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Photography Basics for Modeling

"MSW Associate Editor Frank Portela (Clanky44) gives us a "Photography 101" course with this MSW look at how to take better photos of your models!"

Understanding your camera
Digital cameras fall into two categories, the DSLR (digital single lens reflex) and the digital point and shoot camera. This basic tutorial will cover the basics for both options.

Get acquainted with your camera, spend some time with your user’s manual, read through and understand all the features your camera offers you.

Most point and shoot cameras available these days offer a wide selection of shooting options. Understanding your camera will give you access to features which will enhance your photography, and make it a stress free part of your on-line modeling.

Whether you’re using a DSLR or a point and shoot, a few basics must be understood.

Depth of Field
Whenever you take a photograph, an area extending in front and behind the point you focus on will appear sharp in the photograph. This area of sharpness is known as the ‘depth of field’. It is the most important aspect in shooting your model as you will want your model within this sharp area. The difference between a shallow and deep depth of field is illustrated by the following two photos.

On DSLR’s set your camera to aperture priority and with the use of fill in flash, set your lens to its widest aperture possible (f/22, f/32) and focus in approximately one third of the way into your model. (a rule of thumb worth remembering is that depth of field extends roughly twice as far behind the point you focus on as it does in front).

With point and shoot cameras, you will not have these options, but will have a set of scene options that will offer built in variable ‘depth of field’ selections. As all point and shoot cameras differ in their options and settings, you will have to experiment with your point and shoot camera and figure out the optimal selection.
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About Frank Portela (Clanky44)

I'm an avid modeller, with about 20 odd years of experience. I belong to a very small group of modellers here in Guelph, Ontario that formed GPMG (Guelph Plastic Modelling Group) over 12 years ago. We have our annual show (WELCOME - Wellington County Modellers Exposition) in the spring. We pride ou...