Camera Help

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by TruckLover, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Not necessarily, you just need to learn to work with the limitations of the one you have.
  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

  3. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    are you kidding me? $109 and that would be better then the one i have? SOLD lol

    I thought i would need to get a super expensive camera that was in the $400 range to get some good pics?
  4. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    No, that's a common fallacy. You could spend that much and get a great camera, but it'd be more than you need. Or give you about the same, but with a bigger brand name.

    It's still a point-and-shoot, but it has a decent sensor, and while it won't give you the performance of a DSLR, it doesn't cost like one, either.
  5. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks Squid

    I guess what im asking is, if need be, i can sell my camera and get a new one, i just need to know which one to get that would be good for what i need it to do and not be to outrageously expensive lol

    I would be willing to go up to about $300 to get a good camera that has what i need to do what i need.....
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Josh, your camera should have a menu that lets you adjust it to compensate for the available lighting. On my cheapie Kodak, there's a picture of a sun and a lightbulb - selecting it, it gives me a choice of "AUTO", "DAYLIGHT", "TUNGSTEN", OR "FLUORESCENT", and I can choose the one which suits the situation. My layout room is lit with fluorescent lights, so I set the camera to "FLUORESCENT", and it automatically compensates for the greenish cast that usually results in pictures taken in such light. Your "yellow" lights are tungsten bulbs - if you select "TUNGSTEN", the camera will correct the yellow cast that results with these lights, giving you a more natural light.
    The closer you get to a subject, the more limited the depth-of-field (the area in-focus) will be: you should be able to get a good close-up shot of the broadside of a locomotive, with everything in focus. However, if you try for the classic "3/4 view" of the same loco, parts of it will be out-of-focus: if the part nearest the camera is in-focus, the rest won't be; if the far end is in-focus, the near part won't be. You can overcome this to some degree, with your camera, by moving away from the subject.
    For close-up work, there should be a setting such as Macro - on my camera it's simply the silhouette of a tulip :confused::rolleyes: - this will put the closer objects in focus, but the in-focus area will fall off as the distance from the camera increases.
    For "close-up" close-ups, I shoot with one lense of my Optivisor in front of the camera's lense - this is useful for showing a detail or construction technique.
    As others have mentioned, practice is cheap with a digital camera - try different settings and combinations of settings, keeping track of those and of the pictures taken at each setting. Experiment with the lighting, too, writing down all the particulars. Then, as you go through your test shots, note the "good ones" and the settings and conditions under which they were taken. You should be able to compile a list of camera settings that will accommodate any situation that will arise on your layout when you need to take pictures.
    One item that I've found to be especially useful is an AC adapter for the camera - if I'm shooting a how-to, or a story thread, photo set-up can be very time consuming, resulting in spent batteries long before I'm done shooting. With the adapter, I simply plug it in and leave the camera on as I do set-up.

  7. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    You could also try getting a good photo editing program.
    A lot of digicams today usually come with a basic one for editing your pics. But I usually buy seperate program, such as MS Picture it v.10, with great results. But there are others out there. Corel, has one, but last time I checked it was almost $600 USD. But it does everything but push the button on the camera.
    Here's some examples of what I can do with MS Picture it.

    1: This is a raw shot of my Gauge Railway car.
    2: This is the same picture, with the exposure, color, lighting, brightness and contrast adjusted. Using a separate program, gives you more options making pics to your liking. They also can improve on the settings of your camera.
    3: Don't like the background...Cut it out. Here I took out the roof, and the butter tub from the background.
    4: Feeling artistic? Add a background. I do this a lot to the pics that I post on WPF threads.

    Attached Files:

  8. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

    As far as editing programs go

    Hey just stumbeled on this thread and thought I might give some 2 or 3 cents worth
    Photoshop Elements is the editing program I use and as far as eas of use it takes some time to learn but after you get the hang of it is remarkable but a little on the spendy side. I hear Picasa has made some serious upgrades as far as editing software and best of all its free and you can store photos there to free up your hard drive.
    One other thing you might try if you need light is flash difusion try putting a piece of tissue paper over the flash of the cam it will soften the light coming out for a splash of light compared to a full blown washed out white
  9. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks Wayne :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    Overnight, i was thinking, and i would rather spend that money that i had allowed to buy a new camera and buy some new lights first and see if that helps before i go out and spend money i dont have on a new camera :p sign1

    Thanks for the info on the white balance to Wayne. I found it in my camera and i changed it with the yellow lights on and it did change the look of the picture alot, alot more natural looking, there was a tad of yellowness still however, but thats another thing that helps.

    So with this said, im going to start a new thread and look for some advise on getting some good lights that i can hang from the ceiling lol
  10. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks 88, Im on a Mac so i dont think MS Picture it would work for me. I do have IPhoto, but i dont think that program is going to get me very far. I have experience with Photoshop, so im going to add that to the list of things i need to buy lol

    Thanks for the examples of what can be done to a simple car to make it look so real :mrgreen: :thumb:
  11. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Hmmmmm ill have to give the tissue paper experiment a shot and see how it comes out. Thanks!! :mrgreen:

    By the way, do you know how much Photoshop runs price wise these days?
  12. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    If you go so far as to change elements in your photos the editors need to be made aware of that when they receive the photos. There's nothing wrong with the idea itself, just make sure everyone is aware of what has been done.
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Squid - I agree that poorly placed shadows that work against what you are trying to do are not good...! :)

    Josh - Don't underestimate iPhoto. It is pretty powerful, and can correct a number of problems, but with any software from free to $$$, don't forget "garbage in - garbage out". Start with the absolute best photo you can and make minor changes. Don't put in a poorly lit, out of focus shot with horrible cyan tinting from fluorescent lights and expect to be able to save it.

    You can try for PhotoShop Elements, which is a basic version of PhotoShop. It bundles some of the functions together and is aimed at more amateur photographers than the more powerful "full" version of PhotoShop. The learning curve on PS, by the way, is quite steep. My version of PS Elements actually came with a camera I got a while back (can't recall now which one).

    Before you get anything else, keep experimenting with what you have. You'd be surprised at the quality pictures you might get with some more practice.

  14. spinwing

    spinwing New Member

    Have to agree with railohio that you can adjudt your pictures but usually the publisher will require the RAW photo file be submitted along with the jpeg file. You will notice that in some of the layout pictures the magazine will state that, i.e., the back ground has been added as in eightyeightfan1's example.
  15. mabloodhound

    mabloodhound Tie Layer

    Happened on this thread and had to answer your part about lighting.
    I use a mid range camera and do all the photogrphy for my wife's jewelry web site.
    When I first started, I had the same light color problem and did some research. I came up with a pretty simple answer. CFLs (compact fluorecent bulbs). I bought these in a screw base type and used inexpensive clip on holders.
    150% difference! No need to do the Photoshop light correction anymore and the jewelry looks perfect. You do need to get bulbs with a daylight Kelvin rating and high CRI. I bought 13w, 6500K, 85 CRI bulbs and screwed them into clamp-on fixtures I bought at Staples. But those aluminum dome-topped jobsite ones at the big box store will work fine.
    the on-line dealer and bulbs are: Fluorescent Screw-in&RefId=20&Ref2=Light Bulbs
    Don't just use the ones at the stores. The CRI is the most important number. You'll even find these good lights for the layout if you don't have the daylight tubes yet.
    Dave Mason
  16. mabloodhound

    mabloodhound Tie Layer

    Just some more info on Adobe Photoshop.
    Check out e-bay for prices. Photoshop Elements 7 (PSE)is $89 and Photoshop 6 - the full edition- but last years is $129.
    Elements is the limited edition of Photoshop. The PS 6 is being used by many as 7 just came out this year. If you can afford it, go for the full version, but an older copy is fine.
    I am using PSE5 which works fine for me but if you ever want to do more editing, etc. PS full version is best. Although some in this hobby are preaching the benefits of Lightscribe by Adobe
    Dave Mason
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    When I mentioned bulbs with a "daylight spectrum" that is the same thing as Dave mentions here. You can also find incandescent bulbs with a 6500 kelvin rating and 85 cri, what you need to be careful of is some manufacturers will give you a 85 cri but it is at a 3500 kelvin rating. That is not a daylight spectrum bulb. Raise that type bulb to 6500 kelvins and the cri rating goes to 1/2 of daylight. Don't ask me to explain, I got the numbers in a seminar on "Eyesight and the Aging modeler" at the NMRA convention in Anaheim given by a model railroader who is also an optometrist, and professor of optometry at a University in Indiana. I just memorized the numbers and look for those numbers in the specs of bulbs I buy when I want a daylight spectrum. What those numbers mean is that the light put out by a bulb meeting that rating is close to the same light put out by the sun on a clear day.
  18. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    In quality, but not in quantity. ;) I had an earlier layout, smaller than my current one, which was lit by high CRI fluorescents: the quality of the light was very nice, but the quantity (lumens) was considerably less than that put out by regular fluorescents. With four double fixtures in a small room, it was adequate for regular viewing. For my current layout, in a room of about 550 square feet, and with 16 double fixtures, using Cool White tubes, lighting is adequate for normal viewing, although I'd prefer it even brighter. The camera compensates for the green cast from this type of tube, and my eyes accept the light as "normal", although visitors probably find it a bit strange. At that earlier time, the tubes were about $15.00 apiece. :eek:

  19. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks Railohio, i dont plan on editing to much of the photos, i mainly just want to crop or re-size them, and as 88 did, in some cases maybe add a nice backround to the pictures if the one i shot is not so nice lol.
  20. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks Andrew,

    I was messing around with IPhoto earlier today before i went to the girlfriends house, and i think thats all i will need. I really want to try and stay away from editing alot of the pictures i take as everyone has mentioned. So cropping is my goal for the only things i would need to do to the pictures

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