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Made in us
Servoarm Flailing Magos





Alaska

Hello all: There are already many good posts about doing really top-notch miniature photography, but I still find myself posting a lot of posts to new members describing how to take miniature photos that get the point across, even if they are not top-rate photos. This type of photography is good for people who don't have a lot of money for special stuff like lightboxes, expensive lighting sources, etc. It also is useful if you don't have a dedicated setup, and just want to throw down a picture real quick. Let's get started!

Step 1: Choose the miniature to photograph and pick a background accordingly

The color of the miniature you wish to photograph will have an effect on the background you choose. A light colored miniature requires a darker background (I avoid using true-black backgrounds, but rather a dark gray). A dark colored miniature requires a lighter background.

Usually a colored piece of paper works fine. I like to curve the piece of paper up behind the miniature by setting something behind it to prop it up, that way there is not a visible crease in the paper.

Step 2: Get your light source

I always try to use at least two lamps. Some people have different angles they position the lamps at, but I like to use one directly over the miniature pointing down, and the other about 45 degrees to the front, just above the place the camera will be. The type of bulb you use will determine the White Balance setting you will need to use on your camera. Incandescent is the setting you will use for regular filament bulbs, fluorescent bulbs will have a different setting.

If you don't have two lamps, you can make do with just one. Set the lamp so that it shines as directly on the miniature from the direction you are taking the picture. I usually find this to be about 35 degrees up in the front.

Step 3: Set-up your camera

Turn on the macro function. This is a small flower symbol on most cameras, and allows the camera to focus on closer objects than normal. It still won't focus on things too close, so your camera should be at least a few inches away from the miniature. Don't worry about filling the frame with the miniature, you can crop it later. Vista has a simple editing program right in its picture previewer.

Adjust your white balance. You will notice that there will be a yellow tinge if you are using regular incandescent bulbs, and turning your white balance to that setting will filter some of it. Mess around with it until you find the proper white balance for your lighting source.

Turn up your exposure a few notches. They usually go in positive or negative increments of 1/3rds. I usually set mine to +2/3 or +1. This lightens the picture and picks out more detail.

If you have a tripod, use it. If not, rest your hands or the camera itself on something solid so your camera moves as little as possible when taking the picture. If your camera has a motion-stabilization feature, this can help.

Step 4: Take the picture

Hold the camera as still as possible, take the picture! If you want different angles on your miniature, move the miniature and not the camera (hurr durr).


It may seem involved at first glance, but after doing this several times, you get skilled at throwing it down quickly. You can do a lot more to take better pictures, but this usually gets the point across if you are running short on time, and don't have a dedicated setup. Hope it helps!



Note to yakface: I will add some pictures later to make this qualify.

http://www.teun135miniaturewargaming.blogspot.com/ https://www.instagram.com/teun135/
Foxphoenix135: Successful Trades: 21
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Made in dk
Fresh-Faced New User





FoxPhoenix135 wrote:
If you have a tripod, use it. If not, rest your hands or the camera itself on something solid so your camera moves as little as possible when taking the picture. If your camera has a motion-stabilization feature, this can help.


If the camera has a timer function (5-10 seconds work best) - use it!

Otherwise the simple motion of pressing the button may cause a small movement which might affect the picture.
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka






Columbia, SC (USA)

I learned from a CMON tutorial to shoot pictures without using Zoom or the Flash. The pics turn out much sharper and have much less glare.

Other than that, I think FoxPhoenix has it covered.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/05/09 20:32:21


 
   
Made in us
Servoarm Flailing Magos





Alaska

stoiss wrote:
If the camera has a timer function (5-10 seconds work best) - use it!

Otherwise the simple motion of pressing the button may cause a small movement which might affect the picture.


This is a good point and very true.
JB wrote:
I learned from a CMON tutorial to shoot pictures without using Zoom or the Flash. The pics turn out much sharper and have much less glare.

Other than that, I think FoxPhoenix has it covered.


This is also true. I am talking of the Zoom and Flash, not that I have it covered, but thanks for the vote of confidence! Don't zoom when you can crop, and don't use flash when you can provide lighting.

http://www.teun135miniaturewargaming.blogspot.com/ https://www.instagram.com/teun135/
Foxphoenix135: Successful Trades: 21
With: romulus571, hisdudeness, Old Man Ultramarine, JHall, carldooley, Kav122, chriachris, gmpoto, Jhall, Nurglitch, steamdragon, DispatchDave, Gavin Thorne, Shenra, RustyKnight, rodt777, DeathReaper, LittleCizur, fett14622, syypher, Maxstreel 
   
Made in gb
Bounding Assault Marine






Thanks for the tips FoxPhoenix135, I have been using a Fujifilm A210 Finepix for my photo's for a good few years now and didn't realise you could change white balance and so forth. You inspired me to find my manual and learn to set the camera up properly.

Thanks.
   
Made in us
Servoarm Flailing Magos





Alaska

Glad I could be of help!

http://www.teun135miniaturewargaming.blogspot.com/ https://www.instagram.com/teun135/
Foxphoenix135: Successful Trades: 21
With: romulus571, hisdudeness, Old Man Ultramarine, JHall, carldooley, Kav122, chriachris, gmpoto, Jhall, Nurglitch, steamdragon, DispatchDave, Gavin Thorne, Shenra, RustyKnight, rodt777, DeathReaper, LittleCizur, fett14622, syypher, Maxstreel 
   
 
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