G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's a link to a few pictures I took the other day of my garden railroad. I don't think these pictures turned out to well, but its only my first real attempt at shooting the trains. I won't be offended by comments that my pictures stink because I know some of them do! But since I never seem to post anything, I thought I would go for it. Oh my trains are too clean too... Now if I could just get up the guts to start weathering them I would be happer!
http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=40005&l=e5baa&id=838651911

Craig
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,704 Posts
Craig, the photos that focus on the RR show a really nice looking garden RR! I just took a non-credit course (4 nights) at the local community college on Digital Photography and my photos have improved dramatically.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,716 Posts
Very nice.

Perhaps the "Ant's eye view" might be a little too low for the camera.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yah I didn't know how to take pictures the best way. My girlfriend was laughing at me because I was laying on the ground taking these pictures. She was in control of moving the train around to 'create' the shot! A couple of photo's I wanted the camera to focus on the train, but instead it autofocused on the foreground. The only way to get better is to take more pictures.
Craig
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
I would like to see more shots of the trestle and layout from a higher angle and wider view. The ant's eye view needs to be done with a camera that has a manual focus feature so you get the train and not objects in the foreground.

-Brian
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,268 Posts
What type of digital camera are you using. There may be a auto focus setting that you can change. Usually there is evalutive and spot with spot is would focus on just the center or depending on the camera you can choose the "spot" on the grid. Evalutive focuses on what is the closest or is on the most closest plane of focus. With a DSLR you have even more options.

I'd love to see more of the trestle. Is the whole track handlaid? Looks so from the trestle view.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll have to try and get some better overall shots of the layout and backyard area. I haven't weeded the layout in a long time, so its not in the best shape right now. I'll keep that in mind to get a picture of the trestle too. My layout is a 3/4 loop so far with a branch line of to the side.If I can't get a picture of the whole layout from the ground, I can always climb up on the roof and shoot from there! Not much scenery or buildings at this point in time so its rather bland.
I didn't really have time to play around with the camera to try and focus on the train rather then the foreground objects but I'll keep that in mind next time.
Craig
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, I'm crazy to handlay all of the track! At last count I have 300' feet of rail. I can't stop now half way done! It started out because I'm a poor homeowner/college student so I didn't have money to spend on track. With free cedar fencing and rail handlaying track became the cheapest option, for the best value. The ties are 5/16th square and are stained initally stained with black leather shoe polish and then layed outside. The trestle and surrounding track have been in place for 3 years now, and I'm not to sure if I like the look. I'll try and get some more pictures of my track and layout building process. If I'm brave enough I might even take some pictures of my works in progress.
Craig
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,007 Posts
Craig,
Nice layout! While I'm no expert on digital photographer, I have learned a lot about taking shots of my own stuff by the examples right here on the MLS. One thing I noticed in the really good shots are that the ground cover around the track is always cleaned of any large leafs.
A large familiar object in close proximity to the train tends to spoil the effect. I have this crazy willow tree outside where I take my best shots, and when the wind blows, no matter what season, those leafs fall in the hundreds on the track and models. I don't take shots on windy days because I'd spend most of my time picking leafs off everything.
I also noticed something about focus; I have 3 digital cameras, a 5 mp pentax and vivatar and a 6 mp Cannon rebel. As Jason pointed out, most digital cameras have a setting for auto focus that can be disabled. I noticed on all 3 of mine that I can focus automatically on specific areas I'm interested in by pointing cross hairs in the viewer on that place and holding the shutter button down half way. That works on all 3 different products.
In addition there is a button that has lens type settings for distances; each camera has a portrait setting, a closeup setting, a wide view setting and an action setting. Each camera also has a setting for light and speed,,, although they aren't the traditional f stop and shutter speed on the vivatar or the pentax, they give you a flash option on or off and a backlighting and front lighting setting.
You may want to check the manual on your camera for those buttons and options.
I find that in low light days, it is best to use a tripod. You can buy a good enough tripod for about 39 dollars and it is well worth the investment if you are going to take pictures. Even though an object may look focused through the lens, you will find it out of focus if you are taking shots in low light because the digital camera adjusts the shutter speed and the aperature to allow more light to come in. Since the speed is slower in low light, even your pulse will cause a small enough vibration to cause the image to appear a tiny bit out of focus. It looks like you have a lot of shade on your layout, so you may want to invest in a tripod or two. One for higher views and a smaller 6 inch tripod for your ant views.
Finally, the larger the amount of mega pixels you can take the better your shot will be for two reasons. I noticed that the lens on each of my cameras varies slightly in that my pentax is really good on well lighted close ups of objects, my vivatar is passable on all settings and my Cannon excells in all but is best on distance shots.
Since the Cannon has 1 mega pixel more than the other 2 I can get most of a shot in pretty good focus by standing further away from the train and including more of the foreground. I then take the image into photoshop and crop out the foreground and background and get a fairly well focused shot of just the train and its immediate foreground. Not sure if that makes sense or not, but basically what I'm saying is, if you have a camera with at least 6 mp of resolution, you can set the camera at its highest resolution and stet the camera 6 feet from the object and get a better focused image of the front, and back of the train than you could if you set the camera 4 inches from the train. So some of my best closeup shots are actually taken from 6 feet away.
I know there's probably some explanation for this, all I know is it works for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the helpful information. I don't own my own digital camera, instead I just borrowed my girlfriends point and shoot digital camera. I'm not to sure what kind of camera she has, but I don't think its that great of camera for manual focus. I didn't really spend much time figuring out the camera, but your pointers make since. The 8th picture in the sequence I cropped out some of the background, so I understand the point that you are making. My layout does have a lot of shady areas, and lots of pine needles and leaves this time of the year. I didn't really get time to clean up all of the leaves prior to taking the pictures, so I realize that having larger objects in the foreground affect the camera focus. One good thing with digital cameras is that you can view your pictures right away and correct any mistakes. Rather then waiting for the film to be developed!
Craig
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,007 Posts
"One good thing with digital cameras is that you can view your pictures right away and correct any mistakes. Rather then waiting for the film to be developed"
Yeah! Ain't technology grand :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
283 Posts
and take lots of photographs. You can always delete the bad ones but you can't get back that shot you wish you had taken. Pay attention to what's in the viewfinder.. beautiful shot but you've got half of a person on the left side of the photograph as an example.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
453 Posts
GR had a good article on photography, especially the Part 2 in December 2007. The author stated that scale eye-level shots were the most realistic. I worked with a friend on my photo technique (yes lying on the ground was required). I still have a lot to learn, but his one lesson is to practice and shoot lots of photos. He often shhots 6 photos before he gets one that he likes. See my site http://www.liveoakrr.com/photos/pg17.htm

You are off to a good start. Keep shooting and your technique will come.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top