photographing (Scale!!) models

Post anything here to do with Model Railway Photography

Moderator: saslord

User avatar
blooregard
Posts: 494
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:23 am
Location: Manchester

photographing (Scale!!) models

Postby blooregard » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:37 am

Gents,

I have seen some excellent photographs on this site that people have taken of their own layouts\models.

Everything I take seems to either take on a "warm quality" (when lit by my table lamp) or is over exposed by the flash. What kind of lighting should I use? Is there any settings (in addition to Macro) I should select on my camera?
Punctured bicycle on a hillside desolate.

User avatar
GeoFF03
Posts: 410
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:09 pm
Location: At my computer near Sunderland

Re: photographing (Scale!!) models

Postby GeoFF03 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:00 am

I have the same problems when it comes to lighting. The best results are always from when I can use natural lighting (bit of a problem for those that have a loft layout). Rather than using ordinary light bulbs, it may be worth trying some of the "day light" or LCD types, I'm considering the latter but they aren't cheap. If your camera has manual settings it may be worth playing around with the white balance settings also

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 10772
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: photographing (Scale!!) models

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:12 am

Best light is from "daylight bulbs/tubes" and plenty of it. If you are photographing your layout try to arrange for shadows to fall along the board not on the backscene. Signals/telegraph poles casting shadows on the sky, just don't look right. I have a viaduct 100mm from the backscene and have to use a fill in light to obliterate its shadow.
Use a tripod or some form of clamp system to hold the camera steady, keep the aperture small and the exposure long. Experiment with the "speed" for best resolution.
My "fill in lamp" isn't some expensive bit of photographic kit it's a £3.99 parasol light (for those long warm evenings on the patio :roll: ). It has a hole in the middle to go around the pole and three rings of switchable LEDs. It gives more light than the similar looking thing my stepson bought to go around his lens hood, which cost ten times as much.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

Lofty

Re: photographing (Scale!!) models

Postby Lofty » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:27 am

Lots of hints and tips on this site: Clich here

User avatar
blooregard
Posts: 494
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:23 am
Location: Manchester

Re: photographing (Scale!!) models

Postby blooregard » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:07 pm

Thanks chaps,

Centurion, that site is excellent. My layout is in the loft so I think I also need to install extra lighting and mess with the settings on my Camera (bought on a whim at the airport and too advanced for me).
Punctured bicycle on a hillside desolate.

ParkeNd
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: photographing (Scale!!) models

Postby ParkeNd » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:53 am

This is a surprisingly specialised form of photography and people like CN have amazing skills. Despite photography being a major hobby for me my train layout pictures are amongst my worst.

Depth of field limitations and even lighting (rather than colour temperature which can be simply modified by a slider in software) have been my problems.

The depth of field I am managing by standing back (depth of field is a function of viewpoint only) and then cropping in on the photo after the event.

For even lighting I am going to try a reflector next time like my unused sheet of Dahler board. Lots of folk use a light tent made from something like A4 paper sheets for photographing a single model car or loco.

Flash looks really ugly and for reasons I can't explain shows up every tiny defect you hadn't previously noticed.

User avatar
Catweasel
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:12 pm

Re: photographing (Scale!!) models

Postby Catweasel » Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:23 am

A little tip when using flash. If using the standard pop up flash on the camera, a piece cut from the handle of a plastic milk carton (i.e.4 pint) and cut length ways will fit on the flash and take out the glare. Like wise, if an after market flash gun, a similar trick performed on the bottom of a translucent bottle will work as well. Pay for a diffuser or not. No brainer.

ParkeNd
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: photographing (Scale!!) models

Postby ParkeNd » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:30 am

Catweasel wrote:A little tip when using flash. If using the standard pop up flash on the camera, a piece cut from the handle of a plastic milk carton (i.e.4 pint) and cut length ways will fit on the flash and take out the glare. Like wise, if an after market flash gun, a similar trick performed on the bottom of a translucent bottle will work as well. Pay for a diffuser or not. No brainer.


Even bounced flash with a £200 flashgun and a Stofen diffuser doesn't look natural to me. Full frame digital with natural light has been best but needs some improvement.

User avatar
NakatsuHime
Posts: 261
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:52 pm

Re: photographing (Scale!!) models

Postby NakatsuHime » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:23 am

I've only just begun building my layout, so currently, any pictures are of the 'Today, I have mostly been... ' type.

It's depth of field, or sometimes lack of, that my pictures suffer from, but using a mobile phone has these drawbacks. I do have a proper digital camera, but not one with interchangeable lenses.

I'll need to work on this, as I do like ground-level shots.

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 10772
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: photographing (Scale!!) models

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:46 am

Depth of field and exposure are inextricably linked. Depth of field increases as aperture size decreases. Exposre decrease with a decrease in aperture size. Using the smallest possible aperture with as much natural or artificial daylight as needed can produce sharply focused images with a great depth of field from a poor lens, or even no lens at all. I had a physics master who would demonstrate this, by putting small groups in the windowless store room, the door to which which was opposite a large south facing window, the keyhole serving as the aperture and the white painted wall the screen.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

User avatar
ElDavo
Posts: 547
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:52 pm
Location: Winchester, UK
Contact:

Re: photographing (Scale!!) models

Postby ElDavo » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:00 pm

A tripod and looooonnnnnggggggggg exposures are the key. Flash always looks wrong. Biggest 'f' number your camera can manage and trigger the exposure using the timer also helps. There are also several free bits of software that can do focus stacking to help with depth of field.

Have fun.

Cheers
Dave


Return to “Model Railway Photography”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest