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  1. #31
    Really Senior Member Bizio's Avatar
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    Really Senior Member Seaforth72's Avatar
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    BACKGROUND - Think like a sniper and be aware of your gun's background. Clutter distracts from the main subject matter. Try standing back from your computer and looking at the photo. Is the firearm clearly and obviously discernible?

    If your photo is to set a mood to show off your babies in context, then a flag background, army or hunting vehicle or camouflage parachute material, possibly with a helmet, web gear and ammo are great. They are like calendar photos, but they require the viewer to study them and the details of the gun may not be obvious. If on the other hand the purpose of your photo is to sell a gun, and or share technical detail such as markings, then a simple background is best. As we used to say in the military, KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. Think of targets. A paper target on a range is clear and uncluttered and you are drawn to it right away. A deer in the bush is a lot harder to make out and count the points on his antlers.

    So many gun owners photograph their guns on couches, beds and on kitchen tables. They do not think too much about the background. The simplest thing is on the floor, on a PLAIN background such as a one colour (color) , light coloured (colored) carpet. Another simple idea is to take an old bed sheet (if you are a bachelor who loves the smell of gun oil at night you may use a new bed sheet). Draping the sheet over some furniture hides the empty beer cans and if you continue the sheet out onto the floor you create a neutral background for your long arm.

    Check the background for distracting elements such as furniture legs, cat paws, clutter on the floor ... and if you are going to include your toes, please wash your feet first.

    OUTSIDE LIGHTING - If photographing outside, as mentioned by others, an overcast day is usually best, for the three Gs - guns, girls and grandchildren. The overcast light does not create the harsh shadows that a bright sunny day does and the ladies are not squinting. Remember this if you are photographing a beautiful woman holding your (or her) rifle. Think of the famous Lee Harvey Oswald photo taken of him holding his rifle in his backyard. The shadows made it harder to analyze the rifle details.

    FOCUSSING AND SPOT METERING - If you are using a cellphone camera such as an iPhone, they often allow you to touch the screen to select the spot you want the camera to focus on and expose for. This is handy for markings and details in dark areas. If for example you are photographing the follower in an M1icon Garand while the rifle is assembled, focus and meter on just the follower (iPhone touch the screen for that spot or DSLR camera set for spot metering). The result should be a brighter follower and so what if the surrounding background is brighter than usual? You can crop some of it out if necessary. Remember that a camera averages what it sees. This is why photography on a snowy day often looks grey. You sometimes gave to override that function to get the exposure that you want. This is especially important if you are photographing a "black rifle".

    WATCH YOUR SHADOW - as you are taking the photos. Remember to look around the viewfinder to see if your shadow or the shadow of the camera intrude into the image. If so change your position. Move the camera back and/or move around so that the light is not behind you.

    WATCH THE GUN SHADOWS - The shadows cast by the gun sometimes make it hard to tell where the gun ends and the shadows begin. Extra light shone on the darkest areas can help. Another option is to lift the gun away from the background. This can be as simple as using a rifle cleaning stand or something that does not appear in the image to distract the viewer. For a small item such as a Derringer, placing a sheet of clean glass on some bricks (which are out of the camera's view) can make the gun float in the air with no distracting shadows. In this case, lighting from the sides at about 45 degrees can work well, then one avoids reflections from the glass. Angled lighting can show texture better. Markings are more legible with side lighting.

    AVOID KEYSTONE EFFECT - Long guns are more difficult to photograph than pistols. They are best photographed at right angles usually. If they are photographed from one end, your Garand will be saying to you "Does my butt look too big?" Any married or divorced man will tell you that is not a good situation to be in. Having said that, deliberate keystone effect can work at times, e.g. Photographing your "Ma Deuce" (M2HB) .50 cal from the muzzle end.

    SIMILAR PRINCIPLES TO SHOOTING A GUN - Bracing, trigger squeeze, follow-through. Do these sound familiar? Shooting photos is a lot like shooting bullets.

    CHECK YOUR PHOTOS BEFORE POSTING THEM - As mentioned by others:
    If it is blurry, discard the photo and reshoot. Unlike the old days of 35mm, digital images are "free".
    Crop out distractions such as feet, price tags and furniture.
    Basic photo editing (even iPhone has rotation, crop, brightness editing etc. these days)
    Reduce photo size. Computers display well at 72 dots per inch (DPI).

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  5. #33
    Member jeffjmr's Avatar
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    Great tips here. Thanks. Any suggestions on how to avoid how some forum sites that despite every editing effort on your iPhone or computer, the site still displays the picture upside down?

    Jeff

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    Member dokcop's Avatar
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    Cameras

    Can anyone make a recommendation for a reasonably priced camera to take good photos of long guns (M1993s and M1s). My cellphone camera ain't getting it done. Any info appreciated. Dokcop.

  7. #35
    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    I think that you need to decide what sort of money you wish to pay for a camera first. You say "reasonably priced" but that is a matter of opinion. I paid somewhere around £250, several years ago, for my digital camera which I considered reasonably priced for a reasonably good camera but others may consider expensive while some may wish to pay more to get a better camera.


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