forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com

WW1 Aircraft Modeling => Photographing your Models => Topic started by: Des on October 09, 2013, 08:18:29 AM

Title: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: Des on October 09, 2013, 08:18:29 AM
I don't have any fancy or expensive photographic equipment just a very basic Samsung digital camera, a sheet of white card and a light. I place the 500mm x 730mm white card on my bench and allow it to run up the back creating a smooth curved surface. I use plastic clamps to hold the card to my bench. The photos show how simple and very inexpensive it is to make a photo backdrop for taking photos of my models and the photo results are usually pretty good.

Des.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Px8woWa-3F4/Ukuzfo2QT3I/AAAAAAAAJVk/4WzNN8cFvvU/s800/photo%2520x%25207.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-bu29o5hkbLo/Ukuzfuf3j6I/AAAAAAAAJVo/N9D5YZF-pCo/s800/photo%2520x%25209.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-feEyWYOZKxY/UkuzfoVTwlI/AAAAAAAAJVs/7SkHtnxKOOE/s800/photo%2520x%25203.jpg)

The resulting photos show nothing more than the image I am wanting to portray, there is no seam in the backdrop and no clutter in the photo, the person viewing the photo can concentrate solely on the model.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-29biLUR0Pcg/UTak5Dgo_nI/AAAAAAAAE9c/Cs6_UzzHbCs/s800/snipe%2520x%252094.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-WJLVe3G59Qk/UTak5nvoakI/AAAAAAAAE-I/GROknesQ4jc/s800/snipe%2520x%252095.jpg)
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop.
Post by: drdave on October 09, 2013, 08:25:46 AM
I use a roll of lining paper as mine  then the kids use it for drawing.

(http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee484/dpogson/P1010758B_zps9e4202d7.jpg)
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop.
Post by: Des on October 09, 2013, 09:55:15 AM
Same great results Dave, no seams, it makes for a very attractive photo  :)

Des.
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop.
Post by: FokkerFodder on October 09, 2013, 03:29:48 PM
Thanks Des - I will try this out next time I take some pics.

cheers
FF
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop.
Post by: Gisbod on October 09, 2013, 04:01:41 PM

What lighting do you use Des?

Guy
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: Des on October 09, 2013, 04:20:39 PM
Guy, the only lighting I use is a bench mounted fully adjustable arm circular fluorescent light. The circular fluorescent tube is Tri-Phospher, 215mm, 22w, 1350lm, colour temperature 8000K Day Light, it is rated as long life 10,000hrs.

Being on a fully adjustable arm means I can position the light in any position, the head also swivels so I can angle the light so it shines under the model if need be. When taking the photos above I had the light approx 12 inches above the model and slightly forward, this seems to work well for me.

Des.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HZnpY6fBkkc/UlTzgQAlnaI/AAAAAAAAJZE/MF0PGGjEPRU/s800/light.jpg)
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: Gisbod on October 09, 2013, 06:12:29 PM
Well it certainly has the desired effect.

I think I need to get a daylight spectrum light..

Thanks
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: Des on October 09, 2013, 06:19:49 PM
Using the white card has the added effect of reflecting the light back up to the undersurfaces of the model. If you have a look at my Snipe photos you will see that even though the light was directly above the model the underside of the wings are quite clear and detail can be seen.

Des.
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: Ernie on October 09, 2013, 06:23:23 PM
Good tips, Des and Dave. Thanks for the help!

Cheers,
Ernie :)
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: Jacek on October 10, 2013, 01:57:37 AM
 Sometimes I use blue background...

(http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g436/malutki352/SPAD%20XIII%20%20Revell/DSCF0064.jpg) (http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/malutki352/media/SPAD%20XIII%20%20Revell/DSCF0064.jpg.html)

...or black:

(http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g436/malutki352/MiG-17/DSCF0031.jpg) (http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/malutki352/media/MiG-17/DSCF0031.jpg.html)

model is more visible (higher contrast)
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: stefanbuss on October 10, 2013, 07:18:11 PM
I normally use blue or light grey as background colours, as black seems to be too dominant (details get lost), and white seems to be too bright with the lightning setup i use.

The only real disadvantage of using such kind of roll is the limitation regarding size (think about positioning a 1:32 Gotha in such a way that you still have the background you intended to have, and not to show your medelling room...

Stefan
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: FOKKERJ on July 24, 2014, 06:45:35 PM
Thank You Des for the tips! 8)

quote author=stefanbuss link=topic=2453.msg39694#msg39694 date=1381396691]
I normally use blue or light grey as background colours, as black seems to be too dominant (details get lost), and white seems to be too bright with the lightning setup i use.

The only real disadvantage of using such kind of roll is the limitation regarding size (think about positioning a 1:32 Gotha in such a way that you still have the background you intended to have, and not to show your medelling room...

Stefan
[/quote]

Hi Stefan,

I did not know that a 1/32" Gotha would fit into a house!  ::)

I have read several times that Photographers prefer using Light Grey as a background.  8)

As seen above, White, Light Blue, Black, & Light Gray all work well here.

Best Wishes, Jay
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: Chris Johnson on July 24, 2014, 11:17:14 PM
I have the same basic setup with Des in my basement workshop. Simple, but effective.

(http://i331.photobucket.com/albums/l474/ChrisJohnson56/Misc/Lighting-19Mar12_zpsefe56d32.jpg)

I use blue, white, or black bristol board backgrounds depending on the colour scheme of the model. Where I differ though, is that I have the matte side 'up'. I've been looking for a light gray sheet with no luck though yet. For larger models such as the Bif, I use two sheets, one behind the other with the seam running sideways. It usually disappears in the background with judicious use of camera angle.

Cheers,

Chris
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: FOKKERJ on July 25, 2014, 12:47:16 AM
Hi Chris,

Any good Art Supply Store should carry Light Gray sheets for pastel painting.

Cheers, Jay
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: eclarson on July 25, 2014, 04:56:05 AM
Before I started contributing to Airfix Model World magazine I was content with snapshots taken with a little 4 megapixel Olympus using the built in flash for illumination.   When I bought the Olympus I just wanted a small camera, for casual model photography, with good macro capability and manual overrides so I could control the depth-of-field and it filled those requirements nicely.

When I accepted an offer to do projects for AMW, the first thing I had to do was upgrade the lighting.  AMW requires all in-process photos to be shot with a blue background and completed models with a white background.   For all but the largest models my backdrops are blue or white poster board available at any craft store.   I also have larger sheets of photo backdrop paper but as they are flimsier and more awkward to set up then the poster boards I only use them when needed.

Due to lack of space, my Pace paint booth doubles as a photo booth with the pair of internal lights providing overhead and background lighting.  On either side are cheap clamp-on work lights with an additional pair of photo lamps used as necessary.  All lights use 100-150 watt equivalent 6500K "daylight" CFL bulbs.

My first article, published in May, 2011, was on the Eduard OEFFAG Albatros and all photos were taken with my trusty little Olympus!  I've since upgraded to a Sony Alpha A33 DSLR for my magazine projects but still use the Olympus for casual shots.

Here's my rig in action.  The first is from several years ago and shows some WIP shots being taken of the cowlings from a Revell 1/72 Fw 200 Condor.  This is with an old tripod and hard-wired remote shutter release.

(http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg61/elarson1123/P6220019.jpg) (http://s245.photobucket.com/user/elarson1123/media/P6220019.jpg.html)

Jump ahead to last year and I've got a better tripod with an optional extension tube and a wireless shutter release which is a huge improvement over the old wired one!  Here, I'm taking an overhead shot of a completed Tarangus 1/48 Saab Lansen.

(http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg61/elarson1123/Camera_zpsdcb7315a.jpg) (http://s245.photobucket.com/user/elarson1123/media/Camera_zpsdcb7315a.jpg.html)

Cheers,
Eric
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: Chris Johnson on July 25, 2014, 11:05:07 PM
Any good Art Supply Store should carry Light Gray sheets for pastel painting.

Thanks Jay. I'll look into that.

Cheers,

Chris
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: Chris Johnson on July 25, 2014, 11:09:00 PM
Due to lack of space, my Pace paint booth doubles as a photo booth with the pair of internal lights providing overhead and background lighting. 

I have a Pace myself and it never occurred to me to use it as a photo booth. Good idea!

Cheers,

Chris
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: drdave on September 14, 2014, 09:04:24 AM
I think white works best for silver dope and NMF finishes as it adds that icy cool ambient light.
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: GHE on October 25, 2014, 07:37:36 PM
Messieurs !

Lighting: try several light sources and watch the model before pressing the button; natural light ist a very nice source, too.
Unless you are not using calibrated light sources (Kelvin degrees) you are able to adjust the Kelvins in your developing
programm.
Do not forget the f-stop, but I feel there is no need to close it further than f 5.6.
A good combination for close ups is a camera with APS-C Formate sensor and a 24mm or 21mm lens. With these lenses you
can get very close to the object ( some 20 cm ) and you will have enough depth of field; furthermore the smaller sensor
( in relation to Full Frame size ) changes the focal distance of the lens in direction of a) 21mm to ca. 25mm b) 24 to ca.30mm.
This helps to keep a natural look.
Of course - for detail work you may use tele lenses or macro lenses; I feel that 1:2 is really enough.
Try out your Equipment, the angles of view etc.

beste Gre, Gunther
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: Des on December 16, 2014, 07:36:42 AM
I started using a soft blue back drop but I noticed that it changed the colour of my model somewhat, it also had an effect on all my camera setting, so I went back to the all white background and I have had no further issues. (maybe it's just me :-[ ???)

Des.
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: Edo on December 16, 2014, 04:23:15 PM
hi Des, no it is not you. A coloured background reflect some light back to the model changing the colour balance.
A blue background will add some blueish dominant to the model which you have to compensate in Photoshop by changing 'colour balance' and/or 'hue/saturation'. It is not as hard as it seems, just toggle towards the red and yellow reducing cyan, blue and maybe green.
hope it helps
ciao
edo
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: Des on December 16, 2014, 05:33:28 PM
I have mucked around with trying to photoshop some images but I can't seem to get the balance correct, I will just stick with a white back drop to save any issue, thanks for the advice Edo.

Des.
Title: Re: Seamless backdrop and lighting
Post by: Des on June 03, 2015, 07:43:50 PM
Just a quick revamp on the way I photograph my models. I use a stiff white card and place it on my work bench having it curve up at the back, this gives a really good seamless background. I have experimented with different colours but have found white to give me the best results. My daughter is a photographer so she set my camera setting for me for the conditions I use, it all seems to work pretty well and I end up with nice crisp clear shots.

White balance - Fluores light
Sensitivity - 100
Auto ISO range - ISO 100 - 200
EV Compensation - +1.0

Here is the set-up I use, takes very little effort to set it up, is really cheap, and best of all, it works. Will easily handle single seat and two seat aircraft but I would have to come up with a new idea for the larger bombers and seaplanes.

Des.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GbC83u0ut7I/VW7IhwqqFHI/AAAAAAAARMs/00iYlL7lSTU/s800/easy%252520photo%252520x%2525201.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dovDdc2l1cM/VW7IhWuO1JI/AAAAAAAARMk/WEHM8jumq_Y/s800/easy%252520photo%252520x%2525202.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_VXqwj6yUH8/VW7IhiTH_GI/AAAAAAAARMo/DZDPWy8Ydmg/s800/easy%252520photo%252520x%2525203.jpg)