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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just looking through the Photo of the Day Forum and noticed that some of you guys have a natural talent for getting that one great shot of a model.

Lets take a moment and discuss some of the ideas that you guys are using.

Specifically, the angles of the photos, the artistic aspect, various frames and backgrounds.

There are many angles that I particularly like, but two of my favorites happen to be the top angle of the car and the rear angle. Any tips, ideas or favorite angles.

The artisitic aspect is an individual thing and will vary from photographer. I like the pictures that capture a model bright and dark spots. Some of the black and white photogrpahy is the best in my opinion.

Some use frames and borders on their pics, I like this idea greatly as it shows time and effort went into it. Something I don't have a lot of :giggle

The biggest thing here I notice is some of the backgrounds. Dioramas, posterboard, outside natural settings, you name we have seen it all.

Please share you thoughts on this as I am looking for ideas and tips.
 

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For my background I use a piece of flat, meaning it isn't shiney :giggle , of construction paper I bought at the Dollar store :giggle and bend it upward to make a curve. Then I take a piece of black tinted plastic and lay over top of that to haev the reflection.

I've learned light placement is the key to good photos. To diffuse my to cheap desk lamps(Walmart-$10 a piece) I have a frosted piece of plastic covered with foam sitting about 1 foot above the reflecting black plastic on 2 car boxes :giggle Then I put the lights on top of the frosted plastic which created smooth glares around the model.

I like to take shots that look different than the normal 3/4 shots. I like to angle it sideways a bit, sometimes above the car about 7-8 inches or I sometimes put the camera right on the tinted plastic itself. To take clear photos, take your tripod, or boxes in my case and set them back away from the model and zoom in. This in many cases allows the whole car to be photographed without having blurry wheels and such.

I also use exposure settings to take better photos. When I want the background to be light along with the car when using white construction paper I up the exposure, opposite is the background paper is black to make the paper blend with the tinted black plastic.

I use a 3.1mp Kodak CX6330 using no tripod, just some old boxes :lol

I hope this information is helpful! :cheers

Oh, and a little PSing, such as adding saturation and using levels can really improve your photos. If you don't have Photoshop, there are many cheaper and even free programs out there to do this as well.

Below are some photos I've taken using very inexpensive tools :giggle :cheers



 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Can someone provide me some suggestions on angles.

I'm getting a little bored with the striaght on angles and would like to shoot my models from a better angle if possible.

Some of the angles that I see on DX are indeed sweet, but they are not easy to capture :help
 

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Well, here is my photo setup. To start off, here's the gear I use:

Digicam: Canon S30 3.2Mpix equped with full manual mode, max. of F8 + Macro feature
Lights: Two halogen lights, 55W max.
Props: Tripod, Black reflective glossy posterboard
Misc: Turn off all lights & just use the two side-arm halogen lights (torchiere aimed toward ceiling is also turned off).



My favourite angles to photograph diecasts are down low. My camera is typically set to the same height as the diecast. This way, I can reduce the glare off the BACK of the posterboard and keep it as black as possible. The reason is to achieve the maximum contrast between the car and the background.



Here's another photo taken from a slightly higher angle. Already, you see more light reflected off the back.


Most of the neat effects I create is a result of how + where I position the light. Here's one where I had one single light to the left of the VW Nardo.


Now that I read Justin's camera is 3.1 Mpix (with 100K pixels fewer than mine), I'm convinced to believe that lighting contributes a lot more to the photo than the number of megapixels in the camera. Though, having manual control of a camera helps a lot in creating the desired effect in the photos.

Again, this is another example of just playing around with light and adjusting the exposure value until I see a half-dent looking picture in the LCD display behind my digicam.

 

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Photographing 1/43s

I find 1/43 to be very challenging to photograph well using my Canon S30 digicam. I think part of the problem is that fact the F-stop only goes to 8. The higher the number, the more of the object you can get into focus. The other challenge is that it is hard to aim the digicam's range finder on the exact spot of the diecast. So, if the focus is on the very front of the car, the end tends to be out of focus. I've discovered it is very hard to aim right at the very middle of the car.

You can see below, I've tried to aim the rangefinder at front 1/3 of the car. The result is that the front of the car is reasonbly focused but the back is quite fuzzy.


I do find taking a profile shot (sideways and no angle in the car) to get the best focus of the entire car from front to back. Why? Well, because the whole side of the car is the same distance to the camera's lens.

This car is much better focused than the car above. Notice how the nose of the car looks sharp, all the way to the very rear spoiler where its edges are nice & crisp.

(Autoart: Please make this car in 1:18!!)
 

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That's brilliant Justin! :nicejob :nicejob :nicejob I've always loved your photos. It's nice to see the "inside scoop" to see how you pulled it off. The setup may look "ghetto", but your photos are 1st class. :3tens
 

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:giggle Worse than ghetto for sure :scared :scared :scared

Thanks for the kind, really kind words Felix :cheers You really only use a 3.2mp? Your photos are excellent to say the least, every one of them! :nicejob :nicejob :nicejob
 

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Yup. It's a Canon S30. 3.2Mpix is all she comes with. It blew me away when I read your camera is 3.1Mpix! I wouldn't quite say "every one" of my pics are excellent. :wink I have a lot of dumpy looking ones. Maybe you've just chosen to to remember those eeky shots. :lol :lol Thanks for your kind compliments all the same Justin. :cheers
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Justin,

Do you use the packing foam to enclose the model?

Can you take a picture of the set up with a model in place?
 

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I got a very basic studio that I made on my kitchen counter.

I made it out of hard white gloss carton sheets and the lighting is provide by the neon light that is beneath my cupboard.



I don't use any photoshop effect of the pictures I take. Just plain white background. Like I said in my topic Cuda Jeff Entire Collection, I took 2268 pictures up 'till now of all my models.

Why just boring white background.....because all my models are in a catalogue that I made. Just like in my topic....all my models are in alphabetical order by car brand then by year of model. I need a glossy white background to reflect all the light I need to be able to make every page of my catalogue to look like this....

(One page, one model. I got every logo of every diecast brand and car maker....)

 

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Those are really sharp photo Jeff! Black is one of the more difficult colours to photograph well. Lighting is key to capturing the lines of the car. It highlights the edges of the car that uniquely define it from other cars.
 

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Photography Thought for the Day

Car Ads: I was flipping through my Saturday newspaper and laid my eyes on a full-page photo spread of Audi's new A4. It looked awesome! It made me realize that so many of my ideas for lighting comes from car ads, especially those show-room "glamour shots". What I do is try to figure out where the lights sources are relative to the 1:1 car. I then try to recreate that on my 1:18s. I find my light sources are too big for 1:43s and tend to "flood" the entire car.
 

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I took a few(28 :giggle ) photos of my Murcielago late this afternoon just as the sun was going down(daylight savings stinks, doesn't it?) and here is one shot. I'll post the rest is the Exotic Forum later on :cheers

While photography inside looks wonderful, taking pictures of my diecasts outside prefered choice. I like to try and use unique angles such as getting only half the car in the picture as normal 3/4 shots can get boring :giggle

 

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Please,if you all don't mind,let me add to all your fine comments and ideas.
Keeping in mind that I have only been doing this for a few months and have no formal training,probably what I have to say should be taken with a grain of salt.
First I think if one were to look at all the fine and some not so fine examples of model photography just here on this site,you will start to get an idea of what to "shoot" for with your photos..............
Next I would recommend that one should read all the excellent ideas and tips that can be found here and follow the links that many members have put into their posts.................
Going on to the next point I think that, that would have to be........use your camera to get to know what it can do and what it can not do.............
Practice.........Practice........Practice............
I am so glad that I have a digital camera for the mear fact of all the money it has saved me in NOT having to develop film to see how BAD my shots were........
I have taken thousands of shots,and have deleted thousands more..........
Also I would recommend a good editing program..........Ok.........heres a couple more thousand shots that go into the crapper.................. :lol
All and all,you will find that after the first shot that you develop into the one that makes you go "OH <no profanity> YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!" It will become as addicting as collecting your diecast models.......................
Thanks for the opportunity to share................ :cheers
Air
 

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