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Miniature photography: a checklist.


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So, Ok, people always complain about how dark/light/blurry/washed  their pics come out.


What you need to watch out is:


- Lighting.- You need TWO (2), daylight lamps, 60 Watts each. If you have an ultra expensive, state of the art, optical/digital camera, you can get out using only one fluorescent lamp, but if you have, like me, a pretty standard digicam, you'll definitely need the extra luminance.


- Camera.- Duh, obviously you need one for this. Web cameras are not usually good enough to take nice, focused pics. Go for any of the digital cameras from HP, Epson or Canon.


Flash.- Never, ever use it for taking pics of your minis. Flash is bad. Flash makes the colors come out washed, and mess up horribly with metallics.


- Tripod.- You shouldn't even consider taking pics without one. Failure to comply on this point, will make your pics blurry.


-Take notes.- Be advised that the distance from the camera to the mini also determines the focus on your pics. The distance at wich you shoot your tyranid warriors, wouldn't necessarily be the same distance you use for your halfling sneak. So, experiment around to see wich distances work best for wich size of minis, and WRITE IT DOWN for future reference.


- Camera settings.- Take time to experiment with the features of your camera, as this vary wildly. As an example, some advise you not to use digital zoom for your pics, but with my particular model (an HP 215 digital camera), the best results I have ever got came from using the X2 zoom AND the macro mode. So, run tests varying the settings, and make sure you write all down.

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Using the zoom and the macro seem sto be a really neat idea. I wonder if the Fuji Finepix at work can do this.


Also, I was experimenting too. The camera has a seperate setting for light sources, which is cool as I use only the cool overhead neon at work, so I had the right setting on that, but also the exposure setting. Now this ranges from something like +1.2 to -1.2 (whatever that means) but I was originally using +0.9 and after some experiments, went down a notch to +0.6.


I think the biggest problem I have with pics, is that I am always rushed when taking them. I need to take the same "slack" approach to photography as painting!


One thing I have learned, is NEVER post pictures that are really blurry or generally of very poor quality. There is absolutely NO point to this. Especially if you wan tpeople to take their time and look and or review your minis :D

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I have a Fuji Finepix 2800 (6X optical zoom 2.0 megapixel).  At least on this camera it seem's you're either using the normal zoom or the macro, but not at the same time.  There is a very minor zoom capability with the macro, but basically you just have to get the camera physically closer to the subject.  I got the camera for Christmas so I'm still learning all the features, but regardless it seems to be working great for me.  I just got a tripod too and that has made all the difference.


Thanks for the tips! :)

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Is it just me, or does the Digital Camera not need so much light?  It seems that all the Show Offs I've seen that were done digitally, (Stern's come to mind), came out nice, and with minimum fuss.


Now, I'm not the swiftess ent in the forest (perhaps the problem), but I've been having a heck of a time trying to find a system that works well for the film camera.  Each attempt is better than the last, but the fuss also seems to be getting up there.  I wanna point and click!

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One of the reasons digital cameras seem to get better result then your camera is because people can take 16 pictures at different exposures and pick the one that comes out.


Kinda the shotgun approach to photography.


As for not using flash, that's inaccurate.

Flash may not have worked for you, but it does work.


Onboard flash, on the other hand, is no good.


What you need is a hotshoe on your camera. You can buy an external flash that can be placed, and also usually vary the intensity of the flash.


I recommend bouncing the flash off pieces of white card, and lowering it's intensity.


In the end, it's cheaper to buy a couple of adjustable desk lamps then get a proper flash setup.

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