“Crown Jewel Miniatures, How Do You Take Such Great Pictures?”
Photographing miniatures is difficult but not impossible. Until I began selling minis online in 2010 I knew nothing about it and it was so frustrating at first so I’ll share what I’ve learned. Here’s what you need:
– A digital camera with a macro setting. You don’t need a fancy DSLR like mine, in fact I use 4 different cameras and 3 are basic non DSLR models you can get from almost any major retailer. I’m not going to endorse any camera make or model but I will advise you not to use your iPhone, it won’t get you close enough to your subject without distortion.
– Great lighting! I used to take pictures only on sunny days but the Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate so I grabbed a pair of photography lights on eBay. Place one on either side of your light box tent, or subject, at the same angle and distance. Use a light box tent to diffuse the light and remove glare from your subject. Lighting is very important when using the macro setting because of the speed of exposure required for tiny subjects.
– A 16″ light box tent. The purpose of the tent is to diffuse the brightness required with macro photography. If you’ve ever tried to photograph a shiny object such as a tiny silver teapot, a china dish or glassware you know what I mean by glare and it’s not fun. The tents are made of nylon and work beautifully! When photographing non-shiny subjects you can place it on a piece of white paper instead of using the light box. Using a white background produces crisp pictures and reduces “noise” surrounding your subject. I purchased a light box kit (below) on eBay but the small lights that come with it run dangerously hot if left on for more than 45 minutes so I recommend you buy a tent and lights as shown above, separately and avoid a kit unless you take quick pictures. Also, the lights shown above are far better quality, “daylight” light.
– Quality subject. Macro photography magnifies all the details of your mini creation not seen with the naked eye, it’s the gold standard test between a good mini and a true work of art. The camera doesn’t lie folks- all the details good and bad will be exposed (great pun huh? LOL) so be sure your mini creations are up to the scrutiny of the lens.
– Angles. Keep the lens perpendicular to your subject and avoid tilting the camera at an angle as this does cause distortion.
That’s about it folks, it’s a lot easier than you think! All you need are those four elements and you’ll be taking great pictures of your mini creations in no time. Practice makes perfect! It took me a while to get the hang of it and you can too. Just as I’ve encouraged you to sign your art let me encourage you to watermark your pictures if you’re planning to upload them to the internet. My company name is on every picture to discourage the theft of my intellectual property and while nothing is foolproof it makes the job of fools who copy and steal images a lot harder!
DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert photographer and I am not responsible or liable for any damages you may incur in using any of the above materials or advice. The tips included in this blog post are intended as suggestions only and do not constitute professional advice or instructions. Always refer to manufacturers directions and product safety warnings!
IGMA Artisan Robin Brady-Boxwell
©Copyright 2014 Crown Jewel Miniatures. All rights reserved.