View Full Version : Behind the photo contest...

Shadi Khalil
June 9, 2008, 04:48 PM
First off, thanks to all the mod's and members who got this thing up and running. I just threw the idea out there and hoped it would work out. Well so far so good. I went through the thread today and all I can say is, wow! It seems some of our members are real talents behind the lens but havent had a chance to really showcase what they can do. I'm glad we are finally seeing it!

I wanted to to open this thread to let people discuss their photos since the photo thread has a limited text rule. Where did you take your pic? What kind of camera are you using? Any special tricks you use? and most importantly, what made you choose the gun you photograped for the contest? Anything else about your photo you want to tell us about, please...

Thanks again to everyone!


June 9, 2008, 05:23 PM
I'll bite

Camera: Canon Powershot A570 IS w/ a cheap tripod

I took this particular photo on my parents' dinner table, with some decent overhead lighting. I didn't really do anything very imaginative with lighting or anything, I just got the guns out and had a nice photoshoot. I messed around a little bit with the shutter speed and the aperture settings, but other than that I basically just pointed and shot. I chose to show the two handguns because they're the only two I own at the moment.

Shadi Khalil
June 9, 2008, 05:32 PM
Its a great pic of some really nice guns wolfman.

June 9, 2008, 05:41 PM

I've got a bunch from that shoot. It took me a little while to decide which one to use...they're all good.

June 9, 2008, 06:37 PM
Ric902 - now that's a gun!

Give spec's please.


June 10, 2008, 07:00 PM
First off, great idea on the photo contest teifman! I think it's off to a good start and hopefully the interest will keep it up and running for a long time. I think we'll see a big difference in the quality of pics a few months down the road as people get more competitive and creative. If the ones in there now are the "starting point", I can't wait to see what we end up with later on!

As far as my gun, it's my first (and currently only) 1911. It's a Kimber Gold Combat Stainless II. After pouring over so many manufacturer's, I kept being drawn back to this one and couldn't be more pleased. I've wanted a 1911 since I was a teenager and finally got it two years ago. It only took me 24 years LOL! It's one of my favorite guns I own and I think largely due to the fact of wanting one for so long. It was also a photo I had previously taken and I knew I wouldn't be taking any more pictures before the deadline for this month. I also wanted to help get that thread up and running as quickly as possible.

First off, I'm going to thank Playboy Penguin for sparking my interest in taking photos of my guns. After seeing his photos and the tips he offered, it made me get off my duff and start experimenting and I've really enjoyed doing this so far.

I definitely don't have any "special" setup. I take all my pictures in my basement where I also dabble in taxidermy on the side. I had to have good lighting to do the taxidermy as shadows could really be misleading in both the mounting/finishing process. I found this also works pretty good for pictures. This picture shows the area which is roughly 12'x15'. I have 8 flourescent shoplights plus a couple of standard bulbs. It's bright.

I put this dropcloth around the stairwell as in the winter it could get rather cold. This helped hold in the heat when I ran my kerosene heaters. I found it also provides good reflective light for pictures. This is where I set up for my shots.

Now don't get discouraged if you aren't capable of setting something like this up or what Playboy has done with the box he made. You can take great pictures outside on an overcast day. This will work equally well.

As far as my camera goes, it's a Sony Cybershot DSC-H7. It can be bought for under $300 and has a multitude of features. I'm still learning what all it can do but it will definitely make an amateur look like a pro. The nice thing about this camera is it is 8.1 megapixel. You can zoom in on the photo and you don't lose the detail, especially when you enlarge the picture. I take multiple pictures, mess with the settings (flash, macro, speed, etc.) and then see what turns out best. I also check out different digital photography forums and read books. Any editing I do is usually just cropping or auto adjust. I don't do anything else. In a nutshell, get as many megapixels ALONG with features you can afford when buying a camera. I would also be willing to sacrifice some megapixels for features as you will have more versatility and creativeness with the latter.

For the backdrops, I use picture frame mat board found at any art and craft store and usually on sale. You do have to be a little more careful with this as it can show scratches/blemishes more than the poster board PBP uses. He's the one that gave me this idea as once again, I always liked how his photo's turned out. I ended up buying 8 or 9 different colors and experiment with what looks best. These are also white on the back so I essentially get two colors. If I'm just doing a gun alone, I like for it to "pop" at the viewer. If I'm doing more of a composition, I like things to blend and flow yet still have that subtle "pop". This probably comes from the taxidermy and doing habitat bases, dioramas, etc.

Of course, you can use anything you want for a backdrop or setting. A deer hide and antlers tie in nicely with my Ruger Single Six or deer rifle but look out of place with my Kimber. Some of the pictures I used my leather coat. I've seen ones with denim coats that also looked nice. If using a coat or fabric, bunch it up some to give it depth and "character". Don't be afraid to experiment with backdrops as you never know what you'll stumble upon. Of course, I like doing composition photos the best as I feel they tell a story so to speak.

I also get a lot of my ideas from forums like these and seeing various poster's photos. Like everyone else, I read a lot of gun rags, visit their websites and get their catalogs. Much of their photography is outstanding and gives you a good foundation on what your looking for. I still have much to learn but have improved greatly over the past year. I owe a lot of gratitude to PBP and his pics for guiding me. Try different things, experiment with effects, angles and backdrops and who knows what you'll discover.

Sorry for the long post :o.