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pictures during model shows

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Hi everybody

I’ve seen some articles (hints/tips) related to model photography. Unfortunately, the articles I’ve seen focus on shooting pictures at home, where you can create the right environment and setup.

However, does any know a good article (or tips) for shooting pictures during model shows where you cannot change the setup, lighting etc?

I use a Nikon D70, with the build-in flash. The problem I have is that I don’t get any sharp picture (depth of field), e.g. one area is sharp… and the rest of the aircraft is fuzzy (see picture below).

Thanks for your help



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There is little that you can do, except try to get everything, that you want to photograph, at right angles to your lens. There is an area, of sharp focus, with every lens, and it's a proportion of the distance that you are from your subject. It also lessens as you open up the lens, to allow in more light. In "olden days," when you had to think, for yourself, and cameras didn't do everything for you, there would be a scale, on the front of the lens, to remind you of the depth of field. On my old camera, for instance, if the aperture was f16, with the camera focussed on 18feet, everything was sharp from 10feet to the horizon. Come down to 2feet away, and the depth of field reduces to about 2inches, and, at f4, it's about 1/2 an inch. Unless you can get a blaze of light, thereby reducing the aperture of the lens, your only recourse is to keep it at right angles. The other way is to go for a wide angle lens, which gives greater depth of field, but introduces distortion, and you have to get closer, and the whole cycle starts again.


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Easy to fix. As Edgar alluded to, what you need to do is set your lens to a smaller aperture (larger Æ’/stop number). Since you are using your built-in flash you will have plenty of light for shooting models at close distances (and you will run out of batteries gobs faster ;) ). Set your camera on manual with the shutter speed set to 1/125s* and your aperture set to Æ’/22. the camera will automatically control the output of the flash to give a "correct" exposure and you should have quite decent depth-of-field for most of your shots.


*set your shutter speed slower if you want to brighten the background, but watch for camera shake at slow speeds and color casts as the background brightens.

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You also may want to consider using a tripod or monopod since the higher f stop and longer exposure may result in motion artifact if using manual shutter release.

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