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Thread: Mad Gun Photo Skillz!

  1. #1
    Merchant of Death (Admin)
    straightgrain's Avatar
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    Default Mad Gun Photo Skillz!

    I ain't gotz 'em. :(

    But some of you do. I mean, some of you can take the most amazing pictures of your HK's. Gonna turn this thread into a sticky so that members can use this as a resource to learn how to take better pictures of their stuff. I'm hoping that folks will be willing to contribute their techniques and ideas on:
    • Equipment
    • Lighting
    • Backdrop
    • Static shots
    • Action shots
    • Technique (speed, color balance, etc.)
    • Retouching (Photoshop rules the world...)
    If I don't get some help, all of my long gun shots are still going to look like a fat stick on the floor with my feet in the way! Help!
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  2. #2
    Moderator
    Landpimp's Avatar
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    THANK YOU! for this thread, i have poor gun pic skills, cars I am great with, guns.....about the same as you, but working on it.

    hard to stick a pile of HK long guns in a Litebox :D

  3. #3
    Unrepentant HKHolic
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    <-- Freelance published photographer. I'll post up some tips later this weekend. Guns is basically similar to macro photography. Key is using diffused light and not a straight on flash on the camera.
    -[ MueveloNYC's P2000/sk FAQ ]- . . MNYC's NYC Gun FAQ
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  4. #4
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    Oh Thank You God for this sticky! I have this great point and shoot digital and still I take crappy pics. Please help! My guns need to be shown off! :D

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I am no expert by any means, but I used to do some photography several years ago.
    This is what I do...
    1. Shoot in the shade, or on an overcast day. This gives you good diffused lighting. Harsh light really can ruin a pic sometimes.
    2. Focus on your subject, fill the frame up with it.
    3. Take out distracting things in the background. Make your subject be what you are drawn to. I do this sometimes by edge burning. Ansel Adams I believe once said that any good image should have some edge burning.

    These are just a few things. I have a crappy camera now so I have to do a LOT of photoshopping to get any good images. If I do inside setups, with no pro equipment I use lamps for my lighting, as long as your camera has the function to compensate for that tempature of lighting (white balance). I put one lamp close to one side for a main and another in front as a fill and shoot off of a tripod. Not very professional but it works. I have also built a light box/diffuser with a big cardboar box and white wrapping tissue but that is a bit more than you probably want right now.

    Here is an inside lamp lit photo I did.


    And here is one outside in the shade with some edge burning (should have repositioned the knife)


    This one has an artificial background done in photoshop (photographed outside on concrete in the shade)


    Outside in harsh sunlight, but with some contrast change in photoshop and heavy edge burning.


    I hope this helps some.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    w9zeb's Avatar
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    Camera: Canon Rebel XTi (aka EOS 400D)
    Lens: Canon 18mm-55mm
    Flash: Built In

    Lighting & Color Correction done in Photoshop CS2

    Light box seen below was purchased at Meijer for ~ $60 IIRC. Some small camera shops like Ritz and Wolf Cameras carry similar kits as well.



    Used to take most of These Photos

  7. #7
    Unrepentant HKHolic
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    I don't have any traditional techniques. The one point I try to follow is being original. In my opinion the pics that really stand out to me are the unusual or different ones. Crazy angles, focusing on different parts of the gun, unusual backgrounds that enhance the subject.

    For example these photos aren't perfect, the focus is not perfect the lighting is not ideal. But I wanted a pic with the pool water in the background, I wanted the water to be blurry and the slides to be highlighted. I had to hold the guns in one hand and the camera in the other. On a side not its not easy to hold three guns in one hand, even with bear paws.





    I was not happy with the way these pics came out so I always try again and try to improve the quality of photos. I take lots of pics and take note of what I need to do to fix them.
    HK45 / HK45c / USP45c SS / P30 / P30L / P7M8 AH
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by w9zeb View Post
    Camera: Canon Rebel XTi (aka EOS 400D)
    Lens: Canon 18mm-55mm
    Flash: Built In

    Lighting & Color Correction done in Photoshop CS2

    Light box seen below was purchased at Meijer for ~ $60 IIRC. Some small camera shops like Ritz and Wolf Cameras carry similar kits as well.
    What type of table top lamps are those?

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironchef View Post
    What type of table top lamps are those?
    They came with the kit. They're about 60w Halogen bulbs though.
    Nothing too fancy, but they work pretty well for small stuff.

    Regarding a previous post about "Uncommon" shots.... I really liked my wife's "Guns & Roses" photo shoot with her Sig Sauer Mosquito ;)

  10. #10
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    Here is a shot using some improvised lighting. My setup consisted of a Surefire and a white, plastic Wally World sack as a diffuser. :)

    I used Photoshop to remove just a wee bit of saturation. The orange towel was a bit bright.

    "Never trust a man with brown socks!"

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