I have to agree that no matter what resources you make use of to pick up new ideas and techniques, actually trying those techniques is the only way to progress. On the project I'm working on now, I've done something I've never tried before; pre-shading panel lines. A lot of folks won't consider that to be an advanced technique, but for me it's something new. Did it come out perfect? Nope. It did, however, come out well enough that I've learned something from the experience and will keep at it. Next time, I might try engine wiring or using BMF; who knows? Whatever it is, it's gonna be awesome! ;D
I'm a scratch builder, i don't have instructions, i don't have a plan as such, sometimes this is a curse, some times this s a blessing.
My currant build came from a Tropicana Orange juice lid that looked like a thruster nozzle, so I a had to make it into one.
I tired, I really tried to make the Tamiya 1/12th Williams F1 car, a $180 kit, my Auntie Sue lives two minutes from the factory, I love this car, I love the Williams F1 team, the best formula one car ever built, before health and safety ruined everything, but building the model left me hollow. Great kit, but it was just me, weirdo, right.
I put so much stress on myself to get things right, realistic, authentic, I understand the completion rather than perfection, but F1 cars are perfect, its very difficult to fudge my mistakes with weathering and aging so there was no hiding my faults, and i produce a lot of faults and make a lot of mistakes people.
When I'm building i have no direction, you should try it, it's very scary but when everything clicks its just the best feeling
The only way to improve is to keep practicing people.
One piece of advice my Pops gave me,
"It's only finished when i say its finished" in other words, who is to say what the final product is, your could weather it back to rusted out shell if you so desired, you decide.
For me its gotta be photographing my models. They just never look as good in pics as they do to my eyes on my bench. Part of that I believe is the kind of love you have for something you've built and poured hour upon hour into. You become enamored with your creations, and focus on the best parts and not the flaws.
The camera can strip all that in away, and flaws you missed become completely obvious under the glare of the lights. I've been using a 6mp point and shoot, does a DSLR really make the difference? I know my lighting isn't the best either. Setting up a backdrop, getting the model framed and in-focus correctly, with the lighting accentuating the best features of your model, that's hard.
These are the things I find most challenging and I would like to learn how to do it better (without ponying up ~$500 for a DSLR and lights, backdrops etc).
Hi Cave Dweller.
This type of photography is called "Product Photography". There are a lot of instructional videos on youtube and online, to help you with the idiosyncrasies of this type form. As well many DIY projects to make your own gear, rather than purchase it.
One thing that is essential, is a camera that has good "Macro" capabilities, most do not. It doesn't have to be an expensive DSLR either. There is also lots of good used cameras out there. Don't be afraid to visit a real photography store, ask questions, They can give good suggestions to work within your budget, and bring something to photograph, to get real feedback, before you purchase.