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Thread: Playin'...I think I need help

  1. #1
    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Playin'...I think I need help

    OK, so once again I am bored. What do I do?? I know, lets try something new...mirror and guns
    Well, I learned a couple of things so far...

    #1-I really need to work on lighting. I just ordered the book Light, Science and Magic. (thanks Mike)

    #2-I need to buy stock in Windex

    C&C most welcomed & anticipated

    1. Playin'...I think I need help

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  2. #2
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Playin'...I think I need help

    Hi Jon! Well, I know less than nothing about firearms, but that looks like a pretty fancy gun! I like how you've staged it, but it appears to me you've blown the red channel slightly, the handle (which I'm sure is the wrong term), of the gun has lost quite a bit of detail, and so has the shotgun shell (see, I know what that is!).

    Beyond that, I really like the background, it's quite an interesting treatment/appearance.

  3. #3
    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: Playin'...I think I need help

    Andrew, thanks for your comments. This is the first time I have used a mirror and I have to admit, it has added another dimension (and another series of issues to deal with). I was more concerned with staging, not wanting anything overlapping in the reflection, than anything else. Lighting is my next challenge

    By the way, the "handle" is referred to as the "Grip"

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    Re: Playin'...I think I need help

    Hi Jon,
    My personal expierience is that flash and reflective surfaces do not go together very well. With a subject like this one you have so many reflective surfaces that I would recommend trying to shoot it without any flash and only using "hot" lighting or natural light. In daylight shade I think you will get great results. You need to control the light so you can see where there are reflections you do not want.

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    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Playin'...I think I need help

    Hi Jon!

    Guns and Mirrors? Isnít that a rock band from the nineties? That sure is a nice piece.

    I donít know if you noticed it or not, but when you use a mirror where the bottom surface of the glass is the mirror surface, you get multiple reflections instead of one clear, crisp reflection. You get the mirror reflection as well as reflection from the glass causing multiples. Sometimes a different camera angle will help alleviate that. Top-surface mirrors will too if you can find them. Kind of expensive. Black acrylic works pretty well, too.

    Your first shot would be my personal choice of the three. The lighting seems better from a little further around the side as opposed to more straight on. Not as flat, nicer shadows on the balls showing more spherical shape and not so much shadow on the background/foreground. Also less blown highlights. Kind of a doozy of a reflection on the barrel in the last two!

    Just blowing through, Jon! I donít have any time available right now but sure did like the looks of that pistol!

    You'll love Light, Science and Magic!

  6. #6

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    Re: Playin'...I think I need help

    You're absolutely crazy, Jon! Once you read the book, you'll appreciate how unbelievably difficult it is to light this scene in a way that brings out all of the colors, textures and shapes within it. If I were to try it, I'm very confident that it would be an unsuccessful photo session ending with me holding the gun to my head.

    I prefer the background and barrel in the first one, the other metal parts in the third one, and the grip in the second one.

    Using a reflective surface with these subjects doesn't work for me, but that could just be me. Similarly, the positioning and use of the various kinds of bullets, especially the shotgun shell, don't work for me, but that could be because I don't know anything about the gun culture or the aesthetics of firearms.

  7. #7
    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: Playin'...I think I need help

    Andre, Terry and Mike, thanks for taking the time to view and comment on my dilemma. I may be crazy but this is how I learn (and hopefully improve).

    Here is the last shot from last night. Wow, who taught me how to clean a mirror?
    I don't think there is very much I like about this one...except for the subject itself. The angle, lighting, dirty mirror, background...they are all kinda off. Well, I think I know where this one is headed.

    C&C welcomed

    Playin'...I think I need help

  8. #8

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    Re: Playin'...I think I need help

    I like the dramatic lighting in this one. The question of how much of the reflection to show is always a consideration. I would probably crop it to eliminate the reflection of the coin.

    Notice the dust on the tabletop. I would first use Windex with an old cloth that has been washed so often that it has as little lint as possible. I would then wipe the tabletop with a microfiber cloth (because it really is lint-free.) I would then use a can of compressed air to spray away the remaining lint. Last, I would get rid of the final bits of dust during post-processing. ARRRRRRRRRRRGH!

  9. #9
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Playin'...I think I need help

    Jon?

    Would a composite image with more than one lighting zone be out of the question? Maybe as an example using the different parts that Mike suggested as a final composite?

  10. #10
    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: Playin'...I think I need help

    Good idea Terry, but unfortunately composite images are beyond my PP skills at this time. I am just going to have to keep playin with it until I get it where I want it.

  11. #11

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    Re: Playin'...I think I need help

    I've seen black acrylic used instead of a mirror (that would get rid of the double reflections). Might be an idea if you can get the stuff

    (One of the members here, now inactive, used it regularly. Try a search for carregwen)

  12. #12
    Aforns's Avatar
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    Re: Playin'...I think I need help

    Like the idea, would get rid of the shotgun shell, looks odd with the black powder pistol !!! Neat work !!

  13. #13
    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: Playin'...I think I need help

    Alfred, thanks for your input. I have a couple more ideas for tonight. If they work out (or maybe even if they don't) I will post the results later.

    Cheers

  14. #14
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    Re: Playin'...I think I need help

    Jon, Do you have a powder measure or a deer horn you could use in place of the shotgun shell? I like the idea... but as someone above posted the shell is out of place with a muzzleloader:>

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