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Posted: 9/7/2005 4:14:34 PM EDT
Well I made my first attempt at taking some digital pics of my hardware. What tricks do you guys employ to get such great whole gun closeups? My pics look like the rifles are far away to get them in the whole frame.

Thanks in advance.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 4:24:30 PM EDT
Post a sample of what you're doing and it will be easier to give some help.
This is one I did real quick last weekend. Shot the pic on my kitchen table and used Photoshop to change the background. A simple uncluttered background actually makes a lot of difference. No one wants to see my dining room or kithen in the shot, and it makes the rifle look distant. Angle the rifle a bit to get it in a narrower frame. Stright into the side makes for too wide a shot.


Here is the original photo

Link Posted: 9/7/2005 4:27:25 PM EDT
If you want to post a pic, I'll be more than happy to walk you through some ideas.

Decent pictures are done through proper lighting, layout, and subject matter.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 4:32:46 PM EDT
Thanks for the help guys. As I'm sure you'll be able to tell very quickly I'm probably making every mistake in the book. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Link Posted: 9/7/2005 4:46:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 4:49:45 PM EDT by Stickman]
I'll comment a few quick things to get you going in the right direction.

Lets start with layout. Your picture is almost all wall, which is what you've already said you know is an issue. Instead of proping it up against the wall, consider laying out the ground at an angle. This will give you a more viewable area inside your picture. This also gets rid of having it be a straight line in the picture, and makes it less static. Anything in the middle of a pic is usually a no-go.

Next, lets think about subject matter. The weapon by itself doesn't say much, especially without a magazine. Lets think about putting a magazine in it, and maybe another mag somewhere in the picture. If not an extra mag, think about something else which goes with the weapon, but doesn't detract from the weapon itself.

Lastly, we need decent lighting. If you look at your picture, you can see areas that are dark and unevenly lit. Without even lighting, NO picture will ever look decent. It doesn't matter whatelse you do, without good light, you've got nothing. Natural lighting is almost always best. Shooting pictures on a cloudy day give great results. If you can't find a cloudy day, think about being out of direct sunlight.

Here is a basic simple picture. The lighting was natural light around 1100hrs inside my garage out of the direct sun. For a background, I used one of my desert night camo jackets. I positioned the weapon at an angle, and then used the mag pouch to creat a little more interest in the picture. Between the sling and mag pouch, I think it offsets the picture enough to give it a decent look.

I do NOT consider this a perfect picture, but it was quick to setup, easy to take, and required no playing around with a computer (aside from hosting).

Link Posted: 9/7/2005 4:46:31 PM EDT
The most important thing is good lighting. Avoid the indoors at night with heavy flash picture. Outside on a bright cloudy day is best. If you lay it on the ground, try elivating it up (balancing your gun on a spray can works) to separate it from the floor gives a nice effect.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 4:49:13 PM EDT
I like to use a simple background and natural light. To get more detail in your pic, use a photo editing program and crop out some of the edges of the photo to bring the subject in closer. I also just recently started converting my pics to B&W, I think it brings out more details.

Here are some of mine.

Link Posted: 9/7/2005 4:49:22 PM EDT
I must say Stickman does take some very nice photos.
Here's just a quick cleanup of yours. Cropping in reduces the distance effect. Then a bit of lighting fix and a warmer light feel.
Rifles photographed vertically most always look longer and distant. Shot horizontally or downward usually look best.

Link Posted: 9/7/2005 4:55:22 PM EDT
Wow, that made a huge difference. Thanks alot for the help guys. I'll practice some of your suggestions over the weekend and hopefully will be able to post a presentable pic of my Fulton Armory AR soon.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 5:03:24 PM EDT
I took the liberty of editing your M1A pic. I cropped the wall out, converted the image to B&W and lightened up the pic a bit with a digital flash. Just these simple tricks make the pic more interesting!

What do you think!

Link Posted: 9/7/2005 5:04:09 PM EDT
Good luck, once you get the hang of it, you will find its pretty easy. Digital pics make it nice and simple, you can shoot all you want, and simply delete that garbage.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 5:07:36 PM EDT
- Use a tripod (and a remote or a timer)

- Take your time...better to shoot one well-planned pic than a dozen bad ones

- Use indirect lighting (Overcast days with a bright gray sky is perfect for outdoor photos. Avoid using a flash) Bouce lighting off a nearby wall instead of pointing it right at the subject.

- Experiment with different types of indoor lighting for different "warmths"

- Keep it simple, if you want to add more, take your time to keep it uncluttered and well-composed.

- Don't feel as if you need to show the whole subject (sometime cropping works better)

- Use a tripod (and a remote or a timer)

Link Posted: 9/7/2005 5:15:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 5:17:11 PM EDT by WIZZO_ARAKM14]
Like mentioned above, you might try to angle the rifle towards you too.

I consider this pic the best one I've taken and I like it the most.

I'm no photographer, I just listened to the tips Stickman gave me and took a pic. This is totally un-photoshopped too.....because I don't have photoshop

Link Posted: 9/7/2005 5:19:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dragonfly228:
The most important thing is good lighting. Avoid the indoors at night with heavy flash picture. Outside on a bright cloudy day is best. If you lay it on the ground, try elivating it up (balancing your gun on a spray can works) to separate it from the floor gives a nice effect.

I absolutly love this pic........probably the nicest looking AR I've seen......made it my screensaver.....my wife thinks I'm nuts...
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 5:20:24 PM EDT
Stickman is right, garage out of direct midday sun gives very pleasant lighting, and a plain garage floor isn't bad as a background.

Link Posted: 9/7/2005 5:22:26 PM EDT
I'd be crazy not to tag this.

Link Posted: 9/7/2005 5:37:24 PM EDT
I'm not a big fan of adding accessories in a photo so I usually photograph just the weapon with a magazine inserted. When I'm going for detailed pics, I use a white background (white poster board) with LOTS of light. Using the camera setting, I even "overexpose" to add more detail to the weapon while "washing out" the background. Experiment with light and angle the weapon in the pic to make it more dynamic. Close up shots are usually more interesting than framing the entire weapon showing a table top or carpet. Showing feet/shoes in a photo will definately take attention away from your weapon.

The following pic (MK-760) is out of focus with excessive shadows, but the other photos below it came out better due to further practice and experimentation. Experiment and take lots of pics. You'll continue to get better results.

Link Posted: 9/7/2005 5:38:48 PM EDT
Some more of my favorites.

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