One of the most important skills you need to master as a miniature blogger is the ability to take decent photographs of your models. Not saying that good photography could make a badly painted miniature to look great but bad photography can certainly make your carefully painted miniature to look like nothing!
Too many bloggers out there think that one needs professional equipment to take quality shots. No way those mobile devices that we carry with us every day could ever capture anything worth publishing!
or do they?
Not sure if you have realized it yet but in Iron Sleet, we only use iDevices to shoot our stuff, that’s right! everything you see in our blog is shot with either iPhone or iPad!
In this following tutorial I will walk you through the process how we do it in Iron Sleet.
So what do we need to take quality photographs with iPhone/iPad?
-Place to shoot
This can basically be anything you like. Clean space and if you decide to use wall as a background(like I do), evenly coloured works best.
Never use the flash, never. set it from auto to off.
Natural sun light is best but it tends to be very problematic for photography since its position constantly changes.
That is the main reason I personally shoot with artificial light only, this way it is easier to control things.
but I know that Kari for example uses standard Ikea table lamp with daylight light bulb)
-a Strip of standard white copy paper
We use this to calibrate the white balance right.
Place your miniature under the lamp for the photography. (notice how I shoot against white background to actually achieve dark/black BG in the final versions )
Place your light source so that it gets partially covered by something as shown in the picture below. This is important since the lid is covering the light hitting the miniature so that it casts shadow just behind it, thus creating nice dark background.
Ok now we are ready to take some photographs!
But before we start, we should first set the white balance right. This way our carefully planned colour scheme gets captured in its full glory. One of the most common mistakes people do is to skip this phase. Ever wondered why your photographs look either yellows or blueish? yep, you failed to set the white balance right.
Fortunately setting the white balance in iPhone/iPad is very easy process.
Now in this point you should decide the distance you want to take your photo from, since the focus point will be also set in the next phase and after that, you can’t change the distance without getting out of focus.
press the screen with your finger to focus on the paper strip placed before miniature
Now, carefully remove the strip of paper with your other hand while NOT MOVING THE iPAD
now you can steady the device with your both hands to get sharp shot
And there it is!
This is how we do it. Im sure Kari’s and Migs’s techniques differ from mine a little but the main idea is the same.
We all do have our own styles ant tastes to present our miniatures, so remember to experiment with the the different elements!
Change the position of the light source, the distance of the camera to get different results etc. etc.
I really hope this was helpful for all of you struggling to get decent photographs taken from your miniatures.