In the past it’s been easy to get photographs of a stage or a pistol just by pointing my iPhoto in the general direction of whatever I wanted to take a picture of and just letting it rip. That typically results in some pretty bad “snap shot” quality photographs that really don’t do any justice to the subject matter. Granted a bad picture is better than no picture, but I can certainly do better. Before competitive shooting all of my “shooting” was done with a SLR. Having limiting resources I found that I really could only do one or the other, and with the convenience of a somewhat decent camera in my phone, I found myself hardly ever touching the SLR.
After seeing some great photos on the Modern Service Weapons site thought I’d see if I could step up my game and see if I could quickly and easily take better photographs of the things I post here and with that, I dusted off my gear, borrowed a little light tent and got to work.
It took a few minutes of messing around with the lights before I had them in the right place. You really need at least two lights when shooting black items, otherwise they just look flat and boring without the little white line from the specular highlights. Here’s a picture of what I came up with for lighting.
The first few images were OK after I got the lighting where I wanted it, but they still looked boring. I was shooting with a 28-135mm on the higher end like I use for portraits but it just wasn’t interesting. So I switched to the 20mm prime lens and that seemed to do it. I wish I had the 16-35mm L lens with a full size sensor, but that would just take away from good gun money!
Here are a couple of examples with the 20mm and the two strobes.
Not too bad for a first crack at this type of photography. I think at this point in my life, the best thing I can do to take better blog pictures is to keep it simple and easy. A light tent just takes seconds to deploy and I might have to find a couple of cheap wireless TTL strobes to use since they’re so quick and easy to use. I might have to spend a little time on the strobist website for a while.