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    How to photograph your collection

    A lot of people ask me how I get such great shots of my collection. It is really easy so here is a short tutorial. I use an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera, a cheap desk tripod, and room lighting. If you use better equipment you can get stunning results, particularly from lighting, but here I will show how to get great results from realistic situations.

    The rules of thumb:

    1) NO FLASH - shut the flash off on the camera as it will blow out the details.
    2) Learn to turn on the MACRO mode - it will let your camera focus close up.
    3) Use a TRIPOD - you need to make sure there is no camera shake.
    4) Use the TIMER on your camera. Let it do a 10 second countdown since you will not be able to hold the thing steady enough to let the light in, and even on a tripod any movement from depressing the shutter will cause a visible shake.
    5) Set the ISO (speed) to 100. You want to let in a lot of light.
    6) You can let the camera set the shutter and aperture, but if you control them you can get extra special results - see below.

    Here I have to take a quick shot of something and make it look nice. Nothing special - I set up on white paper and get ready:



    Now for my settings. The flower tells me the macro is on, you can see the flash is off, I like to use RAW, which lets me change the white balance, but JPG is just fine and is easy for beginners. This would work fine for this shot. But I also want to do something special - I want everything in fine focus. I will focus on the tank turret, but if I just shoot the shot it will be in focus and the rest will be blurry.

    So, I set the shutter speed to a very slow speed - here 1/6 of a second. The longer the shutter stays open the more all things will be in focus. If you have a helmet with a badge in front use this to make everything come into focus.



    I shoot it, dump it into the computer, crop the photo and here is the result:



    But now I want to make an artistic shot with the badge in focus but the document fade out of focus. Here is the setup:



    Nothing special, but the settings will do the trick. By changing the speed of the shutter to a fast 1/125 of a second it will blur the background. The open aperature of 2.8 will also help with the blur, making just the badge in focus.



    The result:



    Now, if you get even a cheap lighting solution with diffusion panels you will get spectacular results. This is available on Amazon and Ebay in a variety of countries for very little money. Just get one that runs on the electricity in your country.

    I hope this helps!
    Marc

    With the right lighting and settings:


    Last edited by Marc Garlasco; 03-27-2007, 07:03 PM.

    #2
    I think I'm more impressed with your posting ability! Posting pics and text the way you did was very helpful and very well done.
    WAF LIFE COACH

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      #3
      I just take stuff outside. Great list though!

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        #4
        While outdoor light is great, it is not diffuse. It is often too harsh for militaria. I think the results of a closed environment you control are superior and the results speak for themselves:

        http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...d.php?t=208530

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          #5
          great tips Marc. thanks, I will definitely be trying this on my mannequin. Glenn

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            #6
            Hi there!
            maybe this could help! Scroll the page, you'll found the indication to built and home made studio!
            Cheers, Frank

            http://www.blitzkriegmilitaria-forum...read.php?t=963

            The traslation is:

            proiettore = PROJECTOR

            diffusore = DIFFUSOR

            carta da ingegneri = ENGINEERING PAPER

            limbo = LIMBO (just the same!!!)

            soggetto = SUBJECT

            riflesso polisirolo = REFLECTION PANEL POLISTIRENE

            proiettore = PROJECTOR

            macchina (fotografica) = CAMERA
            Last edited by frank savage; 03-28-2007, 04:06 AM.

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              #7
              Photo

              Great post, I have been looking for information on how to take nice pics. Now if someone would do post on how to take pictures of daggers, especially the blade. I do have the portable light room.
              My word is my honor and my bond. CMSgt, USAF Ret.

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                #8
                Thanks for that, really appreciated, the slow speed is a great bit of advice i will try out. Also recently i came to realise that i need a tripod.
                Ant.

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                  #9
                  Thanks for your advice Marc. There are a few things I didn´t know.

                  Regards,
                  Adolph.

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                    #10
                    Tips

                    Wonderful tips that some of us had to learn the hard way.

                    I cannot overemphasize the importance of the tripod -- and the timer.

                    Mike

                    Collecting mint condition Imperial German uniforms, visor caps, and Pickelhauben.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by ADOLPH View Post
                      Thanks for your advice Marc. There are a few things I didn´t know.

                      Regards,
                      Adolph.
                      I agree. Thanks Marc. I'll have to try a few things next time. Just so damn many buttons for a non-professional Photo guy

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                        #12
                        I played with it today abit. the delay is a definite. I just stacked some boxes on end as my temporary tripod. for right now that will do. still, great advice here. Glenn

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                          #13
                          Marc,Very useful advice! Thanks
                          I'll show you where Iron Crosses grow...
                          Sgt Steiner "Cross of Iron"

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Ian Lim View Post
                            Marc,Very useful advice! Thanks
                            Agreed
                            Thanks
                            Lassi

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                              #15
                              Well i've had my 1st go & i'm an idiot with a camera. This was an indoor at nightime attempt to see what it looked like when a useless photographer tries it without taking the advice (turn the page to see the amazing results with advice, you wouldn't believe it was the same cross):
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