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I use a 27.5-inch by 15.5-inch flat screen computer monitor as a photo backdrop for my models. This simple six-step process makes it easy:

1. Take a photograph or find an existing photograph that would look convincing as a background for the model. For example, I took a picture of the Ogeechee River to serve as the background for a model steamboat. Or I’ll use cloudscapes for aircraft models. Keep in mind that if you use images from the internet in a published  photo, you may have copyright problems.

2. Display the image on the monitor using the full-screen function.

3. Position the model or diorama in front of the monitor.

4. Put the camera on a tripod about 5.5 feet from the screen.

5. Zoom in until the subject almost fills the view finder. To reduce blur, set the timer on the camera shutter and stand back.

6. Take lots of pictures!

One problem with this method is that a moire pattern is sometimes visible ­(a series of curved lines which appear in a digital photograph on a monitor). Moving the camera back and zooming in helps get rid of this pattern.

Tip submitted by:
Timothy Canney
Savannah, Ga.
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