New ideas

While I think about and prepare for some new topics, I’m going to post some random model photographs. The thinking goes like this: it shows off what I do, and shows you what you can do if you try; it lets me test blogging via my Flickr account; and it fills in time while I come up with new topics.

I’m going to try to cover different scales, and subjects, in the coming weeks. This week, the image is of a 4mm OO scale layout called Wouldham Town, while it was being exhibited at the ModelRail Scotland exhibition in Glasgow at the end of February 2008. I think it would be nice to give a little technical detail as well, so let’s see if I can find out how this shot was created!

According to the EXIF data, the basic settings for the EOS 400D were as follows: ISO 100, flash off (good), aperture at ƒ/22 (about the smallest it will go with the attached lens) and the focal length was 18mm. Using the layout’s lighting, supplemented by the exhibition hall’s horrid mercury vapour or somesuch lamps, the exposure was four seconds. As a general rule, I tend to leave the camera to sort out white balancing issues, which in this case needed some adjustment in Aperture to correct for the orange tint the hall lights gave. Hindsight tells me I’d have been better served by balancing the camera on the shoot. Live and learn.

Essentially, what all that means is I was using the camera kit lens (18–55mm zoom) set at its widest setting. At that point, I hadn’t acquired the 10–20mm wide angle—it was to be another month or so before I could get my hands on one. I’d carefully placed the camera on the layout, using skill and judgement to frame the shot since I couldn’t look through the viewfinder. According to my archives, I took three shots in a row in order to get the framing right!

I had already set the aperture to ƒ/22, leaving the camera on aperture priority so it would work out the exposure it wanted. The nearest point in the shot is about 10cm from the front of the lens, while the furthest is about 120cm away. I admit the shot has been cropped to lose the nearest part of road, which was a little blurred because it was closer than where the lens can actually focus. I think it comes under the heading “hyperfocal”, which gives me an idea for a topic!

Using a cable release, I fired the shutter. The result you can see. I think it’s rather effective.

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