login   |    register
Questions about shooting your models and dioramas? Ask here.
Washes exaggerated by photos
England - North, United Kingdom
Joined: February 20, 2007
KitMaker: 1,453 posts
Historicus Forma: 19 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 04:51 AM UTC
First off I have to state that I'm a rank amateur in matters photographic.

But undaunted, I've recently started trying to take pics of my AFV models.

However, the main problem I seem to be getting is that no matter what I try, in the pics that I take the washes on my models show up much deeper and darker than they actually are, bare metal effects comes up very shiny, and all color subtlety is lost while every minor flaw that isn't apparent to the naked eye (or at least not very apparent) suddenly becomes a glaring, in-your-face feature.

Tinkering around in my picture editing program on my PC doesn't seem to help much either.

Either my camera's crap for this kind of work (it's a Canon PowerShot A60 with - I think - 2 megapixels), or I'm a crap photographer or I'm making some very basic errors.

Any pointers gratefully accepted. Thanks in advance.

- Steve
Texas, United States
Joined: September 18, 2007
KitMaker: 2 posts
Historicus Forma: 0 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 05:18 AM UTC
There is alot of information about how you have your camera setup that we would need to know, but that aside. Once you have uploaded your pictures you need to open them in Mcrosoft Picture Manager --Edit Pictures--Resize--Custom W&H--1024X768
AFTER you resize click -- AUTO CORRECT

What this does is makes your picture dimensions and appearance acceptable normally to any website as well as give you a starting point to figuring out what you are doing wrong. (YOU MAY NOT BE DOING ANYTHING WRONG AND INDEED ARE IN POSSESSION OF A KRAPPY CAMERA)
I sounds like your contrast may be too high and you need to lighten you camera W/B(white balance) as well.
Do you have the ability to post some of your pics? If not I can give you my email and you can send a few to me and I will look at them.
Massachusetts, United States
Joined: May 05, 2002
KitMaker: 8,074 posts
Historicus Forma: 1,791 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 01:02 PM UTC
Posting some examples would help up help you.
New Brunswick, Canada
Joined: October 18, 2002
KitMaker: 2,247 posts
Historicus Forma: 23 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 03:44 AM UTC
Hey there Steve,

The first camera I used for taking pictures of models was my Canon A40, which is a couple of steps down from yours. With the macro I had to stay in excess of 6" away from the kit, or the focus wouldn't work, it took alot of trial and error to start to get pictures right. But I eventually did just by practice.

Yours being a better camera than mine, I am sure it would take pictures just as well, my A40 being a 2MP, so your A60 I would think would be a 4MP at least, if not a 5MP, probably has a better zoom (mine was 3X optical and 7X digital which wasn't much better than useless), and a better macro on yours.

Check out some of my photos on my gallery, they were all taken with my Canon A40, and came out great......mind you there were alot that came out crap as well....but there is nothing wrong with the Canon cameras. So much so that I bought the Canon XT rebel DSLR 8.1MP, not so much as a replacement, as I will still keep the A40 for in the car or something, you never know when you will need a camera!!
Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: October 15, 2004
KitMaker: 371 posts
Historicus Forma: 59 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 09:26 PM UTC
Are you using flash?

It will most likely be way too harsh.
England - North, United Kingdom
Joined: February 20, 2007
KitMaker: 1,453 posts
Historicus Forma: 19 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 12:44 AM UTC
Phil - yes I am using flash. I'll have another look at it.

Cheers (to all respondents)
Staff Member_ADVISOR
Florida, United States
Joined: October 17, 2003
KitMaker: 15,338 posts
Historicus Forma: 865 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 07:37 AM UTC
Flash will do it.
Try setting up some lights on stands, camera on tripod, and use self timer, and no flash.
British Columbia, Canada
Joined: December 15, 2007
KitMaker: 63 posts
Historicus Forma: 0 posts
Posted: Monday, February 04, 2008 - 04:33 PM UTC
Yep, definitely sounds like the flash is blowing out some colours, enhancing others, and making anything shiny overly shiny.

There are several methods you could use to alleviate this problem. Probably the cheapest would be using a translucent surface to diffuse the flash. You could build a small frame with some balsa and wire that sits in front of your flash. On the frame you could use something like several sheets of wax paper, or even regular paper to diffuse the flash. This will cause the light to be not quite as intense.

You could also build a photo box, which is similar to the above method. Instead of the small frame in front of the flash, you build a large surround for your photo area, each side of which is covered in a translucent, light diffusing material. Then you can position lights all around your model, and the light will diffuse through the sides of the surround and light your model from all angles. If you have enough light, you won't need the flash at all.

One more method is bounced light. This can be used to supplement both above methods. You can use any light source to light your model, but instead of pointing the light directly at the model, you point it at a white or reflective surface so the light is bounced back onto your model in a diffuse manner. This is the sort of thing you may have seen while getting your picture taken where there's a light pointing at a reflective umbrella or large square sheet. This will prevent the distinct "hot-spot" you'd see on your model when pointing the light directly at it.