Monday, December 20, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
One of the first things we learn from experience is the effect that color has on the camera lens, specifically backdrops. The interplay between the colors of your figure and the color of the backdrop will appear in photos. Your eyes can filter this and make adjustments in real life but the camera cannot. It simply captures the light that it is exposed too, where our brain works it's magic and "auto-adjusts". When I finish a figure I will take my photos in front of all of the various color papers I have and then select the one that best depicts what I see in real life. I prefer not to tweak my photos with software but I will from time to time by using a software photo filter that acts the same as putting colored filters over the lens of the camera. For this I choose to use Adobe Photoshop Elements. Below you will see my recently completed Marcus Aurelius figure shot in front of four different backdrops. If you look at each picture in detail you will see how the colors are effected by that background. Some figures are effected more than others but all figures require a particular background to appear normal.
In addition you can change the appearance of your photographs by how you adjust the goose neck lights, forwards/backwards, closer/further, side to side, etc. Obviously your camera plays a role in this as well. Everybody has their favorite. For years I used a high quality reflex camera and scanned my images from the photographs. This was done because 15 years ago when I was writing articles we didn't have the benefit of today's technology. Now with a simple, inexpensive digital camera set on macro, a simple tripod and about $30 worth of lights, paper, wood and clips you can take really great quality pictures of your work to show everyone as well. I thank Phil Kessling and Bill Horan 15 years ago for showing me how simple it really is.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Now I am challenged to get photos that help show the vision I have of the figure. Photographing miniatures is an interesting sideline to what we do. Getting a photo to look like the actual miniature can sometimes be daunting. I use a variety of backgrounds and frequently shoot a figure in front of them all in order to see how the color affects the image. After awhile you develop an understanding of how a selected backdrop will effect an image. Similarly, as you would expect, lighting position will also effect the outcome of your final image. In addition, what I see on my monitor is most probably NOT what you see on your own. Monitors have different color color settings, so what I see is adjusted to match what I think the miniature looks like and may well look all wrong on your own.