Saturday 16 July 2011

Taking pictures of minis

It's a pretty important aspect of this hobby. I've tried different methods, various types of lighting and backgrounds and after lots of experimenting I'm now more or less happy with how my pictures look in the end.
Since I have my work space set up in the attic, lighting is a key issue. As you can see in the picture below, the main source of light comes from a roof window.

It's really a great thing as it allows me to maximize the time I work in daylight. On the other hand, the sun rays hit it directly so during the day it gets a bit too bright for taking pictures. In broad daylight light seems to be bouncing off the models that are photographed and as a result the photos show minis very inaccurately.
Using the old fashioned trial and error method I found that pictures look much better when they're taken early in the evening/late in the afternoon during a sunny day. Still, even then I need to use a white sheet of paper so that the light doesn't hit the photographed minis too strongly. This primitive blende helps distribute the light better.
Now let's have a close look at the photo setup.

As some of you may instantly recognize, I use a photo background from Massive Voodo (here's a direct link). I also usually use a tripod as even the slightest move of hand can ruin a photo. That, combined with using self-timer means that the pics are hardly ever blurred.
I use a Sony DSC-HX1 digital camera. It has a resolution of 9.1 megapixel and a pretty decent lens. As far as options are concerned, everything's very automatized and the camera automatically switches to macro (it sometimes even switches to a face recognition mode when I do close ups ;). The only option I always keep switched off is the flash light as once it hits a mini when a photo is being taken, only the most protruding elements are clearly visible.
I also have a small light box (30cm) but after several unsuccessful attempts I basically gave up on it. Maybe if I placed it on the desk right under the source of light it would work better but I don't really feel encouraged to try, especially taking into account the fact that the backgrounds I have printed are too large and don't fit inside.
I think I get pretty good results when I take pics when the daylight is just fine. Doing it at night is something that I've tried several times but never got good results.
So there you have it, this is how I take the pictures you see in my posts on this blog. If you have any comments/suggestions, feel free to write them in the comments section.


  1. I'm constantly trying to get the best pictures I can at the moment, I will have to try backgrounds.
    Not tried them before.

  2. Those from MV work pretty well with most of the minis I've photographed so far. I do recommend giving them a try :)

  3. Hmmmmm, very interesting, mister.

    I´m taking notes :)

  4. Jealous of you workspace, looks cozy.


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