February 20th, 2019

Take Better Match and Gun Range Photos with Fill Flash

camera daylight fill flash shootingWe know you guys like taking photos of your rifles at the range. And, if you’re selling a rifle, scope, front rest, or rear bag, you need good photos to post in our Forum classifieds. Here’s a basic photography tip that can help you produce dramatically better photos. Use your camera’s ability to add “fill flash” even in daylight.

There’s plenty of light on a bright day. But bright light also means strong shadows. The shadows can leave parts of your subject literally in the dark. Daylight flash will help fill in those dark spots. In addition, if you are on a covered firing area, and want to include the range in your photo, you can benefit from using flash. This will prevent the foreground subject from being too dark while the downrange background is much too bright.

Photo without Flash

The photo above was taken without flash. As you can see, the rifle is too dark so details are lost. At the same time, the background (downrange) is over-exposed and washed out. The second photo below is taken with daylight flash. The difference is dramatic. Now you can see details of the rifle, while the background is exposed properly. Note how much easier it is to see the the targets downrange and the colors of the front rest. NOTE: these two photos were taken at the same time — just seconds apart.

Photo with Daylight “Fill-Flash”

Be sure to click on the larger versions of each photo.

How to Activate Daylight Flash
Most digital cameras have daylight flash capability. Some cameras have a separate setting for “auto fill flash”. On other cameras, you’ll have to set the camera to aperture priority and stop down the aperture to force the flash to fire. Read your camera’s manual. On many Canons, a menu that lets you set the “flash output”. For “fill flash” we like to set the flash at 30% to 50% output. This fills in the shadows sufficiently without “killing contrast” or creating too much reflection on shiny metal. Below is a photo taken with 30% flash output. Note the rich colors and how the exposure is balanced between foreground and background. Without flash the sky and target area would be “washed out”.


Here’s another tip for Canon owners. If you like deep, rich colors, use the “Vivid” setting in the effects menu. This punches up saturation and contrast.

Permalink - Articles, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
August 17th, 2017

Record Through-Scope Video with Side-Shot Device

side-shot smartphone iphone clamp camera holder

The new Side-Shot 90° clamp/lens adapter allows you to record your shooting sessions with your smart-phone mounted on your rifle. The Side-Shot’s smart design allows you to capture the actual POV through-the-scope image without obscuring the shooter’s vision through the optic.

Other smart-phone/camera mounts for rifles exist, but we believe this may be the first that captures video through the scope while still allowing the shooter to look through the scope in normal fashion. The Side-Shot mount does take up about 1″ of available eye-relief, but that should not be a problem with 95% of riflescopes.

side-shot smartphone iphone clamp camera holder

Side-Shot was designed to give the individual the ability to record what he was doing without obstructing his view. Side-Shot mounts securely to the side of your scope, then your phone’s camera “looks” through your scope via a reflective lens. There are a variety of apps you can use with Side-Shot. The Side-Shot’s clamps adjust easily so it can secure various size modern smart-phones (e.g. iPhone, LG, and Samsung). The Side-Shot is not cheap — this precision-made adjustable smart-phone mount retails for $269.99 at Side-Shot.com.

WARNING: When attached to a rifle, your smart-phone will be exposed to shock, pressure, and G-forces during firing/recoil. Smart phones have many small internal parts (including accelerometers) that could be harmed by the shock/recoil of a high power rifle. Will your phone break? Probably not, but just understand smart-phones were never designed to be clamped to a rifle during live fire.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ):

What Smart Phones Work with Side-Shot:
Side-Shot: We’ve tested Side-Shot with the iPhone, Android, LG, and Samsung phones. Side-Shot is adjustable to adapt to a wide range of phones so you don’t have to keep buying more phone scope mounts everytime you get a new phone

Can I Use Side-Shot on Any Rifle?
Side-Shot: We’ve tested Side-Shot on pPellet guns all the way up to a.50 BMG. With big bore rifles, we recommend using a good Muzzle Brake for better video quality and overall control of your rifle.

What About Eye Relief — Is That a Problem?
Side-Shot: To make room for our reflective lens so you can get your phone out of your way, Side-Shot uses just over an inch of eye relief. Just as anyone can have their head too close to their scope and have the recoil push their scope into them, you can also have your head too close to Side-Shot and get the same result.

side-shot smartphone iphone clamp camera holder

New Product tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
December 4th, 2015

New 3-Way Mount Holds Spotting Scope, Rangefinder & Camera

R-F LRF Camera Cam Cradle Defensive Edge RLC Customs

The R-F Cam Cradle is a smart new product that lets you securely mount a Laser Rangefinder (LRF), digital camera, and spotting scope all on a single tripod. The “game-changing” feature of the R-F Cam Cradle is that it allows you to colimmate (i.e. precisely align) all your optics on the same spot. This way you can simultaneously aim all three devices at a long range target by simply moving the tripod head. A tactical shooter can easily range his target while watching the wind though his spotting scope. And the long-range hunter can range and film his prey as he watches it through the spotter. This unit costs $179.95 from DefensiveEdge.net.

You’ll find a detailed product evaluation of the R-F Cam Cradle on the LongRangeOnly.com website. Reviewer Sam Millard uses the R-F Cam Cradle in the field with a variety of optics and rangefinders. Millard explains how the R-F Cam Cradle conveniently allows combined use of spotting scope, LRF, and compact video camera.

Millard was very impressed with the system: “I field-tested the R-F Cam Cradle in the mountains of northern Idaho and the wide open spaces of eastern Wyoming. I believe the most effective way to use the cradle is in a long range ambush; get the spotting scope, camera, and LRF aligned on a landmark, then lock it down. The LRF and spotter won’t be aligned perfectly, but they’ll be well within the field of view of each other, requiring only a gentle tilt of the tripod to center the beam of the LRF on the target. At ELR distances, a well-supported LRF is crucial to obtaining an accurate range. This mount makes it easy, and doesn’t require displacing your spotting scope to get it done.”

See R-F Cam Cradle Demonstrated in the Field:

Having a video camera mounted in alignment with spotting scope is great for Long Range applications notes Millard: “The camera mount is my favorite feature of the R-F Cam Cradle. It allows co-witnessing the video camera to the spotting scope, then aiming the field of view of both with one movement of the tripod head. This is a great improvement to the normal way of recording the shot and spotting at the same time, which previously required two tripods or a clamp-on head for the camera, both of which required separate aiming of the camera and spotting scope.”

R-F Cam-Cradle Product Details

Manufacturer: RLC Customs
Vendor: Defensive Edge, Inc.
Rathdrum, ID
DefensiveEdge.net
Order Phone: (208) 687-2659

Material: 3/16” 53 Series aluminum
Finish: Powder-coated Matte Black
Total Weight: 16.5 ounces
Mount: ¼-20 Threaded Standard Camera Mount
Retail price: $179.95

Shawn Carlock of Defensive Edge explains: “The R-F Cam Cradle is a way for one person to run everything. Otherwise it’s really difficult to run the spotting scope, run the video camera, run the rangefinder, get dope — do all those different things. So RLC Customs has come up with the idea to put everything together in one platform, where you can sync it together and use it effectively, as a cluster.”

Product Find by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions
Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics No Comments »
April 21st, 2015

Deep Creek Drone — High Definition Bird’s Eye View Movie

The Deep Creek Range near Missoula, Montana, is one of the best 1000-yard ranges in the country. Many long-range benchrest records have been set in this scenic, tree-lined facility. Now, thanks to Forum member David Gosnell (aka “Zilla”), you can see Deep Creek from the air. David attached a High-Def video camera to a quad-rotor drone. He then flew the drone over the Deep Creek Range, soaring from firing line to the target bay and back again. We think you’ll like this video. It gives you a “birds-eye view” of one of America’s elite ranges. Enjoy.

deep creek range Missoula Montana

(more…)

Permalink - Videos, Competition 6 Comments »
September 20th, 2013

Firearms Photography: How and Why to Use Daylight Fill-Flash

camera daylight fill flash shootingWe know you guys like taking photos of your rifles at the range. And, if you’re selling a rifle, scope, front rest, or rear bag, you need good photos to post in our Forum classifieds. Here’s a basic photography tip that can help you produce dramatically better photos. Use your camera’s ability to add “fill flash” even in daylight.

There’s plenty of light on a bright day. But bright light also means strong shadows. The shadows can leave parts of your subject literally in the dark. Daylight flash will help fill in those dark spots. In addition, if you are on a covered firing area, and want to include the range in your photo, you can benefit from using flash. This will prevent the foreground subject from being too dark while the downrange background is much too bright.

Photo without Flash

The photo above was taken without flash. As you can see, the rifle is too dark so details are lost. At the same time, the background (downrange) is over-exposed and washed out. The second photo below is taken with daylight flash. The difference is dramatic. Now you can see details of the rifle, while the background is exposed properly. Note how much easier it is to see the the targets downrange and the colors of the front rest. NOTE: these two photos were taken at the same time — just seconds apart.

Photo with Daylight “Fill-Flash”

Be sure to click on the larger versions of each photo.

How to Activate Daylight Flash
Most digital cameras have daylight flash capability. Some cameras have a separate setting for “auto fill flash”. On other cameras, you’ll have to set the camera to aperture priority and stop down the aperture to force the flash to fire. Read your camera’s manual. On many Canons, a menu that lets you set the “flash output”. For “fill flash” we like to set the flash at 30% to 50% output. This fills in the shadows sufficiently without “killing contrast” or creating too much reflection on shiny metal. Below is a photo taken with 30% flash output. Note the rich colors and how the exposure is balanced between foreground and background. Without flash the sky and target area would be “washed out”.


Here’s another tip for Canon owners. If you like deep, rich colors, use the “Vivid” setting in the effects menu. This punches up saturation and contrast.

Permalink Optics, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
December 11th, 2012

Pro Photographer Yamil Sued Shows How to Capture the Action

Yamil Sued DVD

Yamil SuedYamil Sued provides expert photography tips in Capturing the Action, an instructional DVD from Panteao Productions. In this new DVD, Yamil reviews camera options, camera settings, which lens to use, support gear, range etiquette, positioning and composition, shooting in low light, shooting staged shots, post-production, and much more. Yamil, who also competes in action shooting matches, explains how to get great action photos and memorable images of your fellow shooters. Yamil knows his stuff — he regularly works for Smith & Wesson, Dillon Precision and other top-tier gun industry companies.

Though Yamil is probably best known for his action photography, Yamil is also a gifted studio photographer — you’ve seen his work on numerous magazine and catalog covers.

Watch Preview Trailer for Yamil Sued Photography DVD

Yamil Sued

Yamil Sued

Yamil SuedYamil Sued has been a working professional photographer for 27 years. He is a graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California, with a Major in Illustration Photography and Color Technology.

If you’re looking to achieve pro-quality results when photographing action shooting matches, this video is worth getting. Right now, as a holiday promo good through December 26th, you can pre-order the DVD for $37.49 — that’s 25% off the regular $49.99 price. Order direct from PanteaoProductions.com.

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September 10th, 2011

Free Nikon Digital Camera with Purchase of Buckmasters Scope

Buckmaster Nikon coolpix l24 saleHere’s a sweet deal — buy a scope and get a Nikon digital camera worth one hundred bucks. Now until October 23, 2011, if you purchase any eligible Nikon Buckmasters® Riflescope, Nikon will include a free COOLPIX® L24 Digital Camera. This is no junky, disposable camera. The COOLPIX L25 is a quality 14.0 Megapixel camera with 3.6X optical zoom. It can even capture digital video. Check for yourself — the COOLPIX L24 retails by itself for $85.00 – $100.00. For example Sears sells the L24 for $99.99.

Nikon Buckmasters Scopes are Affordably Priced
A wide range of lifetime-guaranteed Buckmasters scopes qualify for this promotion, including 3-9X, 4.5-14X, and 6-18X zoom scopes starting at $209.95. CLICK HERE for Buckmaster Scope Lineup.

To qualify for the free camera, you must purchase a Buckmasters scope before October 23, 2011, and then submit an application form along with Proof of Purchase. Visit Sinclair Int’l or watch the promotional video below for more details:

Coolpix L24 Nikon Buckmaster Scope promotion

Disclosure: AccurateShooter.com receives a small percentage of referred Sinclair Int’l sales.
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 6 Comments »
July 3rd, 2009

High-Tech Game Cams Aid Hunters

A remote game camera lets you monitor the presence of deer and other game on your favorite hunting grounds. The camera is like a silent sentry, activating only when game animals trigger the heat-in-motion sensor. Here’s a shot recorded by Forum Member Preacher’s camera:

Cuddeback Deer Cam

Cuddeback NoFlash Deer CamCuddeback No-Flash Deer Cam on Sale
The Cuddeback cameras are very sophisticated. The premium Cuddeback units trigger in 0.75 seconds. Cuddeback’s No-Flash IR unit works ’round-the-clock, using invisible infrared illumination at night so the game is not spooked. In daytime you record full-color 3.0 megapixel photos, and you can even set the unit to shoot short videos. The good news is that Cabelas.com has the Cuddeback® No-Flash Infrared Scouting Camera on sale right now for $299.88, marked down from $449.00. The cheapest price we’ve found elsewhere on the web is $319.99 at Amazon.com for the Cuddeback NoFlash Deercam.

Bushnell Releases New IR Trophy Cam
For 2009, Bushnell has introduced an impressive new Trophy Cam. Priced at about $199.00 for the basic model, the new Bushnell IR Trophy Cam offers most of the features of the more expensive Cuddeback IR No-Flash model, but at a much more affordable price. With impressive battery life of up to 6 months, video capability, and an IR flash range up to 45 feet, the new Bushnell has already become very popular with hunters. Independent tests show the Trophy Cam triggers in 1.21 seconds, with a recovery time of 7-11 seconds (depending on picture resolution). The compact (6″x4″) Bushnell is easy to program (no remote required) and the Trophy Cam offers a choice of 3 mp or 5 mp photos. With the deluxe “viewer” version ($249.00 at Digital Photo) you can preview your photos via the camera’s built-in color viewscreen (a feature not offered on the Cuddeback).

Bushnell Trophy Cam

CLICK HERE to Read Bushnell Trophy Cam Review.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »