Introductory: Poor Man's Photo Shooting 101

Discussion in 'Tutorials and How Tos' started by Hotwire, Sep 17, 2009.

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  1. Hotwire

    Hotwire Pro-Customizer

    Oct 19, 2008
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    Hey guys,

    [I've] been checking out a lot of customs lately, and I've noticed some, shall we say, lack luster photography. It makes it hard to judge someone's custom when the pics are blurry. Well, here's a tutorial for all of those Radicons who don't have that equipment to take pics like the pros, and still get good results.

    Step 1. Camera

    I use a Kodak EasyShare C713. It shoots up to 7.0 megapixels, but this is a pretty basic camera, with no real frills. I have no Macro setting and I have no tripod. I just use the auto setting, on 7.0 megapixels of resolution, with the flash, and the OPTICAL ZOOM ONLY! The reason I stress optical zoom, is that some cameras use a digital zoom. The problem with this is that is will pixelize your image and make it look bad.

    Step 2. Set Up

    I don't have any kind of light box. I use my desk lamp and just adjust the distance so the light is not too harsh. Sometimes I clip the lamp on something, or I'll just hold it. I sometimes use a cheap piece of poster board taped to the wall and allowed to cover part of the floor. This is a perfectly simple back drop.

    Step 3. Taking The Pics

    This part is A LOT of trial and error. Actually, more error than success. One you have your back drop, pose your figure how you like, set your light so it's well lit, focus the camera, and shoot. Then take at least three or four more shots of the same pose, changing little things each time.

    Step 4. Reviewing Your Pics

    Now you should have quite a few pics, upload them to your computer and check them out. There are certain things you are looking for, exposure (brightness), focus, and cropping are the big three. If any of them don't look right, figure out why.

    • If they are too dark, move your light closer or use the flash.
    • If they are to bright, move the light back or maybe turn off the flash.
    • If they are fuzzy, first figure out if it's motion blur or if they are just out of focus.
    • If the image looks like Darth Vader here . . . .


    . . . . you are moving while shooting and need to steady yourself. You can also increase your light level so the camera's auto-focus works better.

    • If your image looks like this person and their dog . . . .


      . . . . you are not using the auto-focus properly. When taking your shot, press the shutter button halfway, and wait for the camera to beep, or how ever if signals that it has focused. Then, without moving your finger, press it the rest of the way.

      [The] bottom line: if the image doesn't look right, run down the list and see what you need to fix. Don't rush, take plenty of shots, and always review them before you post.

      I hope this helps.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2009
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