Gun photos. A poor man's how-to.

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by PlayboyPenguin, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin

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    I was asked this in another thread on another forum. Since it is a question I have seen here as well I thought I would answer it here also.

    Lighting is the key. You have to have proper lighting for any camera to take a good pic.

    My technique is painfully unrefined. It is all about the lighting and getting it as cheaply and easily as possible. I do not use any special lights or a nice camera. I just use what I have around the house and an old Canon Elph digital camera.

    One item this is a must have is a tripod or other device to hold the camera. Having a stationary camera allows you to make the best use of whatever light source you have available. The tripod also eliminates the need for a flash. Never use a direct flash. Using a direct flash is the worst thing you can do since it will maximize every flaw in the gun and every spec of contaminate. Try to use constant light sources and use flashes only indirectly.

    Another good thing to have is either a compressor or can of compressed air (like the ones used for keyboards). Use the compressed air to blow all lint away from the gun and the surface it is resting upon. Lint is a big no-no in good pics.

    Fingerprints are also bad on some surfaces such as stainless steel. A simple cotton cloth and some rubber gloves will solve this issue. After removing fingerprints or other marks, it is important to once again make sure the gun is lint free.

    Also, be mindful of reflections. Try to position guns in a way to minimize reflections. Especially on polished stainless or chromed guns.

    If I have no natural light at all I will go into the garage and use an old t-shirt stretched over a wooden frame I threw together. I just use a couple old porcelain sockets for light.


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    This is a sample with the crude light box and light bulb set up. It is a nice white light but can look a little "cold" and it turns the colors a bit gray.


    [​IMG]

    If I have some natural light I will make use of it by going upstairs to the guest room. I will just augment it with some bedside lamps from the house to soften shadows.


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    Here is a sample of the "mixed light" photos. The combination of sunlight mixed with dim incandescent bulbs gives a very "warm and glowy" feel.


    [​IMG]


    Sometimes I have enough natural light that I do not need anything else. In that case I just throw the posterboard on the guest bed and take the pics. I do have mirrored closet doors on the other side of the bed from the window so the light gets reflected back to fill in shadows. I will often remove one of the doors from the runner and lean it right against the bed on the opposite side of the guns from the window.


    [​IMG]


    continued next post....
     
  2. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin

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    continued from previous post...

    I think the "all natural" light gives the best results. It is bright and crisp but not too reflective or cold. The colors are more true to life too.


    [​IMG]


    One last thing. Try to prop up your guns from the surface they are laying upon. It helps the overall look of the picture. try to use something that is not visible in the picture. I use an acrylic block with some two sided foam tape on it. The foam tape keeps the gun from slipping off the block.

    [​IMG]
     

  3. RonaldG29

    RonaldG29 Noah's Hero

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    looks like a mini Porn set. Very nice pics.
     
  4. Batesmotel

    Batesmotel

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    Nice work. Good photos don't need lots of gear.
     
  5. Joshhtn

    Joshhtn The eBay Guy Silver Member

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    You do good work!... Such a simple set up, yet very effective!... Nice.
     
  6. NAS T MAG

    NAS T MAG

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    That's a great "how to" and some fine pics. Thanks for sharing.
     
  7. Batesmotel

    Batesmotel

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    I was in a photo contest for working professional commercial and portrait photographers. Everything we used in our lighting setups had to come from Home Depot and had to cost less than $200.00. No pro lighting allowed, not even stands.

    The images submitted were fantastic. It is not in the tools but how you use them.
     
  8. HiVelSword

    HiVelSword Sweetn the ride

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    Hey! Thanks for caring enough to post this. Very useful!!! :)
     
  9. Kadetklapp

    Kadetklapp Methberry PD

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    Wow. These was a great tutorial. Do you have any advice on getting fine detail with a regular digital camera? Just the other day I was trying to take some pictures with my Kodak Easyshare DX7440 4.0mp. I wanted to show some detail on one of my Beretta 96Gs (some small engraving on the frame) and I couldn't get it to work. It was nothing but a blur.
     
  10. El_Ron1

    El_Ron1 AAAAAAAAGHHH!!!

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    Cool, PP, great info. I always want to make a simple setup like that, but I always laze out and head for the shade. Usually without my tripod too. With the results that even inexpensive cameras are capable of now, there's really no excuse for over or underexposed, out of focus pics. I promise to try and honor your inspiration with a little more effort. Now post some more pics... get macro on it! :cool:
     
  11. dredglock

    dredglock

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