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Tips for photographing your model for the 2021 MAFVA Competition

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For 2021 we are having to resort to photographs of models for our annual competition so here are a few tips to help you show your model off to the judges in the best possible way.

Provide 3 to 4 shots of the model taken around it at an angle of between 30-45 degrees from the horizontal as  would best approximate to the judge’s eyeline as if he was examining a model for real.

Include ‘in-progress’ shots if you have any, particularly if  the model is a conversion or if any scratchbuilding is included. (…and mention it in your notes to judges)

Include detail shots of any points you’d like to draw to the judges’ attention.

Try to ensure the model fills the frame and is completely in focus. If you are using a ‘real’ camera, use a numerically high f-stop (e.g. f22) to help maximise the depth of field. If you are using a mobile phone camera you my prefer to shoot your model from a higher 45 degree angle to help prevent depth of field issues.

Make sure your model is well lit. Natural light is preferable to flash unless you are an expert photographer with multiple professional lights.

Make sure your camera is steady. Use a tripod to avoid camera shake or rest your camera on a solid surface and use a delay if possible rather that holding it in your hand.

Keep the background clear. There are no points for the number of modelling books on your bookshelf. Place a large piece of card behind the model, or, particularly if shooting outside, try to ensure the background is out of focus and does not detract from the model.

The judges need to be able to assess the merits of your model. Don’t be afraid to shoot and re-shoot multiple times and only send in the ones that show your model clearly. The judges can only judge what they can see.

Your photographs need to be in one of the following formats: jpg, jpeg, png or pdf. The system will not accept other formats. The system will accept files up to 20mb., but it shouldn’t be necessary to submit files of that maximum size as the judges will only view them on screen. A frame size of between 40cms (approx 1130 pixels) to 50cms (approx. 50 pixels) at 72 lines per inch should be adequate for judging. This should give a file size of around 5mb.

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