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 SETUP to Take Pictures of Models

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Mordheimer



Posts : 9756
Join date : 2009-07-12
Age : 43
Location : Elizabeth City, NC (USA)

PostSubject: SETUP to Take Pictures of Models   Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:49 pm

In recent days some of our distinguished members have managed to discover the 'secrets' of taking AMAZING pictures of their models. We have all discovered that taking pictures is not an impossible task, but something that requires following a simple technique and some practice. JUST LIKE PAINTING. None of us made master-pieces on their first try (well, we have few members that may be an exception... ) but after few dozen models we get the hang of the basics. Then we learn 'harder' techniques and we feel incompetent once more... until we practice a little more. Then those advanced techniques feel natural and so 'basic' that we do them without thinking.

Taking pictures of models is MUCH more than capturing the image of the model... it is about creating the illusion of the model being 'real'. It is NOT difficult once you learn how and practice. We have several tutorial on how to do this... but NOTHING like everyone sharing THEIR photo taking experience! How about if everyone shares HOW they take their pictures? Let's inspire others on how to share even further the hobby we love so much.

Please describe the following...
  • How you setup your area to take pics?
  • Do you use any special location like a photo-booth or light-box?
  • Can you share a photo of your setup without models?
  • Can you share a photo showing how do you setup the models in your area?
  • What camera do you use?
  • What lights or bulbs you use?
  • You like any particular background? Where you get it?

Some people may have 'professional' setups or equipment, while others have stuff that are super-cheap or even home made. It does NOT matter! We want to inspire everyone to achieve better photos every time. That taking pics is as natural as base-coating a model!

We love pics! Show us how YOU do it! Go crazy!


_________________
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The Mordheimer - Death Squads' Chief Editor & Ninja Designer. Bursting with ARACHAS' Dev-Powahâ„¢! Puke
Can't wait until someone invents a time machine so I can go to the specific day in the past that I volunteered for this, so I can kick my own ass.

Support Bacteria; it is the ONLY culture some people have!
Since I ask "What do you think?" to all Staff, I have included it here to save time.

DoZer Flamethrower Mordheimer Justice NEEDS to be Served! Maybe 3rd Degree burns will teach you not to Tom Sawyer me to work!

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Narcissus



Posts : 973
Join date : 2010-10-15
Location : Vancouver, BC

PostSubject: Re: SETUP to Take Pictures of Models   Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:40 pm

Here is my current photo set-up.

I built a small lightbox out of cardboard and tinfoil. I use a single bulb in my desk lamp to light it. It is not even a nice daylight bulb or anything. Corvus Miniatures has a great set of resources on making a light box. They also have free backgrounds that I downloaded and printed to use. I generally followed the directions there.


Here you can see the lightbox. For these pictures I used sunlight as the light source. A lamp works better, the direct light tends to wash out pictures a bit.


This is how I set it up with the lamp. The brown sanding block shows where I usually have my camera. I elevate the model a bit and put it on a little display base as I think it looks better than floating on the background. I put the lamp close to the booth. I then shoot pictures with the camera sitting on the base (so it is steady) and from above and below angles. I rotate the model and take pictures of interesting bits. I try to focus on getting dynamic looking pictures that show a "model's eye view", and not just pictures from above as you often see.


My camera is just an old (like 6 years old) Canon Powershot. I take model pictures using the "Indoor Setting" scene (it seems to give good balance), macro mode, and a 2 second timer delay (to minimize shake). I use iPhoto to crop my pictures. I then upload them to photobucket and do a little bit of colour and brightness corrections. I usually don't need to adjust very much using this method.


This picture was taken in the very basic lightbox. This image has had no corrections done using software. It has just been cropped.


Here is that same picture taken with the lightbox removed. It is still alright. Not sure how the colour balance would be if this were a painted miniature.

Here are a few of the better pictures I have gotten so far using this method:



To improve on this setup I am planning on getting a dayglow bulb for my lamp and getting some background printed at higher quality at a printers. I will update when I change these two things.

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s4dfish



Posts : 32
Join date : 2012-07-07
Age : 36
Location : Wyoming

PostSubject: Re: SETUP to Take Pictures of Models   Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:09 am

I wrote a blog post about my 'technique', since my wife and mommy are the only people who read my blog, I'll quote it here Smile
Quote :
While I definitely qualify as 'amateur' in my painting and photography, one thing I believe I do well is photographing my miniatures. Here's how I do it.




All the key elements are visible in this picture.

My lightbox is nothing special. It's a generic cardboard box with the sides and top largely cut out. Those holes are then covered with white tissue paper, two layers in this case. I have a sheet of white paper hung from the back top corner that comes down and forward to eliminate any lines in the background. The mini sits near the back, the flaps in the front bounce light back to light up the front of the figure as well.

My lights are simple desk lamps with 'daylight' compact fluorescent bulbs. I cannot stand the orange glow of incandescent bulbs, so my whole house is light with these bulbs. Bulb choice shouldn't matter as long as you correct for it later. Two lights largely eliminates shadows.

Pictured is my Nikon D3100 with 50-200 mm lens. I take the shot at F32 to make sure the entire mini is in focus. This winds up being a long exposure so the tripod is mandatory. I over expose the shot a full step to bring out the details in the miniature, I don't care if the background is blown out, that's a feature in this situation.

20120405-214207.jpg

Hope this helps. In the off chance someone reads thus and has a question, ask and I'll try to answer.

The only thing I do differently now is try to keep the camera level with the mini. I wrote that I overexposed a full step, now I'm going two, make sure the background is completely blown out. Depending on ambient light in my kitchen, this is usually a 3" exposure.
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Mordheimer



Posts : 9756
Join date : 2009-07-12
Age : 43
Location : Elizabeth City, NC (USA)

PostSubject: Re: SETUP to Take Pictures of Models   Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:10 am

Very cool! Thanks for the tips! I need to rebuilt my painting and photo stations...

_________________
.
The Mordheimer - Death Squads' Chief Editor & Ninja Designer. Bursting with ARACHAS' Dev-Powahâ„¢! Puke
Can't wait until someone invents a time machine so I can go to the specific day in the past that I volunteered for this, so I can kick my own ass.

Support Bacteria; it is the ONLY culture some people have!
Since I ask "What do you think?" to all Staff, I have included it here to save time.

DoZer Flamethrower Mordheimer Justice NEEDS to be Served! Maybe 3rd Degree burns will teach you not to Tom Sawyer me to work!

.
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PostSubject: Re: SETUP to Take Pictures of Models   Today at 9:27 am

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