Digital photo advice

Chad Cowan May 21, 2009

  1. Chad Cowan

    Chad Cowan TrainBoard Member

    I've been posting some photos taken outdoors on a small photo module I built.

    I'm having trouble getting the settings on the camera right. How can I adjust to gain better depth of field while still catching detail in the foreground? I'm thinking of trying the Helicon Focus software also to see how it might help.

    Advice anyone?


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  2. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

    Chad, I have a kinda cheap digital camera, and I put it on manual settings, change the f stop down to f8 (as low as mine will go), use the macro zoom to get a focal point about mid way between the closest object and furthest object, then shoot. This would work on your 2 locos on each track, but to get those distant trees/houses in focus, I'd use Helicon.
    BTW, I think your photos look great! :)

  3. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

    I know there are several folks that do this type of photography here so you should get some great advise very soon...

    :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:​
  4. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

    What Pastoolio said is the cheapest way. Put it on the smallest aperture you have available and put it on the tripod. The resulting longer exposure will improve your depth of field. If your camera has virtual ASA/ISO settings, put it on something like 100. That will get the camera taking even more time.

    If you have an old manual 35 mm film camera sitting around, I know a source for pinhole body caps for around 15 or 20 bucks. That's another option. With an aperture of around f/179 then you'll definitely need a tripod... and a cable release... and a couple minutes per shot. This may make the trees in the back look a little surreal, however, as it is taking a picture while any breezes might be blowing.

    I had thought on photos like the middle one that you were going for that effect on purpose. It looked intentional to me.
  5. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

    Chad, One of the reasons I'm a model roader is because I like to build it, photograph it. I've taken thousands of photos and have a photo currently in the photo contest. Check it out for sure. You will see all the benifits of Helicon Focus. I got this program after a year of procrastination, f stop settings, blurred backgrounds and all the other plagues in 40+ years of photography. See the photo below and the current contest photo and spend $115. You will never look back on this issue again. On the picture below, taken in natural light, you could not get the depth of field and other way from the distance I had the camera. In the contest photo it is hard to believe that it can all be in focus. Good luck. Cheers, Jim CCRR/Socalz44
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2009

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