Author Topic: Gun photography for idiots  (Read 30367 times)

Offline Dennis Glazener

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15297
  • 2005 Transylvania County NC Heritage Day Event
    • GillespieRifles
Re: Gun photography for idiots
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2015, 09:35:33 PM »
How did I photograph this rifle?

Photo of rifle on horizontal view:

Photo of rifle, stock & lock view:

Photo of firearm stand:


Photo of rifle in vertical view:

The Set-up

This rifle is “resting" on a stainless steel cleaning rod sitting in a cut-down clothing rack. The wooden ramrod handle has been reduced in diameter to sit inside the black pipe of the stand. A PVC “T” section is inserted in the top of the chrome pipe with a hole drilled in the top of the “T” section, allowing the cleaning rod to go through. The “T” section stabilizes the cleaning rod and keeps it centered. The brass bore guide is sitting on top of the “ T“ section. The legs of the stand are heavy steel alloy, so it is very stable with a 12 lb firearm sitting on it.  Check clothing stores for old fixtures ready to be tossed.

The top end of the cleaning rod is fitted with a specific caliber or gauge bore brush to fit inside the barrel of the firearm to be photographed. When the firearm rests completely on the ramrod bore guide, the cleaning brush keeps the firearm from moving around, and allows minute rotation of the firearm to catch the light just right. I can also display a handgun on top of the cleaning rod as well.
The rod and/or bore guide are then cropped out, followed by rotating the image to the horizontal position in the photo editor application.


Avoid using the camera's flash. Instead, use external flash units or strobes. As an alternative, I use either window light or four CFL bulbs, each @ 105 watts. The bulb is equal to a 400 watt incandescent bulb without the heat.  If privacy permits, shoot outdoors on an overcast day, which eliminates reflections or hotspots in the photo.
It helps to have a photo editing app on your computer like Google’s free apps, “Picasa” and “Snapseed".  I use “Snapseed" on both my iPad & iPhone to edit photos taken with them. Go to: 
If you can spend the bucks, get the latest version of Adobe’s Photoshop Elements, Version 13, or sign up on Adobe’s website for Photoshop, (“the Big Kahuna”) on a monthly subscription.

All shooting should be done with a single lens reflex (SLR) digital or a “point & shoot" camera sitting on a tripod, using either a remote shutter release cord or the self-timer feature (10-second or 5-second) to reduce camera shake, which usually occurs when you manually depress the shutter button. A macro lens, macro lens setting, or a set of “close-up” lenses,   allow you to get closer and magnify detail. Keep a good distance between the firearm and the background wall to minimize shadows.

This photographic idea was shown to me in 1977 by the late John Bivins, when I came to his house to pick up my rifle he made, his first left-handed one.

Hope this helps,
Buck Buchanan
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 04:39:34 PM by Dennis Glazener »
"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend" - Thomas Jefferson