Edgar's first AR-15
Edgar bought a blem Anderson AR-15 lower receiver last month, so yesterday we built it up and mated it to this BCM upper I've had laying around for about a year (or maybe the upper is PSA, I forget which).
Quick and dirty rifle photo technique:
I have an old Olympus digital camera at the office, maybe ten years old, set up on a tripod. I put the rifle on a table in the warehouse with a (dirty) white top where the light is best, then set up the camera with the tripod. I set it to aperture priority, and close the lens down as far as it will go (in this case, f 8), so even with low light I get crisp focus. You need the tripod because without flash it will be a long exposure.
Then in Photoshop I use the white eyedropper in the Curves dialogue to white out the background. This cleans it up nicely, but also washes the entire image out a bit and you sometimes lose a lot of detail. Then I clean up all the marks and scratches on the table, and use Auto Levels to get the contrast and everything right.
It sounds complicated, but it's actually quick and easy.
Occasionally, if I am in a particular hurry, instead of relying on Curves to white out the background, I used the Magic Wand to select the background and delete it to white. That's why you can sometimes see the edges of the shadows so distinctly. It's actually a pretty poor practice and rarely gives a good result.
So remember these simple steps:
1. Aperture priority;
2. Lens closed down as much as possible (f 8 in my case, but many cameras can go all the way down to f 22);
3. Tripod and timer;
4. Enlarge canvas so you have room to rotate if necessary and improve the crop;
5. White dropper in Curves dialogue;
6. Use the Selector to erase marks and scratches on the background and also to clean up background;
7. Auto Levels;