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Firearms Photography
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A VERY high end custom gun maker recently moved to my town and has contacted me about providing photos for his work. My wife and I do photography, but she mostly does weddings and family photos, and I mostly do real estate, landscape, and candids. Neither of us have done much photography of "stuff". Anyone here have experience and willing to share tips?

We have all the equipment (camera bodies, lenses, lighting, soft boxes, etc. I did some googling, and either my google is broken or there just isn't much posted on photo techniques for guns. I am confident that we can figure it out on our own, but also know that info from others can save me a crap-load of time.

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Starting from scratch...
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Re: Firearms Photography [skinny] [ In reply to ]
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Check this out: https://gunshotsphotography.blogspot.com/

My 2017 Internet resolutions: No personal attacks; no arguments; and no more than a single view and post per thread.
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Re: Firearms Photography [skinny] [ In reply to ]
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This link probably won't help with techniques or technical setups, but here are some beautiful photos of a beautiful HK P7. The compositions are pretty creative and a refreshing departure from typical tabletop shots.

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/...ivers-hk-p7-hotness/




"...Sometimes it's about getting the most speed out of the motor you have." -- Tom A.
(Yes, I'm occasionally back on ST.)
Last edited by: MOP_Mike: Jan 10, 18 8:44
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Re: Firearms Photography [skinny] [ In reply to ]
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Would they not provide any feedback into what exactly they were looking for? "Photographs of our guns" seems a little too vague, ha. I suppose how I would go about composing/staging a shot depends on what type of firearms they manufacture. How I'd want to shoot a Glock, for example, would be different than something like an older Colt revolver.
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Re: Firearms Photography [jkhayc] [ In reply to ]
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jkhayc wrote:
Would they not provide any feedback into what exactly they were looking for? "Photographs of our guns" seems a little too vague, ha. I suppose how I would go about composing/staging a shot depends on what type of firearms they manufacture. How I'd want to shoot a Glock, for example, would be different than something like an older Colt revolver.

I talked to him on the phone briefly yesterday, and am going to meet him in a few minutes. I have also looked at his website to see his previous photos. I have a pretty good idea of what my setup will be, I was just wondering if anyone on here had experience and had some tips to share. All he does is single shot and bolt action rifles with beautiful and intricate engraving on both the wood and the metal. His prices for bolt actions start around $18,000 USD, and then he starts to customize.

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Starting from scratch...
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Re: Firearms Photography [skinny] [ In reply to ]
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skinny wrote:
jkhayc wrote:
Would they not provide any feedback into what exactly they were looking for? "Photographs of our guns" seems a little too vague, ha. I suppose how I would go about composing/staging a shot depends on what type of firearms they manufacture. How I'd want to shoot a Glock, for example, would be different than something like an older Colt revolver.


I talked to him on the phone briefly yesterday, and am going to meet him in a few minutes. I have also looked at his website to see his previous photos. I have a pretty good idea of what my setup will be, I was just wondering if anyone on here had experience and had some tips to share. All he does is single shot and bolt action rifles with beautiful and intricate engraving on both the wood and the metal. His prices for bolt actions start around $18,000 USD, and then he starts to customize.

What??? $18k???? To start????

Are his bolt actions in solid gold?

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

Emery's Third Coast Triathlon | Tri Wisconsin Triathlon Team | Push Endurance | GLWR
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Re: Firearms Photography [skinny] [ In reply to ]
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I bet that'll actually be pretty fun to photograph.
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Re: Firearms Photography [JSA] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah, I was going to say do a barter system, photos for a gun, but at that price...wow.
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Re: Firearms Photography [AndysStrongAle] [ In reply to ]
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AndysStrongAle wrote:
Yeah, I was going to say do a barter system, photos for a gun, but at that price...wow.

Might still happen. He has some non-custom stuff available, a German manufacturer sells a signature model and he has one there, a 300 Win Mag with the smoothest bolt I have ever touched and an amazing trigger, $2700. Not sure how many photos I would have to take for him to be able to call it an even trade though.

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Starting from scratch...
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Re: Firearms Photography [JSA] [ In reply to ]
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JSA wrote:
skinny wrote:
jkhayc wrote:
Would they not provide any feedback into what exactly they were looking for? "Photographs of our guns" seems a little too vague, ha. I suppose how I would go about composing/staging a shot depends on what type of firearms they manufacture. How I'd want to shoot a Glock, for example, would be different than something like an older Colt revolver.


I talked to him on the phone briefly yesterday, and am going to meet him in a few minutes. I have also looked at his website to see his previous photos. I have a pretty good idea of what my setup will be, I was just wondering if anyone on here had experience and had some tips to share. All he does is single shot and bolt action rifles with beautiful and intricate engraving on both the wood and the metal. His prices for bolt actions start around $18,000 USD, and then he starts to customize.


What??? $18k???? To start????

Are his bolt actions in solid gold?

Sorry, I was a bit high on the price. $17,400 to start.

http://www.martinigunmakers.com/pricelist.htm

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Starting from scratch...
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Re: Firearms Photography [skinny] [ In reply to ]
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Think I found them online.

Really beautiful hand engraving...at $18,900 base (GMA), I wonder what some of the fully engraved pieces cost. That plus all of the the colorcase hardening they do should make for some great photos.

edit: You beat me to it with the link.
Last edited by: gotsand: Jan 10, 18 12:21
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Re: Firearms Photography [skinny] [ In reply to ]
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I’d look to shoot the guns as they were a luxury item as stated in your post, swords, jewelry, will showcase the craftsmanship, internally and externally.

Option b is to hire models in provacative outfits shooting the guns at religious icons or celebrity posters.

Let us know which way you go!
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Re: Firearms Photography [skinny] [ In reply to ]
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skinny wrote:
A VERY high end custom gun maker recently moved to my town and has contacted me about providing photos for his work. My wife and I do photography, but she mostly does weddings and family photos, and I mostly do real estate, landscape, and candids. Neither of us have done much photography of "stuff". Anyone here have experience and willing to share tips?

We have all the equipment (camera bodies, lenses, lighting, soft boxes, etc. I did some googling, and either my google is broken or there just isn't much posted on photo techniques for guns. I am confident that we can figure it out on our own, but also know that info from others can save me a crap-load of time.

PM me. I had a fire arms manufacturer here in NC that hired me to shoot their product line. I can give you a few ideas and tips.
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Re: Firearms Photography [skinny] [ In reply to ]
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Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Firearms Photography [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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<SIGH>

Oh for fuck's sake! THIS is the AR 92:





High power combat rifle
Ammo: 8x57 mm
500-625 RPM
mv: 2,800 ft/sec

https://ruthie420.deviantart.com/...mbat-rifle-280429908

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

Emery's Third Coast Triathlon | Tri Wisconsin Triathlon Team | Push Endurance | GLWR
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Re: Firearms Photography [JSA] [ In reply to ]
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JSA wrote:
<SIGH>

Oh for fuck's sake! THIS is the AR 92:





High power combat rifle
Ammo: 8x57 mm
500-625 RPM
mv: 2,800 ft/sec

https://ruthie420.deviantart.com/...mbat-rifle-280429908

Aw. Yeah. Sorry. But you could see how a person could confuse the two.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Firearms Photography [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Dan, you ignorant slut ...

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

Emery's Third Coast Triathlon | Tri Wisconsin Triathlon Team | Push Endurance | GLWR
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Re: Firearms Photography [skinny] [ In reply to ]
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Sounds like a great project.

I'd approach it, as noted, like watches or jewelry. I'd probably count on lots of separately-lit shots composited in PS and masked to taste, and also potentially look at LED lightpainting w/ long exposures.

This type of photography can be extraordinarily demanding, and I'd suggest the ballpark you should be thinking in is budgeting ~20hr/gun and charging $1k/gun.

Share the results!

Eliot
blog thing - strava thing
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Re: Firearms Photography [skinny] [ In reply to ]
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I think a good tilt shift lens is in order... especially to lessen the distortion when taken at angle while the firearm is lying down.
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Re: Firearms Photography [spntrxi] [ In reply to ]
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spntrxi wrote:
I think a good tilt shift lens is in order... especially to lessen the distortion when taken at angle while the firearm is lying down.

Would love on, since I mostly do real estate photos it would be a nice addition to my collection. Just not in the budget at this time.

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Starting from scratch...
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Re: Firearms Photography [skinny] [ In reply to ]
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skinny wrote:
spntrxi wrote:
I think a good tilt shift lens is in order... especially to lessen the distortion when taken at angle while the firearm is lying down.


Would love on, since I mostly do real estate photos it would be a nice addition to my collection. Just not in the budget at this time.

I wouldn't bother with a tilt-shift, since most of the distortion can be removed in PS or LR (not Lavender Room). Most of what you will be shooting will have to be "high key". With my client's fire arms, I had to create a tent with an all-white backdrop. Since I didn't want to go through the hassle of setting up one of my commercial 12x12 white tents that I use for my sports league photos, I swept my backdrop between two backdrop stands then cut a hole through the backdrop for my lens. For lighting I used two strobes about 90 degrees to the left and right, and one strobe positioned directly above the product on a light boom. All strobes had softboxes - 32" octagon for the left and right and 48" strip soft box (you will need these sizes for long guns). The good thing with a "high key" set up is that once you get your lighting dialed in (you could range from f16-f32), it becomes an assembly line type of shoot.
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Re: Firearms Photography [skinny] [ In reply to ]
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The biggest asset of a T/S in this application wouldn't be perspective distortion as much as controlling your focal planes. Part of the time estimate I gave you assumed having to do focus stacking, which always sucks.

Eliot
blog thing - strava thing
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Re: Firearms Photography [Jim @ LOTO, MO] [ In reply to ]
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Check this guy out: Oleg Volk

http://olegvolk.net/gallery/technology/arms/
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Re: Firearms Photography [skinny] [ In reply to ]
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Politely suggest to your customer that someone should fix up all the punctuation on his website. It's amazing how a bunch of misplaced periods and quote marks can mess up the readability of the photo captions and the rest of the website text.
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