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  • Slot Car Photos - How To





    Giddyup had mentioned in another thread that I should write a tutorial on taking slot car photos. I have some decent success with modest equipment, so its something I wouldn't mind doing. Is there any interest in learning how to do this? If so, I'll write something up when I have the time.
    91
    Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
    86.81%
    79
    No, photographing my slot cars will steal their soul.
    4.40%
    4
    Meh, the only pitchers I like are foamy on top.
    8.79%
    8

    The poll is expired.


  • #2
    Outdoors, in the shade, is about the best value for the money in taking slot car photos. But, you can take photos in a light box, with artifical light, and obtain great results. Look up Bosmeck, Dave Kennedy, and of course Dr Vanski for good examples of high-quality, artificial light photos.

    This is in natural light, on a sunny day, under a porch roof (porch ceiling painted light blue):



    A tripod is essential, with your camera set for decent depth of field (f22 or so).

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    • #3
      AS long as you keep it inexpensive. For example, I got a light setup with lights and a box for under $10 by watching some of the deal sites.

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      • #4
        You can make a very nice light box out of a wood frame and an old bed sheet. Hit up the hardware store for some cheap clamp on work lights (about $7 each), stick in a bulb and adjust your white balance for the type of lights you are using. Be sure to use a tripod.

        Or you can spend several hundred dollars for synched flash units and fancy stands and filters and a commercial made light box. Your choice.

        I rarely use this method as I'm lazy and instead of setting up all that stuff, I just plunk the car on the track and use the flash.

        Scott
        Last edited by svanaken; 08-16-2010, 02:02 PM.

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        • #5
          Dave K told me that it is important to keep the color of the lights (also known as temperature) the same. Don't mix types of lightbulb, as it will impart an unnatural look to the subject. It is easier to adjust the white balance when the light sources are all the same type.

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          • #6
            Dr. V,

            I'd love to hear any hints you can pass on to us. Hopefully, you can help out those of us who have a simple PHD (push here, dummy) digital camera and....nothing else!

            One thing I've noticed when taking pic's w/ my camera, and I have no idea why, is that the pictures come out better when I move further away from the "subject" and zoom back in! Would love to know why this makes better pictures...?

            Bring on the "How to"!

            David

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            • #7
              Hey Van,

              Where does the USB cable go on these?..



              Pete

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              • #8
                I would also love, to have a tutorial on taking very good Slot Car pictures, Please.

                John

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Robert Livingston View Post
                  Dave K told me that it is important to keep the color of the lights (also known as temperature) the same. Don't mix types of lightbulb, as it will impart an unnatural look to the subject. It is easier to adjust the white balance when the light sources are all the same type.
                  He's right...

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                  • #10
                    I have a old Minolta T200 SLR and a Fuji Fine Pix S5100 Digital. my Daughter who's the Photographer and taking it in school has a Nikon D40 Digital SLR that she won't let me touch. And thinks photographing Slot Cars is a waste of her time. Oh the 16yr teenage girl.

                    John

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LegoPete View Post
                      Hey Van,

                      Where does the USB cable go on these?..



                      Pete
                      The same place it goes in this one... but there is nothing like the soul of a good analog camera from the 70's or earlier is there? I love the feel of my rangefinder. I could fondle... er... i mean shoot with it all day.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tacoma1 View Post
                        I have a old Minolta T200 SLR and a Fuji Fine Pix S5100 Digital. my Daughter who's the Photographer and taking it in school has a Nikon D40 Digital SLR that she won't let me touch. And thinks photographing Slot Cars is a waste of her time. Oh the 16yr teenage girl.

                        John
                        Tell her its a chance to practice her product photography.

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                        • #13
                          I also voted yes: always good to learn something from the pro's. Most of my slot car photographs are just .... pictures. I have tried to do something decent once or twice but with mixed results. It would be nice to get a beter idea of how to do it really well.

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                          • #14
                            I have the best luck with the close up settings on my Digital camera. Get down there almost touching the car and let it fill the screen on the camera.

                            Used to do the same thing with R/C cars but I would use an empty parking lot with things far away in the background.

                            You know the trick where a friend holds out their hand and it appears that they are holding a bus or truck in their hand.

                            The idea was that the "big" things in the backgroud are so small and the car so "Big" due to the closeness to the camera... It only works with a shallow angle so that you can not make out the grain of the asphault or texture of the concrete.

                            Where are those R/C car pix of mine?
                            Last edited by DrDiff; 08-16-2010, 10:03 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I use my digital camera. Just experiment, you can always delete the ones that don't come out.
                              Close shots help, and cropping the pics gets rid of unwanted background stuff. Here's a couple new pics of mine:








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