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Article updated: 2020.03.27

Photographing miniatures can cause problems for beginners. These are my thoughts and a collection of articles about how to take effective photographs of your miniatures.

If you'd like to know how to take a good photo of your miniatures, check this.

Photographing miniatures

Q: What can you do if you want to photograph a group of miniatures, but your camera focuses only in one spot, blurring everything else?

First you should check how to set the aperture of your camera. If you can find an aperture size that fits your needs, you can take shots where everything can be in focus.

If you can't find a good setting, you can always take the shot from a bigger distance. This will allow the camera to get more of the picture into focus, however it will also mean the loss of quality with a digital camera. Fortunately, most modern cameras have so high quality pictures as default that it won't really affect your photos, if your only goal is to upload them online.

If these don't work, you can take shots of the individual miniatures, and copy them together using a photo editing software.

Q: I see many miniature photographer uses a pale blue background, like the one Games Workshop used. Is this just so they keep up with the old habit? Can I use white, so it will get more contrast?

As far as I know using a pale blue or pale green background is more optically pleasing to the eye. Using a white background might make the difference between your miniature and the background too harsh. But I'm not an expert, so I use my pale greens following some advice I've heard, and you might come up with your own background scheme you prefer.

Q: My minis look great in real life but bland -or even ugly- when I take photos of them. What can I do?

If your intention is to paint your miniatures so you can take photographs of them, follow the Games Workshop way of using harsh colours, and highlighting every edge. Although I prefer myself a more realistic paint scheme, they came up with a good way to paint your minis that would look good on pictures. (And they don't look bad in real life either, if you got used to them.) Just open any old White Dwarf, or visit the GW website for their painting guides. Realistic paintjobs usually look bad, even with lighting effects.

Resources - Photographing miniatures

Photography basics

Photographytalk: Photography Articles: Tutorial article.

Photography basics: Aperture - Articles

Nasim Mansurov (for photographylife): Understanding Aperture – A Beginner’s Guide: Tutorial article about setting camera aperture.

Photographytalk: A Beginner's Guide to Aperture and Depth of Field: Tutorial article about setting camera aperture.

Photography basics: Aperture - Videos

Techquickie: Aperture as Fast As Possible: Tutorial video about setting camera aperture.

Photographing miniatures - Articles

Carlos Llauger Lorenzo (Bostria)(on Corvus Belli): Photographing miniatures: Tutorial article. A good tutorial on using focus to make miniatures stand out from the background.

mirrored on Beasts or War / On TableTop

Forge World (on Facebook): Photograph your miniatures top tips: Tutorial image. Infographics about the basics.

James Wappel: How I photograph my miniatures: A window into my photo booth: Tutorial article. A tutorial for setting up a photo stand, and edit the photos for publication.

killcrazy (for Beasts of War): How to take better photos of Miniatures: Tutorial article. (2020.03.27: The article is offline.)

the article on

Knights of Dice: Photographing Miniatures - my setup: Tutorial article about photography basics. (2020.03.27: The article is offline.)

Luther (for The Mighty Brush): How to photograph miniatures: Tutorial article about photography basics.

Massive Voodoo: Photo Backgrounds: Tutorial article. Some ideas for choosing background for the photos, and also some backgrounds to download.

Uncle Phil (on Cheddarmongers): Uncle Phil's Miniature Photography Guide: Tutorial article about taking photos and photo manipulation.

Photographing miniatures - Videos

Andika Fikri (from AF Toys): How to get a CLEAN SHOT! - ToyPhotography: Tutorial video about photographing miniatures.

ichibanpainting: taking pictures of your miniatures: Tutorial video about photographing miniatures.

Miniac: How to Take Awesome Photos of Miniatures!: Tutorial video about photographing miniatures.

Photographing miniatures - Photography with smartphone - Articles

Tale of Painters: Tutorial: How to photograph Miniatures with an iPhone Smartphone: Tutorial article about making smartphone photography.

Photographing miniatures - Photography with smartphone - Videos

Spikey Bits: Tips & Tricks For Taking Pictures of YOUR Miniatures! - Tutorial: Tutorial video about photographing, choosing backgrounds and using iPhones or iPads for miniature photographing.

Atom Smasher (on Tabletop Minion): How To Shoot Good Photos of Your Minis with a Smartphone: Tutorial video about photographing miniatures with a smartphone.

Photographing miniatures - Lightbox - Articles

Thor (for Creative Twilight): A Look at My Unique Miniature Photography Setup (DIY Light Box): Tutorial video about creating a lightbox.

Photographing miniatures - Special effects - Videos

Andika Fikri (from AF Toys): EXPLOSION Toy Photography Tutorial !: Tutorial video about using digital tools to improve your explosion effects.

Andika Fikri (from AF Toys): Rain Effect ToyPhotography Tutorial: Tutorial about rain effects and digital tools to improve it.

Andika Fikri (from AF Toys): SNOW Effect Toy Photography Trick!: Tutorial video about snow effects for miniature photography.

Jared Middleton: TOY PHOTOGRAPHY Explosives Tutorial: Tutorial video about exposion effects for miniature photography.

Jared Middleton: TOY PHOTOGRAPHY: Debris Effects Tutorial: Tutorial video about exposion effects for miniature photography.

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Do you know further methods on miniature photography? Do you have ideas? Do you know other good sources? Tell us in the comments!


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