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Old 03-06-2013   #11
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Default Re: Photographng Firearms

Brooks, thanks for the feedback. I lessened the shadow to be a bit more overhead due to the lighting of the background, but without any shadow, it looks as though the handgun and ammo are just floating above it, and I didn't like that effect. Also, FYI, the top of the slide wasn't touched, that's the natural lighting. What I lessened was the distracting highlights on the slide release and safety levers as well as a highlight near the lanyard loop. Those were just too distracting to leave in there.

Again thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it.

Tony...
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Old 03-06-2013   #12
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Originally Posted by arlon View Post
I have done a few guns including shooting some rifles in multi shots and stitched into one panorama. On handguns I like to set up a table with a contrasting background. I have several styerofoam blocks and a "bean bag" I can use to get the gun positioned the way I want it. I then use a small aperture like f16/22 and a lot of flash or a slow shutter and simply light paint with a flashlight. Image below was done the light painting way. This long barrel needed extreme DOF and was done at f32 with a 200mm micro nikkor, 30 second exposure and used a flashlight to "paint" the gun.
Just a different approach..

Nicely done!
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Old 03-08-2013   #13
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E - no fair, photographing that 1911 is like photographing MS America, she's going to look good no matter what you do (nice shot, tho)
Thanks....

As for the choice of back ground it's a matter of personal opinion. I feel the rustic old board look with the modern firearm looks out of place. An old revolver would be a different matter.
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Old 03-08-2013   #14
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I agree E. The reason I used denim and grey cotton in my original images was to portray a working mans feel to the images. But I appreciate all of the suggestions and I get that when doing Commercial Photography you have to appeal to a broader target audience and as soon as some of the snow melts I'm going to dig out some slate rock and barnwood and some other firearms.

Love the Ruger S.A. and the 1911 and the Browning...
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File Type: jpg Tactical_MB_sel_87_Loki_sig_MB.jpg (70.0 KB, 173 views)
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Old 04-12-2013   #15
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Thought I'd add my $0.02 worth. I shot this on clear plexiglass with white seamless background that was about 2 feet below the plexiglass. I didn't have any shadow prior to post processing and adding the wood background. The only other editing to the handgun was to remove some of the highlights and glare that showed due to the angles of the steel.

Tony, I really like this shot. Composition, coloring, rustic feel to it really adds to the 1911. Great job !!
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Old 04-12-2013   #16
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Here is another approach that I did a few years ago. Dramatic lighting and some special effects (not photoshopped) for the "Smoking gun"

EXPERT SHOOTERS 5811 DSC_0017 copy LOW RES.jpg
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Old 04-12-2013   #17
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Thanks OneShot!

I like the effect with the Glock, nice shot.
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Old 04-17-2013   #18
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Love the Ruger S.A. and the 1911 and the Browning...
Rab,

I find your image of the gun on the car bonnet with the flash-light doesn't really work. It isn't so much about the technical aspects, it's the composition.

The most prominent brand in your image is the Mercedes star of the car. So your image gives the impression, the gun is interacting with the car logo and the gun is just a prop, not the star. Also, that interaction doesn't communicate a strong story to me, so for a symbolic image (eg. Mercedes under attack) the image doesn't come across either.

Next, you place the metal gun on the paint of a nice car. I'd guess, that makes most car-lovers shiver in a bad way. Also, the car bonnet isn't perfectly clean, it has drops and spots. Not the right thing to communicate class, but the whole setting doesn't communicate grit either.

Then the thing about the flash-light: I'm not into guns, but putting a flash-light through the trigger-guard (or whatever else that part might be called) doesn't evoke cool, drama or action to me. It leaves me more wondering, what happened here.

So all together, I'd say your image doesn't tell or imply a story where the gun is the desirable and cool hero.

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Old 04-17-2013   #19
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These are pretty old,from when I 1st started but here was my take on it. If I did it again, I'd use a different background and change the lighting a bit. Ahh..the things you learn with time and practice!



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Old 04-17-2013   #20
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Rab,

I find your image of the gun on the car bonnet with the flash-light doesn't really work. It isn't so much about the technical aspects, it's the composition.

The most prominent brand in your image is the Mercedes star of the car. So your image gives the impression, the gun is interacting with the car logo and the gun is just a prop, not the star. Also, that interaction doesn't communicate a strong story to me, so for a symbolic image (eg. Mercedes under attack) the image doesn't come across either.

Next, you place the metal gun on the paint of a nice car. I'd guess, that makes most car-lovers shiver in a bad way. Also, the car bonnet isn't perfectly clean, it has drops and spots. Not the right thing to communicate class, but the whole setting doesn't communicate grit either.

Then the thing about the flash-light: I'm not into guns, but putting a flash-light through the trigger-guard (or whatever else that part might be called) doesn't evoke cool, drama or action to me. It leaves me more wondering, what happened here.

So all together, I'd say your image doesn't tell or imply a story where the gun is the desirable and cool hero.

Korman
Thanks for your thoughts on that photo. Actually I'm surprised I didn't get "grilled" for it long before now because of it's obvious flaws. So here's some background on the photo...The 3 of us, the Sig, the Mercedes and myself had just returned from a 300 kilometre road trip, an action shoot at a neighbouring gun range and I was unloading the car and getting ready to clean my weapons when the idea for this picture came to me. All three of us were grubby and dirty, but what a great day we had, all three of us had performed flawlessly and that's when I decided to take the image. I wanted the just used, ridden hard look, hence the title of this image "2 of Germany's Finest". Both the Sig 220 SAO and the Mercedes 560 SEL are iconic German inventions and that is all this image is about. The Mercedes isn't under attack and the gun isn't supposed to be desirable and cool, just a SIG and a Mercedes, 2 of Germany's Finest.

It's not perfect from a technical perspective but I still like it, it's what I wanted. I love the smoke on the front of the slide, the wear marks on the gun and the dirt on the hood. And your right about the flashlight, it is a gun thing. No gun carrying boy scout would be caught dead without a tactical flashlight and they are often used together in this way, as opposed to having the gun mysteriously suspended in mid air by a hidden stand.

And the gun on the car? I am a car lover (7 collectible cars and trucks and 3 motorcycles) but every one of them is a driver. They are all just tools to be used (not abused) and enjoyed, no different than a camera or a tripod to me, so for sure some car lovers would shiver, some wouldn't give it a second thought.

So again thanks for the critique and I do have plans for a formal shoot where everything will be clean and tidy.

Cheers,
Rab


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