Firearms Photography 101

studio strobes and soft boxes for firearms photograhpyAs I am no longer doing photo shoots for others, I thought that I would share what I have learned about firearms photography so that others can duplicate it. Here is a link to a .PDF document that will guide you through how to take professional quality photographs of firearms and accouterments: Firearms Photography 101

This document is a updated version of a presentation I gave at Dixons Gunmaker’s Fair a few years ago. It goes over the basics of using your camera for firearms photography and how to stage and light your guns. Specifically, I talk about my lighting system using studio strobes and soft/strip boxes as well as how to use the paint with light technique. I have added some recommendations for point and shoot cameras and photos of my lighting setup. You can duplicate my studio lighting setup for a little over $1000 which isn’t that much at all in the realm of photography, or gun collecting.

2 thoughts on “Firearms Photography 101

  1. Mark, I appreciated the info that you wrote regarding photography of rifles. I have a question regarding lighting. You have softboxes, but can lighting umbrellas be used as well?

  2. Matt,

    I don’t think any direct lighting would be suitable for firearms photography, and reflective umbrellas are essentially direct lighting. You need diffuse light. Large diffusers are going to work best. You can use ad hoc diffusers such as sheets or shower curtains in front of the umbrellas. Essentially, you would be making up a large softbox.

    I hope that answers your question.



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