Thursday, 20 September 2012

Tips and Tricks: Photography For Models; Basic Improvements

Taking photographs is part of today's culture. Digital snapshots fill our lives, and allow us model makers to show off our work to the world. but more often than not, people's pictures don't come out 'picture perfect'. So what is in a good photograph, and how can you improve on them? Well, here are but a few tips to help, which don't involve messing around with the camera itself ( you should consult your manual for that stuff).

Lighting

Good lighting is essential for photography of models. First off, we need to see what it is you are taking a shot of. Secondly, the colours need to be correctly represented by using a neutral light. This is why your average light bulb is useless. The 'energy savers' we have to use in the UK emit a dull yellow tone, which is not bright enough, and often distorts the picture by adding an orange glow or tone (as above); thus ruining the colours and the quality of the image.

To solve this, I went on a quest, taking me many long hours, to find a suitable lamp; the end result was this. It is an LED lamp, purchased for the low low price of £7.50 (GBP). It clips to any flat surface, ideal for any ordinary desk, and it has a flexible neck-stand-thing. The key feature of interest if the light it produces. It gives off a soft white tone.

This is perfect; it gives enough light to show the model, not so much that it drowns it, and the white light stops the colours distorting, as demonstrated by my WIP chaos Sorcerer. A massive improvement. For those interested, the lamp was purchased from superstore Sainsburys, under the TU brand (Note: it is in a sale, so the price might eventually go back up to £15, which is still cheap for an LED lamp).

Background

As you can see, the camera is more interested in
 my green templates rather than the much cooler dark magos
It may sound unusual, but your background should be considered as important as the subject being photographed. A background which is too cluttered will detract from the main model, and more often then not, the camera may loose interest and focus on stuff you don't want it to. To fix this, make sure all your pictures, where possible, have empty, junk free backgrounds, so the camera has nothing to focus on but your models.




Stillness

An unsteady hand can ruin a potentially good shot.
Keeping the camera still is key for a clear and crisp photo. too much movement (like in the example below) will cause the image to blue, thus ruining any chance to pick out the important details.

Getting a tripod is a good solution. Some camera have holes in which a tripod can be screwed on, whilst some can simply sit on a stand. If you can't get a tripod, even a makeshift stand made from piles on books can help. Blu-tac and other objects can help create an angle if you need one. Also think about using the timer feature on your camera.

So there you go, hopefully your pictures will be clearer, sharper, and give us on the other side of the internet the chance to work out what it is.


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