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Photography Practice


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#1 Kilroy

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 04:33 PM

I've been trying to learn how to take good pictures. It's hard, I don't have a real professional set up. I was using a Canon Rebel T3i with a tripod, a lamp reflecting off the ceiling and some different backgrounds. I realized I should've cleaned the black background because all the cat and dog hair can be seen.

 

Anyways, constructive criticism is appreciated.

 

Manhattan Firearms .36 cal pistol. This was made in 1862 and has been in my family for probably 100 years. It was a sidearm for a family member who was a police officer in Wisconsin:

 

 

IMG_4946wm_zps7w8bs3ny.jpg

 

My Ruger 10/22 suppressed SBR. I call it my 'zombie gun'. I made the stock myself by butchering a factory stock, adding the pistol grip and AK underfolding stock:

 

 

IMG_4942wm_zpsu7kiqwgk.jpg

 

1944 Remington Rand M1911A1:

 

 

IMG_4939wm_zpsudt3cys5.jpg

 

IMG_4936wm_zpspj9y6bng.jpg

 

1943 Remington M1903A4:

 

 

IMG_4933wm_zpsrqx8ep5w.jpg

 

M1928A1 Auto Ordnance Thompson SMG:

 

 

IMG_4928wm_zpsfjdfofvx.jpg

IMG_4924wm_zps6vqvbnzr.jpg

IMG_4921wm_zpscj3iyyvz.jpg

IMG_4911wm_zpsyu8o7asc.jpg

IMG_4892wm_zpstmjy44r7.jpg

 

*added info... hmm some of these seem to be a lot darker then they were on my computer since I uploaded them to photobucket. Odd?


Edited by Kilroy, 29 January 2015 - 03:39 PM.

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#2 Sandman1957

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 06:49 PM

Great Photos!


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#3 aalbert

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 09:27 PM

I am assuming you are using a tripod for these shots, if not, I would start there, as the rest of the suggestions require one.

 

Add a little more depth of field to your shots by using a high F-Stop, which will give you a better depth of field so that the whole gun is in focus. You can use calculators like http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html to see how much DOF you will have with a given lens at a given distance.

 

Your lighting is pleasant, but you need a longer exposure... Set your camera to aperture priority mode, and select an ISO of 400 or less (T2i/T3i gets noisy past 800 in my opinion). When using a tripod, you can give yourself several seconds to half a minute exposure, depending on what your light meter says.... I would suggest bracketing the shot (by shooting 1.5 stops higher and 1.5 stops lower)... this will give you a few shots to play with, and material to make a HDR / Fusion shot (go light on the cooking when you do this -- overcooked images look funky).

 

Experiment with white poster board to reflect light into a shot ... the reverse can be done with black poster board.

 

Clean the hell out of your background - 5 min ahead of time, will save 5 min per shot in cleaning things up.

 

If you don't have a copy of Adobe Lightroom, and plan on shooting a lot, then I would get a copy... There are a lot of image adjusting options as well as cleanup tools available.

 

As a T2i and 6D owner, I can also recommend the following site - http://www.t2iforum.com as a good resource for additional information.


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#4 Kilroy

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 12:54 PM

Thanks for all the information, there's a lot for me to digest.

I had the ISO set to 200 for most of the shots and I tried going up and down with the F/stop trying to find a happy place. I was using a tripod and many of the pictures had a several second exposure. My lens is the factory 18-55mm lens.

Excuse my ignorance because I'm still learning even the basics of the camera. Is the light meter the +\- adjustment? If so on many of the shots I had to dial that back to -1.5 to -2.5 because otherwise the shots would be very washed out.

I was admiring your threads that you started and you have a very serious set up and your pictures come out great.
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#5 gunhistorian

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 07:42 PM

This doesn't specifically address your questions, but you might re-think using the black background.  Quite a few years ago -- in the late '50s or early '60s -- the American Rifleman had an article on how to photograph firearms.  If I remember correctly, one of the recommended set-ups was an opaque plastic (probably glass -- like a shower door -- at that time) on saw-horses with both lighting underneath and from either end of the long sides.  At least with a digital camera, you can fool around without worrying about the cost of color film.  And the Adobe photo software really is a tremendous help, though I used PhotoShop Elements.  (I get  impatient trying to learn these new fangled programs!)


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#6 Kilroy

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 03:42 PM

World War I Winchester M97 Trench Gun with Winchester bayonet and a early M1 helmet (stainless steel rim, front seem fixed bales) holding her up:
 
 
IMG_5441wm_zpsrgs6j32x.jpg
 
F-Stop - f/10
Exposure - 3.2 seconds

Exposure bias: +1

ISO - 200

Edited by Kilroy, 29 July 2017 - 06:44 PM.

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#7 j.hayes1942

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 07:20 PM

You're doing great. Try a lighter colored background than black, but white can be a problem. Take some more shots and post them.   jh


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#8 Kilroy

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 11:19 AM

Here's another. I couldn't figure out how to get the background to come out crisp?

IMG_5491wm_zpsdqrl6p5x.jpg

 

F-Stop - f/10

Exposure - 1/6 second

Exposure bias: 0

ISO - 200


Edited by Kilroy, 12 April 2016 - 04:58 PM.

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#9 dalbert

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 12:27 PM

Kilroy,

 

Depth of field is what you should experiment with.  You should use a smaller aperture for a longer exposure time, which will probably require a tripod.  That will bring the background, and some features of the items into focus, such as blade front sight.

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com


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#10 Kilroy

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 01:20 PM

David,

Thanks for the advice. I was messing with the aperture going from the low end to the high end. I could get it all the way down to 3.5 on my camera. Since I didn't know exactly what I was doing I would take several of the same picture with different aperture sizes. I have been using the manual focus on the majority of the pictures and the pictures I tried taking today (the Colt M1917 and the M1918 trench knife) but I didn't realize the focus was a bit off and most of the pictures with the small aperture came out blurred.

This picture I took outside on my patio table and I was having a problem with shadows. I actually set the camera up on a delay and after I started the timer I held up a towel to create eliminate the brightness and the shadows.
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#11 Kilroy

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 01:58 PM

David, here is that same picture. It's later in the day so the sun has moved and the shadows weren't as bad but I still had to hold up the towel to completely prevent the shadows. Using a tripod my settings are:

ISO 200
F/stop 3.5
Exposure: 1/40

Yields this picture:

IMG_5496wm_zpsckzc2vpl.jpg
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#12 dalbert

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 02:09 PM

Kilroy,

 

You're going to need more than a 3.5 f-stop to create more depth of field with the available light.  In my opinion, it you can get that up to about a 9 f-stop,, you will have better depth of field.  3.5 is on the low end of many lenses, which means that the aperture is probably almost all the way open.  You need the aperture smaller to produce more depth of field, which requires more light, and/or longer exposure.

 

Try F9 at about 1/15 of a second or slower...

 

David


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#13 Kilroy

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 02:16 PM

David,

The first attempt at that picture the f/stop was set to 10 with an exposure of 1/10 second. The lens I am using is the facotry lense the camera came with which is I'm sure nothing special.

On another subject, is there a way to go about changing my user name? I picked 'Kilroy' because I wanted something cool and World War II related, I'm kind of over it.
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#14 dalbert

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 04:30 PM

OK, then crank it up to F19 or 22, and see what you get with a much longer exposure.

 

I can edit your display name, if you let me know what you want it to be...I can do it with, or without changing your login name.

 

David


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#15 Kilroy

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 12:14 PM

David,

I borrowed a 'better' lens from someone I work with. He said that my lens was limiting me and he made a big deal about the lens I borrowed from him being an 'L' glass lens. Here is the same shot of the M1917 Colt and M1918 Trench knife using a bigger aperture. I get confused easily and when you suggested using a higher f/stop I went down with the f/stop because that makes the aperture bigger, right? Anyways, this photo I believe I am using a f16.

IMG_5615wm_zps2wjt3wah.jpg

 

F-Stop - f/13

Exposure - 1/2 seconds

Exposure bias: -.07

ISO - 100


Then here are some M1 Garands for fun:

IMG_5697wm_zpsnxrpi79h.jpg

 

F-Stop - f/6.3

Exposure - 6 seconds

Exposure bias: -1

ISO - 200

IMG_5726wm_zpsf6jmgn6s.jpg

 

F-Stop - f/13

Exposure - 30 seconds

Exposure bias: 0

ISO - 100


I also remade that 10/22 stock in my first post because I tried improving it but ruined it. In this rendition I used the folding stock components from a reproduction M1A1 Carbine stock and ended up with this:

IMG_5619wm_zps0j9dz6at.jpg

 

F-Stop - f/6.3

Exposure - 6 seconds

Exposure bias: -1.7

ISO - 100


I'm still having problems where the pictures look much better on my computer and then after I upload them to photobucket they lose their quality and they are darker than they are on my desktop? I guess that's a free photo hosting service for you...


Edited by Kilroy, 12 April 2016 - 04:55 PM.

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#16 dalbert

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 03:28 PM

The larger the f-stop number, the smaller the aperture, and greater depth of field. More light is required to take pictures at higher f-stops. The smaller the f-stop number, the larger the aperture, and the greater the light gathering will be, however depth of field will be less.

David
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#17 Kilroy

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 03:06 PM

I'm really not getting the whites to come out like I want them to. But I should consider this real good considering my poor set up.

 
IMG_6265_zpsuhypu0ze.jpg

 

F-Stop - f/5.6

Exposure - 15 seconds

Exposure bias: +1

ISO - 200


Edited by Kilroy, 12 April 2016 - 04:49 PM.

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#18 Fussbudget

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 06:03 PM

Wow nice pics.

Valuable info in this thread thanks so much.


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#19 aalbert

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 08:59 PM

I'm really not getting the whites to come out like I want them to. But I should consider this real good considering my poor set up.

 

 

 

You will probably need to take the image to Lightroom / Photoshop and whiten up the background.. If you have more lights, you can also try to give the background a brighter exposure, while keeping the gun more neutral.


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#20 Kilroy

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 05:52 AM

I don't have any real photo editing software on my computer but I did this with my phone. I think I like this better.

762F3F85-E8C9-4C46-94B3-4CE3416FAA0B_zps
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