Monday, November 3, 2008

The Camera is a Harsh Mistress

I'm looking at my pics on the blog and thinking I need to ramp up my images so I spent a bit of Saturday (after taking my little guy to a birthday party...) searching for a good tutorial on miniature photography. I've "inherited" a camera from my mother (she said it was "too complicated") that is able to be switched to manual mode so I think I've got the equipment I'm just missing some of the know-how to get a sharp well lit image up on this blog...So I'll be making a few tests in the coming days so please bear with minimum I'm hoping for sharper pics. I learned to make good photos when I was in architecture school but that was in the days of 35mm film and non-digital SLR cameras so I think some of the issues with photographing minis has changed because the cameras do a lot of the work for you.

But regardless, I think the basic questions of exposure, aperture, depth of field and lighting are pretty constant. I just need to step up from basic "ebay photography" so the blog can be worth the time my readers might spend reading it. I think the big 40mm guys come out ok but the 25mm RSMs need closer sharper shots to really do it right and I've got some 10mm Ancients that are going to need special attention to getting a good image if they are going to show up onscreen.

In the meantime I'm pushing forward on another Royalist Horse unit. It's really amazing how fast the 40mm figures paint up. You would think they would take longer but they really are easier to finish than their smaller comrades. It seems like it takes forever to get a 10mm batch of Romans done where I can finish a couple of 40mm units in the same space of time. I think its a combination of fewer figures per unit and the large areas of color allow me to use a slightly bigger brush. My friend Eric does Volley and Bayonet in 54mm plastics for similar reasons, and his stuff is really great. Hopefully someday he will let me put up a few images of his stuff. (Eric, that's an official request...)

This new unit (as yet to be named...but probably Sir Horatio Cary's since they had such a great motto—"Come Out You Cuckhold!" on their red banner) has just the primer and base colors applied, after this comes an ink wash with "DiDi's Magic Ink" (from Neil at "The War Store"...great guy, and fast service by the way...). My wash formula: A teaspoon or so of Didi's black ink in a plastic bottle cap with a drop or two of dishwashing detergent and a few drops of water. The wash will stay in the creases and undercuts and no tidal creeping when it dries...took me years of tears to figure that one out.

Looking forward to finishing these guys and getting on with a battle but I've got to take my wife up to a knitting convention, (I guess she can't complain too much about hobby obsessions... she actually owns a knitting store!). It's this weekend in Baltimore so it will be next week before the fight begins...I'm chalking it up to the King and Waller marching around the midlands hunting for each other!

Speaking of stumbling around in the wilderness, anyone know of any good gaming stores in Baltimore?... (just kidding...and no offense to anyone from Baltimore I just don't know the area very well).

1 comment:

Bluebear Jeff said...

To my mind, the clarity and sharpness of detail for the photo with this post are splendid. It is a very good-looking unit.

It is certainly a far better photo than my old digicam takes.

-- Jeff