Sunday, 5 August 2012

Photgraphing models

A post is not a post without a picture of some sort. Many 40k blogs post pictures of models finished or in stages to completion. Many blogs show extremely high quality images of the subject models of the blog. What do you need to make great photographs of models? In this blog Artificer's Workshop makes no claim to be an expert photographer although the images shown on this blog have, in the humble opinion of this blogger, improved since its early days. Partly this has been a better camera.  The original camera was a 1 megapixel Olympus, this has evolved through a 3 megapixel Fuji finepix to a 14.1 megapixel Canon IXUS which is the current camera. The canon makes sharp close up images easy to create.

The camera is obviously only one element in the creation of an image. Light boxes and dedicated lighting to eliminate shadows and give clarity to the model clearly have been used in some highly professional images published elsewhere. Here in the workshop we are amateurs. There is no room to store dedicated lighting or a light box here, so. Daylight is preferred and ideally diffuse sunlight has been found to be best. If diffuse day light is not possible then diffuse artificial lighting works sort of, the more lights ordinary lamps available the better.

Next there is the background for the image. A plain uniform neutral backdrop will direct focus to the mini. A more complex backdrop could enhance the model or perhaps tell a story. Perhaps the difference between a portrait image and photographic art for the model.

Here at the workshop both have been used, with no especial rhyme or reason previously. In the absence of a light box 2 pieces of art shop thick white card 3 foot by 2 foot have been used to give plain backdrops for "portraiture" while bits of scenery and lately some scifi scenery images have been used to try to create a bigger picture. The sentinel was photographed as shown with sunlight coming from the right across the model. In the composition of the photograph the natural light is incorrect for the light sources seen in the backdrop image. A quick transposition of the left and right in the image or the end of the desk that the model is resting on would sort that. The window and the sun are obviously immovable.

The floor that the mini is standing on is also important. Here there are only 4. The first is the neutral card base. The second is the road seen in the above picture and there is also the paved floor seen below from the warhammer movement tray set. Finally there is the incorporation of the mini into a bespoke bit of scenery. Some investment in scenery and bases will clearly improve the quality of the "art" type photographs bearing in mind that the lighting in reality and apparent in the backdrop needs also to be aligned for true versimilitude.



The Responsible One said...

This is really pushing me to start getting together some good photos for my blog, as currently its pretty photo light!

Perhaps a weekend of taking some "stock" photos will mean I'm more likely to remember to add them...

Artificer said...

It would be great to have positively influenced someone. Cheers