The DIORAMA Thread; Tips, Tricks, Tales, Pics.

Discussion in 'The Rumble Strip' started by photonrider, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. photonrider

    photonrider Premium

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    DIECAST MODEL DIORAMA PHOTOGRAPHY

    Gallery & Workshop


    GALLERY


    a6m5

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    SVX
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    SpaceGoat

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    Suzuki Swift
    by VC SL/E

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    ForceMotion
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    Apok
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    Takumi Fujiwara

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    gtuned
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    carfanatic45

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    WORKSHOP
    Guidelines
    :​

    Here is where we learn how to set up realistic modelling environments for our photography - or to put it another way; where we have fun creating dioramas and taking loads of pictures!

    * Photos by all members accepted.

    * Photos may be photo-realistic, artistic, or edited for effects, framed, cropped and/or collaged.

    * Photos can be scale models up to and including 1:18 of any type of transport vehicle, (land, sea, air and space) in any environment natural or constructed of your choice.

    * Since a picture is worth a thousand words (in as many languages) you may let your art speak for itself; no comment, titles or captions are necessary. However, due to the technical aspects of the subject matter, comments and notes on your methodology, as well as techniques, tips, tricks and advice on all theoretical and practical aspects of this particular type of Art may be discussed - and even prove informative!

    * Discussions about your 'collection' should be taken to the relevant 'Collector' threads.
    * Discussions about 'customising' - likewise.
    * Discussions about capturing it 'through the lens', how you modeled your environments (and showing off your artistic genius) - HERE!


    * Attempt to limit over-enthusiastic posting - space it out. A glut of pictures doesn't create a hunger for more.

    * Please accept critiques gracefully. Remember - there are professionals in here that may help you master your art.

    * Positive comments are always accepted, and makes for a welcome audience.

    These are only Guidelines. Following the Site Rules, however, as outlined by the Administration, is mandatory.

    As we go along, I'll describe (with graphics) how I go about getting the effects I want. You are most welcome to join the discussion with your own dioramas, as well as passing on your own tricks and tips in our efforts to capture the light of reality around the models in our collection. Pro photographers who wish to share their photographic skills are specially welcome!
    Thanking You for your Participation and Contributions!

    Cheers,
    Harry.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  2. photonrider

    photonrider Premium

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    [​IMG]

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    Notes: Kodak CX7530 5MP. Close-up. Natural Light. Unretouched. Handheld. Plasticine figurines. Cars are assorted 1:64s, 'cept for shots #2 & #3; GT-R is a BBURAGO 1:43, NASCAR Micro is Rick Mears Remington Ford by Racing Champions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
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  3. Cano

    Cano Premium

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    aaaaah this thread was made for this shot.

    Look.

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    I shot this in absolute darkness. I first measured light and apperture with the headlamps of a car, then turned them off. I triggered the camera in bulb mode and walked around the car with a handheld strobe, popping it where I wanted to get light, including of course the interior of the car and the background chimney, and the giant window, altough I popped the light from outside of the room. It was something along the lines of two and a half minutes of exposure.
     
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  4. photonrider

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    Cano - I happened to boot up this thread while my kids were looking over my shoulder, and they go: "Wow!" at your shot . . . and : "How did he do that?" and so on. Huge amount of prize-winning work in that shot.
    However - ;) - the Hula dancer gives the game away about the size of the car on a grand scale.
    Now - the rest of your great car shots in here, please . . . heh.

    Took this awhile back - no flash, but used a Doller Store key-chain flashlight to get this effect:
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    Some Toy-makers give attention to the little details that make faux-realistic photography more realistic - this car is from Majorette:

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  5. photonrider

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  6. Ibonibo

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    I smell discrimination again against the 1/18 collectors :( ;)
     
  7. NISM0_SKYLINE

    NISM0_SKYLINE

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    :tup: :lol:.

    I don't shoot my 1:64 as often as I should.
     
  8. photonrider

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    I have a whole bunch of 1:18s - as well as 1:24s and R/Cs. I have been diving into the larger models thread on and off but I usually like to read up on a thread - especially if it pertains to a single topic - right through before I contribute. So I'll be eventually in there with my bigger models. I have seen some awesome cars in there though; my collection pales in comparison.

    I would love to see more shots in here by other members - especially some of you more 'pro' photographers who also have some miniatures hanging around. And the OP does state that it is not related to cars alone - but also other transport vehicles.

    I'd like to see a 1:64 Aircraft Carrier in here. (Or a 1:32 for that matter; how big would that be?) That would be really awesome. Or some present day fighter jets; they'll all be usually smaller scale than 1:32 since they are already so big IRL
     
  9. photonrider

    photonrider Premium

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    [​IMG]

    1:40 Porsche Panamera S by KINSMART
     
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  10. photonrider

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    Take a box, a small box, maybe about 6" X 6" , cut the lid off, and a large archway in one side and turn it upside down. Place a car in it and take a photograph.
    Like so:

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    Doesn't look like much, so we are going to dress up that box a bit:
    We'll need some self-stick vinyl, a few Dollar-store (read 'cheap') flashlights, a couple of floor tiles, some kitchen matches, lengths of dowel, some old car magazines, a bit of tape, a sharp X-acto knife.. . .the list is actually endless. A glue gun is a very useful tool for this hobby.
    In reality all you need to get a good shot is a floor tile - I'll explain in a moment.
    Let's look at some of the odds and ends I've put together for this shoot:


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    I'll cover the inner sides of the box with the self-stick vinyl so it looks like paneled wall, and I'll make a hole in the ceiling for the light fixture:

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    The car in the pic is a HW Mainline, slighter smaller than 1/64 scale. We are attempting to make a room to scale for cars of similar scale - very important for an illusionary sense of realism.
    So a quick shot to check for scale:


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    Meanwhile, I also decide to make a warehouse/garage environment for some 1/43 scale cars. I use a larger box for this and spray the inner walls of the box with some silver-grey paint to simulate concrete;

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    Corrugated board can be purchased by the foot at most good stationers - I'm spraying a piece cut to fit as the inner ceiling of the large box - this will simulate the corrugated ceiling of the larger garage:

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    I cut some holes in the ceiling for the warehouse lights:

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    And use a glue gun to fix the corrugated white-painted ceiling to the inner roof of the box:

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    Part of the fun is taking shots as you go along - digital photography is a bonus for today's hobbyist - and it's fun experimenting with the models as your construction takes shape. This also helps in gauging your progress in recreating the realism.
    So an excuse to try out a quick shot of the large garage:


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    I cut off a bit of the side to make a doorway, and place a picture of some buildings (remember - to scale) behind the doorway. Another shot to check the effect. These cars are 1/43s - so the scale seems okay for this particular box.


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    I have a bunch of various 1' X 1' Vinyl floor tiles I'm playing around with -one of them looks like the terrain on Mars. Easy enough to place a model on one and take an unplanned shot just for some variety :) :


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    As you can see, for simple overhead shots, a good floor tile can act as a very realistic base. Floor tiles can be bought individually at most Home Improvement stores as samples; they can cost anything from fifty cents to five bucks each, and could be made from anything - wood, marble, vinyl, etc. The tile I selected for the larger box was grey, and had a mottled concrete-floor look to it.


    Back to the big box, and I'm trying out more angles now - remember at this point all we have is a spray-painted box, a floor tile, and a picture :) :


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    Even now - your shots should be good enough for dressing-up and display (wherever you put such shots - your blog, or Facebook, your website, this thread .. . . ;)

    Like so:


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    And so:

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    So far - easy as pie (in comparison to the results achieved), right?

    Now back to the little box - I've decided a red cement floor will look good with the panelling, keeping all the colours warm. The kitchen matches are chopped to fit and glued on the fake panelling, and I've sourced a strip of miniature car pictures from a magazine - and that became the poster on the wall.
    As you can see those minute touches transformed the box into a little dealer showroom:


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    Dressed-up a bit:


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    This room is almost done - we may add a reception counter and some potted plants, maybe a coffee-table and some lounge chairs as we go along. For now it's still a decent background for your model photography:

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    Compare this shot of the crimson '53 Starliner with the one we we took at the beginning. Doesn't look so much like a toycar in a box. :)


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    Back to the big box - and I'm posing models now for a sense of proportion, and soon a little box appears in the big box wanting to be something:

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    The Army truck is not to scale, so is booted (one of those odd sizes between 1/43 and 1/64) but the little box assumes shape as an office:

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    More players take the stage, a fork-lift . . . and the ubiquitous GT-R appears in the wings:


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    For me it's all about 'mood'. When you look at a picture and think - I need to drive that car. Now.

    Even the moon comes out to play.


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    More later. It's your turn. Go find a shoebox and some cars. Don't forget your camera :tup:


    Cheers,
    Harry.
     
  11. ForceMotion

    ForceMotion

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    That's awesome.. Gotta try that myself when i'm in a creative mood :)
     
  12. photonrider

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    Thanks, ForceMotion - I'll be looking forward to your pics now. Yes, nothing like feeding the Creative Mood when the muse hits, it's a very satisfying feeling. I believe, in a philosophical manner anyway, that we are all intrinsically creative beings.

    Back in the Collector's Thread, RACECAR mentioned that one of the problems with dioramas is of course the amount of time that it can consume.
    True. But that all depends on what kind of Diorama.

    Take a look at these pics first:

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    This took all of 30 seconds to create and shoot.
     
  13. photonrider

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    Alright . . . for those who have stayed with the discussion - enough guessing.

    Others, you may want to browse earlier posts.

    Let's take another look at a picture from that 'setting' or 'staging' I used - which I said just took 30 Secs to recreate:


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    Easy:
    Here's the 'Gods-eye' view:


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    I usually have a car in my pocket - the current favourite was this one - I was picking up the mail - which had the usual mass of tree-sucking junk mail in it, including several Flyers (Advertising leaflets/pamphlets) and one of them had a picture of a nice row of houses.
    I reach my desk, prop the picture up, place the car on my chequebook which made for an instant roadway - and there we go - the next moment I was snapping.

    This brings us to another part of this discussion - in fact, the core part of it - the actual photography.
    Or else what would be be doing here, among all the photo genii.
    Nothing much to be recommended for the pros here - but for you beginners, I've kept it really simple by taking all these photos with either a phone camera (iPhone) or a medium quality digital camera. (Kodak CX 7530)
    Obviously, if you have better equipment, the potential to get exceedingly fine shots is very possible.

    Try to get closeup to your subject.
    First spend time composing your environment - use your sense of the proportions of reality to gauge whether your car is to the same scale as the environment it is staged in.
    Take your time composing. Never rush it. Enjoy the feeling of being 'Godlike' -with the ability to view from a distance a microscopic world of beauty. Remember how you feel when you have your face squished against the glass of a fish tank peering into their world.
    When you find that perfect angle, when you yourself are hypnotized by the picture, you are ready to take the picture.
    Keep your camera steady - hold your breath (either in or out - out is better) make sure your auto-focus has focused.
    Check your composition - then be still - except for the one finger that has to squeeze the shutter button - not jerk or press down on it. Yeah, squeeze.
    You have to make sure that your camera has the right settings. For convenience - I have used a standard Apple 3GS iPhone - with no apps, no special tinkering with any of the settings - just point and shoot - anyone can do this. Just follow the rest of the instructions above.
    For digital Camera buffs - as I said - it's a basic camera - so you should have a Close Up setting. (Usually the icon is a flower)(Pros call this Macro)
    At close up - the standard flash from your camera is blinding - a zillion photons leaping out pretty much simultaneously, jostling and shoving for a place to land on and bounce off into Virtual Infinity. And no room to spread out and find a spot to land and dance off with individual colour. They just smash down together and bounce up again in fissionary position. We don't want that.
    Put the flash off if you are up close - and experiment with various individual and soft lights that you can get from a 'Dollar' store - or local hardware store.
    Because this is digital and you don't have to start stringing red lights in your closet to develop the results - you can take your shots over to your computer and examine the full size results immediately.
    Check the 'flashing' - hard light bouncing off reflective surfaces and adjust the lighting, softening it. Or if there is plenty of light on and around the areas that are not flashing, then you may decrease your shutter speed (thereby cutting down on your 'shake'). Look for a menu setting that will permit you to adjust your shutter speed (the speed at which your shutter-eye opens and closes) If it says 1/4 - well then it's opening and closing at 1/4 Sec.
    If it says 1/30 - well then that's 1/30 of a Sec.
    Most people are successful getting steady and detailed shots when the setting is at 1/125 of a second. But you need at least 1/60 of Sec (slower - so more time for the light to enter the shutter-eye) if you are using the flash.
    Next is the aperture - (the size that the shutter eye is going to be when you open and close it at 1/125 of a Sec. The eye (aperture) could be made big - or could be made small. Small = less light coming in. But more detail coming in. Big = More light, less detail.
    Let's mull those basics over for awhile as you experiment.
    The nice thing about this hobby is - if you like taking photos - you'll have the opportunity to have endless hours of fun.
    Back to 30 Sec set-ups, now that you're looking out for 'flashings' and a steady hand and so on.. . . ;)
    30 Sec set-ups may just only require a shiny piece of Cardboard as a simulated Showroom floor:


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    Let's apply the whole thing about detail to the last picture (you may then apply that same scrutiny to the pics preceding it.)
    The Lambo has nice detail. The Patrol Car in the background is blurry. What happened here? The eye (aperture) was too big. The area of detail (DOF as pros would call it or Depth of Field) is less. Short distance. If the eye was made smaller, then the further car would also be in detail.
    Could we get closer to that car to solve that problem?
    No - if you got too close, the car in front would then move out of the 'clear' area - and go into the 'blurry' area.
    Also - when you make the eye smaller to get detail - there is less light coming in - which makes for a darker picture and you're beginning to lose detail again.

    See where this is going? We're a dog chasing its tail. But when we catch it, it's the best kind of fun - and cures that itch.

    One way to let more light in with the eye made smaller is to keep it open for longer. So that there is more time for more photons to get in and turn into binary bits. But - the longer you keep the eye open - the longer it is also registering your every little shiver of excitement. That = blurry all over.
    If what you are shooting is also moving - then we've got double blur.
    Can't have that either - so you may get a tripod - to keep the camera still - or . . . learn to be still. Be very, very still. You're gathering a stream of photons through that tiny eye and moving the tunnel you've created for them to fly though, dislocates their aim and they cannot hit right. And give you that nice, precise spot of colour that you want.
    The other way to increase the light coming into through the aperture (we know that word now, don't we?) is to increase the light around the object itself.

    Another way to close up on the subject, without using the Close-up setting (maybe you want to use the flash) is to use a Portrait setting (look for a Head Icon) and standing a few feet away from the subject then zoom into the car and it's environment till you see the car in it's setting much like you would see if your face was only inches away the staging area.

    A 30 Sec set-up that required just placing the appropriate floor-tile beneath the car - and framing it in the proportions of reality:

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    Here's another 30 Sec set-up that takes care of your DOF (you know what that means ;) ) because it's just a flat picture used as a backdrop - there is no depth to it - and the aperture doesn't have to focus that far.

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    Focus?
    Not much to it when you have Auto-focus on - but as we go along maybe we'll uncover a few mysteries that will lead to very complicated issues about focusing.
    Just make sure your picture is nice and clear (as you artistically want it anyway) and that whatever coloured indicators on your screen indicate that your camera is focused, is indicating that your camera is focused - well then shoot.

    Now for a few more shots that come from stagings that take a little longer than 30 Secs.

    But not too long. The actual photography is so much fun that that is what takes the longest. These are mock-up shots ('prototypes' before the real build. Digital photography helps you make blueprints as you go along. ;)


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    a6m5 - you were asking me details about this diorama:

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    I didn't want to derail the heavy-money discussion in the collectors thread - ;) so here's what happens - I'll give you a few basics to start: This particular track is a stage - not for racing - much like a movie-set - where only a potion of one's field of vision is captured:

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    More later. This is a partial mock-up - some parts are complete. I will be taking it through step-by-step soon. Before that we'll be looking at that old grey concrete warehouse/garage setting that was made for 1/43s again - out of the box. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  14. a6m5

    a6m5 Premium

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    I took this picture awhile back for Harry. I forgot all about it until I just happened to post a pic of the same car in the 'collectors' thread. ;)

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    With my skills & imagination, this is as good as it gets. It's all downhill from here. :dopey:
     
  15. photonrider

    photonrider Premium

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    Damn nice. And even without the wad of cash. ;)

    Some FB?
    Well, I guess you may have realised that the huge blob of light down at the bottom left corner, while balancing the darkness in the top right corner, is a little too bright - one way of adjusting this was to keep your eye on that blob and move the camera slightly so it lessens and that all those photons can't jump in from that same angle.
    The detail on the car is excellent - you've been taking shots, my friend - and obviously improving your skills every day.

    Now on to creating some dioramas - it's obvious your camera skills are good enough to tackle most projects! Even a few white pit-lines or numbers on that surface partly covered by the wheels or chassis of the car would make the car rise towards the viewer.
    I see colour in there - it's not a black and white pic, yet you have done such a great job of capturing the nostalgia in a 'black and white' way while it seems to have a faint overlay of colour about it. The high-lit details on the curves, grilles, vents, wheels, all bring it together nicely. :)

    Thanks for dropping in, a6m5. MOAR! Keep working on it.

    A few shots from the Harrisville Speedway - still under construction, but the racers in the neighborhood can't keep their cars off it:

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    This one above was taken outdoors - spontaneously. I usually have some car or two in my pockets - we were fishing. While the fish were ignoring our worms I busied myself taking photos of this rally up some mountainside precipice.

    Below is the Drag Strip we race cars on - here is where you can use some blur, too - not just to mask or hide hard edges, and unrealistic objects, but also to show motion. Cars were too fast for my camera. However a good photographer will be able to capture just that sense of speed as the cars roll downhill by themselves.
    The car in the foreground had spun out from the previous race, and was still on the track.

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    Now - I promised to show you what was outside the box - outside this box:

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    This is what you would see when you get out of the illusion, and view it from an altogether different reality:

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    And the 'Moon' we created using a flashlight and some blue card, and now you really see the model horses and so on hanging out it the yard:

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    Which gave us this:

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    Any photoshopping or special editing done? No. Just the border thrown in from a basic editing program. The rest was all painting with light - trapping the dance of real photons.
    You can do it, too. Have fun. :tup:
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  16. SVX

    SVX Premium

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    Wow, a great read Harry. I've got a lot of time on my hands, since it's the holidays, so I may just try out your garage/diorama idea! Looks awesome and heaps of possibilities. Especially loving the warehouse looking one! :drool:

    Subscribed. :tup:
     
  17. photonrider

    photonrider Premium

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    Ah! You got here finally. :tup:

    I'm glad it's holidays on the other side of the world - now you and the gang over there are going to have time on your hands - so you can put it to good use with a hobby like this.

    Need I tell you that your shot of the Ken Meri on the Mountain ( ; in your personal gallery ) was the one that inspired the shot of the 'Rally on the Precipice' ?

    Bring your shots in here, and we can talk about them :) . Until then - happy snapping, and enjoy your Holidays! :tup:
     
  18. SVX

    SVX Premium

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    Yeah! It great to hang out with the GTP crew (:lol:) more often.

    Wow, inspired? I'm honored! Thanks a lot man. :tup:

    I've got some newer ones on the way, but here they are:

     
  19. Spacegoat

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    Alright, I was bored, so I decided to give this a go :lol:. Here's a quick picture of my Tomica Group N Suzuki Swift in it's "natural environment".

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    Suzuki Swift by VC SL/E, on Flickr​

    Just like a6, this is probably as far as my skills and imagination will go. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this thread though. Keep up the good work. :tup:
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
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  20. a6m5

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    That is nice goat! :tup: I like the lighting on the soil/dirt. Next time, I think you should experiment sprinkling some of that on the car, make it look like it was rally racing. My Swift? No, that one's going to stay clean inside the shiny Tomica box. :D

    Seriously though, I like it a lot. Good job! :tup:
     
  21. SVX

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    Great job Spacegoat! :tup:
     
  22. Spacegoat

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    You know I did consider that, but seeing as that was only the second time it's been out of it's box..................Yeah, no thanks.
    :lol:
    Thanks for the kind words guys. :tup:
     
  23. VspecZR1GT2RS89

    VspecZR1GT2RS89

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    Yep, I'm loving the scene goat!!! :tup:
     
  24. photonrider

    photonrider Premium

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    Good shots, SVX - what camera are you using? Just the model number would be enough - the specs would be on the net.
    Let me give you some FB - the black and white does a lot to disguise the actual size of the grass, so the mountain gains more proportion - so this works well. Maybe a faster shutter speed or smaller aperture might have helped to lose some of the extra light, and gain detail on the car. Also - if you cleared the debris to the right, it wouldn't distract the viewer from the raw majesty of the way you've portrayed the Ken Meri conquering the mountain. Another trick - imagine a road down below that mountain a road way down below and dwindling into the distance - you could achieve that by laying narrow strips of black card in S-Curves and so on, on the grass. It would be slightly out of focus and looking realistic

    I like the detail on the car below, the reflections work well to bring out the metallic realness of the car and it loses its 'toyness' - but the big leaf beside the car destroys the proportions of reality - so you have to watch for that. Instead of a Lambo on a ledge we keep looking at that leaf, and losing the whole drama of the scene - the angle of attack from the car is awesome, and it seems almost ready to lose a wheel off that ledge before scurrying back to safety. The folded leaf blocks that movement.

    The last one here needs more car - and that large shadow has to go. Makes you think . . .the possibilities are endless, eh? One of the things that stand out in all your shots - and I think I said the same in your Gallery Thread - you seem to really enjoy your photography. And that's the main thing. :) :tup:

    Man, the Goat has the eye for it.

    Great work, Goat, glad to see you here, too, honing your photographic skills. That's a picture-perfect shot - nice detail highlit by being thrown against a blurred and darkened background. You make that car look real good. If I was to be picky, I'd say remove the rock from the right side of the picture (looks too large to fit into the general size of everything else in there) - and I would also mark out on the gravel a sort of beaten road, and maybe tire tracks behind the car - which would give it some motion. Because of the great detail it seems like the wheels are still.
    Lovely shot, and really sweetens the ride to look at.


    Alright - I'll thrown one of mine in here that I took today (look around at thrift or charity stores for boxes of old tracks and you may get lucky - else next time you're out purchasing cars, look at the track sets, too - might find something you can work with - like so :

    [​IMG]

    Okay - great shots so far, all you guys - we're learning that there is a use to these cars we keep collecting. :lol:
    Hoping to see more; photos, and how you guys took them - as well, I shall drop in soon to continue giving you details of what I'm doing.
     
  25. Spacegoat

    Spacegoat Premium

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    Thanks, mate. :tup:
    Thanks for the kind words and feedback, Harry. :tup:

    There was no real secret to the shot itself, I just picked out a spot, I thought looked good, cleared the ground a bit ( and got a cactus in my index finger for my trouble ), positioned the car and took a couple of shots. The whole process probably took no more than 10 minutes. :lol: I'll definitely keep your feedback in consideration for next time.

    Thanks once again. :tup:

    Edit: Apologies, SVX, I totally forgot to mention how much, I enjoyed your photo's yesterday.:guilty: Very nice work, keep it up mate. :tup:
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  26. SVX

    SVX Premium

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    13,911
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Thanks a lot for the great feedback Harry, I'll definitely keep it in mind for my next shots.

    My camera of choice was my Panasonic DMC-LS5.


    No worries.

    Thanks! :cheers:
     
  27. photonrider

    photonrider Premium

    Messages:
    7,417
    Location:
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    Ah, you're bound to meet the odd prickly pear on the way through that desert - yes, and this is what I mean by those '30 Sec' shots. Have a car on you? Got a camera with you? Stuck in the desert?
    It's a snap. More from you, man, go wild. I see you have a good imagination, a flair for lighting, and a good eye.

    That's a good camera, though I see that it doesn't allow for too much manual photography. You're doing a great job with it; try to fiddle with the exposure menu and experiment - you may like some of the results.
    Look for more environments outdoors when you are strolling around; sometimes just a curbstone in the right part of town, makes a stunning backdrop.
    Just remember those 'proportions of reality'.

    Here's a quick cameo I did - Monster Trucks are coming to the Harrisville Speedway:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  28. AOS-

    AOS- Premium

    Messages:
    28,123
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    Canada
    Didn't know this thread existed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Yes I painted all the pieces white. It was deliberate and I should really take a darn photo of the finished product..
     
  29. photonrider

    photonrider Premium

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Wow - Andy - that's brilliant work. I specially like the first picture. Why don't you also tell us a bit about how you made (or acquired) all those special little props - and any other tips you may have.
    Thanks for joining the Diorama workshop! I do welcome the artistry you will bring to the discussion - hoping to see you showcase more of your 'special' shots in here. As you know we don't generally discuss collecting or customising in here - but we do talk a lot about photography, and of course, the environments we set up the shoots in.
    What camera are you using, BTW, and what settings? - if you don't mind sharing? We are all here to learn. ;) :tup:
     
  30. AOS-

    AOS- Premium

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    I've actually made a whole thread to documenting it all here:

    http://ar-machine.net/forums/showthread.php?tid=477
    Language warning. There are a few slips of the tongue so viewer discretion is advised.

    The long-story short of it is that I wanted to create backdrop for documenting photos of the cars I add to my collection... I basically no longer wanted to use a plain white backdrop since everyone else can do the same. I wanted my photos to stand out so that they are distinguishable from the rest.

    Ideas of a diorama have been an on-and-off thought of mine for a while and a garage has been the primary vision. But as my habit of wanting to be original, I didn't want to simply make a direct replica of a garage after I've seen several other people do it. It looks great, yeah, but with so many garage dioramas out there already, I had to make mine look substantially different.

    I settled on the idea of of creating the impression of an indoor photography studio where the backdrop is all white (ironically enough). Then I thought about 3D digital space, where the surface plane we interpret as the floor has no ends, and how everything should look like a developing CAD model- where it was a blank render with all objects and surfaces being plain white... that sounded pretty outstanding and so I decided to run my project off this goal.

    I knew about the materials I could get and what I'm capable of making in a short period of time. I know that I didn't want to spend too much time on it since I'm still studying in school, have assignments, a part-time job, and other things that have higher priority than this. I chose to find ready-made products which would drastically speed up the process, and whatever I couldn't find, I'd draw it up in a CAD program (Rhino 4) and get it 3D printed at school. The first thing I did was asked around what would an auto garage have, one person I asked works in an auto shop so he knows more than I do. Things were named, things were noted, but with my unorganized workflow, I ended up forgetting most of that, as well as the idea of making scaled objects in Rhino since I was running short on time. What I ended up doing was searching for a Diorama 6-piece kit by Greenlight as suggested by Cano, found a seller on eBay, bought it, took photos of the mint product with the '55 Chevy seen in that photo. I also got hold of a car lift made by M2, and just had to include a car in repair, to which then I started looking for higher-end diecasts since only they would have hinged bonnets. I put little thought into which car to choose, I grabed whatever I found at stores; an Ultra Hot '41 Woody, and a Boulevard GTO. With all the pieces obtained, I then painted them all white, grabbed a square foot piece of white acrylic as well as 2 pieces of styrene, both are sold at my school.

    Like a studio, the setting has to be absolutely clean, so choosing the glossy surface of acrylic was perfect because a reflective surface reveals any debris easily and the reflection of objects strengthens the impression of a clean surface. Next was the walls. I may be thinking of an endless plane, but that's only something perceivable in person rather than the photos I generate. At the end of the day it's still a garage I want the impression of, so walls are most certainly needed. Now you may be thinking why I chose the matte finish over the spotless appeal of acrylic. The reasons overcome technical issues. First; a reflective surface that's facing the camera will most certainly hold a reflected image of the camera and myself, and second; having a matte surface means any light that shines on it will be absorbed so when I go to adjust the depth of field on the camera, I get a diffused white backdrop, phased out that you won't pay much attention to it.

    With the construction out of the way, I am now using a Canon T3i, on settings I don't even remember- I do all the photps by trial-and-error and never bother to remember any settings. All I've been told is to keep the ISO low and turn down the shutter speed. Turn up the F-stop so the depth of field isn't so exaggerated, and use a tripod. The photo with the Chevy was actually taken with a Sony DSC-P73 point-and-shoot; a 4.1 MP camera, when digital cameras were all the hype back then... It wasn't long after that photo when I chipped in with the family to get the Canon.



    I recently bought a car jack I'm adding to my diorama pieces, still need to get that painted. Once I do, I'll settle down one day when I don't have work, and rephotograph all my cars, just to update my database of what I have left.

    Thanks for reading.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012