The trick seems to be, from what I've read online the last couple of weeks, to get close but not too close with the camera, which seems to throw even macro settings out of whack, resulting in partial or complete blurring of the subject in question. Surely, the answer must be to acquire top-of-the-line, professional grade photography equipment? But that's too dear for me at the moment, and fooling with the associated learning curve would mean less time at the painting and gaming tables, something that is already a rare commodity here at Stollen Central.
The next thing I'd like to do is find and purchase "daylight" lightbulbs, which from what I've read on the net about miniatures photography will enable me to take pictures in which the colors are truer than is has been the case with all of the photos I've taken of my figures and growing armies since late 2006. Apparently, incandescent bulbs -- and it burns me up that I can no longer find 75 and 100 watt bulbs here in the United States. These halogen and LED things are awful. It's like living your life under constant supermarket or dentist office lighting. -- tend to make colors more yellow in photographs than they are to the naked eye. I don't know about that since I can't detect much difference between the colors in these photos of my figures and the colors on the figures themselves, but I'm interested to see what, if any, difference there might be.
Now, it would be easy to get carried away in the quest to take better photographs to where that activity overtakes wargaming and painting itself. Mustn't do that given the time limitations I refer to above. Still, it's fun to learn a bit about macro photography and produce a few better quality photos of the Grand Duchy of Stollen Collection for use on this blog and to send along with the occasional article submission to one hobby magazine or another. In any case, I've also included some newly shot photos of the other three vignetted completed earlier this month for your viewing pleasure. I've tinkered a bit with the lightbox, adding more reflective surface to the inside, so that the figures are illuminated more effectively from all sides.
Finally, we're coming down to the last few days before Christmas here at Stollen Central, as I am sure is the case for many of you visitors to the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog. Practically speaking, that means any further painting will need to wait until later in the week. There are gifts for the Young Master and the Grand Duchess that I must wrap and place beneath the tree and a few final shopping errands to run for our big Christmas Dinner, which we have on Christmas Eve here at 'The Residenz.' Most important, we need to take the Young Master to visit Santa Claus tomorrow at some point. That has been delayed since he and his mother have, naturally, come down with a nasty pre-Christmas bug and have been more or less out of commission the last few days. Both seem to be on the mend now however.
As for yours truly, so far, so good. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The way life seems to go sometimes, it would stand to reason that I'll be next in line and wake up on Christmas Day with a fever and no appetite. Let's hope that's not the case though. Be sure to tune in the to GD of S blog again during the final run up to Christmas, however, for some seasonal goodies in lieu of anymore newly painted figures for the next several days.
And you know? It's funny. While I think of my deceased maternal grandparents everyday at some point, I miss them most at this time of year. Most of my formative years spent at their house in southeastern Pennsylania, about two hours northwest of Philadelphia in Berks County. For all the hand-wringing about divorce and broken homes, my sister and I had a happy, almost idyllic childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood with my grandparents and mother. We laughed, spent lots of time in each others' company, and I wouldn't change a thing about it.
There were, moreover, many wonderful Christmases at that old fieldstone farmhouse on Conrad Road in District Towship, quite a few of those with snow on the ground as well as in the Boxwoods shrubs, the Hemlock, and the Spruce trees. There were also late afternoon trips up the road to feed Mrs. Conrad's sheep and ponies with our grandfather on the weekends in December, and toboggan rides in the snow down several levels of hills, starting in the meadow beyond the house from a stand of Hemlock trees and our grandmother's Beech Tree all the way to the next level beyond several flowerbeds, and finally down to the creek, which is where we would glide to a stop. . . Most of the time. I only slid onto and broke through the ice once in all of those years, but talk about cold. . . Brrrr!!!