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In a rush to take a photo for a magazine feature I took this photo with the assistance of Dave outside.

We added the HO Transit to give scale - please can I have your opinions of the photo & effect - please be honest.
 

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It depends quite a lot of what you're aiming at.

From my perspective if I'm going to give an opinion on the pic itself it looks like it's been taken with a rather hard flash almost straight on which has created some pretty harsh shadows. If that's an effect from an actual flash or just because of the harshness of the sun I cannot judge, but it doesn't really make the tree, ground or car justice. I would retake the picture but give the light source more of an angle to the subject so it's not immediately behind the camera. Another option would be to soften it using a diffuser on the flash or to bounce the light off a screen (or even a large white paper) to give a softer appearance.

As for the depth I think it looks quite apparent that the ground does not stretch into the horizon, especially so since the edge of the ground and the beginning of the trees are blurred with different intensities. What one could try here is to make the back of the ground create a small hill so it creates an natural reason why you wouldn't see more ground behind it.

That's my two cents!
 

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Hi Brian,

I'm afraid I have to agree with Mr Pumpernickel.

A photo taken outside should benefit from all the effects of daylight.
Never use a flash.
The weeds on the background does not complement the foreground van and tree.
On the other hand the sky is perfect in color and would've been interesting to see the tree and van without the flash and weeds on that background.

Here is one example of what I mean ; a photo of a boxcar taken outside with a natural background from one of the magicians (Rich Divizio) of modeltrainsweathering site.



Baykal
 

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I'm afraid I agree to Brian. If you're going to do model photography get yourself a tripod so that you don't need to use the flash. Synthetic fibres look very plasticy and shiny when the flash hits them.

Also use a better grass mat if you can. That one looks very fake. Do you have access to siliflor? If not get a sheet from international models as it will vastly improve your picture. The backdrop in your picture is not just the trees, there is also a significant component of ground there.

One thing I have found is that anything which is not quite as good will detract from the overall image. I'd lose the van and put a more detailed one in.

Is that one of Richard Johnsons trees? Thought so, I got some of them too.

Hope this isn't too brutal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi guys & thanks for the comments - back to the drawing board.

The only thing I can say in my defence is that it was done within half an hour or so of getting the phonecall - the sun was going down & very low, which was what (I think), caused the harsh shadows. I did want to have just the sky in the background but that would have meant showing some overhead cables.

In the rush, we managed to forget to "fluff up" the tree, but fortunatly, the picture has not been used.

Thanks again for the comments & most importantly - being honest - I appreciate it.
 
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