Friday, January 30, 2009

Firearms photography

In the quest to be better, I keep learning new skills. In this lies much of the interest I have in shooting and firearms. There is always more to learn, room to grow, and new horizons to scan. The Carteach0 blog has encouraged me to take on it's own demanding necessary skills. Writing (which I have so much room to grow into) and photography. Recently the latter of these occupied several hours of a day off. Setting up in a spare room, I tried to build a light stage. Diffused lighting from several lamps, along with natural lighting from a large sunlit window.

This rigging challenged Murphy in epic ways, but turned out to be highly educational. As a bonus, It didn't set the house on fire. I learned that my camera is not up to full size high detail rifle sized images, but does fairly well on pistol sized images. Witness this shot of a 1934 Beretta, seemingly suspended in mid air. In reality, it's balanced on a twelve gauge shotgun shell above a neutral muslin cloth.

After the Beretta pistol, it's magazine proved to be no challenge (again, balanced).

Next, a vintage top break revolver .38 S+W. It too is balanced on twelve gauge shells. In this case, a change in exposure allowed the fabric background to join in the photo, although in a minor way.

Finally, the same 1934 Beretta, only this time resting directly on the background fabric. I think the texture lends interest without distracting, while the 'suspended' look of the previous image looks a bit like a 1970's gun magazine.


Brigid said...

You just keep getting better and better at this. I'm OK with food shots and nature shots guns with good lighting. But this is ART.

Carteach0 said...

From you, high praise and warming to my heart.

Barfinigate said...

There is a new tuft of hair on our kitchen ceiling fan from trying to get the whole rifle into the shot. I'm sticking to handgun photography.

Turk Turon said...

Those are some excellent pictures!

Oleg Volk said...


Don't be so modest! You are among the best photographers I know. Your site is full of amazing images.

immagikman said...

Great Pics Carteach, I have a great camera but know nothing about using it properly, you and Brigid are helping push me to learn how to use one of my cool tools. said...

"...the 'suspended' look of the previous image looks a bit like a 1970's gun magazine."

So that's why it looks so good! Better photographic craftsmanship than the hasty, digicam, shoot and scoot pics that we see on the 'net these days. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Great blog. I stumbled across it yesterday and have spent a great many hours reading through you many posts. I am an avid shooter, but am a photographer for a living, so I thought I would offer one tiny bit of unsolicited piece of advice. Consider sticking with one type of light. In you case I would recommend using just the incandescent lights and completely blocking out the window. You camera (I'm assuming digital) will be better able to handle the color from a single light source and you will get truer colors. Instead of yellowish cast from the light bulbs and a blue cast where the daylight is hitting. If your camera has manual color settings go ahead and set it to incandescent.
Don't get me wrong your photos look great, but I've already learned so much from you I thought I could drop at least one tip.

Carteach0 said...


Thank you, and excellent tips.

Since I posted this... well... seems like a lifetime ago, I have learned a lot. Just shot my first wedding a few weeks ago, although that is not something I wish to make a habit of.