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Author Topic: photography to bring out more detail.  (Read 2606 times)
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Hi, I'm Kim.


« on: April 22, 2019, 07:15:24 PM »

Hi, this is a new topic I will park it here to see what happens.
I made mention in my last post in Dirty Dog that one of my barges was photographed by a third person using an SLR, I was impressed with the results.The detail that was always there was bought to life in a deep 3d form not perfect but much better than my usual methods.
do I go out and buy an SLR either new or used with an appropriate lens plus a cheap light box with better lighting just for 3D items. I am on a fixed income so I always look for the best without spending a lot say the equivalent of a new smartphone say 600 Australian dollars.
My cell phone is an old Samsung great I never buy new as the last one that was expensive I dropped into the sea-stuffed.
The camera that I usually use is a Panasonic -Lumix with a Leica lens. great travel camera fits into your pocket, important, has a macro setting and other features that I am not quite sure of.all of my photos are taken with it.
question do I stick with what I have or do I go out and get a lens plus SLR that I will use just for home use.

this has been taken by a third party using the lights from my model South Creek.
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again by a third party.
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this shot is from my Lumix not bad but i want the lettering to be more 3 d.
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again using my Lumix.
so i will be interested in any opinions-cheers.
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finescalerr
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2019, 09:45:04 PM »

Let's start by looking at the attached photo of a 1:32n3 Shay. You may recall seeing it a couple of years ago when Havard had a question about emulating the effectiveness of some early digicams. I shot the image with an iPhone 7+. It consists of seven separate exposures, each with a different focal point. A $50 program called Affinity Photo has a command that blends all the shots into a single photo where everything is in focus, from front to back.

What that means is that Carlo can use his iPhone 6 and Kim can use his Panasonic-Lumix and get essentially the same results as I did. I used two high intensity desk lamps to light the model at night. I could have obtained the same results had I shot the model outside in sunlight or even outside in the shade or on a cloudy day. (I spent a long time erasing the ugly background and replaced it with a gradient.)

No matter where or how you shoot the photo, you MUST use a tripod and you must have a lot of light. The more light, the better the depth-of-field.

I'm not sure how much detail you guys want me to go into about how to shoot macro photos. I will only say one thing: If you want good results, you can't take snapshots. You have to go through certain steps and you can't take shortcuts.

Finally, I'd spend the $50 U.S. dollars on Affinity Photo if you're serious about getting good results. For what you want to use it for, it's as good as Photoshop (actually better than CS6 when it comes to depth-of-field photo stacking) and the price is far less than a new camera. Another major benefit is that you can easily create a 230kb jpeg for our lousy forum software. I knocked down a 30 mb tiff image for posting here and it took only 30 seconds with no need to do it twice!

Let me know if any of you wants more info about how to use your specific cameras.

Russ


* iPhone7+ 7exp Affiniti 12-14-17 Gradient.jpg (226.83 KB, 600x363 - viewed 92 times.)
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peterh
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2019, 10:19:57 PM »

Use a photo editor and apply sharpening and clarity. These make a photo look more 3D. Clarity is like sharpening but applies over a bigger area and is milder.

Id assume your third party applied these as a matter of course.

Ive done that here, plus lightened the shadows to bring out detail around the wheels. It would look much better with a higher resolution original and a curved bit of white card under and behind it to remove the clutter. Its easy to make a lightbox, just google it.



* 26CFA0E5-3F26-44BA-AB6E-DBA702D90FFA.jpeg (94.19 KB, 1200x1200 - viewed 83 times.)
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 10:42:19 PM by peterh » Logged

Peter
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Hi, I'm Kim.


« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2019, 02:59:02 AM »

great.
Russ what type of bulbs do you use in the lamps.?
cheers
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Hi, I'm Kim.


« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2019, 03:02:09 AM »

also, what do you mean by different focal points.?
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Lawton Maner
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2019, 12:13:33 PM »

     The current issue of Railroad Model Craftsman has an article on photographing models in which the author made a simple "light box" from a large piece of heavy weight white paper to block the detritus that many times creeps into model photos.  He showed it clamped to a kitchen chair to create a curved backdrop free of visual litter.  Since most digital cameras have sensors which are more tolerant of color than film I'll bow to Russ on that topic.  However, you can carry the chair outside on a clear day, pose the subject so that the sun is over your shoulder and not have to worry about artificial light.  If you want to get fancy, a piece of white foamcore can be used to act as a reflector to provide fill light from the other side.   
     Photos to study for defects in your work do not have to come from a fancy camera.  On the otherhand a better grade of camera can produce publication quality photos and still not cost a fortune.  My current digital camera produces better photos then my bag of Minoltas did for 40+ years, but do not produce 35mm slides.
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finescalerr
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2019, 01:24:34 PM »

Kim, I think the bulbs may be tungsten. They are a little under an inch long by half an inch in diameter and clear. The came with the lamps and it may be hard to find replacements. If you have halogen shop lights, they would do a good job. Don't worry about the lamps. Any lamp that you use for modeling should be fine ... as long as you have two of the same kind with matching bulbs. If you use those lamps, they must be the ONLY light source in the room. In other words, don't use a fluorescent bulb and also an incandescent bulb; don't use the overhead light along with the lamp(s); don't turn on a lamp when daylight is coming through the windows.

"Different focal points" means you put your camera on a tripod and lock it down so it doesn't move. Then manually focus on the front of the model, then an inch or two behind that, another inch or two behind that, until you have photographed the entire model, train, or scene. It is a special effect technique you are likely to use only on special occasions. I shot the Shay photo for Havard to duplicate a specific kind of image he wanted.

In 30 years of professionally photographing models I've never needed to build a light box although once or twice one might have come in handy. If you build in HO and most of your models are shorter than a foot long it might be convenient to have one but a roll of white paper and a couple of home made reflectors work about as well.

I will post the explanation of how to shoot photos I used to send to contributors next.

Russ
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finescalerr
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2019, 01:46:21 PM »

MODEL PHOTOS

1. Shoot outdoors in daylight. Better for model portraits would be in full shade (such as under a covered patio) on a table. Use a seamless backdrop (a roll of white paper at least three feet long) taped to a wall or window or sliding glass door and unrolled onto the table. The backdrop MUST be paper (not cloth), white, with no folds, wrinkles, or creases. One piece of paper on the table and a second piece of paper hanging from the wall is NOT acceptable because it will create a "horizon" line.

2. ALWAYS use a tripod. No exceptions.

3. Use a 100mm lens or the equivalent zoom (e.g., 35-135, 70-200 at approximately the 100mm setting). Shoot using your camera's Manual setting and shoot at the biggest f-stop number such as f/11. If your camera goes up to f/22 or f/32, by all means choose that setting.

4. Before attaching the camera to the tripod, take it right up to the model and expose on the side of the model (from the same angle at which the camera will point). DO NOT ALLOW THE LENS TO "SEE" ANY OF THE BACKGROUND OR YOUR MODEL WILL END UP LOOKING LIKE A SHADOW. You also may expose on the palm of your hand. It will create a fairly accurate starting point but it's much lighter than a black loco. Your camera will tell you how long the exposure should be at the f/stop you chose, typically around half a second or a second. Shoot a test shot. If the model is too dark, try a longer exposure time.

5. With the camera on the tripod, get as much of the model in the viewfinder as you can while still allowing a little room around the image. Again, use a 100mm lens or the equivalent. A 35 or 50mm lens probably would be inadequate. With a fixed lens digital camera, zoom the lens between three-quarters and all the way out (telephoto).

6. Shoot from as close to a scale man's eye level as possible unless, of course, you are showing the roof or underbody.

7. Set the camera's color balance for auto. If you can shoot in RAW mode, use those files instead of JPEGs; they contain far more information and result in better photos.

8. Shoot 3/4 front, 3/4 rear (opposite side), side view and, if necessary, bottom view, top view, and details. You must have enough views for a modeler to recreate your work.

9. Do not omit or compromise on any of the above "rules" or you will lower the quality of your photos.

When I wrote the above, I was expecting to run the modeler's raw images through Photoshop myself. Unfortunately I can't always do that for you guys and that is why, if you are serious about shooting photos, I suggested investing $50 on Affinity Photo and learning its basics. If you want to take the trouble to use it, I developed some presets that might save you a lot of time. As you can see, shooting decent model photos is as fussy as building the model. Ain't no free lunch.

Russ
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Hi, I'm Kim.


« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2019, 03:30:21 PM »

Thanks all.
It is going to take me a while to get on top of it all I think everybody will be interested in these posts to help them with better presentations.but please forgive me if in the middle of the night i pull out my camera take a shot under less than perfect conditions and post to Westlake publishing.
cheers
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Chuck Doan
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2019, 10:39:26 PM »

Some more great info! Thanks!
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They're most important to me. Most important. All the little details. -Joseph Cotten, Shadow of a Doubt





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« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2019, 02:42:41 PM »

Thanks, Russ. All good information.
One thing that Kim might find helpful if he wants to particularly show the texture of his weathering is to shine/reflect some light onto the model from a side or the top so the raised texture will catch the light from the direction it's coming from and cast a shadow, like the light from above seen in the photo of him holding his barge. That will take a bit of experimenting with the distance and angle of the added light to look good.
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Hi, I'm Kim.


« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2019, 05:03:03 PM »

anything to add?
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finescalerr
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« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2019, 08:18:23 PM »

I suggest we begin with the easiest and simplest approach, then move on to the more sophisticated stuff.

Greaseproof paper may be unnecessary unless your model drips oil. It also is unnecessary to match those bulb specs; just make sure both of your bulbs are the same. They don't have to be 6500 Kelvin because your camera's auto white balance will compensate. Also, if you can shoot outdoors the bulbs and lamps are unnecessary. I photographed many models for my books and magazines outdoors ... unless it was windy! For various reasons your background paper should be at least 3 feet wide. You can pick up a 3 foot wide roll of sketch paper at an art store for just a few dollars; if it gets dirty, rip it, toss it, and unroll more.

Bill's useful comment about shadow and contrast applies more to dioramas than individual models. Let's move on to that after you are more familiar with how to use your camera for shooting basic model photos. When you have an image you like, post it and let's go from there.

Russ
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Hi, I'm Kim.


« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2019, 09:22:11 PM »

Interesting personally I am just working through all this stuff. About 40 years ago I was taught old school photography-film speed now ISO, aperture F stop the lower the number the bigger the aperture in your lens was, big aperture low light, shutter speed again about the light and I suppose movement and lastly focus.
so to think of it in old school terms model photography with a light source would be.
ISO low
Aperture f stop would be in the middle.
Shutter speed fast.
the focus could be as Russ suggested a few taken with different f stops or correct by software.some newer cameras have a lot of focus points. not like the old days where you had to line up hairlines.
anyway.
I had forgotten all that stuff with digital a lot of this stuff is taken care of.
I think out of this discussion lighting is the most important.
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finescalerr
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2019, 09:54:26 PM »

Light is the single most important part of photography. You need enough available to shoot a photo in the first place, how much or how little determines what will be in focus and whether you need your camera on a tripod, where the light comes from--and what color it is or whether it is sharp or diffuse--can make or break a photo.

For model photography, your F/stop almost always should be the biggest number your lens offers, like f/32. That will make the shutter speed slow, sometimes more than one second. That's why the tripod is so important.

Since you model in 1:32, your models are relatively large so you probably would focus on the number plate of a locomotive, or maybe the stack, and almost everything would be sharp. Don't mess around with multiple shots at different points of focus now. That is a special effect you may never need.

For what it's worth, I shoot digital in exactly the same way as I used to shoot film and you'll probably get the best results by doing that, too.

Russ
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