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Model photos as art

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  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Model photos as art
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, March 05, 2016 9:51 AM

I belong to a camera club as well as my three model clubs.  That camera club has a salon each month, with an assigned subect.  The subject this month was silhouettes.  I decided to do my two entries, with photos of a couple of my models (one a color photo, the other a mono photo).  I took the easy way out instead of waiting for unique lighting and positioning- these are composites, on two or more layers, background from seperate shot than silhouettes.

Just before the battle

E170 to the moon

 

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Saturday, March 05, 2016 10:40 AM

Beautiful shots, Don. I'll be interested to hear how the rest of the club receives them.

Are you going to reveal in advance that these are pictures of models?

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: From the Mit, but live in Mason, O high ho
Posted by hogfanfs on Saturday, March 05, 2016 1:13 PM

I agree with jtilley, very beautiful shots! 

Don, you need to get pictures of their facial expressions when you tell them they are in fact scale plastic models! Big Smile

Bruce

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, March 06, 2016 11:26 AM

I will only tell if they ask how pictures are made.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Sunday, March 06, 2016 4:28 PM

My photographic mistakes vastly outnumber my successes. Don's airliner shot reminded me of me of my more notable near not-so-near misses.

If you've done even a modest amount of flying (like me) you may have seen a rainbow over a cloud formation. The rainbow takes the form of a brilliantly colored perfect circle. My wife and I were flung back from Texas, and I looked out the window just in time to see the shadow of the plane pass right through the center of a big circular rainbow. By the time I made my way to the aisle and got my camera bag out of the bin l, the rainbow was gone.

Well, it would have been a nice shot.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, March 07, 2016 8:44 AM

In addition to rainbows on clouds, another interesting thing seen from the air is a light spot opposite the sun.  If you are low enough, that spot will create a halo around the shadow of the aircraft. If higher, the shadow becomes too small to see and the spot is just a lighter spot on the ground moving along with the aircraft, and often with color fringes like the rainbow.  This is usually seen over quite dry areas where vegetation is sparse, so you can see the dirt minerals.  Most minerals have an enhanced retro-reflection (sort of like a mirror directly back at the light source.  And, this retroreflection is often dispersive, creating the color fringing.  Look for it when flying over western US in midday on North side of aircraft (down-sun).

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    July, 2014
Posted by Bakster on Monday, March 07, 2016 7:07 PM

Pretty cool, Don. 

 

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by jibber on Tuesday, March 08, 2016 7:12 PM

Don i'm going to show my complete idiocy when it comes to photography and graphics, so heres my question.

Lets say i'm shooting an AFV I want to include a background photo or solid color. How do I do it?

Thanks in advance for my kindergarten question....but i've never done it. Ive always been a builder and until recently never gave much thought to photos. BTW those pics you posted are incredible. How far did you have to drive to get right under that moon. LOL

Terry 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, March 09, 2016 9:42 AM

jibber

Don i'm going to show my complete idiocy when it comes to photography and graphics, so heres my question.

Lets say i'm shooting an AFV I want to include a background photo or solid color. How do I do it?

Thanks in advance for my kindergarten question....but i've never done it. Ive always been a builder and until recently never gave much thought to photos. BTW those pics you posted are incredible. How far did you have to drive to get right under that moon. LOL

Terry 

 

Just prop it up behind the model.  You may have to mount it to stiff backing- I use those foam core boards from art or office supply stores. If it is a solid color, it is easy. 

If a photo background, you need to worry about depth of focus/field.  That is, with automatic exposure the background photo may occur so fuzzy it is illegible.  You want a little fuzziness, but not much.  So you have to use manual settings- expose with a high aperture (f/#), but focus carefully on the model.  That way minimizes the blur of the background photo.

That of course means you must use a camera with manual setting options.  Also, even in bright sunlight (I always shoot that type of photo outdoors in sunlight) the exposure may be a bit long, so a tripod is a good idea.  However, if your camera/lens has image stabilization/compensation a sunlight exposure can usually be handheld.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by jibber on Thursday, March 10, 2016 2:58 AM

Don, I guess I'm mostly interested in a digitally stored photo that I can blend in behind my subject. 

Terry

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, March 10, 2016 9:18 AM

Ah!  In that case you need a photo editor that has layer functions.  The background is one layer, the model is a second layer in front of the background.  You have to erase all the pixels not part of the model from the second, front layer, by various selection modes and deleting.

One problem with that method is creating the shadow of the model on the background. 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by jibber on Thursday, March 10, 2016 12:48 PM

Thanks, I didn't understand deleting all the pixels, I had thought that you might pick a subject and it outlined itself, then its just a matter of laying it into the background pic. I think once I do it it'll be a great option ive missed. 

Thanks Don.

Terry

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, March 11, 2016 9:08 AM

Depends on what you mean by outlining it.  What I meant by deleting areas of pixels is to turn them transparent.  Deleting a selection works on most art programs, but there may be other ways of making a selection transparent in other programs.  So what I meant was to make all pixels outside of the model image transparent.  If the model has windows, or completely enclosed areas that show background, these need to be turned transparent too.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November, 2015
  • From: Provo, Utah
Posted by Seahawk on Friday, March 11, 2016 12:59 PM
Don, I was about to ask the FSM staff, but after looking at your superb artwork and seeing this Q&A with you, I have decided to ask this of you. Some years ago, I purchased an Olympus camera with 5.1 mega-pixels, for just under $200. I have a diorama of which I would like to take good pictures. There seems to be no way I can get a picture either in focus or that is not too light in the foreground. Recently, my son-in-law took pictures of a rifle I had for sale with his camera that were far superior to what I had taken with my "expensive" camera. I look at the pictures in FSM of how to articles or the Reader's Gallery, and I ask myself, "How did they do that?" All I want is to take some nice well lit and well focused pictures like I see in FSM without spending too much money. Is that a reasonable goal? Thanks. ~ Clint
  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: NYC, USA
Posted by waikong on Monday, March 14, 2016 12:42 PM

I suggest the series of articles on this link http://www.scalemodelguide.com/category/display-photo/photography/  All good basic information about model photography.

if you post a few of the 'bad' pictures, perhaps we can help more.

  • Member since
    July, 2014
Posted by Bakster on Monday, March 14, 2016 8:34 PM

Clint, take a look at the articles that come up using the link that Waikong posted. I just reviewed them and they are excellent for any beginner. 

Good luck, and I hope you get what you need. I would like to see that diorama. 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 9:20 AM

Seahawk
Don, I was about to ask the FSM staff, but after looking at your superb artwork and seeing this Q&A with you, I have decided to ask this of you. Some years ago, I purchased an Olympus camera with 5.1 mega-pixels, for just under $200. I have a diorama of which I would like to take good pictures. There seems to be no way I can get a picture either in focus or that is not too light in the foreground. Recently, my son-in-law took pictures of a rifle I had for sale with his camera that were far superior to what I had taken with my "expensive" camera. I look at the pictures in FSM of how to articles or the Reader's Gallery, and I ask myself, "How did they do that?" All I want is to take some nice well lit and well focused pictures like I see in FSM without spending too much money. Is that a reasonable goal? Thanks. ~ Clint
 

Does the camera have manual focus and manual exposure options?  Manual focus is really necessary.  Aperture priority exposure can substitute for manual exposure.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November, 2015
  • From: Provo, Utah
Posted by Seahawk on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 2:34 PM

Thanks, Bakster.  I just finished Saving them and printing them out to go into my Tutorials book.

  • Member since
    November, 2015
  • From: Provo, Utah
Posted by Seahawk on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 2:36 PM

Thanks, Don.  It has none of the Fancy-Schmancy stuff.  I just got some good info and from you, too.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, April 17, 2016 11:07 AM

Seahawk

Thanks, Don.  It has none of the Fancy-Schmancy stuff.  I just got some good info and from you, too.

 

If you are willing to deal with the bother of film and developing, very nice used film SLR cameras with lots of the fancy shmancy stuff are available for a song.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January, 2010
Posted by CrashTestDummy on Monday, July 18, 2016 11:40 AM

Sell the Olympus and apply the funds to a different camera.  Digital SLRs can be had for right at $300, and there are some digital 'point and shoot' types that do have a manual mode.  Either way, you'll want to look for a camera that has a manual mode.  That way, you can set the f-stop, focus and shutter speed.  And yes, even in good, bright sunlight, you'll want a tripod and set the timer, so you'r not jiggling the camera when pressing the shutter button.

You can get good results with cameras that let you set the aperature (f-stop), and using a tripod/timer, and sunlight, though.  Luckily, with a digital camera, you can delete the pictures you don't want to use. 

Gene Beaird,
Pearland, Texas

  • Member since
    July, 2016
Posted by David2080 on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 8:33 PM

Here is something I really know:  In simple terms you need to set your apeture/f-stop to at least f16. That is pretty small and for those who arent aware, a large fstop number is a smaller opening.  F-22 is smaller than f16.

 

The trade off is letting less loght in means the shutter has to stay open longer.  A tripod is ideal but you can use a bean bag too.  If your camera has the capability to set a delay- say 2 seconds- between the time you push the shutter and the time the shutter opens, so much the better.

 

Hope this helps.  I think a lot of is are confused thaat a small fstop number means a larger opening.Kust remember to shoot at f11to f22 and you'll see better results

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