things like "white balance," a term I haven't heard or used in some time.



Modern upper class phones and digital compact/bridges have indeed come a long way and the specialist features of a SLR(fast focus,optical seeker) offer no benefits for model fotography.

Even my old Canon A710 was "good enough" for model photography, even more for the "internet formats" of 1920*1080 or 1280*800.

Maybe a tripod for longer times. Does not have to be a high end one since it will be used indoor only with a light camera (I used a 25 Culmann even with 1,5kg cam/lens indoors). There are even some for smartphones that work nicely.

For post processing a look at Photoshop Elements can be taken. In my eyes easier to use than GIMP and cheaper than the full version. Good enough for jobs like adding a background and other minor tweaks. It can also do stuff like focus stacking that may be useful for larger models.

easyco69
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Posted: Sunday, March 06, 2016 - 12:48 AM GMT+7
nice write. Another thing to add about todays camera's is that you can buy a HS 1000 FPS camera for apx $150 for slo mo video. Compare that too high speed camera's that go for $20 G's. of yester year.
bill_c
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Posted: Sunday, March 06, 2016 - 04:42 AM GMT+7
Yes, the cameras generally aren't a problem today, but bright, contrast-free lighting will improve your photos more than a much better camera.
n2dpsky
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Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 06:11 PM GMT+7
0Just to add something. Cell phone cameras sometimes don't do well with artificial lights due to their inferior lens coatings and poor baffling inside the lens. You can see the glare in some of the authors shots. As a cheap alternative, soft natural light from a nearby window can be excellent. Use plain white foam core as a reflector to bounce the light onto the shadow side as "fill". You can cut several pieces to make multiple reflectors. I have pro setups for strobes and continuous lights, but sometimes that window light wins due its simplicity.
Greenmachine
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Posted: Saturday, March 12, 2016 - 07:57 AM GMT+7
Thanks Bill for the article.
bill_c
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Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 10:47 AM GMT+7
Thanks, Michael.

Chris, natural light is great-- if you happen to have large windows. Given that many of us have to do our kit building at night, artificial lights are often the only answer.

As to cell phones, they do an acceptable job if you clean the lens properly (I have a waterproof case on mine which lowers the sharpness if not cleaned right before each session).
pushka
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Posted: Friday, May 19, 2017 - 05:21 AM GMT+7
Thanks a lot for the tips!