A lot of effort is put into making your architectural models – a physical representation of your concepts and ideas. At times it includes multiple sleepless nights and redos to achieve the result you desire. However, the journey does not stop there. Finally having your physical model in hand is not enough. Now, you have to take pictures of it too.
Why is it so important to take pictures of your model? After all, it’s right in front of you, right? Well, pictures can always be saved digitally for future use but models have a habit of getting dusty with time. They can lose parts, start molding, or in general, can be prone to many accidents. Having pictures of your model is a good backup in case anything happens or you end up needing them further down the lane (by then you might have lost your model or it has dusted away).
Hence, you should always photograph your models as soon as you are done with them since that is when they usually look their best too. The longer you’ll let your model lay around, the more imprints it’ll get. Not to mention, it’s harder to find a place to store them properly. If you leave it at home, it can easily be bumped over by a family member but if you leave it at the studio, it can get thrown out!
Here are a few things that will make it easier for you to capture your model in the best way possible
Before starting anything, you need to figure out the best spot for you to take pictures in. A wall in the background is usually preferred since it’s easier to drape a cloth against it. Since the background should be as monotone as possible, drape a cloth behind your model. If your model is white or in a lighter color, then use a black cloth. Otherwise, white works perfectly well. The background cloth needs to help make the model stand out instead of blending it with the background itself.
It is strongly preferred to place your model at a higher level for pictures instead of on the floor. Hence, you can use a table or chair in front of the background on which you can place your model. To make it easier for yourself, you can use light portable chairs such as an OEM plastic chair in case you need to move around your model or placement.
When taking pictures of your model, there might be some changes you need to make to your camera setting. This is because the automatic settings of a camera assume that you are taking pictures in broad daylight which is much brighter than the directed light you are using for your model with the help of tungsten or halogen lights. To resolve this issue, look for the option of “white balance” within your settings. Upon finding the given option, choose “incandescent” or a light bulb symbol.
Now that you are done with that, choose the highest resolution and “Fine JPEG” for your pictures before starting. This does mean that your pictures will take up more storage space, but they will be better for printing and editing. Another thing to keep in mind is the flash. Always turn off the flash before taking your pictures. The automatic flash is harsh light, not at all suitable for the effect you are trying to achieve when capturing your model. Now that the flash is turned off, the lighting will be much softer too. Hence, it is important to use a tripod if you can.
While you can take pictures in daylight as well as indoor lighting, indoor lighting is preferred. This is because it gives you more control over what kind of light, background, and shadows you want. When shooting pictures indoors, use two light sources. One needs to be pointed directly at the model while the other should be pointing away as it bounces the light off an umbrella. The camera will be centered between these two lights. Before proceeding to take pictures, make sure all the overhead lights are turned off. This is to prevent multiple shadows on the model.
Since you might be moving the light sources regularly, it is important to take care while doing so. For further consideration, it is better to invest in affordable ones instead of going all out. You can get bulbs online from the LED lights wholesale market in china or https://www.vorlane.com/.
Learning how to take the best pictures of your model and getting all the supplies can seem overwhelming at first. However, once you figure out the basics, it will make the rest of your architectural journey much easier!