Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Tip Tuesday - Photography 101

I haven't posted a Tip Tuesday in a while, apologies! I have had this one in mind for a while though and I hope it comes in handy for those that have general difficulty in photographing their models for photo shows or even in general.

It may seem pointless having a Tip Tuesday based on producing a simple photo of a model horse, but there is more to it than grabbing a camera and snapping a shot; the photographer in question has to keep a few things in mind:

1. Is the horse 100% visible? i.e. can you see its hooves, is any part of the model cropped out from the photo?
2. Is the horse in focus and not blurry?
3. Is there a distracting background? This does also apply to photoshow pictures!

There are also other aspects to think about, for example the positioning of the camera...

For example, take a look at these two shots:

In the first photo, the camera is too high up and the top of the horse can be seen. While the horse is in focus and all of the horse is within the shot, this is not a professional image and also not realistic. The most ideal shot is to have it like the second image, where the camera is level with the model itself. This makes the model look a great deal more natural and it also lets those wanting to view the horse in the image see more of it and the model itself in proportion.

However, the second photo isn't entirely all that good either... If anyone noticed, in the background you can tell where the backdrop used ends. This is a very nit-picky thing to mention, but when using a clear backdrop this can cost you that 1st place in a photo show if a photo backdrop is not being used. This is a simple fix... Just crop it out!

In the images above, I used my photobox. This cost me about £70 from what I remember and is 1m suqare the whole way round. It came with two lamps and they are amazing!

Of course, I only splashed out on this equipment a year ago and I coped in the hobby much longer without it! The main reason I bought it was because I have less time at home due to being at university and when I did come home and it came to taking photos, it was too dark and I needed something to help. Other people take photos in a well lit room or even take their props outside, so there are many posibilities and you do not have to purchase a light tent. I am all for budget ideas so wouldn't recommend it but if you have one (or the facilities to make one) why not!

With the photo show images, going back to my points about what make a good photograph, you do not want much in the backdrop of your image. The main aim of the backdrop and grassy footing is for realism and the less busy the photo, the better. All of the focus wants to be on the model in question and lots of flowers/trees/animals in the background will not enhance the model; in this case less is more.

I have also learnt from experience that the more sky visible in the backdrop, the better. Ideally, a background with approximately 3/4 sky works the best.

My Union Jack resin represents this well, although there is less sky in this background yet the footing matches the backdrop perfectly and it actually makes a good photo.

This is my favourite shot, however when it comes to photo showing this would NOT be the best photo to enter. With photo shows, a clear side-on view of the model is best so the judge can see the horse's conformation. This photo is just for the artistic and realistic side of the hobby and I just want to share!

I hope this has been inciteful. I plan for my next Tip Tuesday to be based around resculpting do's and don'ts, I don't know when this will be up though but if you follow my blog and Facebook page (and website!) then you will not miss out.


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