Thursday, 10 April 2014

Learning new angles

I haven't been making much hobby progress recently, but I do have something slightly different to report. Over the last couple of weeks I have taken possession of a tripod and remote for our DSLR camera. The hope is that with these additional tools, I will be better equipped to improve some of my photos. 

Specifically I am hoping to get better at taking wider angle shots - shots across the battlefield that take in more than a couple of units, and put more of them into focus. As far as I can tell, this means playing with something called "aperture". I don't truly understand how it works, but in practical terms it seems to mean spreading the camera's focus over objects at a range of depths. It also means leaving the shutter open for a really long time. When I crank the setting up to 32, the noise between the shutter opening and closing is something ridiculous like 20-30 seconds. As such, the tripod is obviously essential - nobody can hold a camera dead still for that long.

Anyway, I had a bit of a play with my new toys and thought I'd share my progress thus far.
This shot was taken at aperture 32. The 3 rows of models here are about a foot apart from each other. So although it's not the best shot, I've got things 24" apart more or less in focus. Given how enthusiastically the DSLR normally focuses on a small point to the exclusion of all else, this is a dramatic change.
Army photos have proven challenging with the new camera. Fiddling with aperture (32 again here) seems to help. Oh yeah, this is what all my painted Dwarfs look like at this point. Yay!
Another angle on the army, same setting.
The same shot from slightly lower down. This one was only aperture 16, which seemed to come out sharper. I need to keep playing.
For the record (if it's not painfully obvious to you already), I know nothing about cameras and have never been much of a photographer. But I am working on it, and my wife had the foresight to buy me a voucher for a photography course for Christmas, so I need to book myself in and see what they can teach me.

In other news, as I said I have made little other hobby progress. I've sat down at the painting table a few times over the last week, but I don't have much to show for it. Behold the sum total of my efforts for the Tale of Duelling Gamers! Try not to faint in amazement.
Check out all their unpainted majesty! Well, the cannon is probably done.
Painting night is tomorrow, so hopefully I can make some more noticeable progress then.


  1. Sir, you have just rendered me unconscious from amazement. Is this an evil ploy to cut back on my painting time?

  2. Good photos, you don't want to be setting the apatite above 16 really. Anywhere between 8 - 12 should do most things. You could also increase the ISO to around 800 allowing you to make your shutter speed faster

    1. Thanks Rich, I'll give these things a try. Ah, these people who actually know about such things...

  3. I think your photos are pretty good. I've had some success with f16, never thought to try 32. My main issue at this point seems to be lighting. I've found that natural light is best, but I tend to game in poor light conditions.

    1. Cheers. Yes, I hear that natural light is ideal, but getting enough of it under controlled conditions is challenging. Generally speaking I've just installed too-bright fluorescent lights in the rooms where I paint and take photos. It helps, but looking directly at them is a mistake... :-o