The Quest For Better Photography

Hello all, I'm here once again another hobby post this time not so much a painting or WIP post but my quest for better photography!

I never truely grasped how important good photos are when it comes to blogging. For years I've taken them on my painting desk or infront of a piece of white paper to help with lighting, mainly because I had neither the tools nor the space to present them well.  But now that I do I felt it was time for a change.

Firstly I invested in a relatively inexpensive light box and a tripod from eBay. The light box was approximately £7 from eBay and the tripod, which is technically a selfie stick with 3 fold out legs was approximately £5. The light box folds flat when not in use and has a strip of USB powered LED's on the top underside to help light up, and I must say I am very impressed with it. It actually makes me regret not buying one sooner.

As you can see from the photo above it is only a small box, it has magnets on the side to hold it all together and it came with a choice of neoprene background sheets in both black and white, which you may be able to make out behind the 40k backdrop above. Ever since I've had this I've been constantly playing with it, as they say practise makes perfect!

Whilst I was waiting for my light box I constructed a scenic background to help compliment some of my miniatures, you can find more on these in the 2 previous posts.

Having assembled my photography kit properly it was time to have a go. For the actual camera I'm using my phone, I have a Galaxy S7 and the camera on it is pretty decent. I've never really explored the 'PRO' option on it as for day to day quick shots, I feel its a bit fiddley. 

Ive googled about how to improve my photos, so I roughly knew what settings I was looking for when flicking through the menus. Oh and I almost forgot, the 'tripod' came with a Bluetooth button, so after I have the settings perfect, I don't need to touch the camera again and risk losing focus or knocking the lighting etc etc.

Above is one of my first proper attempts. After having the light levels and white balanced to what I though was right I discovered the manual zoom function and I'm rather satisfied with it, the light looks great and the details holds up rather well. The below is the same idea but taken to an extreme to treat what the camera could do. The only bad thing is it shows up the quality of my painting maybe a little too much!

So after quite a bit of fiddeling, I came up with the below photo. I think this is the best one I've taken so far. The light looks right, the quality is there, the detail is there, the positioning.... everything.

Ignoring the 40k / Blood Bowl clash I'd all almost say it was White Dwarf worthy hahaha. The next thing I tried was with just a plain background. Which I feel really gives the opportunity to showcase the model.

As you can see in the photo I have a solar powered turntable which can run off the LEDs in the light box. Again, this and the shutter button means I can now get some great and easy 360° photos. 

I tweaked the light levels between the models, I think maybe the marine is a little too brightly lit. But the more I practise the better things will be.

Overall my photography seems to be coming on great strides and hopefully this will reflect in the blog itself. The thing I'm most impressed with is at I've done it on a budget, I've spent £13 and I think I'm getting some great photos of it now. Just shows that good quality doesnt need too be expensive.

Well that's it for today and I hope that sheds maybe a little light on what is possible on a relatively small budget. This is what I'm going to be using from now on so hopefully the blog quality will improve also.

Fell free to leave comments below as always


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