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Old March 3, 2007, 12:48 PM   #1
Playboypenguin
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Gun Pics - A "How To" of sorts.

I get e-mails all the time asking questiong like....
Quote:
OK so how the heck do you always take such damn good pictures of your guns. Are you a photographer or something? I want to be able to take good pitures like that.
So I thought I would answer that question here for all to see.

There is really no secret to it. All it takes is multiple light sources and a tripod. The pics below will testify to the unprofessional nature of my setup.

I do not have an elaborate setup or anything. I just use the bedside table in our guest room. I put the bedlamp to one side of the table, then I bring in a bedlamp from the other room and put it on the other side. Then I use a 500watt worklight directed at the ceiling for diffused lighting to fill in shadows (best if you have a white ceiling).

To give the guns a bit more of a diminsional feel I lift the gun slightly off the table by placing a small acrylic block (the ones I use to display my knife collection) under the back of the side plate or slide. I use a small piece of double stick foam tape to keep the gun fron sliding off the block.

Then make sure your flash is off on your camera and use a tripod to hold the camera steadily so that you can use a longer exposure time without getting a blury picture. When you take the pic make sure to use the timer function on the camera or the act of pushing the button will cause the camera to shake and blur the picture.

For outdoor pics use the same tripod method and either wait for an overcast day so the light is more diffused or use a reflective surface to redirect light from multiple angles.

I hope this helps.



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File Type: jpg Block.jpg (118.8 KB, 2997 views)

Last edited by Playboypenguin; March 3, 2007 at 09:07 PM.
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Old March 3, 2007, 12:52 PM   #2
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Here are examples of the results.







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Old March 3, 2007, 12:57 PM   #3
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These pics illustrate the difference between pics when a flash is used and when th slow exposure process of the tripod is used. Notice how much softer the one with no flash turns out. It is just a much better picture in my opinion. The flash also makes smaller dust particles and contaminants alot more visible.

With flash


Without flash/with tripod
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Last edited by Playboypenguin; March 3, 2007 at 01:45 PM.
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Old March 3, 2007, 01:01 PM   #4
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Good stuff!
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Old March 3, 2007, 02:12 PM   #5
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thanks....i never thought of putting the blocks under it with the tape, think that 1911's going up as my new computer background if ya don't mind.
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Old March 3, 2007, 03:17 PM   #6
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That's good unformation. What kind of camera and film do you use?
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Old March 3, 2007, 03:24 PM   #7
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Cool, thanks for the tip. Long overdue thread. I've always wanted to ask you in a PM, but I think my "Ask PlayboyPenguin a question" quota is about used up.

I wish I had a nice smooth tabletop as a backdrop. That's a great touch in your photos. All my fiance likes is the rustic stuff.

I really want to get a tripod now. What kind of camera do you use btw?
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Old March 3, 2007, 03:58 PM   #8
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It looks like lighting is the key. Thanks for enlightening us!
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Old March 3, 2007, 04:16 PM   #9
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Now we know your secrets on good photography. Thanks PP, I'll have to try it myself.......hpg
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Old March 3, 2007, 04:38 PM   #10
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Nice Cheetah!
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Old March 3, 2007, 05:10 PM   #11
Playboypenguin
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Quote:
think that 1911's going up as my new computer background if ya don't min
Feel free to do so...I would not mind at all. These ones I post are pretty low res. if you want a better quality version e-mail me and I will send you one.
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What kind of camera and film do you use?
I just use a sipmle Canon digital camera. The SD400 model.

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Old March 3, 2007, 10:51 PM   #12
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There's thinking like a real photog... Your setup is a great indoor shoot without as much $$ as it takes to do it the "real" way. The results you show are excellent examples. It doesn't take much.

Outside is a perfect shoot location when it is overcast. I love portrait days that happen on those overcast days. Less harshness in light and shadows, even though direct light and shadows are fun.

Thanks for sharing with the world.
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Old March 4, 2007, 01:37 AM   #13
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Hey Playboy, fun with photoshop!
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Old March 4, 2007, 01:59 AM   #14
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Hey Playboy, fun with photoshop!
Someone has way too much free time.
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Old March 4, 2007, 02:35 AM   #15
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PlayboyPenguin,

Thanks for sharing that information. I'd never considered using foam tape to keep the gun from sliding off the support -- another new trick!

Two more tips for aspiring shutterbugs.

Natural lighting is best if you can get it. With a digital camera, experiment by taking your shots near a window with the drapes open. Fill-in can be done using PP's method of bouncing light off a ceiling. If you have a helper, bouncing the light off white cardboard works and it can be aimed.

Flash - most digital flashes are too strong for close up shots, especially of stainless guns. But if you need the flash, try this experiment -- set your flash to it's lowest setting (if adjustable), then use a strip of 2-ply white tissue over the flash. You may need a 3rd or 4th ply, depending on your distance and flash. This acts as a diffuser of the flash. Simple tape at the edges to keep it in place.

A nice table top, like PP's end table, makes for a nice background. But don't worry too much about it being perfect. It can add character or flavor to the shot, especially if you add a few other items.


(M19 Shot in direct sunlight as an experiment)

For SAA's or BP revolvers, a cowboy hat or a pair of spurs sets a period mood. For a WW-II 1911, lay it on a leather flight jacket or next to some militaria items. Or you can just use what's at hand...


Model 58 and accessories
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Old March 4, 2007, 10:09 AM   #16
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Playboy, thanks for an inspiring thread. I have been playing with the camera all morning. What i have learned is that i need to spend more time cleaning be4 I take pics. LOL
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Old March 4, 2007, 10:18 AM   #17
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PP that was an excellent how to on still photography. Problem for me is my wife will kill me if take better pics of my guns than my kids. (thanks for the info)
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Old March 4, 2007, 11:03 AM   #18
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Very informative post, I always wondered how you guys were able to take such great pics.

I will have to work on mine.
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Old March 4, 2007, 01:19 PM   #19
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VoyagerAl

Great pic...now we just need to get you a Lead-Away cloth.
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Old March 4, 2007, 01:37 PM   #20
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"I just use a sipmle Canon digital camera. The SD400 model."

Thanks.
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Old March 4, 2007, 02:54 PM   #21
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I've got the Canon A520, which is a few notches below yours. Are you using the close-up MF setting(flower icon)?

One more: (Damn Beretta knows sex-appeal)
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Old March 4, 2007, 02:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Are you using the close-up MF setting(flower icon)?
No, I am just using the default setting (no icon) since I am staying a couple feet away and using the zoom.
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Old March 4, 2007, 05:13 PM   #23
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Thanks for the how 2. I think I may have to give it a shot .

Also I must say you have a great collection of guns. I am very jealous of your collection.

Take care
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Old March 5, 2007, 02:45 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedley
Damn Beretta knows sex-appeal
Hehe, got that right, that's sigworthy. Nice job with PS.
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Old March 5, 2007, 07:02 AM   #25
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Ive found that if you have something else in the picture besides the gun it makes the photo more interesting.

http://www.pbase.com/1goodshot/image/74744269
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