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Posted by Dick Hosmer on Monday, 22 November 2010, at 5:34 p.m., in response to Pictures, posted by JasonZ in MO on Monday, 22 November 2010, at 4:39 p.m.
I am a photographic NOVICE.
I use a six-year old Olympus 5MP digital zoom camera (middle of the road at the time - now totally obsolete to a camera buff) sometimes with tripod, sometimes hand-held, but always braced and with rhe fastest exposure possible. A 1MP camera would do excellent closeups, but is inadequate for full length shots, since about 80-90% of the pixels get trimmed.
The long shots are taken in normal mode, and the closeups are mostly in macro, with a few in super macro mode. As with film cameras, I always take a range of exposures, then crop the one I like best. I do not have Photoshop - all pics are "as taken".
The guns are suspended about 24" in front of a white foam backboard, with 20# test monofilament. This disappears in most long shots - but I need to be more careful on close-ups. I have a row of random-spaced nails (ABOUT 1" apart) in a board above the guns, and work with looped lengths of line. The oddly-spaced nails assure that I can make fine corrections - though I was not careful enough to get the barrel level in all shots.
The gun is lit from above and below with two rows of 100W clamp-lights. This is NOT ideal, and probably makes the pros cringe! The backboard is similarly lit. Some fiddling will be required to get lighting uniform - some of mine are OK, others not so good. The lights MUST be directed so as to cast NO shadows on the backboard. I do have one good folding reflector, and have also used aluminum foil (on cardboard) to bounce light into dark areas.
The last thing I do before taking the photos is to give the rifle a wipedown with a WD40-moistened rag. I think it gives a little "life" - a bone-dry gun, when brightly lit, can be really ugly.
Al has an entirely different set-up, which I hope he will describe. Much more high-tech, utilizing some salvaged scientific equipment.
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