Taking better pictures of your guns

Every one wants to show off what they’ve got!  But do you have what it takes?  If you don’t that’s perfectly fine as I will teach you the basics of getting a great photo!  Get your guns and camera ready because you’ll want to take pictures as soon as you are done reading!

Step 1:  Take a lot of pictures.

This step doesn’t have any actual composition tips, but is instead a standard photography tip.  By taking a lot of pics you get yourself something very important.  Options.  By giving yourself options you get more of a chance that you take a photo that you absolutely love.  So take lots of pictures.  Take them from every angle, every height, and move the gun around too.  Take pictures of it standing up, on its side and maybe even down the sights.  Even consider a safe picture of the bore.  Heck, even take the gun apart and snap some pics of the inside.  Either way you do it just make sure that you have every base covered with the gun you want to take.  This will also give you later options down the road because you never know when you might need a super specific picture of a sear or something.

Step 2:  You need better light.

What ever your current light set up is, it isn’t good enough.  Many new-comers to the world of photography just don’t know something very critical.  Their cameras don’t take in a lot of light.  You’re ceiling lights don’t produce enough light either.  So your best solution is to get extra lights.

Getting something as simple as a flashlight to shine extra light on your guns will get you a better lit picture.  Try using the light from the back of the gun.  This will make it pop off its background.  There are even some lights that can be gotten for below $25.  Also make sure that your camera can automatically adjust to the lights or you manually adjust your camera.  With better lights every one will be able to see the fine details on a gun for better or for worse.

See how easy it is to see all of the details?

Step 3:  Clear a space.

When ever or where ever you take your photos make sure to have some sort of clear space.  No viewer wants to see a whole bunch of junk in your background. They came to see the gun and that’s what should be in focus.

This place isn’t exactly what people want to see when you snap a pic.

So clear out yourself a small studio.  The best and cheapest option it to create a light box with large white poster board sheets.  This way you’ll have a nice clean background that will contrast with the darker colors that are usually found on guns.  And with the small studio you now have it’ll be easy to mount lights so your guns can be illuminated.

Step 4: Know what you’re taking a picture of.

No matter what you’re taking a picture of be sure you know what it is.  Because when ever you post the photos of your gun people will absolutely ask questions about it.  By being able to answer simple questions like, “What’s the make and model of it?” or “How does it shoot?”  Being able to answer simple questions will make your posts very engaging and will even make people want come back when you post something new.

Step 5: Experiment

Only you can pick out which kind of photos you like so make sure to try out a whole bunch photographic tricks and settings.  Consider taking your photo’s outside surrounded by nature.  You can even mess with the mount of light that’s on your subject or what color the light is.  Are you tired of a white background?  Consider taking a photo of a gun surrounded by it’s accessories like magazines and ammo.  And maybe you don’t need a clutter free environment.  Taking a picture on a work bench or surrounded by uniforms and medals gives a cool narrative to your guns that is hard to replicate.  For the most part you get to control what the end viewer sees so take a lot of photos in a lot of places.  You can even touch them up a bit with photo editing software.

Conclusion.

This tips should give you a head start on your journey of photography.  Soon you’ll be taking master class photos with ease!  Just make sure when you’re taking photos or any gun make sure it’s checked for safety and that you also follow the gun safety rules.  Other than that you’re ready to go.  Have you already been taking pictures of guns for a while now?  Sound off in the comments with the pictures you’re most proud of!  Thanks for reading everybody!

Photos

You’ve just killed the buck of a lifetime and now you’ve got the chance to capture the moment for all of your friends and family to see. Don’t blow it with amateur photography. Follow these tips to take better field photos.

Do This

Always carry a camera. The best time and place to take a hero shot is in the field immediately after recovering game as it accurately records the mood and location. Animals are fresh and more attractive before field dressing and more maneuverable before rigor sets in.

Check your batteries before you leave home to make sure they’re fresh or fully charged and that your camera has a card with sufficient available space.

Remove dirt, leaves, blood, and saliva from the hunter and the trophy. Smooth ruffled hair and remove clutter from the foreground and background. And for Pete’s sake, stuff the animal’s tongue in its mouth.
Skyline the antlers to show off the tines and ensure that the horizon doesn’t cut through the hunter or the animal.

To produce vibrant images, shoot during periods of the softest light–early and late in the day. From late morning to late afternoon, avoid direct sunlight. Pose in full shade (not dappled sunlight), and use a flash. Use a tripod to prevent blurred images, and make sure the camera is plumb and level.

Pose creatively. Take shots facing the animal as well as crouching behind it. Pose the head in different positions to accentuate various characteristics. Grasp antlers near the bases with your fingertips rather than your full hand.

Take multiple shots of different poses, from various angles, and bracket the image if your camera has that capability.

Avoid This

Skip the tight focus. Leave plenty of space around the subject; you can always crop the image later if you have to.

Never pose in a truck bed. You’ll look like a rube.

Don’t straddle big game. It’s not a horse. Show a little respect by kneeling beside or behind the animal, and smile.

Tricks of the Trade

Keep a few moist wipes in a resealable plastic bag to wipe off blood and moisten fleshy parts, like the nose and eyes.

Use a fill flash to counteract distracting shadows.

Position the subjects to lead the viewer’s eyes from left to right to make a more visually appealing picture.
Shoot from a low angle where you’re even with or, if possible, below the animal. This helps enhance the trophy’s size. And silhouetting against an open skyline will sometimes produce dramatic results.

Good Luck!

 

Slate.com ‘s PhotoBlog recently published a photo set by photographer Charles Ommanney that examines a small selection of American Gun Owners. In contrast to whatever stereotypes and preconceived notions of who the American Gun Owner is, this photo set shines a light onto average people from every walk of life. What they found is a reflection of the Shooting Sports community. This photo set shows real people with real lives, and how their firearms play a part in their lives. 

 

Via Slate.com:

THIS IS WHAT GUN OWNERSHIP LOOKS LIKE IN AMERICA

 

By 

Miami real estate agent Loigrand De Angelis, with his son Loigrand Junior, in the parking lot of their apartment building on Feb. 9, 2013.
Miami real estate agent Loigrand De Angelis,with his son Loigrand Junior, in the parking lot of their apartment building on Feb. 9, 2013.
Charles Ommanney/Reportage by Getty Images

In early 2013, on a five-day assignment for the German magazine Stern, photographerCharles Ommanney traveled around the United States photographing Americans with their guns. Ommanney has built a career working as a political and documentary photographer and felt a responsibility to make a story that wasn’t just another “predictable NRA-bashing” type of series. He wanted to see “real” people to find out why they wanted to have guns in their homes. He also decided to shoot the project in a more engaged manner with his subjects instead of simply being a fly on the wall.

Ommanney said the project took him to six states in the Southern and Western United States, where he met people who owned guns for protection, as preparation for when things go “horribly wrong,” or simply because they like the beauty of weaponry. Instead of photographing the gun owners at a firing range or at a National Rifle Association conference, Ommanney wanted to capture them in their homes to create a sense of “normalcy.”

The British-born Ommanney was surprised by the ease at which the gun owners in America felt comfortable being photographed for this project. “I can’t imagine going around England and knocking on someone’s door and saying ‘I’d like to photograph you with your shotgun,’ ” Ommanney said. “They would look at me like I was a lunatic. But for these people, there was nothing in any shape or form abnormal about me wanting to do this; [their guns were] a perfectly normal extension of their lives.”

Clockwise from top left: Shari Baker, Ben Baker, Susan Baker, and Jesse Baker at their home on Feb. 10, 2013, in Ashburn, Ga.
Clockwise from top left: Shari Baker, Ben Baker, Susan Baker, and Jesse Baker at their home on Feb. 10, 2013, in Ashburn, Ga.
Charles Ommanney/Reportage by Getty Images

Elizabeth Lamont, who owns two handguns, at her home on Feb. 13, 2013, in South Riding, Va.
Elizabeth Lamont, who owns two handguns, at her home on Feb. 13, 2013, in South Riding, Va.
Charles Ommanney/Reportage by Getty Images

Lindsay Makowski in the living room of her home on Feb. 12, 2013, in Silver Spring, Md. Makowski now owns numerous guns after getting into a bad situation with a former boyfriend.
Lindsay Makowski in the living room of her home on Feb. 12, 2013, in Silver Spring, Md. Makowski now owns numerous guns after getting into a bad situation with a former boyfriend.
Charles Ommanney/Reportage by Getty Images

Ommanney’s favorite photos exhibit this idea of normalcy, including one of Loigrand De Angelis, who posed for Ommanney with his young son. “At first glance it’s just a dad with a baby in a Baby Bjorn on his chest, and then you take a second look and you see he’s strapped up with a 9mm just inches away from his baby—he never takes that thing off,” Ommanney said.

Another image, of teenager Elizabeth Lamont with her gun at home in Virginia, was remarkable for Ommanney because it contrasts Lamont’s innocence juxtaposed with a deadly weapon. Ommanney was struck by Lamont’s all-American looks and bedroom décor, as well as by her admitting doubt about whether she could actually fire a weapon at another person if she needed to.  “That a 17-year-old girl could even be thinking about that is so foreign to me,” Ommaney said.

From an elderly woman who kept a gun because her mother had been murdered to a family with two young girls who were well-versed at stripping down an M16 assault rifle, Ommanney’s series is a striking cross-section of gun ownership in America.

Brian and Sheila Moffatt with their children at their home on Feb. 23, 2013, in Overgaard, Ariz.
Brian and Sheila Moffatt with their children at their home on Feb. 23, 2013, in Overgaard, Ariz.
Charles Ommanney/Reportage by Getty Images

Millicent Hunter's gun at her home on Feb. 12, 2013, in Fairfax, Va.
Millicent Hunter’s gun at her home on Feb. 12, 2013, in Fairfax, Va.
Charles Ommanney/Reportage by Getty Images

Millicent Hunter at her home on Feb. 12, 2013, in Fairfax, Va. Hunter keeps the pump-action shotgun under her bed.
Millicent Hunter at her home on Feb. 12, 2013, in Fairfax, Va. Hunter keeps the pump-action shotgun under her bed.
Charles Ommanney/Reportage by Getty Images

Writer Dan Baum holds his beloved 7.63-mm Mauser C96, made in 1896, at his home on Feb. 24, 2013, in Boulder, Colo.
Writer Dan Baumholds his beloved 7.63-mm Mauser C96, made in 1896, at his home on Feb. 24, 2013, in Boulder, Colo.
Charles Ommanney/Reportage by Getty Images

Dan Wilkins at his home on Feb. 25, 2013 in Austin, Texas.
Dan Wilkins at his home on Feb. 25, 2013 in Austin, Texas.
Charles Ommanney/Reportage by Getty Images

 

David Rosenberg is the editor of Slate’s Behold blog. He has worked as a photo editor for 15 years and is a tennis junkie.