How to Shoot Your Gun: Gun Photography Tips

hey guys James again for TFB TV and in this episode of tfbtv I’m going to teach you how to shoot your gun and what I mean by shoot photograph I know a lot of you guys like to take pictures of your guns to post them on galleries to post in threads on your local gun forum or whatever or to post your classifieds to buy sell guns whatever and interestingly eBay they’ve got all these statistics on on sales and the effect certain factors have on sales and they say that your item is much more likely to sell if there are good pictures of it it’s going to sell and it’s going to sell for more money so it’s really important to be able to take good pictures of your firearm especially if you’re going to be buying and selling guns there’s a popular misconception that you need a really nice camera to shoot pictures of your gun and to take great pictures but that’s really not the case many cell phone cameras are just fine now and even surpass the quality of higher point and shoots from even five years ago so your cell phone camera is going to be just fine there are really more important things that lead to good looking photographs than just your camera and number one of those the number one most important thing if you’re going to take a picture of your gun or anything for that matter you need good light and what do I mean by good light well you want a nice even light on your object and you don’t want it to be too bright and you don’t want it to be too dark photographers refer to something called the golden hour which is the hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset where you have nice even light outdoors and you just take fantastic pictures and that’s when most professional photographers will take pictures for weddings or architecture or whatever and the reason for that is if you go out in the daytime in the middle of the day and you’ve got Sun beaming down on your object it’s what they refer to as very harsh light harsh light will blow out your subject make it to white remove all the detail you can’t see anything here’s a couple of pictures I took showing what harsh light looks like on a gun and you can see it’s hard to see detail now on the flip side of that I would suggest almost never taking pictures indoors you’re just not going to have enough light now there are exceptions like if you have a really well lit room like a sunroom or a room with a lot of even fluorescent lighting that may work but even even then it’s kind of tricky but typically most of us just have a house with incandescent bulbs and light fixtures and it just doesn’t put out enough light and the light it does put out is really warm you have warm light and cool light cool light being a blueish hue and warm being orangish so with low light what your camera is going to do to compensate is it’s either going to up the camera sensitivity to light the sensors sensitivity to light and that leads to higher noise that’s what the ISO number is ISO now another thing that could happen is your shutter will stay open longer to compensate for the lack of light to let more light in and you start to get into trouble once your shutter is staying open longer than an eighth of a second I think an eighth of a second is probably the slowest shutter speed that you can use and still take a pretty crisp picture anything beyond that and I’ll post a few images here to show you what I’m talking about it gets blurry from even from pressing the shutter and it remove you lose a lot of detail it just looks bad so assuming you don’t have any good lighting anywhere when’s the best time to take a picture well dusk or dawn or if you have a really overcast day overcast days can sometimes lead to really good photographs outdoors now the number two most important thing and somewhat related to light is exposure now perhaps the second most important thing is getting proper exposure exposure similar to light but exposure is a setting where it your camera manages the light that it has in order to make the image when you adjust your exposure you’re adjusting your camera settings to either let in more light or let in less light I guess the best way to put it is if you have good light so you’ve met step one well now you need to figure out how to help your camera take advantage of that light and that’s what exposure is you can see in this video I’ve got a little click wheel on this camera that lets me adjust my exposure on the fly be mindful managing your exposure now if you can’t manually adjust your exposure perhaps the next best thing you’ll probably get good exposure if you also get good focus and that’s the third most important thing you want to get your object the object your taking a picture of the proper distance from the camera and you want the camera to be in focus on the object to take a nice crisp picture most cameras on your phone will use your touch screen and then you can touch the object you want to focus on and your camera will automatically focus on it and select the proper exposure if you can’t get it right the first time just keep trying till you get it then take your picture and I’d say finally in this very simple cursory lesson in photography is to have interesting composition and what does that mean that means make your picture interesting a lot of you guys you know everybody feels compelled to get the entire gun especially if you’re shooting a rifle to get the entire gun in the shot and so you’ll see a lot of pictures of the guys standing over the gun you’ll see his feet and it’ll be on his carpet and you know those turn out to be kind of junky looking pictures don’t obsess with getting the whole gun in the picture every time if you have a handgun that’s easy to do if you have a rifle take several pictures of each side of the gun not only will it give your prospective buyer more detail and more close-up look but he knows what the gun looks like he knows what make a wooden AR looks like he’s going to want to see the details and the shots are just going to be more interesting so pick a good background I mean really grass works if you have a nice countertop but make sure it’s something that’s not too reflective because if that’s the case then it’ll throw off the light that’s going into your camera and they could make the picture look bad so pick an interesting background and compose your shot so it’s an interesting picture play around a little bit take a few pictures take a few dozen pictures and then pare them down pick the ones that look good and keep working at it and you’ll take a really great picture of your gun and make sure you’re keeping an eye on your focus and an eye on your white balance if you can if you’re taking pictures and they’re looking too blue or too orange see if there’s a way you can adjust your white balance on your camera to make it look better and another thing that I’ll note if you guys are familiar some of you use Instagram or whatever familiar with saturation if you desaturate your image remove some of the color from it most of these guns are black anyways so if you remove some saturation remove some color you tend to get a better higher-quality picture than if you actually enhance your saturation a lot of photographers will salvage really bad low-light photography with a lot of noise by converting them to black and white just removing that saturation really helps with the overall image quality and the sharpness in any case guys just get familiar with whatever software you’re using or with your camera or whatever device you’re using get familiar with it learn how to use it learn how to change the settings and adjust it and I’m telling you taking pictures of stuff you like guns cats cars whatever it is can be very rewarding so just keep working on it and I’d say a good resource it’s called the Basterds book of photography I think that that’s one of the best resources for beginner so if you liked this video and you want a little bit more information on how to take better photographs the Basterds book of photography which I have no affiliation with whatsoever is a great place to start and to get some begin to intermediate information anyways I hope that was helpful thanks for watching guys see you next week


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