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Photography Tips. Warning PIC HEAVY

HardeightHardeight Posts: 584Member ✭✭✭
I am not sure where to put this thread, the mods can move it if they think it belongs elsewhere.
After a member posted asking for photography tips I decided I can try to share some of the tricks I have picked up with pictures along the way. I am NOT a professional photographer but have a few friends and family members who are, who I have bugged enough to get pointers from. All my pics are of guns, because it's what my business deals with. But the tips should translate to anything you photo for your business.


From the start, I recommend getting a good DSLR camera if you don't have one. You don't have to break the bank, but even an entry level from BestBuy will make a world of difference if you don't already have one.
Now on to the process.

First and foremost, lighting, lighting, lighting.
Diffused natural daylight is the best. An overcast day is perfect. You may think it will suck but the light is actually some of the best you can get. Or you can hang a white sheet above your work on a sunny day.




Be aware of your shadows. Notice in these pictures the light and shadows start to take attention away from the finish.



Here, changing the angle and getting out of the direct light makes a huge difference.



You can use indoor lighting too, but it takes a little more finesse.
Fluorescent works best. Learn about light temps. Full spectrum or daylight bulbs will give the best color quality. Typically, plain old recessed commercial fixtures with the plastic diffuser covers on them work pretty well.



If that type of lighting isn't around, a clamp on shop light with a white sheet in front works wonders.



Learn how to use Photoshop. It isn't that bad once you get used to it and using it to do simple stuff. A lot of the built in auto corrections will work just fine. The old CS2 version is free now from Adobe.
This is a peek behind the curtain, but it just illustrates how much trouble it can save you with setting up the picture to begin with.
Before:

After:


Watermarks. You want to watermark you image to prevent someone stealing credit. But you also want your picture to be stolen to share because people dig your work. Huge watermarks that cover the gun and take attention away from the image are less like to be shared and will pretty much never go viral. You want a good inconspicuous mark that will be hard to be cropped but also doesn't take away from the gun.
Check out a guy named Stickman's work. He watermarks all his stuff by blending it into the gun. You actually have to look for it sometimes, but it's there. I haven't gotten that good yet, and I am not a full time photog so I haven't started doing that type of thing but the premise holds true.

That's pretty much it, just the basics. If you have questions or tips of your own, feel free to share them.

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