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WIScott
14th of January 2009 (Wed), 23:02
Not sure if this is even the correct forum for these questions, but here goes: I am a begginner for sure, and shoot almost exclusively motosports and family/pet stuff, but I'm definetely improving. This forum has been and IMMENSE help. Still, this is waaay out of my element.

My dad has a model train layout and I would like to take some shots for him as a gift. I have a very basic setup (Xsi, 18-55 kit and 70-300 5.6). What can I do with my available gear to maximize my chances for a nice shot? What kind of readily available lighting (non-pro or photog specific) should I be using or avoiding? The layout is in a finished basement with mediocre lighting. Are there any filters, or other relatively low cost items that would help a great deal?

This is just for fun and he'll likely be thrilled with anything that's in focus :) but I'd like to do the best I can with what I've got. I almost never shoot indoors so I'm really not interested in investing in any expensive gear to make this happen.

Any help?

WIScott
14th of January 2009 (Wed), 23:31
Crap! I just realized I posted this in the photo sharing forum. Mods, please move if possible. :oops:

Pete
15th of January 2009 (Thu), 05:52
Crap! I just realized I posted this in the photo sharing forum. Mods, please move if possible. :oops:

Towed! :D

DC Fan
15th of January 2009 (Thu), 06:40
Available light or bounce flash off the ceiling. Low angles on the level of the layout to bring you into the image as if it was real, rather than looking down from a standing position. Wide-angle lens as close to the layout as you can get and remain in focus.

http://www.fansview.com/racing/10182008a0196.jpg

The best low-cost item would be a tripod, to make possible long exposures at low light with small apertures that would increase the depth of field.

PhotosGuy
15th of January 2009 (Thu), 07:18
The best low-cost item would be a tripod, to make possible long exposures at low light with small apertures that would increase the depth of field. I agree on the tripod, but try some medium apertures to let the focus fall off, too.

334389

bounce flash off the ceiling. Setup one shot & try bouncing off different areas of the ceiling & walls. I suspect that to the front & slightly behind the engine will give you some nice shots.

WIScott
15th of January 2009 (Thu), 07:33
Thanks guys - what exactly is a bounce flash?

PhotosGuy
15th of January 2009 (Thu), 09:12
And, if all you have is the on-cam flash, you can redirect to the ceiling with some tin foil. You may have to shoot on manual to get the right exposure, though.

WIScott
15th of January 2009 (Thu), 09:15
Okay, I can shoot on M now, for the most part. Sometimes TV or AV, but never a preset anymore.

Would it be beneficial to set up some auxilliary lighting above and behind me onto the subject matter as well?

PhotosGuy
15th of January 2009 (Thu), 21:20
Would it be beneficial to set up some auxilliary lighting above and behind me onto the subject matter as well? Why not? It's not as if the train set is going anywhere soon? Start with one light on a 30X40" sheet of white art board. Move the light & the artboard until you get nice reflections in the train.
Maybe add another light to fill shadows or highlight the background later.