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Posted: March 23rd, 2013, 12:49 pm
by Aigore
This is a little tutorial about how I shoot my models, in this case it´s about taking pics of a F-14 but the principle is the same for whatever you shoot :P And I need to add that I´m in no way a experienced photographer and what I describe may not be entirely the correct way but it´s the way I shoot my models.

Well I guess you want to see pictures now eh? and lots of them?
I´ll be getting to that in a moment.... first I thought I´d show my photo set up and explain a bit about how I take the pics :D You with me on this?

OKi, here we go!

My little improvised studio consists of a big A2 paper sheet, I use a black background for light objects, a grey or blue for dark objects... I avoid white since I think it´s to much
contrast with my shutter times (I´ll be getting back to that)
Anyways, for lighing I use a few ordinary desk lamps and I´ve covered lamp cones with paper tissue. It´s to difuse the light, spread it and avoid sharp reflexes from the light bulbs.
I cover the windows and the rest of the room is dark.. this makes the studio a bit mirky but that suits me fine because of the shutter times I´m using (again gonna explain that later).
I use 3 main light sources and have additional light from a desk lamp out of frame and a lilttle halogen lamp, these are to give ambient light.


Oki, that´s the lil´ studio...
Here´s my lil´SLR, a I am a spammer, please report this post. D3100 with a 18-55 glass, standing on it´s tripod.


Time to look at my camera set up...

First of all I put the camera in M, manual mode...and that of course means I have to set all the parameters myself.


And here are the camera settings, I´ll explain the most importan settings :D/>


The "M" in the upper left corner means I´m in manual mode.

I´m using a 2 second timed trigger, that is the exposure starts 2 seconds after I´ve pressed the trigger, that is so the camera is as vibration free as possible.

The bar on the right side shows:
I´m taking picture in RAW format, simplified it means each picture contains more information than a JPEG or GIF, and can be manipulated with greater range without loss of can change all the settings in a photo programe like Photoshop.

WB= white balance, is set in a manual mode where I´ve taken a picture of something white and the camera has adjusted to recognize it as white in that particular light. (there are modes for say using a flash, shadow, dayligth and so on.

ISO= the sensitivity of the image sensor, the higher value the more light sensitivity and the grainier the photo. I use ISO 100 for best quality pictures,and that means I have to have good lighting for my exposures.

AF-s= Auto focus

below that the symbo shows my auto focus mode, I use "one point" modethat is my aouto focus has 14 points it can focus on and I´ve manually chosen the pooint I want to focus on, it can be seen in the lower left corner of the display... it shows I´ve chosen the center point.

the rest of the symbols are not important.

in the center of the display is my shutter time 4", wich means I have a 4 second exposure. The reason I have such a long shutter time is because I want a deep field of depth. Field of depth is how much of and object is in focus in the Z-axis near and far of the focus point.
Since I want as much as possible of my model to be in focus I have to have a long exposure time to let enough light in. the shorter the exposure the shorter the field of depth you get.

The next and final important variable is Aperture, it´s shownb as the value F29 in the display and there´s a graphic representation of the aperture to the left of the shutter time. I´m using the smallest aperture (the smaller the aperture the higher the F-value) since I`m using such a long
shutter time I can´t let too much light in at a time since it would result in an over exposured picture and be totally white.

After laborating with shutter time and aperture in my lignting I found the combination of 4" and F29 to give me the best pictures and biggest field of depth.

Had I had brighter light sources I could have shorter shutter time.

Hope ya enjoyed a short intro to model photography :D


Re: Photography

Posted: March 23rd, 2013, 4:08 pm
by Del
Thanks for this tutorial!! You've re-invigorated my passion from over 20 years ago. I already use multiple light sources, but ditched the F-stop and exposure when I switched from 35mm SLR to digital and the lazy automatic settings. I have got to see if the cameras I currently use have manual settings.

Re: Photography

Posted: March 23rd, 2013, 6:44 pm
by Aigore
You´re welcome Del :D
Now, remember tho that with the settings I´m using you´re not getting crystal clear pictures tho they are good for hiding build errors :P

Re: Photography

Posted: March 23rd, 2013, 10:15 pm
by merseajohn
Very helpful! My pics are coming out slightly dark on my 'M' settings, thoughts?

Re: Photography

Posted: March 23rd, 2013, 10:40 pm
by Aigore
merseajohn wrote:Very helpful! My pics are coming out slightly dark on my 'M' settings, thoughts?
Check your ISO value, the higher the more light sensitive...but you lose in sharpness and the pic becomes grainier. I shoot at ISO 100-200.

Get better light or use longer shutter time or lower your aperture.

Fiddle around with the shutter time and aperture...longer shuttertimes need a tripod or you´ll get motion blur.

Hope that solved it :D


Re: Photography

Posted: March 23rd, 2013, 10:58 pm
by merseajohn
Yeah I'll have a fiddle! Cheers mate ;)