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Fall is coming!

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  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Fall is coming!
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, September 11, 2014 9:21 AM

Since I take all of my finished model's pictures in direct sunlight, which means outdoors, I can only shoot in summer and early fall, here in Minnesota.  We had a late spring, and now it looks like we'll have an early fall and winter!  So I have to grab all the models I built recently and run outside and photograph them before the snow comes!

I am still trying to figure out how to build a decent "solar simulator."  The ones we used to have at work were expensive toys- hundreds of kilobucks!  It is proving harder than it would seem to come up with something.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

Dre
  • Member since
    June 2007
  • From: here, not over there
Posted by Dre on Friday, September 12, 2014 9:09 AM

Don, what do you mean by "solar simulator"??

Have you ever done a ski-equipped airplane and photographed it in a snowy scene?   I'd like to see that.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, September 13, 2014 9:50 AM

A solar simulator simulates sunlight, especially its almost parallel rays (only half degree divergence.  That is what creates sharp shadow edges and really bright highlights.  Now, the solar simulators at work also duplicated full brightness/illuminance, which I don't really need.

What I want is something that creates almost collimated beam, but covers a broad area, big enough to illuminate any model and my photo backgrounds.  And- not have to be placed a hundred feet away.  I have a sun porch, but in winter the sun is so low on horizon that it is hard to use for photographs.  Window frames, etc. always in way, and I'd have to put model and backdrop on floor, and my tripod wouldn't work down there (I like camera lens as close to scale eye height as possible).

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Thursday, September 18, 2014 5:50 PM

I have a fluorescent light in my workroom. It is a very bright one, but it has a diffuser shade over it and produces some quite good light for photography. I too like to use outside and natural light to photograph finished models, but sometimes it's not possible.

Might I suggest one of these. with a bright fluorescent reading lamp.

www.bhphotovideo.com/.../Savage_1825_1_Reflect_o_Board_Bright_Silver.html

You can use a bright light and instead of pointing it directly at the model, use the board to bounce the light at the model. It will soften the light a little and spread it more evenly.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, September 19, 2014 9:19 AM

But bounce lighting is very soft. I like the sharpness of sunlight- produces sharp edged shadows like direct sunlight on a real aircraft outdoors.  That is why I have yet to find a substitute. I DO use soft lighting for WIP shots and shooting the eBay-style shots.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

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