Sunday, 12 August 2007

How to take a decent photograph.

Well since I've got the facilities, I thought I better take some photographs. Now Gavin has lent me his studio so I took some photographs using that, a daylight bulb and a tripod, using my Fuji Finepix F700.

Here are some of the better photos that I took:

  • Farseer painted by Brad.
  • Blood Angel, Ethereal and Crisis Suit painted by Gavin.
  • Fire Warrior painted by myself.

My apologies for not being able to play around with these images, but I blame the blog......

Anyway, onto tips. As you can see, I used the studio. The two colours for the background were blue and grey. Now personally, because I take a lot of photographs of bone, I love taking pictures with a blue background, it highlights the models extremely well and provides a good contrast to the models, enabling you to see the details easily. When I haven't done this was when I used Gav's blue Tau and Brad's Eldar. Personally, I would only use this unfrequently, preferably when using it for blue models, but it has reduced the shadows in those pictures.

I took the photographs using daylight and a GLS Bulb, a daylight bulb in other words. It was about 7 in the evening, in the summer and the light was at an angle and strong, coming through the conservatory window providing plenty of light. To prevent too much light getting into the lense I had the back of the studio to the window, so it only got indirect natural light, nothing else. I used the GLS bulb as a more direct source of light meaning I could play around with my direct lighting. I believe you can get these bulbs in the shops pretty cheaply too, so I recommend buying one if you are going to do some photography work. Hopefully Gav will provide the prices for each particular thing later on.

OK, onto the photography. Close up detail shots require either a steady hand, or the use of a tripod. These things prevent hand shake and are adjustable to the degree of photography you want, I believe you can pick them up at places like Jessops cheaply, even for small handheld cameras. Due to the height of the tripod, however, I was forced to raise the surface of the studio slightly with books in order to take the pictures at an angle I preferred, as you can tell. Finally, to take the photograph I used a macro function, allowing me to take close range shots of the subject. Check your camera manual for how to do it, as it will give a distance of focus at which you can take the photograph from, mine is 9cm. Take as many photos of your subject as you like, remember, if you are using a digital camera, you can delete your work, effectively being able to perfect your shots.

If you haven't got a studio, a contrasting surface and the daylight bulb will work just as well. My early photographs used the laminated floor of my bedroom and a white bookcase.

Hopefully this will help. This guide should assist you when taking photographs of objects. If you want, you can provide a scale too - a ruler in metric measurements is the usual measure, however if need be, using something unorthodox will work just as well like a thumb or even a pen, it all depends on what you have to hand. Anything which is of a known size will work.

Finally a few tips.

  1. Try messing around. Have fun, do different things and then play around with the images on your computer. Ensure that they are at least slightly accurate and keep a record of how you altered them if need be.
  2. For perfectionism, take pictures of small coins. Taking ones of multiple objects should challenge you.
  3. Have fun.



Gavin Schofield said...

You could do with resizing the images a little bit, making them half their present size so we can't see all our mistakes.

Other than that, very good stuff. Why not take a picture of one of Alex's Necrons?

Sam Carter said...

I might but I didn't realised they were properly based. Let me get on with proper work instead for a bit

Gavin Schofield said...

Cheap Tripods at Jessops? Are you having a laugh???

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