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How To: Take Better Pictures

I have gotten on a pretty big kick with the photography part of miniatures lately. I’ve been shopping around for a camera and looking for ways to make sure my pictures come out great. I’ve come across a few things that have really improved my pictures so I figured I’d share them here.

If you’re like me, you probably blamed your crappy miniatures pictures on a bad camera. It turns out that the problem for me wasn’t the camera, but how I was using it. There are a lot of changes you can make to the way you take pictures to make them turn out the best they can. This guide will teach you how to tweak your camera and surroundings to improve your pictures. The big points from the guide for me were:

  • Turn on macro mode. Almost all digital cameras have them these days.

    My improved photo skills

  • Changing the white balance setting. This will help make sure the colors are correct.
  • Use a timer! I could never figure out how to stop the shakiness of my hands, but simply setting a 2 second timer, pressing the button and removing your hand will remove all possibility of shakiness. A tripod also helps for this.
  • Use Picasa for touching up the photos.

The other big thing that’s really helped out is creating a lightbox for myself. Good lighting is something I always struggled with. After finding a DIY Lightbox guide I tossed one together. It made a huge difference in the photos.

After putting my own lightbox together I found out that you can buy small ones perfect for miniatures… and they come with lights and a tripod! I just picked up the Portable Photo Studio from ThinkGeek.com. It’s reasonably priced, it’s collapsible for easy storage, and it includes everything I need for taking pictures (except the camera). There are also plenty of other alternatives.

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