MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS to consider when photographing a miniature
are the same for digital or 35mm.
1) A tripod. I like the big ones that go to the floor. Invest in a good
quality one with all the "bells and whistles". They allow you to shoot
at some very odd angles with out having to move the object so much.
2) What type of lens does your camera have? In your manual it will tell
you how close you can shoot. Some allow you to shoot within an inch of
your subject without using a close up lens. Some only let you go within
a foot of your object, and that sounds like it could be your problem. If
your camera doesn't have the closer range, invest in a close up lens for
your model camera.
*****Also, check to see if you have a special close up mode on your
camera. If you do, and you don't engage this feature, then your pictures
will be blurry. *****Some cameras even have a lspot meter, so that you
can tell the camera exactly where you want to focus. Very helpful when
several elements are in the photo , and all are in very similar depth
ranges. Go to this link to see Anne's boot. (scroll all the way to the
I had to use the spot meter because I couldn't get the camera to focus
on just her boot, as many elements had the same color values.
3) Lighting. Nothing fancy, but you must use some sort of light source.
If you use incandescent bulbs it will give your work a yellowish cast.
Check a photo supply for photo light bulbs. Use more than one light
source. If you can shoot outside, that is a good situation, as natural
light is always very nice.
Pixels in digital cameras are amazing nowadays, but most of the time
when I shoot a mini, I don't even use any of my cameras on their full
capacity. Some of my cameras only have 1 million pixels, and seem to
shoot better than the 2.1 or higher mega pixel cameras, so who knows,
If you look at the pictures of Anne that I shot, You can see the depth
of field that Laurie spoke about. On the close-ups of her face, you can
see how the camera focused on her face, and blurred the background. I
love that effect. If I wanted to get that effect on her full body shot,
I would have to move her farther away from the backdrop.
photos? Miniatures are the hardest objects to photograph. This is due
to your depth of field. DOF is the distance captured by your lens: How
far forward and backward your object sits. The trick is to put your
camera on a tripod or on the table on a book so it doesn't move a hair
while you are shooting. Use the little attachment that, allows you to
click without touching your camera.
Your focus has to capture your object at the optimum place in that tiny
depth of field space. Don't allow the focus to drift off the object or
it will be focusing on background not object. That makes things fuzzy.
Crop your photo after processing to get the best format. Just worry
about getting a nice crisp picture first. While you have your picture in
Photoshop, try clicking a few buttons to sharpen your work, lighten or
darken, upgrade the quality. That is the lovely thing about digital. And
you never have to run back and forth to the photo shop. I love it.
a Mavica too, and I had horrid problems focusing, especially on ½ scale
minis. The 640x640 resolution didn't help, but mostly it was just me!
What I did was put a mini tripod (a real one of course, about 8 inches
tall) onto the Mavica, put the mini on the same height level as the
camera, and then pull the camera 12-18 inches back and use the zoom to
focus in. It's important to keep the entire mini on the same plane (not
tilted) or the camera will only focus on part of the item. Even with
that, I often end up taken 5-10 pictures to get a nice clear one - but
of course the "film" is free, so that's OK.
My next purchase
will be a Mavica CD 300 - supposed to do wonders close up, 3.4 mega
pixels, and can hold 156+ pictures per CD. Can't wait!!
take pictures of my miniature bears I had an 35 mm camera. Getting clear
pictures is not hard. your focus must go up to a mini lens. If you get
too close 3 feet you will have fuzzy pics. So Just take a pic that you
can see clear and scan it down to the size you want. You will be
surprised at the clarity.
Take your doll and a plain (not white) background outside on a mildly
Backgrounds can be fabric or foam core...white throws a glare. Light
blue is great. You learn that if you put a doll in print dress in front
of a print fabric...you lose the doll. What would the doll look like
next to a flower? Be sure the doll is the center of your focus or she
will be OUT of focus.
The idea with this group is learning and support. We can't help each
other if we can't see your work.
Scanning a photo is fine. Scanning a doll is fine. Learning to get the
most out of whatever camera you have is fine.
Laurie and all, I have found that using a bath towel for a hint of
texture helps to break up glare while still being able to see whatever
you are photographing.
kind of camera are you using? I have a digital and have found that I can
adjust the flash to meet my specific lighting needs by holding folded up
wax paper over the flash. Depending on how much flash my camera decides
to give, I adjust how many layers of paper I put over the flash unit.
You have to be careful not to cover the actual flash with any fingers!!!
I think this might be frustrating with a regular camera, though!
A great tip I came across for reducing photos nicely (requires a
graphics program) is to crop the picture to get what you actually want
to show. Then sharpen the photo, reduce the image size to 75%, sharpen
the photo, reduce the image size to 75%, etc., until you have the size
you want. This works great if you follow that sharpen/reduce process
until you have the size you want.
Regards - Karen
Taking better pics
I am definitely not an expert on this, but you will always get the best
pictures if you use natural light. Take the picture outside. I use a
simple cardboard box that I cut three sides off. I put either material
or a scrapbook sheet of paper on the floor and back to use as a
backdrop, and put the sun behind it. I then reflect the sun back up onto
the doll using a piece of white paper.
Maybe this will help you some. When I take pictures this way I don't
have to use my flash, and that cuts down on the bright reflections you
Taking better pics
digital photos, I found that my regular photography lights (halogen)
made the dolls look orange, so I settled on a combination of fluorescent
and daylight (through the windows.) However, I turn OFF the flash, set
the camera on a tripod and let the auto shutter do its thing. For a
seamless backdrop, a sheet of artist's colored paper swooping upward
works really well. In a book by the Seely's, I once read that 'dolls
love blue' ...and they do! It's a great background color.
Diana in Canada
I think that the 640 x 480 is RESOLUTION (pixel density) and not photo
size. Look up in the toolbar on the top of your screen. You should see
one for "resize" or "reduce"...click on that, and it should let you pick
the size of your photo. On a PC, you can choose to tell it the size in
pixel width or inches. Pick whatever size you like. If they let you
choose dpi as well, choose 300 dpi or less. 75 dpi is enough to show
clearly on a computer screen (if you will only use it on the internet).
If your pictures start out in jpg but are simply large, they can be sent
to the list - some computers automatically resize them, and other
computers require that the view be taken to a 50% or whatever so it can
be viewed on screen. it is easy from the viewer end. Make sure you send
jpg or gif, the other formats are too large....
Hope this helps a little,
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