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Making Miniature Photos

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Making Miniature Photos

Postby Anderas » Sunday July 3rd, 2016 1:59am

Hey Redav,


i am absolutely thankful for tips about photography. I had my hard time working out the settings - i know the theory but i am not a photographer.

My lumix stands on a tripod. I use 2 seconds self-timer in order not to shake the camera. There is an electronic shutter and a mechanical shutter. So he could use shutter times as he likes, but the max he does is one second. :o :evil: Why build they restrictions like that into a camera software? It's not the first time i'd like to update it myself. With my old cam i was sucessfully hunting lightning strikes with shutter times of 10 seconds and a serial picture function. This camera is supposed to be a lot better.

First plan was to shut the aperture as much as possible and use super long shutter time in order to have the entire zombie group sharp. With this cam, it doesn't work. Instead, everything is medium sharp and loses colors. (what the heck, the picture loses COLORS? See xuxa and clovis first photo - dull colors, non-sharp details)

The lumix is going down to iso 160 and up to 1600. It was one of the values i was playing with. 160 pixelates the picture a little bit and 1600 noises a lot but has a super fine resolution. I was freaking out about the resolution thing a bit. Why should a digicam reduce the resolution just to emulate an ISO 160 film?

so, this is Clovis with F 22 and Iso 1600
Image

This is Clovis with F22 and Iso 160
Image


Sharpness goes from Clovis until the background, which is too much for sure, except for the planned group photo of all Zombies.
But it is really semi-sharp everywhere.


The current batch of photos is done with Iso 160, large aperture (F - 5,6) and a shutter time the camera may choose herself. It works but i don't know why. Strangest thing is that i have the feeling it was working because i reduced the camera photo resolution by half.... I guess it is another software thing in the camera. With this setting, the colors are as should be, and you can see every painting failure and every mold line. :)
Image

I really think that more than half of my issues are related to the Camera Chip and Camera Software.


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Re: Making Miniature Photos

Postby QorDaq » Sunday July 3rd, 2016 11:43am

Nice high level analysis Anderas.

What would be really cool for the masses, would be an overview on maximizing the results while taking photos with smartphones. Specifically for those who may never buy a high performance (or these days any) camera, but occasionally snap ref pics with the phone.

Regardless, yeah third pic, what a difference in clarity.

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Re: Making Miniature Photos

Postby guitarhulk » Sunday January 29th, 2017 3:26am

Your result looks perfect to me. Which Lumix camera are you using?
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Re: Making Miniature Photos

Postby Sparkymark » Sunday January 29th, 2017 9:43am

The third pic has much more definition and the high lights stand out from the shading more.
I would also like any tips from taking photos of minis just using a smartphone.


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Re: Making Miniature Photos

Postby StratosVX » Sunday January 29th, 2017 9:51pm

I've seen where you can install custom firmware on some cameras to improve their functionality. You might want to search to see if you can do that with your camera. Some methods put the firmware on your SD card so you don't have to overwrite that of your camera, so you can use the custom FW only when you want.


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Re: Making Miniature Photos

Postby Big Bene » Monday January 30th, 2017 4:52am

In my (certainly limited) experience, lighting is the essence of photography. The technical characteristics of the camera or film make a difference, to use a tripod makes a bigger difference, but using the best lighting makes the photo. Whenever possible, use daylight - you can even combine it with other light sources. Avoid reflections. If you do this right, everything else is only finetuning.
Have a look ;)


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Re: Making Miniature Photos

Postby StratosVX » Monday January 30th, 2017 7:20pm

Big Bene wrote:Whenever possible, use daylight - you can even combine it with other light sources.


Watch what light sources you combine with daylight. In general, daylight gives a blue hue to images and indoor lighting typically gives a yellow hue. These are opposing colors when doing color correction. Auto white balance will knock most of either of them down when they are alone, but when they are together, the white balance will take one color down but intensify the other one.


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Re: Making Miniature Photos

Postby Anderas » Sunday February 5th, 2017 3:30pm

For making photos with any digital camera in jpg format, including smartphones, playing with the internal color correction is Key. It will generally tune the overall photo luminosity to an average value. So if you take your photo with your mini on white paper, it will look quite dark, colors washed out.
If you put your mini on something black or anything dark really, the colors will look bright as if they have a light built in. Bright colors may even become so bright that they appear white, again, a thing you wouldn't want.

Same goes if you have something with a dominant color: if it is yellow, it will try to equalize, so your model will appear blue. If the background is blue, the equalization will make your model yellow.

If you take the photo in front of something neutrally colored, mid-bright, the colors appear quite natural. The center room of the Heroquest Board is a good background for smartphones.

Then, having a modern smartphone helps. The pixel size is becoming bigger again, the companies are retiring a bit from the pixel count mania. Bigger pixels mean better dark light performance and less noise. That means in modern smartphones, there is a lot less noise in the photos than with old smartphones.

There are alternative camera apps if your phone has a bad app on it, you might try "a better camera" which has a lot of modern options also for old phones. "Open Camera" is an app that let's you calibrate a lot of things manually the old fashioned way. That may help if nothing else does.

Reducing the picture resolution before taking the photo helps also: it gives the software some degree of freedom to do failure correction and sharpening by adding up several pixels with some modern algorithms. That helps a lot.

Certainly all of what I said is a lot easier with good light, like big bene said. Having white light evenly distributed is just crazy good, but is also a lot of work. Having sunlight filtered by one or two layers of thin curtains is right next to perfect: just turn the sunlight filter on in your camera. More light means less noise on the photo, means smaller aperture or shorter shutter time and that means sharper photos.


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