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View Full Version : safari rifle photo tips, anyone got any?


suecassidy
9th of March 2011 (Wed), 11:26
My friend asked me to take some photos of his two Westley Richards double safari rifles. He waited 2 years to have them built and wants some artful photos to hang in his den. I know how to be "artistic" in the set up, and have the gear to produce something like that, but have never shot rifles before. I have "shot" them, but not photographically speaking. Things guns are a work of art in themselves, as are all the accessories that come with it, the hand tooled leather case, etc. I want to do this gun right!

does anyone have any tips on shooting such a subject? I don't know what I don't know.... I don't have pin lights to highlight the engraving etc., but I might be able to do that in PP?

I'll be shooting RAW, proabably using some combination of natural light, and strobe. I have a 74 inch elinchrom octabank and some off camera canon flashes if I need them. Any thoughts?

DannyLongIsland
9th of March 2011 (Wed), 11:48
Sue,

I'm sure stick gunner will be right along, as I would call him one of the go to guys for firearm photography. Check out his flickr, I'm sure that will give you some ideas.

As far as highlighting the engraving, maybe use the octabank for main and a speedlite for a rim to set focus on the engraving? Just an idea. I'm sure once you have it in front of you the ideas will start. Make sure to post the pics up, I'd love to check those rifles out. Good luck!

suecassidy
9th of March 2011 (Wed), 13:17
Thanks for the post, Dan. I'm just uploading some of the shots now. I'm just doing a test run and will doing the real deal tomorrow. These guns are GORGEOUS! I haven't shot either of them yet, but the last double rifle of my friend's that i took a target shot at almost blew my shoulder off. This type of "shooting", with a camera, is so much easier...

suecassidy
9th of March 2011 (Wed), 15:20
so I"m glad I did a "dry run". I'm SO out of my element here. I can see where I have to control the stray ambient a lot more, so will come prepared better tomorrow. I overdid it with the background props and need to keep it simpler. I haven't a sweet frickin' clue what I'm doing here, but perhaps someone can enlighten me? I'm posting a few for comments and will have another go tomorrow...

suecassidy
9th of March 2011 (Wed), 15:26
This one is the bolt action with scope. I did a few shots with both guns in same shot, not a "happy". Need to "pose" them better. anyhoo, it is a start and definitely a challenge as I typically shoot portraits and dogs.

DannyLongIsland
9th of March 2011 (Wed), 20:15
I would consider trying a plain black or white seamless background. I find the other props distract from the rifles themselves, which are gorgeous. I think that would draw all the attention to the rifles and their highlights. You could always bring the props as well to add and take away as you see fit.If your friend waited 2 years for them I'm sure he wouldn't mind you taking some time to try a few different things.

Just make sure to either wear gloves while handling or have him wipe them down, nothing would ruin a shot of that engraving than a oily fingerprint on the metal. They are beautiful.

suecassidy
9th of March 2011 (Wed), 20:30
Good advice, Dan. Of course, I already have an oily fingerprint immortalized in pixels, but lesson learned, ha ha. I'm going to shoot it again tomorrow on thunder gray seamless and will remember to take the caps off the scope next time, and do some without the scope. The bolt action is a nice gun and looks much better without the scope. I'm not going to use those props either. He has a nice library of Peter Capstick books and wants me to incorporate some of those into a shot. will see where that takes us....appreciate your comments, btw. sue

Pinto
12th of March 2011 (Sat), 14:35
Good advice, Dan. Of course, I already have an oily fingerprint immortalized in pixels, but lesson learned, ha ha. I'm going to shoot it again tomorrow on thunder gray seamless and will remember to take the caps off the scope next time, and do some without the scope. The bolt action is a nice gun and looks much better without the scope. I'm not going to use those props either. He has a nice library of Peter Capstick books and wants me to incorporate some of those into a shot. will see where that takes us....appreciate your comments, btw. sue

Just a followup to see how you did on this. Would like to see any images you can share.

suecassidy
12th of March 2011 (Sat), 16:06
Here are a couple from yesterday...the close up was from one setup that he wanted to do. He is a film noir buff and loves his movie quotes, so this was a "a coat, a hat, and a gun", a Raymond Chandler thing. We did that also with a fedora, a trench coat, and a Beretta pistol.

Pinto
13th of March 2011 (Sun), 21:59
The important thing is if you and your client like the results.
Are you still working on it or is the project complete?

hairyjames
16th of March 2011 (Wed), 20:48
Nice technical shots! However, and it is personal taste in firearms . . .

but the firearm is so incredibly gorgeous in every way, and in every little detail . . . that

I'd love to see it on a plain background . . . preferably white as to draw the viewer's eye immediately to the firearm, and not have any other busy elements in the background keep tearing one's eyes from the gun.

I'd also like to see you work your magic shooting with a wide open aperture and let the background blur into a pleasing bokeh of neutral pastels of an earthy tone.

You can do it!!!