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 Photographing Miniatures

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Rich
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PostSubject: Photographing Miniatures   Wed 5 Dec 2007 - 13:33

Hi guys, hope you're all well!

Just a quick post really, asking your advice on photographing miniatures... I've been trying for the past few days to photograph some of my models for the forum, and have not got a good clear shot yet...

The miniatures in question are not yet painted... so the bare metal doesn't react well with the flash on my camera... so I then tried photographing some models with a matt-grey undercoat (less reflective) but still can't get a good detailed shot...

I've tried using 2 different cameras, adjusting all-sorts of settings on the cameras, I've tried different background colours/ textures, different lighting positions and intensities... I've tried photographing them from various angles, distances etc... but still the pics seem to come-out blurry, and not as finely detailed as many of the shots on the forum...

I'll post some shots later to give an idea of the quality of the shots I'm getting. For reference, I'm using my Nokia N95's 5-megapixel camera, and also a Fuji Finepix 2800-zoom. I've tried with flash, withou flash, and have adjusted the contract, light sensetivity, exposure compensation, white balance, colour tone & sharpness.

The shots I'm getting just seem really blurry and you can't see any of the detail of the miniatures.

Do any of you guys have any simple rules/pointers for the photography of miniatures, or know of any online resources with hints and tips?

I thank you all in advence for any help!

Rich
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cianty
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PostSubject: Re: Photographing Miniatures   Wed 5 Dec 2007 - 13:44

Hey, Rich!

I'm definately no pro at this but I do have some experience. Here's what I know.

- I don't use flash. It makes the models too light.
- There is a button on my (girl-friend's) digi-cam which is meant for close-ups. It has a flower sign on it. Without pressing the button and thus being in "detail" mode the photos are crap.
- I never hold the camera in my hand when taking such photos. If I do there is a camera shake and the picture is blurry. Therefore I put the camera on the ground or on some other items of appropriate size so that I can press the button and then leave the camera while it takes the photo.

I hope this helps a little. I'm sure someone with more tips and ideas will post here soon.

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WarbossKurgan
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PostSubject: Re: Photographing Miniatures   Wed 5 Dec 2007 - 14:25

cianty is right on the money.

The "flower" mode is called Macro most digi cameras have it somewhere, but where it is varies from camera to camera.

The other important thing is light. You need more of it. No more! More than that even.

Daylight is the best but is in short supply at this time of year. pirat
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PostSubject: Re: Photographing Miniatures   Wed 5 Dec 2007 - 14:44

This could help you:
http://www.twfigurines.de/main/workshop/photos.htm

A well written article about how to take pictures of minis.
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PostSubject: Re: Photographing Miniatures   Wed 5 Dec 2007 - 14:48

I have nothing to add as Cianty and WBK have brilliantly made the point, except maybe that in my experience "diffuse" light has proven itself to be better than "direct" lighting.

As WBK has correctly pointed out, daylight is best. Although I take most of my pics at night (that's when I paint) and with a desklamp.

Instead of shining the lamp directly onto the miniature, I like to point it towards a nearby bright surface (such as a white wall that's up to 30cm away, or a sheet of paper) and let the reflected light illuminate the miniature. That way you get a "diffuse" light.
Oh yeah... and please do really avoid flash (as Cianty said).
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cianty
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PostSubject: Re: Photographing Miniatures   Wed 5 Dec 2007 - 15:24

Erkwin wrote:
This could help you:
http://www.twfigurines.de/main/workshop/photos.htm

A well written article about how to take pictures of minis.

How come you always have the perfect link, Erkwin? Do you do anything else besides searching the net for tabletop info? tongue Sick, dude. And very cool.

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Tortiou
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PostSubject: Re: Photographing Miniatures   Wed 5 Dec 2007 - 15:35

Well I'm just going to add what I add each time we talk about photography: DON'T WORRY IF THE PIC IS TOO DARK.

If you don't use flash or if the light is too dim, and your pic looks too dark, DON'T WORRY.

There is a small programme called Irfanview where you can change the colours and brightness of your photo afterwards! Just type Shift+G and there you can manipulate the slides:

Gamma Correction: try it on darker pictures, you'll see how it brightens up!

Saturation: the colours are enhanced. Usually I put the slide on 40 or 50, it makes the photo look more "joyful".

cyclops

Maybe Irfanview should start paying me as I'm always advertising for them... ^^
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Rich
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PostSubject: Re: Photographing Miniatures   Wed 5 Dec 2007 - 15:49

Thanks for all the help guys - I'll let you know how I get on, and hopefully there'll be a couple of new threads in the 'Gallery' section sometime in the next couple of days.

Rich
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Erkwin
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PostSubject: Re: Photographing Miniatures   Wed 5 Dec 2007 - 22:56

cianty wrote:

How come you always have the perfect link, Erkwin? Do you do anything else besides searching the net for tabletop info? tongue Sick, dude. And very cool.

Well, now and then I have to go to school Laughing Wink

I'm looking forward to seeing the pics, Rich Smile
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Rich
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PostSubject: Re: Photographing Miniatures   Tue 11 Dec 2007 - 9:53

Many thanks again for the help, guys... I've got some pics up in the 'Gallery' section - let me know what you think!!

Rich
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