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Dakka Modeling FAQ: Photographing Models

Photographing Models

Written by Scarab

What should I look for in a camera?

I am going to stick to digital cameras here. Conventional camera setups for taking good photos of models are very costly and best left to professional photographers. The two most important features in a digital camera for taking pictures of miniatures are resolution and minimum focus distance. Higher resolution allows you to take a photo from further away, to crop out the excess material, and to still have a detailed photo. I personally recommend a camera of at least 2 megapixel resolution.

Minimum focus distance controls how close to a model you can get and still get a good photo. Cameras with macro mode generally have much shorter minimum focus distances and are preferred.

[Ed. Note: I believe that a macro mode is the single most important feature you should look for if you intend to photograph miniatures. Try to find cameras with macro modes that support minimum focal distances of 2-5 inches. The shorter the distance the better.]

What conditions should I use to get good photos?

Strong, diffuse light. Natural light is best, but direct sunlight will create too stark a contrast, so a thin blind or other barrier that will diffuse the light is recommended. Inside, I use several strong conventional bulbs with white paper between them and the model to diffuse the light.

How do I post my figures?

In the Dakka forums, you simply put in your post the following codes with the url (web address) of the image:

           [img]url of image[/img]  

Of course, for this to work, you'll have to have your picture hosted online by a hosting service.

Alternatively, you can 'attach' your photos to posts in which case your photos are uploaded to the Dakka server and hosted here. Only miniature-game related pictures are allowed to be attached, though.

What are some good picture hosting sites?

Many folks have access to web space as a part of their internet subscription that may allow them to store photos. Companies also offer to host images for free, but may not allow you to link to them - meaning that they may not show up on Dakka. The large number of viewers on Dakka can quickly saturate bandwidth quotas imposed by some hosting services. Pbase.com is an often used image hosting site but is subject to bandwith restrictions.

Are there any other good resources for photographing models?

Definitely. Check out this article from Fine Scale Modeler Magazine.


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