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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-23-10, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Default Photographing Miniatures.

Hey all,

With the release of the new Blood Angels, I returned to the boys in red with a load of new models. I was thinking of making a blog of the slowly growing army (old models are quite hideous, from the time when I had waaaay more enthusiasm than skill ) so I kinda started all over with them

So, my question is to all the photography pros:
What are the things to keep in mind when taking pics of models?

There was a tutorial about taking pics of models in a box, but as the plan is to end up with a Chapter-strength force of Blood Angels, there isn't a box that could fit all that So, any tips would be really handy.

Thanks in advance!
- Loran

EDIT: The subject should of course be "Photographing miniatures"... Messed up somehow x_x
PS. if this went to the wrong place (debated between this and the tutorial page), can a helpful moderator move it to the right place? Thanks
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-27-10, 07:49 AM
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Im not that good a pictures taker and I find the hardest images to take are of large groups of mini's. It would be handy if somebody did have hints on how to do this effectivly.

Your toast has been burnt and no amount of scraping will get rid of the black bits.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-27-10, 09:33 AM
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First thing to remeber with piccy-too-graffs is light, make it too dark and you wonb't be able to see detail, to bright and you end up with the same problem.

What i used to do (in a job that required me photographing products to be sold online) is to set up a plain white sheetbehind whatever you photographing. This'll hide whatever might be getting in the way of a good photo (boxes ect.)

Then you need to set the light, i don't have many tips for this, what i did was set the auto flash and used the ancient trial method- take a picture, see how it comes out and adjust as neccesary.

Quisnam praesumo, successio
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-27-10, 09:36 AM
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We could really do with a set of Tutorials on Photography for Miniatures.
Anyone willing to undertake the work will be repped heavily by myself.

I can only offer you some basic tips Loran.

for anything but a large group shot this setting is a must, it normally is depicted with a tulip icon (flower power man!).

Tripod and Timer,
when photographing such small objects the smallest amount of movement is exaggerated massively, it also helps to avoid casting a shadow on the mini.
If you don't want to spend the cash on a tripod to begin with, you can place your camera on some books and just use the timer.

The light quality is important, some people prefer natural light, but be aware of the time of day you find best and try and stick to it for consistency.
You can use artificial light, building a simple light box is a good idea but a lamp with a daylight bulb is enough on its own for a start.
Once again its worth taking note of a couple of things once you have found what works for you. Always have the lamp in the same position ( for painting highlights and taking pictures I always 'have the light from front right' just because it rhymes and is easier to remember).
Distance of the lamp from the models is also worth keeping consistent, so I measure this and write it down

Hope those help.

Last edited by Viscount Vash; 05-27-10 at 09:43 AM.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-27-10, 10:50 PM
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Vash, I have a Photography tutorial somewhere on my computer I wrote sometime ago that I could post up this weekend? Not sure how much use it would be to you but it explains the Macro, lighting effects, positions etc. and all the basics.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-28-10, 05:30 AM
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The techniques I use when photographing my models is such:
1) Use solid background... usually I use glossy photo paper or bristle board
2) Use a wide aperture (If your camera has the option) this will bring more of the model into focus as oppose to focusing on one tiny part
3) Use a flash diffuser - softening the flash goes a long way in reducing harsh shadows that will take away from the detail
4) Use a macro lens - best for close ups... if you don't have one, use a zoom with image stabilization or tripod
5) Take LOTS of pics... take lots of pics slightly changing the settings and it will give you a much better range to choose your masterpiece photo... you can always delete the crappy ones
6)(should have been #1) Learn your CAMERA! - Know what it can do, and what limitations it has... SLR, point&shoot... and what things you have control over
7) Practice... the more you do it, the better you will get...
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-28-10, 05:44 AM
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I use a solid back ground most of the time, grey is always good. I don't use cloth but a medium grey seamless paper.

A good macro lens if you have a DSLR. I like the Nikon 60mm f2.8. Canon, Sony, Pentax all make Macro lenses.

The light source can be a lot of things but for the best macro photography I use a ring flash mounted on the camera.

So you may end up with a crazy looking contraption like this

The ring flash is going to provide a shadow less light and really bring out the mini. Fair warning though ring flashes are very, very powerful. I shot some figs at the game store tonight with my ring flash turned down to 1/16th full power and I still had to shoot at 250 F13

I would suggest shooting in RAW so you can make white balance adjustments. Shooting at 5500K more often than not most things painted purple will end blue on your camera while everything else will look fine.

I am moving into a new place this Sat but I'll see what I can do to get a tutorial of equipment and a decent how to together. :D

Yeah I take pictures of hot girls. Some one has to.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-28-10, 05:57 AM
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Well I can add a little info

These were shot with a ringflash mounted on my camera with a 17-55mm F2.8 lens zoomed out to 55mm S250 @ F13 right on the table top before a game.

So no shadows, everything is in focus with the aperture stopped down.

These were shot with my SB800 speed light at F2.8

Unless you want that bokeh or really creamy depth of field a super fast aperture is no good.

Yeah I take pictures of hot girls. Some one has to.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-31-10, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips. Quess it's time to spend those few days of actual vacation over the summer on trying out the new camera dad's got (or the bro's, depending on who you ask as to whose the camera actually is ). AFAIK we've got the a tripod stand for the camera, gotta check that and get one if we don't have it.

- Loran
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-31-10, 07:35 PM
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I have a tip more for editing your photos after you have applied all of this great advice. Go on google and type in photoscape get the free version and you can crop, brighten etc your photos once you have uploaded them. I have recently got this and ill show you the difference:

Camera photo (good quality but a tad dark due to the lighting set up in my room)

After using the editing program

You can do loads of stuff on it and there are loads of programs out there. If you do get it just PM and ill help you go through it.

P.s. ill try and get a tutorial set up for taking pics and then editing them it seems like there are quite a lot of people who ask about them and i have left my models on camp this weekend and don't really have anything productive to do lol.

Last edited by LTP; 05-31-10 at 07:37 PM.
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