Taking Better Model Pictures: Fun with f-stop!


Guiddy
09-24-2001, 04:27 PM
I know I have to increase the F-Stop or aperture to get the focus across the full length of the model, but that seems to give this pinky washed out look!
You guys who take good photos, how do you do it, namely Lau bak and the guy who has the Digital hobby site!

http://www.sup.ee.es.osaka-u.ac.jp/~kaname/digitalhobby.html

Here is a normal pic, the camera set to auto, and an F-stop of about 2.4.

Notice how the front is out of focus, but the colour good!

Guiddy
09-24-2001, 04:29 PM
Now with this one, the field of depth is better, an F-stop of 5 is used, but the colour is washy now!

Twist
09-24-2001, 05:55 PM
Well, I don't know much about taking photos of car models. but you want to match up your f-stop (apeture) and film speed with the lighting. If you're doing this outside, (which I'd do since you get the full spectrum of colors) put your f-stop on 5.6 or whatever is closest. then mess with your film speed. normal speed is 125 or 250. The more light you have, the higher that number. The less light the lower the number. Find the light meter (off to the side when you're looking through the lightmeter) and match up the wand (your current settings) with the light wand (how much light is really coming in). If you match those up, you should have good range of colors and good focus.

Note: If you decide to take a photo on a speed of 60 or below, you have to be really still. But the camera on a desk or something elsewise (I know it ain't a word!) the picture gets blurry.

If you're using a digital camera, then take as many photos as you can. It's not that expensive afterall. Standard camera's are more expensive. It's a lot like modeling, the only way you really figure out how do something is to do it yourself.

P10DET
09-25-2001, 12:19 AM
Changing the f-stop is not your problem. One of two things is going on here. Either your exposure is wrong in the second photo or the printer just duffed the printing. It's kind of hard for me to tell which.

Look at your negatives. They should all have about the same density. If not, your exposure was different. If they have the same density, the printer screwed up.

Shutter speeds and f-stops have a 1:1 relationship. As you close your f-stop one stop, you change your shutter speed one setting slower.

Your camera's light meter should handle that for you just fine. I see nothing in the photos that should through the light meter off. Did you have a partly cloudy day when you took those photos? If so, you could have taken one while the sun was obscured by clouds and the other while the sun was uncovered. While the density overall would be the same, the hightlights would be brighter.

Your best bet is to shoot in "open shade." IOW, the car is in the shade, but light by diffuse light from the sky. That will give you even lighting.

I could probably tell you more, but I'd have to look at the negatives unfortunately.

P10DET
09-25-2001, 12:21 AM
Taking another look, it looks like it may be a combination of two things.....

It looks like indeed it was a partly cloudy day. The washed out photo appears to have more defined shadows under the car.

The other is that I think the printer just blew it. You should have it printed darker. I think that would solve the majority of the problem.

Guiddy
09-25-2001, 03:41 AM
I should state that those pictures were taken with a Fuji film 4900 Zoom 4.3 megapixel digital camera.

It has full manual control, so most tips can be carried across from SLR to Digi.

I'll have a play today...

Thanks for the tips guys!

hirofkd
09-30-2001, 11:33 AM
It appears to me that the second picture is over exposed. Since F is increased, the speed has to be shortened, isn't it?

Hiroaki Fukuda
Sports and Race Car Modeling Page (has been moved to...)
http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~xr2h-fkd/scalemodels/index.html

Guiddy
09-30-2001, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by hirofkd
It appears to me that the second picture is over exposed. Since F is increased, the speed has to be shortened, isn't it?

Hiroaki Fukuda
Sports and Race Car Modeling Page (has been moved to...)
http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~xr2h-fkd/scalemodels/index.html

So I need to speed the film up or the shutter speed?

I don't think I can adjust the shutter speed on the camera, one thing is adjusted and then the other compensated if you see what I mean!

I can change the film speed though!

And I see you have updated your site! Superb, that will keep me occupied for the next hour!!!:D

Jay!
10-12-2001, 06:33 PM
How far from the subject is the camera for those pics, Guiddy?

Guiddy
10-13-2001, 01:27 AM
About 10 inches! Manual focus too!

Jay!
10-13-2001, 01:48 AM
Originally posted by Guiddy
About 10 inches! Manual focus too! Wow! I think I'm going to go steal my dad's SLR camera. My automatic camera won't even let me take a pic from less than 4 feet! :mad:

Jay!
10-13-2001, 03:28 PM
I found another site with some pretty good photos to drool over:

http://homepage1.nifty.com/deckar/f-car-mokuji.html

Look at the engine on the R390!!! :eek: Wow!

Guiddy
10-13-2001, 04:14 PM
Another site for the list of favourites!:D

Some nice kits, and a good collection!
The R390 comes like that from Tamiya, some great stuff!
I have a transkit for mine which makes the detail out of this world, but a bit daunting!
One for a week off work I feel!
Nice one Jay, I enjoyed that!

LauBak
10-14-2001, 03:35 AM
I think you've set a wrong white balance. I can see the whole pic was in a blue tone, especially the second one.

I usually use small apeture (mainly F8 for me) and auto shutter in sunlight. Manual setting of white balance is very important too. Those auto setting suck. A reflecting board can always be helpful there.

Photoshop is a important final stage, too. I used to blur the background and adjust the light effects.

Oh I forgot to say, the background choice is most important. But how? Just imagine you are the man with 2 inch in height, and look at the BG!

Guiddy
10-14-2001, 07:11 AM
I don't think I have that much control on my digicam! It isn't bad, but it isn't THAT good!

Guiddy
10-14-2001, 07:14 AM
Originally posted by Guiddy
I don't think I have that much control on my digicam! It isn't bad, but it isn't THAT good!

NO! I lie! I am reading the instructions and my digcam rocks!
I'll have a play alter when the drizzle stops!:rolleyes:

Jay!
11-23-2001, 08:56 PM
Ughhh!!!! :mad: I'm glad modeling is my hobby, and not photography! :cry: :(

So many of the pics I took are like the first that Guiddy posted. The near end of the car is in focus, but the far end is totally blurry.

It's even worse when the focus falls in the center of the car, so the side mirror is in focus, but both the front and back ends are out of focus. :eek:

I went all throught the manual, and it said that a lower aperature would increase the field of depth, but in Guiddy's example, and with the numbers that Lau posted, it seems to be working the other way!

Oh, jeez... this is so confusing! :confused:

D16 V-TEC
11-23-2001, 10:35 PM
Increasing the depth of field is what you want to do, but that requires a smaller aperature, not a lower aperature. To get the full depth of field you want to use the smallest aperature your camera is equipped with, or the largest number you can set it to (usually 24 is the highest and 2.5 is the lowest) but for something as small as a model car you could probably get away setting your aperature to 16 (im forgetting the photo lingo). This will result in your whole subject being in focus compared to what it would look like using a larger aperature size. By decreasing the depth of field, your point of focus is much smaller (hence the mirrors being in focus and the front and tail out of focus). But that tactic might be cool in some macro shots of the engine of interior, but that is, of course, coming from a photographer's stand point ;). As you can see, my hobby is photography going into car modelling ;). Hope this helped.

Jay!
11-23-2001, 10:40 PM
Thanks, that's exactly what I was missing. I thought the lower number was what I wanted. :bloated: I guess that's why it didn't make sense above.

Tell me what "macro" really means in this context. I thought I knew, but now am lost once again! :(

Now I just have to get my Dad's camera again... :rolleyes:

Edit: Quote from NSX thread:
Originally posted by D16 V-TEC
2) Shutter speed is dependent on the amount of light in the area you are photographing. If you know how to operate your light meter, just adjust the shutter speed accordingly :D.Do you suppose I could just adjust the aperature and leave the shutter speed on 'auto'? That's how I took the NSX pics you already say, and the light seems fine...

D16 V-TEC
11-23-2001, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by jay@af
Thanks, that's exactly what I was missing. I thought the lower number was what I wanted. :bloated: I guess that's why it didn't make sense above.

Tell me what "macro" really means in this context. I thought I knew, but now am lost once again! :(

Now I just have to get my Dad's camera again... :rolleyes:

Yea.. :rolleyes: as I said, I am a little rusty on my terminology, but a macro shot, if you were to take one of a model car, would be using a macro lense (not sure of the lense size :( ) to take a very close up shot, of lets say the spark plug cover of the engine, with it being in very crisp focus but the rest of the bay, especially things deeper down and closer up (however, I'm not sure what would be higher up on a modern car) would be very blurry. It would make quite a dynamic shot, especially on one of those drags racers with all the little wiring and stuff.

EDIT REGARDING YOUR EDIT;) : Yea, the lighting on your pics was just dandy, so if you have an auto function, by all means, use it. It will just make life easier for you. :p

Jay!
11-23-2001, 10:59 PM
I think I understand what you mean about the macro shots. I tried something like that to shoot the dash through the window, but because of my focus problems, it turned out like crap! :(

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