Tips & Tricks to taking Good Pics
- Some people have the misconception that just turning on your Macro function will make better pictures. While it will help, the Macro function is only half the battle. Just because you have that on, doesn't mean you should hold your camera 1/8 inch away from the mini. Hold your camera between 12-18 inches from your model and take your shot.
- Set up a cheap photo studio in your own room. Get a box (six-sided), and tape a white sheet of paper to the side opposite of the open end. On the other four interior sides, glue/tape aluminum foil (try not to wrinkle it too much). This will help reflect natural light from around the room. You can also pick up a set-up at places like Wal-Mart, (such as this) but they are sometimes expensive. UPDATE: When you make your own version of the Wal-Mart studio thing, use white paper where there is blue (in the enlarged image of the studio) and use foil where there is white (on the interior of the box).
- Try to take profile shots of your minis, rather than just straight on shots. Try aiming the camera from up under the mini to capture it in a dramatic pose.
- Don't use a flash. Hang up lighting (portable fluorescent lights work wonders!) around our custom made box. You can turn off your flash (usually, on most cameras) by pressing the lightning bolt symbol and cycling through your flash options until you get to the one that allows you to turn it off.
- Use a tripod. Or, at least, sit the camera down and use the automatic timer. The less you touch the camera, the better.
Photoshopping your Mini
Now that you have a pic of your mini, it is time to Photoshop the little devil.
We're going to start with Killy's UM Apothecary. Why? Because I just fixed it earlier for him. :-)
Next, I'm going to use one of my favorite Photoshop tools: Color Balance. Now, I could play with the different levels until I get what I want...but Photoshop allows me to be lazy and will color balance the photo for me. You may not always get the results you want, but doing an AutoColorBalance will help you see where you need to go and then you can go in manually and adjust the image:
Alternatively, you can just hit Shift+Ctrl+B
We now have something like this:
Next, I'm going to use my Levels to adjust the Highlights, Midtones, and Shading of the mini (Image > Adjustment > Levels or Ctrl+L). You really just need to play with each slider to get where you want. Uncheck/check the preview box to see your original:
Finally, let's crop the image to really draw focus to the mini. Grab your marquee selection tool (pictured) or just hit M and draw your selection. Then click Image > Crop.
Now, if you want, you can add a tag or text to the image. And........we're done!!
Above is the before/after shot.
Got a blurry photo? Camera isn't doing so well? Try these quick fixes:
I've compiled a few different ways to enhance your beloved mini-picture with photoshop. They are not foolproof and do take some tinkering to perfect, but it is better than nothing!
I hope this helps people. Post your suggestions below and I will add them to this post. Let me know if anyone needs any help!
Edited by The Angelus Sanctus, 13 July 2009 - 12:58 PM.