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Model/Die-cast Car photography tips?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by m1pui, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    Does anyone shoot model cars, or product shooting I suppose to be more general?

    I've got a few die-cast cars, as well as some well worn football boots and the trainers I ran my first half-marathon in, that I'd quite like to photograph.

    Did a bit of googling and came up with this as a suggested setup...

    DieCastSetup01.

    to get this kind of effect...

    DieCastSetup03.

    These are from somewhere on the internet, so not my own setup. They are the type of thing I'm looking for but just wondered if anyone else had any other easy/inexpensive suggestions to add for a bit of variety or interest :smile:

    I'm quite open to any suggestions too. Other than the white paper and a tripod, I've none of the other "studio props" shown in the above setup :biggrin:
    Thanks
     
  2. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    That one example looks great. The one thing I might suggest is to make the sheet under the car medium to dark gray, to sort of mimic a road surface. Using something like black emery paper might be interesting if you could actually pick up some of the texture.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    I have considered making a "scene" to put the car on. Actually wondered how convincing I could make a print out of a road/Tarmac look under the car! Lol. If I can get the scales right, I could even pick up scalextric/slot car props and make some really cool scenes

    I do think that imagination is the only limit here!
     
  4. G1 User

    G1 User Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Jul 20, 2010
    You would get better, more even lighting with a Flash with a 16x16 softbox accessory.... and mount it some how to be OVERHEAD the car....

    Softbox with Shoe mount flash

    [​IMG]
     
  5. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    If you are going to use one light, the output needs to be dispersed so that no hotpot is visible. A softbox mentioned earlier will do this. A simple cotton bedsheet in front of the light output will do the same thing. Just don't set the fabric afire!

    Use a a soft, very smooth, but non-reflecting white surface. Colors tend to distract the eye from the subject.

    Use an aperture of about 4.0 and smaller to keep the entire subject in focus.

    Or you could try placing the subject on that white surface, turn off the lights, and do a 10-second shot.

    Do some experimenting!:biggrin:
     
  6. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    You could make a softbox out of a moderately large cardboard box. Cut out largish holes in the sides and cover the holes with bedsheet or paper to act as a diffuser. Even a single flash will work well this way ... more is usually better.
     
  7. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    563
    Sep 3, 2011
    L.A.
    I've previously dabbled with shooting images of my miniature car collection, using my desktop, black cardboard for background, and a single desktop fluorescent lamp (an Ott-Lite). Below are my first examples of what I managed to get with that setup. The next time I shoot, I will drape the background from the back wall to the desktop for that nice seamless look. All of the images were taken with a Canon 5D and EF 100 macro lens.

    The first set is of a CMC 1/18 scale Maserati Tipo 61 "Birdcage" (together with a Minichamps 1/43 scale version in the last image):

    1185970998_VhHxU-L.

    1185972874_GHzGP-L.

    1185973597_82mLH-M.

    1185975776_5FHfm-L.

    This is the actual car at the Monterey Historics :smile::

    356315512_gu2S4-L-1.

    This set is of a smaller Kyosho 1/43 scale Daytona 24 hour winning Nissan 300ZX, and its twin LeMans class-winning entry:

    1180048163_J9YLS-L.

    1180047360_t5cqd-L.

    1180046634_jgHPd-L.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I actually prefer the harsher light in the original example to the effect of a softlight in this instance. It provides more character, and brings out the shapes of the body better. And, as a couple of the shots above show, a real key is having LOTS of light. You need to be able to stop down a lot to get decent DOF when shooting this close, and that requires a bright light source.
     
  9. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    Although I've no actual experience, as you know, but I do agree in theory that a harsher light is a bit more characterful. In my mind at least, it gives that feeling of show stand spotlighting pouring down onto a prototype that's just been unveiled!

    Going to pick up a couple of cheap clip lights or similar from B&Q over the weekend I think :smile: Also looking for some cheap LED fairy lights, might be able to do some kind of under/in car lighting effects with them. I've seen on Top Gear and the likes where they use fluorescent tubes on the studio floors to give a nice glow under the vehicles.
     
  10. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    563
    Sep 3, 2011
    L.A.
    I actually like the atmospheric effect of this lighting, but I'll try with multiple lights next time. I lacked a large enough background to allow for increased lighting without revealing some background clutter. In fact, I had turned out all of the room lights for the shoot.

    With regard to DOF, all of the images were shot with the lens stopped down to between f/22~32, so the lack of DOF wasn't due to insufficient lighting. These model cars are so small that it's a real challenge to get the entire length of the model in focus. I may try a non-macro lens at farther distances next time, and crop in PP.
     
  11. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    563
    Sep 3, 2011
    L.A.
    So long as you don't end up with this type of result. :wink:

    1284513909562_hz-myalibaba-temp11_1337.
     
  12. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    Westside gangsta! Lol

    I'm thinking along the lines of this...
    studio3.