Taking pictures of red miniatures.
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Thread: Taking pictures of red miniatures.

  1. #1

    Default Taking pictures of red miniatures.

    I run into an unexpected problem. Over the last couple of month I was painting mostly red - a color that I avoided in the past. Now, I am trying to take pictures of these minies and.. they completely loose all contrast in the end. Essentially well highlighted (or so I thought) red armor looks completely flat red.

    My only thought here is that may be my light source has too much red in it and it hides variations in red on the mini. Is it even possible? Is it possible to deal with this without changing whole light setup?

  2. #2

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    I would also like to know how to solve this problem. I just finished one mini painted with red and no matter how much I tried, it's rather difficult to photograph miniature painted with red so that it would look as good as it is IRL. Or at least it's a mystery to me how it's supposed to be done. It doesn't look completely flat red, but it lost some of it's contrasts.

  3. #3
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    And old trick we used to recommend for 35mm was to underexpose by 1/3 stop to emphasise colours.
    You could try bracketing your exposures to get a selection of pictures, but as a starting point why not shoot a picture of a colour wheel and then work it in your photoediting software to get a proper match and apply the same settings to your Red Character photos.

    You've not mentioned what type of camera you are using, but if I assume it's a digital compact, then chances are that it has an averaging meter/colour balancing system which will default to a colour temperature balance in which one colour does not overpower the whole metering.
    IF you have a spot metering option use it to try to get the background without figure at a setting you can apply manually (if possible) and then set your figure in and try bracket shots around that setting.
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
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  4. #4

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    Red can be a problem colour with a lot of cameras. Some suggestions here:

    http://photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00HMWR

    You can adjust the luminance and saturation of your colour channels in any photo editor - just knock the saturation down a bit. I'd shoot RAW if 'repossible and edit in ACR or DPP if you're a Canon user.

  5. #5

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    Well, actually I have Canon IXUS 750. But I have to check that link.

  6. #6

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    You should be able to knock the saturation of your reds down in one of your custom settings in-camera. Try that.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacemunkie View Post
    You should be able to knock the saturation of your reds down in one of your custom settings in-camera. Try that.
    Ok. I tried couple of thing that you guys have suggested and that I gleaned on forums and I noticed improvement. I own Lumix dmc-fz50.

    1) I use light tent with three light sources top- luminescent 200W and two 20W side lights. I replaced these 20W lights with two 100W daylight lights.

    2) I put white background (piece of white paper) and use wide rectangular area of this background to define "white". Dragonsreach suggested spot metering, this is what I had by default. I don't know why but simple averaging over large white ares really improved general contrast.

    3) Used bracketing with wider deviation from "recommended"

    The result is here
    http://coolminiornot.com/240664

    considering my previous attempt (http://coolminiornot.com/234218)

    it is an improvement.

  8. #8

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    That looks loads better!

  9. #9

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    I've had the same problem. I have a compact digital as well. I tried outside on an over cast day (you can see the window ledge). Only thing I think it lacks depths in the red and the highlights of it. O well good luck. The new pic def looks better.


  10. #10

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    The best way to assure a quality photo when you are talking about digital photos is to work out how to extract the RAW image form the camera.. not the JPG or PNG or w/e it produces by default.

    The RAW data of the photo has nothing burnt in... your jpgs and stuff have gamma correction already burnt into the photo, this destroys data. There is a ton of other stuff...

    All you basically need to know is that if you have any decent photo application (I use photoshop) you can import the RAW data and manipulate the hell out of it with out destroying it.. as in you can physically change the exposure and other things in the 2D application, even tweak things like contrasts and saturations.

    By simply using RAW data you eliminate tons of the techy set up of taking your photos... it is well worth trying.

  11. #11

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    I completely agree !!!
    use RAW format and you will be able to do anything (almost) you want to your pics.
    but make good basics of your images and you've done 80% of the job.

  12. #12

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    Well, i need to do some research too. Believe it or not, this rhino tank has rather extreme highlights!


  13. #13
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    Wicksy;
    After a quick playabout in photoshop with your picture its evident that what ever light you are using is too yellow for the camera.
    So you'll need to look at the camera settings for the light source, incandescent is the term.
    I'd also suggest that you use a more neutral background so that the contrast level is lower for your camera.
    If you can afford it I'd seriously suggest getting a form of diffuser/lightbox to soften the light as this will also help.
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
    Oh look my IQ results came in:-
    , and proud of it.

  14. #14

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    Cheers man. A mate fiddled about this morning and we photographed it in natural sun light (well as much as we get in the UK during autumn ) and while the colour came out better we can seem to get a decent picture going. Can i modify the jpeg in photoshop? I have a basic point and click job best suited for holiday snaps and it doesnt have an option to save in the RAW format.

    It would seem that there is just as much to taking pictures as there is painting the models in them

  15. #15
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wicksy View Post
    Can i modify the jpeg in photoshop?
    Oh Yes
    I have a basic point and click job best suited for holiday snaps and it doesnt have an option to save in the RAW format.
    My version of Photoshop doesn't support RAW either, but I'm starting to get better results afte 2 plus years of using this camera.
    It would seem that there is just as much to taking pictures as there is painting the models in them
    True. Even after having been a "Shutterbug" for more years than I can recall. Hell I even used to go around camera clubs teaching the basics.
    ............
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
    Oh look my IQ results came in:-
    , and proud of it.

  16. #16

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    Cheers for the info Dragonsreach! I have been reading a few tutorials. I need to play about with what i've got i think. Someone recommended a light tent and a daylight bulb for more natural lighting. I also have dug out a copy of Adobe Photoshop elements so i should be able to do some basic image manipulation. If i get some good results i'll be posting them here

    Either that or start painting ultramarines

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