Gun Photography Black Backdrop--How?


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Skunkabilly
January 5, 2003, 01:46 PM
I seen some photos with an all black backdrop like the guns are floating in space. How does one do this, velvet?

http://www.hkpro.com/memuspcstainless.jpg

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Sven
January 5, 2003, 02:12 PM
Look carefully - you will see some texturing on that pattern.

My guess is that it is a black velvet or velveteen.

Should be about $12/yard.

Zundfolge
January 5, 2003, 02:37 PM
Here's your answer;

http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/main.html

45R
January 5, 2003, 03:33 PM
Photoshop is great for editing pictures!!!! I believe that floating on air look has something to do with exposure time and the amount of zoom that you use, as well as photoediting software Takes some practice.

45R

Blackhawk
January 5, 2003, 04:43 PM
Since edited photos don't have the same "credibiity", I'd rephrase Skunk's question as "What is an EASY way without editing to get a black background in a photo so a gun appears to be floating in space?"

I wanna know too! :confused:

Justin
January 5, 2003, 05:15 PM
Blackhawk-

I wouldn't say that, as practically every single print/video/film/movie image that you see has probably been converted digitally at least once in the production process.

Monkeyleg
January 5, 2003, 05:45 PM
If you don't want to go the Photoshop route, then black velvet is the way to go. There are black velvet materials that are more black than others, though. The lighter, softer black velvet doesn't soak up as much light as the heavier velvet.

Another thing you might want to try if you're trying to get a pure black background: shoot straight down on the gun, and have some kind of hidden support underneath it that gets it at least several inches above the velvet. This will put the velvet more out of focus, which helps hide detail in the material, and also it will keep the light you're hitting the gun with off the velvet.

Another trick, but far more tedious, is to create a mask in front of the lens out of a black card, in the shape of the gun. With the right placement you can get it to be pretty accurate, but that technique is best used with large-format view cameras rather than 35mm or small digital cameras.

Zundfolge
January 5, 2003, 09:21 PM
The problem with shooting the gun on black velvet is that the blackness of the velvet will be reflected in stainless steel (or nickel).

Its better to shoot it on a white background and theyn use a layer mask to drop in the black background.

jrhines
January 5, 2003, 09:45 PM
Skunk- Monkeyleg is on the right track. Support the gun on a stand of some sort, like a 1/2" dowel with a 2x4 block on the lower end. This whole device should be painted flat black. Keep the gun up off the background at least 3 times the distance from the lights to the gun. For example, if you have your light mounted on the camera (a built-in flash?), and the camera is 12" away from the gun, then the background should be 36" behind the gun. Why? Because that means that only 1/16th of the light that reaches the gun will reach the background - results, a black background. Also, if you have an adjustable camera, shoot with the lens open (f4 or better). This will decrease the depth of field, so that only the gun will be in focus and the background will appear (what?), blacker, well, you know what I mean. BTW, to support the gun on the dowel - modeling clay, poster putty, or a strong magnet super-glued to the end of the dowel. Using this technique you can use any dark material, velvet is nice but pricey!

J.Rhines
Seneca, MD

Yohan
January 5, 2003, 09:46 PM
*ahem*- example please :D

Monkeyleg
January 6, 2003, 12:09 AM
jrhines, you're telling Skunk even more than you know.

If whoever is doing the photo can get the gun even 12" above the velvet, then all sorts of magic can happen. If the front-of-lens mask is used, then the photographer can bring fill cards close to the gun, and the shadow areas (such as the black grips and black frame) can be lit up without the fill cards showing in the final photo.

Photoshop is wonderful (been doing it for years), but getting the shot on film without post-production work is especially satisfying.

freeride21a
January 6, 2003, 12:13 AM
i take all my photos of guns on white sheets or scan them on my scanner if they fit...then it is VERY easy to cut them out with photoshop.

i dont have the proper lighting for making a good photo off the bat.

justinh
January 6, 2003, 12:23 AM
Don't buy so many tactical (black) guns. They will be easier to see. :)

Monkeyleg
January 6, 2003, 12:36 AM
Yohan: "*ahem*- example please"

If you want examples, I'll have to go digging through boxes of film from twenty years ago. When there was no Photoshop, no Scitex's. All the "special effects" stuff was done by hand and eye, and microscopic camera adjustments.

I kid you not: it took two days to mask off a simple item like a TV and drop it into another shot containing the background. And the clients paid for two days of work!

The two day's work I don't miss. The budgets I do miss.

coop57
January 8, 2003, 04:02 PM
All the above answers are possible but I know that guns really do float in space.

Sven
January 8, 2003, 04:50 PM
lol

RobW
January 8, 2003, 07:45 PM
Quiet easy, you just have to be in an European apprenticeship for 3 1/2 years to be a photographer.

Have a roll of black background paper (available in rolls 10' by 20' for photo-studio-racks about $ 150.00), a mono-rail camera (like sinar, about $ 4,000.00), professional tripod, professional lighting/flash system ($ 4,000.00 and up). Set the lights properly and make sure, that the background is 1 apertuere darker than the darkest visible part of the object. Make about 10 shots with different apertures and light settings, develope film (at least 4 x 5") and there you are!

Guess why good product photographers bill you some thousand dollars for shots!

Photoshop???

BWHAAHAAHAAA :D

Wildalaska
January 8, 2003, 09:45 PM
We have a digital camera, Photoshop, Fireworks, Ulead, and our pics look like sh*t!

Technology can not cure plain and simple lack of artistic ability...

Sven
January 8, 2003, 09:48 PM
Have a roll of black background paper (available in rolls 10' by 20' for photo-studio-racks about $ 150.00), a mono-rail camera (like sinar, about $ 4,000.00), professional tripod, professional lighting/flash system ($ 4,000.00 and up). Set the lights properly and make sure, that the background is 1 apertuere darker than the darkest visible part of the object. Make about 10 shots with different apertures and light settings, develope film (at least 4 x 5") and there you are!

... and then covert it down to a compressed JPEG of, oh, 420x320... come on now, is all that really necessary for posting photos of our guns?

=)

-s

Monkeyleg
January 9, 2003, 12:04 AM
RobW: I sure hope you're being facetious. (And I do believe you are).

Far too many people who are hooked on a hobby think that they can buy their way into it. It just doesn't work that way. (Hell, if dollars were the only requirement to being a good shooter, I'd be an Olympic champion).

When someone who doesn't know 100% what they're doing tries to practice their "art," it looks like it takes some effort to do. When somebody who knows what they're doing does it, it looks effortless.

Skunk, get yourself a section of the softest black velvet you can find. Try shooting more straight-down on your guns so you can hide the supports.

If you really want to figure out how to get a totally black background without using something like Photoshop, let me know. From the posts you've had over the last year regarding photographing guns, it sounds like you want to pursue this. I'd be glad to help.

Sven
January 9, 2003, 12:34 AM
I should really sit back and wait for the Photoshop experts to chime in, but one thing I almost ALWAYS do with my photos is hand-balance the levels in Photoshop.

http://www.aa6g.org/Astronomy/Articles/levels.html

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