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Equipment / Methods
Photo Fuzziness
Photo Help

THE 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 bottom).
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, lol.

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.
Gina B.

Photo Fuzziness
Fuzzy 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.
Laurie Sisson

Photo Fuzziness
I have a Mavica too, and I had horrid problems focusing, especially on 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!!

Photo Fuzziness
When I 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.

Photo Help
Take your doll and a plain (not white) background outside on a mildly sunny day.

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 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.

Photo help
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.

Taking better pics
What 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 are getting.

Taking better pics
For 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

Photo help
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" 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,


Dana of Miniature Art
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Specializing in Dolls of Romance

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