This is not a general purpose article on how to photograph miniatures, despite the title. It is a guide to how I shoot ‘quick’ photographs. By quick I mean picking up the camera, grabbing a sheet of A4, placing the miniature, turning on the lamp and then shooting. Post editing is optional, but worth the 10 seconds it takes before upload to make the images brighter.
The Cryx photos, and most of my other Warmachine/Hordes miniatures, were shot with a Canon 400D with a 17-85mm USM/IS lens. They were shot handheld, thanks the the IS, at a distance of about 30cm in Aperture Priority (F10) and ISO 400. Adjust the f-stop to play with depth of field as required.
The centre was set as the AF focus point with partial metering selected. I used custom white balance with a blank (unfocused) shot of the white background (an A4 sheet) as the reference. The miniature is lit from above (the lamp is literally just out of shot) by a fluorescent energy saving bulb (equivalent of 60W). I usually set the head (nose if it has one) of the miniature as the focus point.
Post editing involves boosting the shadows by 50% and performing an auto level (based on the B&W colours) in your favourite editor. I then upload the photos to flickr adding appropriate tags and grouping them in a set.
Sounds complicated, but it’s really not!
PS If you’re looking for a general guide many can be found on the web. If you’re too lazy to search – grab a tripod, set your camera to macro mode, change the white balance to match the light source, turn off the flash and take your picture!