Hello, Campers.

I really enjoy reading the articles that you folks turn in as they are often inspiring and I do learn new things from them. As you have seen, COVID has kept a lot of folks indoors over the past year or so and as such, I've received a gold mine of articles. This has resulted in a considerable delay, which doesn't seem to have slacked off, so I appreciate your patience on this and have not gotten a single frustration-filled e-mail on the situation, which just shows how great a community this is.

Now as to the purpose of this. Over the years, I have provided guidance to those who ask for it, and some who haven't, on images. Things don't seem to have improved much as I suspect most have simply blown me off as not knowing what I'm talking about. I get it, as we all like to think we know everything about a subject and how hard can it be to take a model photo?

Well, apparently it is more difficult that one suspects. There are few things I'd like to touch on with this.

First is that I get a LOT of photos that are not clear. This is from people who have spent thousands on cameras. Folks, money won't buy a good photo. The main issue is that apparently, these cameras are left on automatic. This results is really spotty depth of field. By this I mean a portion of the image is in focus and the rest is not. Model photos require good depth of field and this often means using a tripod and long 'shutter' settings to get an optimum image. Use the timer setting to prevent camera shake. Look at the images before sending them to me. I can't fix out of focus and this is digital, for heaven's sake. If the photo is fuzzy, retake it. It isn't like it takes a week to get back from the developer. Read your camera (or phone) instruction manual as they offer guidance on this.

To go with that is the second things, which is decent lighting. A photo taken in shadow generally results in a washed out image that is devoid of color. Get a cheap clamp-on worklight and use that as your lighting source. Look for the brightest bulb you can, which is usually a three-way incandescent. This will usually be a higher wattage that your worklight is designed for, so only have it on for a few minutes use.

For #3, step back when taking your photos. I shoot 1/72 and 1/48 airplanes from three feet back and 1/32 ones from even farther. If you have decent lighting, are using a tripod, and have your camera set for the max depth of field and lowest ASA, it should result in a good photo.

Finally, choose a background that is a solid color and won't trick your camera into over or under-exposing your image. The worst are white, black, and bright colors. A neutral color such as a blue-grey works best and ensures that parts of your model won't blend in with the background. You can buy pieces of poster paper from all over in a large enough size to provide a nice background.

Hopefully, you will have read this far and will try some, no, ALL of these suggestions. If you do, with a bit of practice, you'll be taking great model photos.