Get them toys out!
Scale model photography
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Get them toys out!

Bored at home? How about some scale model photography to get those creative juices flowing without leaving the house

Abhishek

Look, the fact that you've got your hands on this e-mag means you are an automobile enthusiast and there’s a very high chance you have a few scale models lying around your house. Yes, you’ve probably got strange looks at the toy store for grabbing the whole stash of ‘toy’ cars, but don’t mind them. They don’t know the joys of owning a scaled down replica of your favourite car. But hey, these models can do so much more than just sit around looking pretty. You can do some extremely creative stuff with them. We recommend a full-blown photoshoot!

Play around with the artificial light you have at home.
Play around with the artificial light you have at home. Scale model photography

The first thing that you have to do is to give the car a good wipe – you don't want the dust and debris in your photograph, right? And don’t stop yourself if you don’t have fancy equipment. You can get brilliant results even with a half-decent smartphone camera. The goal is to make your shot as realistic and dramatic as possible, and the most important mantra that you have to remember is to get low and get real close to the subject. Some of these diecast models are really small so in order to get them to look proportionate, the camera needs to get real close. The next step is deciding how you want to place the car. A front three-quarter shot is one of the best angles to shoot a car from and this holds true even for the life-sized cars we normally shoot. Similarly, you can take a rear three quarter shot, a profile shot and head-on shots. If you have one of those expensive, intricately detailed models, you can go one step further and shoot close-up details of the wheels, interiors and wings. Pro tip: use the macro mode to focus on these smaller details, if your phone has one.

Use natural light to make your picture more realistic.

Use natural light to make your picture more realistic.

Photography is all about playing with light to bring out the best in your subject. Good lighting can transform an average picture in to a brilliant one. If you look at photographs of the Camaro and the Ferrari 458, they weren’t shot with any sort of fancy equipment. I just used the things that were available at the time. Let me break down the 458 photo for you. I wanted a reflective glass surface to place the car on, but I couldn’t get my hands on one so I used a laptop screen as the base. Jugaad is your best friend. For the background, I borrowed an RGB backlit keyboard from a friend. Alternatively you can use those fairy lights that you have stashed away from last year’s Christmas party. To light up the car itself, I kept my phone’s display on at full brightness and held it above the car while taking the shot. The key here is to use things you can find in your house creatively to make your picture stand out. The government has made it very clear that you should only step out for essentials – and I’m certain that some fancy lights don’t count as essentials. If you have a terrace, compose a frame such that the sunrises or sets behind the car. This golden light is perfect for photography and will give your picture a mellow look. It is the light we chase on our shoots of full size cars as well. Remember, this is a hobby you can pursue safely from the confines of your home. You have plenty of things lying around the house that you can leverage to make your pictures pop. All you have to do is get creative!

A front three-quarter
shot is one of the best angles to shoot.

A front three-quarter shot is one of the best angles to shoot.

Once you are done shooting, you should ideally edit them slightly so they match your vision. You can use Photoshop, Lightroom on your PC or if you are using a smartphone you have options like Lightroom Mobile, Snapseed and VSCO. Chief photographer Rohit, has done a whole separate story on editing photos on the phone – I recommend you check it out. If you're interested in automotive photography, photographing scale models can be used as a legitimate stepping stone to the real deal. You can play with perspective, composition and different angles on a diecast car since it is more accessible and easy to manage. If you’ve got some scale models lying at home, get right to it! Upload your photos on Instagram, tag the @evoindia handle and use the #evoindiadiecastchallenge tag to get featured on our page!

Evo India
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