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Author Topic: How I take my Photographs  (Read 10293 times)

Offline Orctrader

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How I take my Photographs
« on: May 30, 2008, 08:10:45 AM »
Posted this around the place.  Might help some forum members who struggle with macro photography.

Lights.

Two cheap desk lamps with 30W (150W equivalent) Daylight 6400k Helix Compact Fluorescent bulbs. And my painting lamp with an 11W "Daylight" bulb. This is over the subject with the two desk lamps either side.

Camera.

Nikon Coolpix 3200.
Tripod.  (Cheap mini/short thing.)
Set white balance with sheet of clean white paper. Remove white paper.  Add blue or blue/white gradient paper - prop up against my painting lamp.
Lights on. Leave until warmed up. Mini(s) positioned on paper
Camera set to Macro, EV +1
Take photos with timer.  Varying the distances between subject and lens.

Image onto PC

Photoshop Elements software. Crop - but don't resize - yet.
Quick Fix - Levels and Contrast.  Sometimes colour but only if required.  (Sometimes, actually, no fix.  If the photo looks good enough.)
Resize.
Save for Web.
I avoid as much PS as possible.
Host on Photobucket and check to see how it will look through the web browser.

~END~

A note on image size.

I never post pictures wider than 800 pixels, and on forums that specify a smaller size I always stick to their rules.  If you post to a site an image that is too big it will either not display at all or suffer automatic resizing, with such pictures the distortion is appaling.  CMON, for example, allow only "Less than 600" so I resize the photo to 599.  The "Save for Web" option will reduce the kB - that is the actual file size.

The pictures below are 799 and 599 pixels wide respectively




« Last Edit: May 31, 2008, 03:16:17 PM by Orctrader »

Offline Hammers

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Re: How I take my Photographs
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2008, 08:14:36 AM »
This ones' going to be a sticky. Please continue the thread, the rest of you lot!

Thanks a bunch orctrader, I just realizt that this iswhat I have been looking for: a short descritpion without philosophical side tracks.

Offline Orctrader

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Re: How I take my Photographs
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2008, 11:35:34 AM »
This ones' going to be a sticky....I just realized that this is what I have been looking for: a short description without philosophical side tracks.

Glad it helps  :)


Offline Captain Blood

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Re: How I take my Photographs
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2008, 07:22:23 PM »
Great to have this shared. Thank you. What's EV+1 mean?
The one setting I don't have on my camera (or I haven't found it yet) is setting the exposure manually for a slower shutter speed... What does that come under?  :?

Offline odd duck

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Re: How I take my Photographs
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2008, 04:49:33 AM »
Thank you this looks like a very usefull thread

Offline Orctrader

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Re: How I take my Photographs
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2008, 03:02:51 PM »
Great to have this shared. Thank you. What's EV+1 mean?
The one setting I don't have on my camera (or I haven't found it yet) is setting the exposure manually for a slower shutter speed... What does that come under?  :?

EV = "Exposure Value."  Google it to find this or similar

The exposure generated by an aperture, shutterspeed, and sensitivity combination can be represented by its exposure value "EV". Zero EV is defined by the combination of an aperture of f/1 and a shutterspeed of 1s at ISO 100 (1). Each time you halve the amount of light collected by the sensor (e.g. by doubling shutterspeed or by halving the aperture), the EV will increase by 1. For instance, 6 EV represents half the amount of light as 5 EV. High EVs will be used in bright conditions which require a low amount of light to be collected by the film or sensor to avoid overexposure.   ???


As for ...setting the exposure manually for a slower shutter speed... What does that come under?  :?

My camera does not have that either.  But obvioulsy I don't need it.

When choosing my camera I asked what other painters were using.  Zordana, that fine painter from Australia told me she was using a Nikon Coolpix 3200.  Therefore, I knew the camera could produce excellent pictures.

Once I had the camera I:-

1.  Read the manual.  That is, cover to cover, several times.  (Why so many people buy cameras and avoid even looking at the manual baffles me.)
2.  Experimented with the settings.  (Recording what I had changed, so I could always go back.)
3.  Experimented with photos.  (One figure, many, many photos.  Noting down not only camera settings, but lighting, distance between camera and subject, etc.

Sounds like lots of work and quite boring if, like me, you have little interest in photography.  The point is though, the work/experimentation is an investment of time well spent because once I produced decent photos and had a record of how I did it, it is now relatively simple to replicate time and time again.  Taking photos for me now is very quick and not at all frustrating.


Disclaimer:  I have no interest in photography other than taking pictres of my painted figures  :)

Offline archangel1

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Re: How I take my Photographs
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2008, 10:53:21 PM »
Looks like this sticky arrived in the nick of time! I finally bought a digital camera and with a manual of nearly 100 pages, it's going to take a while to get comfortable with it.  Here's my first mini pic and obviously, I haven't quite got the focus down yet.  Just grabbed an old mini, stood it in the camera box and snapped a shot with no preparation.  We'll see what happens after I start to understand what I'm doing (I hope!).
Why take Life seriously? You'll never get out of it alive!

Offline Ramshackle_Curtis

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Re: How I take my Photographs
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2008, 08:46:15 AM »
I have a quite mediocre little digital camera, cost me about £100 3 years ago. However, after reading some posts on here about photography I dug out the manual. Having been using it for ages and being annoyed by the lack of depth of focus I now have found the marvellous aperture settings. It has a mode called Aperture Priority Mode.

In this mode, images are captured with the priority given to aperture. The
shutter speed is automatically set according to the aperture. The aperture will
affect the depth-of-field of the camera.
If you set a small aperture (higher F value), you can capture portrait images
with an out-of-focus background. Alternatively, if you set a large aperture (lower
F value), both close objects and distant objects will be in focus, for example
when capturing landscape images.

So obviously, I set the thing to macro and the F value as low as it would go and hey presto, awesome depth of focus on little tiny model figures! Hurrah! 3 cheers for technology!

Offline Curryman

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Photography Using Custom White Balance
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2009, 08:55:13 AM »
It's quite common to see otherwise good miniatures pics diminished by an off-color cast or tint. This is usually the product of incorrectly-set white balance, and is easily correctable with most modern digital cameras. In this article reprinted from his late, lamented Wee Toy Soldiers site, guest columnist Hyun shows how easy it is to correct this potentially vexing problem.

http://thescreamingalpha.com/2009/08/11/custom-white-balance/
Check out The Screaming Alpha http://thescreamingalpha.com for the best in miniature and RPG reviews, guaranteed! [Not a guarantee]

Offline Hauptgefreiter

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Re: Photography Using Custom White Balance
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2009, 11:56:09 AM »
Many thanks for this useful instructions. Now I've to figure out, how to do it with my digicam...
per aspera ad astra

Offline Orctrader

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Re: Photography Using Custom White Balance
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2009, 12:39:10 PM »
Many thanks for this useful instructions. Now I've to figure out, how to do it with my digicam...

Check the manual.  If you don't have a manual, google the camera model number and look for "Set White Balance."

Offline Hauptgefreiter

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Re: Photography Using Custom White Balance
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2009, 01:26:22 PM »
Yes, that's what I did. Unfortunately it doesn't offer a custom setting for white balance, so I have to play around with the available options to get the best results. But it pointed me into a direction I can consider when I'm not satisfied with the resulting pics.

Offline Nev S

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Re: How I take my Photographs
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2011, 08:42:59 AM »
Hi,

i just want to share my experience taking photos of minis.

I really love my Canon EOS 30 D with a 17-85mm zoom lens for that.

If you can adjust the following settings do so (plus to the good tutorial above)

ISO
-> as low as you can get it (reduces noise to a minimum)

Aperture
-> low values ( if you want to set a small deep of focus on a single figure or detail )
-> high values ( if you want to get a sharp picture from fore to background)

Shutterspeed
-> Experiment on it until you get the Brightness you want

(And if you can afford it a DSLR-camera plus a macro lens is the best solution for taking Photos of minis)

I hope it is useful for one or the other.

Sven

P.S. I apologize for my english, especially on the technical terms in photography ...

Offline AndrewBeasley

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Re: How I take my Photographs
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2011, 04:17:41 PM »
I reached breaking point today as my other hobby is photography of the great outdoors!

I've been using my compact camera Sony Cybershot HX5 as I had it (bought it for the GPS to complement my Canon) but spent more and more time editing pictures for the blog than I wanted.

Turns out the camera is fine for close ups its just me  lol

Have a look at this thread for some backgrounds http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=28313.0

My set up is now:

A strip light from Ikea Global Model - this helps reduce the shadow - not as good as two spots but I have this for day to day work
The Sony HX5 on easy or auto adjustment mode
A blue background from Brians link in the above post

These are set up like:



and the result is:



A couple of points to note:
1) The models are raised up to allow for the camera sitting on the tabletop
2) Depth of field control is basic - look at the tip of the spear for a sample problem
3) Set up / tear down time is great
4) Small models only  :'(

Now to work on the content  :D

Sic Parvis Magna <*>

Offline traveller

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Re: How I take my Photographs
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2011, 05:35:01 PM »
Great! I need this!

 

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