PlayboyPenguins poormans photography procedures.

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by PlayboyPenguin, Jan 16, 2009.

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  1. PlayboyPenguin

    Vancouver, WA
    Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I was asked this in another thread. Since it was a bit off topic for that thread I thought I would answer it here.

    Lighting is the key. You have to have proper lighting for any camera to take a good pic.

    My technique is painfully unrefined. It is all about the lighting and getting it as cheaply and easily as possible. I do not use any special lights or a nice camera. I just use what I have around the house and an old Canon Elph digital camera.

    One item this is a must have is a tripod or other device to hold the camera. Having a stationary camera allows you to make the best use of whatever light source you have available. The tripod also eliminates the need for a flash. Never use a direct flash. Using a direct flash is the worst thing you can do since it will maximize every flaw in the gun and every spec of contaminate. Try to use constant light sources and use flashes only indirectly.

    Another good thing to have is either a compressor or can of compressed air (like the ones used for keyboards). Use the compressed air to blow all lint away from the gun and the surface it is resting upon. Lint is a big no-no in good pics.

    Fingerprints are also bad on some surfaces such as stainless steel. A simple cotton cloth and some rubber gloves will solve this issue. After removing fingerprints or other marks, it is important to once again make sure the gun is lint free.

    Also, be mindful of reflections. Try to position guns in a way to minimize reflections. Especially on polished stainless or chromed guns.

    If I have no natural light at all I will go into the garage and use an old t-shirt stretched over a wooden frame I threw together. I just use a couple old porcelain sockets for light.


    This is a sample with the crude light box and light bulb set up. It is a nice white light but can look a little "cold" and it turns the colors a bit gray.


    If I have some natural light I will make use of it by going upstairs to the guest room. I will just augment it with some bedside lamps from the house to soften shadows.


    Here is a sample of the "mixed light" photos. The combination of sunlight mixed with dim incandescent bulbs gives a very "warm and glowy" feel.


    Sometimes I have enough natural light that I do not need anything else. In that case I just throw the posterboard on the guest bed and take the pics. I do have mirrored closet doors on the other side of the bed from the window so the light gets reflected back to fill in shadows. I will often remove one of the doors from the runner and lean it right against the bed on the opposite side of the guns from the window.


    I think the "all natural" light gives the best results. It is bright and crisp but not too reflective or cold. The colors are more true to life too.


    One last thing. Try to prop up your guns from the surface they are laying upon. It helps the overall look of the picture. try to use something that is not visible in the picture. I use an acrylic block with some two sided foam tape on it. The foam tape keeps the gun from slipping off the block.

  2. Gas

    Gig Harbor, Washington, United States
    Active Member

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    Awsome ideas, thanks for this.
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