Please help: Lighting suggestions for photographing models...

Hello all. I do mostly small-scale work...armor and figures...and like to take photos of them when done to share with friends on the internet.
One nagging problem has been lighting. I've tried a variety of improvised light set-ups, and even one of those packaged lightbox things, but still cannot get sufficient lighting without shadows.
I can't afford to spend a fortune, but apparently cheap solutions aren't cutting it either. Therefore I'd welcome any input from you all on this subject. Feel free to provide specifics, such as brands and models, so I can check them out. Thank you for any help you can provide, and I look forward to getting past this obstacle soon. Regards,
Randy
We're living in a world that's been pulled over our eyes to blind us from the truth. Where are you, white rabbit?
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Randy Pavatte) wrote:

1) Outdoors on a light overcast day -- just enough cloud cover to diffuse the light and eliminate shadows.
2) Outdoors on a sunny day, sitting in a sunny spot and shading the subject with a thin white sheet or frosted Pexiglas.
3) Fluorescent shop light fixtures, 3-4 feet long. Hang one a few feet above & forward of the subject. With one fixture you'll get some diffuse shadows. If that's not good enough, add a second fixture parallel to and at least 2 feet away from the first, equidistant from the model.
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"Photo setrup we use for miniatures - two gooseneck deck lamps - not that large. One on either side of the model. A diffuser - like white paper on the model side of the lamps to keep from getting details of the bulb filament. About 2 inches below the bulb housing. Put the lamps so they're about half way up the model - one on either side. Sheet of colored paper behind model. At this point model should be illuminated - no shadow on paper. Adjust camera or use film for incandessicant bulbs. Use a closeup lens, shoot on maximum f/number for good depth of field- use a cable release or time to prevent camera motion duting exposure. Go quick - Don't let the heat from the bulbs melt the model.
Val Kraut
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Fine Scale Modeler has an article in the May 2006 issue on just this topic. Contact me off list if you can't find a copy of the issue.
Rob
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On Mar 10, 11:36 am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Randy Pavatte) wrote:

I classsify model photos as one of two types- "model as art", or realistic. The first type, model as art, is the normal one you see in Modeler's Gallery in FSM most of the time. For this type, you use a featureless background, and very flat lighting. A light tent is the best bet, and you can make these yourself if you cannot afford one. You can get a decent one that works for models for about a hundred bucks. I have a sunporch that works- as long as I keep the model and background out of direct sunlight enough light diffuses around in the porch to give a pretty flat illumination.
The other type, the realistic type, is shot against some realistic background (either a real background or a photo one). You need realistic lighting, and the best is absolutely bright sun! A real object in sunlight casts a shadow, and so should your model.
I have slowly gathered a collection of backgrounds appropriate for the models I build, and so shoot the model in front of a photo background. The model is far enough from the background that the shadow falls on the table top (which I cover with some material appropriate to the scene). I sometimes make this cover by taking some foreground region in the background photo and stretch it vertically in photoshop.
Now, sunlight is free, but here in Minnesota, it limits when I can take pictures. I have about a foot of snow in my backyard, so it will be a week or two till I can shoot any model pics :-)
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