09 September 2018

Experiments with Camera & Light Tent. . .

Two photographs of Eureka Miniatures' "Oh, you're so awful!" vignette, painted by yours truly in June 2018.

After a busy Saturday putting finishing touches on some hobby-related projects (not actual painting or gaming I fear), and whipping up a batch of delicious spaghetti meat sauce in the late afternoon, I retreated back down here to Zum Stollenkeller Mk. II for a couple of hours to play with a camera and my light tent kit.  You might recall that the latter was purchased via Amazon after Christmas and the New Year last January, courtesy of an online giftcard from my parents.  

Took about a dozen or so photos of the above vignette, two of which seemed good enough for some minor editing (basically just clicking on 'Auto Levels') and cropping in Pixlr online.  Not quite Orson Welles, Anthony Mann, or Edward Dmytryk quality as far as deep focus (depth of field) is concerned, but we're getting there.  

A useful trick seems to be backing off the zoom a bit, which keeps more items within the frame in sharper focus rather than the tiny camera brain zeroing in on a single point.  The lady in the peach dress and her larger table are sharpest if you look very closely, but the items and figures around her aren't too fuzzy.  Of the two, the lower photograph seems best.

My tendency has always been either to zoom in too much with the lens, or get the actual camera too close to the subject in an effort to fill the frame.  Frustratingly, that almost always throws off the focus with modern cameras and devices that "think" for themselves.  I believe that Henry Hyde discusses just this point somewhere in his chapter on photography within The Wargaming Compendium.  

Instead, you can fill the frame by cropping your photograph(s) in post-production using a photo editor like Photoshop Elements or similar.  Currently, I use Pixlr online, which does the few things I need plus a whole lot more if you have the inclination and patience to figure it all out (I don't).  But focus is the main thing to, ahem, focus on when taking pictures of your figures and/or tabletop set-up. 

Anyway, these two shots seem to be a move in the right direction.  Now, I just need to figure out the larger Sony camera body and lenses that were passed on to me last spring when ol' Mom upgraded her photography gear. 

-- Stokes


nobby said...

I bought one of these light boxes after your last post. Very pleased with it.

I only use my phone camera nowadays but you can make alterations to picture sharpness in Photoshop Elements with Unsharp Mask or somesuch, iirc.

Thanks for posting. I very much enjoy your style of wargaming.

Robbie Rodiss said...

Stokes I really dont know how you achieve the porcelain effect on your figures. It really is quite amazing, well done.

Love dispute solution said...

The experiment you did looks very interesting. Keep it up.
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