Author Topic: Why do photos look different from different angles?  (Read 3009 times)

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MK

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Re: Why do photos look different from different angles?
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2022, 08:02:19 AM »
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Oh definitely a Rebel over a camera phone!

chuck geiger

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Re: Why do photos look different from different angles?
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2022, 10:15:46 AM »
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Canon EOS Rebel T3i Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (discontinued by manufacturer)

Costco Special in 2012.
Chuck Geiger
provencountrypd@gmail.com

chuck geiger

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Re: Why do photos look different from different angles?
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2022, 10:19:16 AM »
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Almost the same issue with S9. Wife's went nuts and died showing code and freaking out...We got new
S-22 phones over Labor Day Weekend, just the few pictures I've taken the camera is real good.
Chuck Geiger
provencountrypd@gmail.com

MK

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Re: Why do photos look different from different angles?
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2022, 10:29:28 AM »
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Almost the same issue with S9. Wife's went nuts and died showing code and freaking out...We got new
S-22 phones over Labor Day Weekend, just the few pictures I've taken the camera is real good.

Yeah, my S7 bricked really hard.  It wouldn't accept a charge let alone turn on.  It happened instantly.  Took it to a Samsung Factory Service Center and they said sorry man, you need a new phone.  Something on the motherboard died and there's no way they can save it.  Luckily everything stored on the MicroSD card was saved but not the stuff stored on the phone.  But my cell phone pictures are not really that important.  I have my Nikon.  :)

It is interesting that the S22 has 3 lenses compared to 1 on my ancient S7.   :D

chuck geiger

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Re: Why do photos look different from different angles?
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2022, 11:54:37 AM »
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Yeah she lost everything and we built it back fast. Google Photos was the savior.
Chuck Geiger
provencountrypd@gmail.com

Chris333

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Re: Why do photos look different from different angles?
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2022, 05:40:41 PM »
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Store bought phones...

robert3985

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Re: Why do photos look different from different angles?
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2022, 06:38:33 PM »
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It's not just composition (angles) that makes a difference in model railroad photography, although those aspects are important...it's also what lens is on your camera or phone.  For instance, for fairly overall shots with a DSLR or SLR, the focal length of your lens is important.  That's why on modern smart phones, they now have two or three lenses of different focal lengths, which are for effects and what style of photography you're choosing to do.  This feature (having a choice of different lenses) has been a big part of photography for over a century.  My basic 35mm SLR kit on my first single lens reflex film camera was a telephoto for portraiture (135mm), a "standard" lens, which was supposed to come close to what the human eye sees (55mm) and a wide angle for interior, groups and scenery (35mm).  Each one of these lenses caused different effects in the way the photo looked which I was able to choose from using my photographer's judgement as to what I wanted to achieve, depending on what I was taking photos of.

This ability to change lenses is a big part of why larger (larger than a smart phone) modern DSLR's and mirrorless cameras are popular with people with more than just a passing interest in photography.

However, the small size of phone bodies and placement of lenses on modern smart phones bodies really helps in the "angle" and being able to place the camera's lens close to what a 1/160th scale person's view would be if standing by the track taking photos.

Also, model railroad points of view are for different things, such as an overall view that shows what you see when operating your layout, close-ups that attempt to make our models look realistic, or views somewhere in-between that are for a relatively wide angle shot that looks realistic and includes scenery, backdrop and trains.  Then, there are product shots, or shots where you want to document your work.

So, different cameras, different lenses, different camera positions, different lighting, different depth of field and different exposures all contribute to make model railroad photography a fairly complex, but interesting part of the hobby.

When phone cameras first came out, the quality, or lack of it, made my camera choice for model railroad photography easy...a DSLR with several different lenses.  Also, since I took photos that were published in various model railroad magazines, quality was paramount and most magazines had resolution standards that had to be met, so my choice of DSLR had to have a certain level of resolution...which didn't allow me at the time to use a beginner's DSLR because of their low resolution.

Probably the two most important parts of model railroad photography to help achieve shots that we want to be "realistic" are the ability to control depth of field (depth of focus) and achieving a convincing camera position for realistic angles.  Because of the relatively large size of even the smallest DSLR or mirrorless cameras, unless you've built your layout with places specifically designed to allow you to get close with your camera, getting it down close to track level is virtually impossible in many cases.  However, it's a lot easier to mount your DSLR or mirrorless camera's body on a tripod and take photos for focus stacking software than trying to hand-hold your smart phone and do the same to get a realistic angle on your layout and trains and to produce an unlimited depth of field after combining the shots.  Luckily, resolution in modern smart phone cameras is excellent nowadays and because of being able to choose between two or three lenses of different focal lengths for differing effects...AND the availability of focus stacking apps that allow you to choose how many photos you want between two points on your subject, then control your smart phone's shutter and focusing to very quickly take multiple shots at multiple focus points...it's possible to hand-hold your smart phone and get great photos for your favorite focus stacking app eliminating the need to manually focus and mount your phone on a fixture or small tripod.

I've found that since I'm taking photos of my layout and my work a lot, to make getting a proper white balance much easier, that I decided to standardize my layout lighting, and my workshop lighting with 5000K Daylight fluorescents and LED 15W bulbs.  At first, the "blueness" of the light was a bit irritating, but now that I'm used to it, I get better color matching when I paint my models, and much easier and more consistent photos when documenting work or attempting realistic trackside shots.

Since I am satisfied with my choice of photographic equipment, which fulfills my needs both for my professional photography and my model railroad photography, I am happy to use both my Nikon DSLR and my Pixel smart phone to get the shots that satisfy me, so I am not up on what is currently available as far as equipment or new software is concerned.  My DSLRs are my Nikon D7200's, my smart phone is an old Google Pixel 2 XL, my focus stacking app is Helicon Focus Pro, and my photo retouching app is my subscription to Adobe Photoshop.  The D7200 has a resolution of 6000 X 4000 with 24 megapixels, a "cropped" DX sensor (smaller than a 35mm film equivalent sensor).  This camera isn't produced any longer, being superseded by the inferior D7500, and the lower resolution professional D500, but it works perfectly for me and my photographic needs.

Photo (1) - Sometimes, getting the angle I want with my DSLR involves some extreme measures!  Nikon D7200 upside down to get as close to eye level as I can at this point, with Tokina 11-16mm Ultra Wide zoom for perspective and depth of field:


Photo (2) - Photo taken with upside-down D7200 after a bit of Photoshopping to extend the skyboard and adjust shadow details using f22 for near infinite depth of field with this particular lens with no focus stacking:


For me, both an interchangeable lens camera and a modern smart phone camera are essential.

Photo (3) - Photo taken with my Google Pixel 2 LX smart phone using the "Open Camera" app to take a series of focus-stacking photos in less than a second, then combined in Helicon Focus, adjusted with Photoshop:



One last thing. High resolution model railroad photography is absolutely merciless in revealing any faults in our modeling.  High quality photos are the ultimate critic of our work because our naked eye often overlooks flaws in our models, whereas high quality photos don't...and our eyes SEE the flaws when looking at photos that reveal those flaws for some reason much better than just looking at our models.  I use the camera often to see what I need to fix when working on one of my N-scale models.  If I can pull off a model that withstands the scrutiny of my Nikon's Micro lens, then I know I've done a job that satisfies me.  For me, my camera is an invaluable tool that helps me achieve what I want in my modeling, even when the photos themselves aren't all that great from a composition/exposure aspect.

Soooo...this means that if your ballast looks like kitty litter, then it probably is too big, and the photo is revealing that fact to you.  Time to grade your ballast to get it to the correct rock size eh?

Model Railroad Photography...a verrrry useful tool to assist us in improving our modeling skills.  :)

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore