Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mucking around with a camera in desparate need of help

Well, I am working on finishing out the book. Since pictures are important, I have stolen my wife's camera and tripod and set myself to work. Rather than setting up any particular scenario, I threw something together to take a few "test" pictures to play around with the camera and its settings. Well here is what I came up with.

I set up the table to have a small river with a ford and a village beyond it. The Italians were storming their way across the ford with a rifle section while two LMG teams were providing cover fire. There are a few casualties among the charging Italians. In the village are two squads of Soviets and a MMG team behind a fence. The MMG team has suffered a few casualties but I am not sure you can even see the casualty markers behind the fence. Now, on to the pictures.

I tried to crop the picture down to just the main action. The shot is over the shoulders of the attacking Italians as they head towards the MMG location.

Here is a shot of one of the Russian Squads as it rushes towards the sound of the guns.

Here is a different angle of the Soviet MMG Team. You can just make out one of the casualty figures there. Plus some brave Socialist cows standing before the enemy. Is including livestock a good idea in these pictures?

This is similar to one of the above images but cropped differently.

Just a generic picture of the town before miniatures were inserted. Is a generic terrain shot like this useful?

I need help with this as I don't have a good eye for what makes a great picture. I have a Cannon Rebel digital camera. I set the fStop to 9.0 and the ISO to 1600 for these pictures. I read about these things on Trouble at the Mill's blog but really don't understand them other than it lets in more light and light is good. Would pictures like this be interesting to anyone purchasing a scenario supplement (provided they were related to the scenarios of course)?


  1. I have no experience with taking pictures of a game table, but I like these. A generic terrain shot is always usefull I think!


  2. Nice pics, I am learning myself to take better photos. I like photo shop...but I take way too many pics to photo shop them all. What rules do you use, I am looking for some modern rules myself, I made a 2nd Gulf war battle, but forgot that I do not have a great set of rules to use.

    1. I mostly play TooFatLardies Rules. I made some modifications to IABSM (their company level rules) for the Lebanese Civil War. Someone else is working on a more Cold War centric version. Nothing really for as current as the 2nd Gulf War due to lack of armor data.

  3. I use livestock in my WWII game (sheep and cows). When the firing starts, they may run into and over combatants in the areas of their maddening wild-eyed escape; and deliver a wound.

  4. Some comments here - http://troubleatthemill.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/photographing-miniatures-part-5-keeping.html - watch the series for more! :D

  5. I like these type of pictures in books, somehow it makes the book more relevant to my hobby. I use a free editor called Gimp that has a couple of simple functions to correct light issues for my pictures.

  6. Hi,

    I like your photos, they are well staged. I have had a lot to learn about photographing miniatures.

    Maybe your photos are a little warm (meaning brown), I believe this is generally due to White Balance but you can adjust this after taking the photo in any photo editing software by moving back and forth the temperature slide, move it towards cool.

    In respect to your macro, I always find this a challenge. But all your photos are good except the first one. Here the figures in the foreground are blurred. If you are trying to get everything in focus in the picture, take it at a distance and then crop the photo. Everything will be in focus then. If you were trying to focus on the foreground (the figures) then you really need to retake the photo with the macro on but autofocusing on the foreground.

    I still have a lot to learn as you can see on my blog, but these are a couple of things I have found helpful.

  7. The pictures are pretty good. I second using gimp, it's what I use and you can't beat the price (free). I agree with John that the pictures seem too brown, I'm not sure if it is light or white balance. But you can fix it in an editing program or by adjusting the camera. The problem with the first picture is that neither of the troop groups are in focus. the trees in the middle are. So that is just choosing a focal point for the camera more carefully. The cropping on the fourth picture is on the money, that is a good shot. The animals are a nice touch. I think giving a picture of the table without troops is never a bad idea. Keep taking pictures, you're on to something.