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Author Topic: Camera Checklist and Picture Posting (READ ME)  (Read 7309 times)

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Offline Mr.Peanut (Turtleproof)

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Camera Checklist and Picture Posting (READ ME)
« on: February 8, 2006, 02:48:25 PM »
There has been an influx of impressive conversions lately, but with them has come a large number of pictures with large file sizes.  There are still people who use dial-up modems out there, and some of these pictures are so big as to take several moments to load even on a cable connection. 

So please, please, streamline your pictures.  Crop uninteresting and unnecessary space from around the figure you're displaying, resize the picture if it's more than 50% the actual size of the model, (blemishes and brush strokes will be blown out of proportion, anyway) and compress the filesize of the picture so that it loads quickly. 

Use whatever program you like.  Even MS Paint can perform basic cropping and compressing in JPEG format, though it does not resize without losing the aspect ratio of the picture.  Personally, I use Irfanview, a free program that can do everything described above.

Edit: To crop an image in Irfanview, press and hold the left mouse button to begin dragging a box over the desired area, releasing when the cursor reaches the opposite side of that area.  Press crtl-Y, this will automatically resize the photo around your selection, deleting everything outside of that box.

Here's the original image, though I have added 60% compression so that it doesn't lag the thread:   
The original file size was 116.71 KB.

Here's the image after cropping, resizing, and modest compression (88%).  I even adjusted the color levels to make it closer to the true colors (essentially reducing the yellow levels).  I also used the Gamma Correction tool, making the picture slightly less shadowed.

The filesize is now 11.9 KB, much better!

Yes, the final photo is larger in filesize than the "original," but the compression level is set to a much higher quality, and is still less than 1/10th the filesize of the original. 

There you have it, three simple steps that you can take to make your photos load faster with minimal loss of picture quality.  I have no expertise in photo imaging, only the patience to tinker with a program a friend suggested years ago.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 09:20:29 AM by Mr.Peanut »
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Offline Dux Aurelius Elysius

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Help! My pictures aren't in focus! (A camera checklist).
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2007, 12:01:05 PM »
Lately a lot of people have been posting in both the painting and the konversion forum seeking help in taking photos of their minis.  This is just a small checklist for you to follow to make sure that you're taking quick photographs of your work.  If you have any questions or advice, please ask in this thread, not here.

1.  Most digital cameras have a flower on them, called the macro setting, which enables you to focus on things within a meter.  Make sure your camera is set to this.

   a.  When using macro, zoom out as far as possible and get the lens of the camera as physically close as possible, anything from 50-5 cm away from the model, 'til you get the model or part to fill the frame.

2.  If your camera's macro isn't that good and you can't get a focus, then switch to normal photo taking but use a slightly different method. 

   a.  Most digital cameras will have an optical and a digital zoom, and when you're using the zoom there'll be a little pause when it switches between the two.  Zoom in as far as possible using the optical zoom only.

   b.  Stand back, and don't be afraid to leave dead space around the model, this can be dealt with later.  The important part is getting a good focus.

3.  Get the background as blank as possible, any discernible patterns or objects can trick the camera into focusing on them, instead of what you want.  Stick it next to a plain wall, or put some blank white paper behind it.

4.  Make your camera as stable as possible.  You can buy a mini tripod or, if you don't want to spend the money, rest it on some stacked books or something like that.  At a push you can hold the camera with both hands, bring your elbows in as tight as possibly and rest them against your stomach and control your breathing.

5.  Use natural lighting wherever possible, and always avoid using a camera's flash.  Camera flash washes out the shadows on the model making it look bland, and most artificial lighting will have an unnatural, orange colour to it.  Another option is to invest in a daylight bulb to put in your desk lamp, which isn't too extortionate and will help retain a truer colour balance for picture taking.  Also useful to painting.

6.  When you press down the button on the camera, you'll find it goes smoothly and then you have a little resistance where you have to push that little bit harder to take the picture.  Push down as much as possible before the resistance; hold your finger there and the camera will start to focus.

   a.  This will give you a chance to make sure that you're not stood too close, there's not too much in the background and you've got a good frame.  Once you're happy that the photo will be good, push the button in the whole way.

   b.  Some cameras will show you if you can't focus (bad lighting or too close to the model tend to be the prime suspects) by showing the little focus box as being red rather than green or white.  If your camera's one of these use the opportunity to adjust your shot 'til you can get it in focus.

7.  Set your camera to take the highest quality picture possible (if you're using a 12 megapixel camera ... make use of all of it).  Once you've uploaded it onto your computer you can crop out the dead space (see stage 3), and shrink it to fit.  Most places like photobucket will shrink jpgs to their maximum upload size anyway.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2008, 04:28:47 AM by Falhandir »
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Offline ALshroth

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Re: Camera Checklist and Picture Posting (READ ME)
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2009, 03:46:06 AM »
My 2 Cents.
If your going to take alot of pics of models then it may be worth investing in Macro filters.
These fit the more expensive digital cameras using a filter ring.
If your camera doesn't support filters you should be able to kitbash some thing to fit, which judging buy the conversions/modeling should be an easy thing for most.
Macro filters can be piced up cheep on amazion by a company called Digital imaging.
I recommend getting a +10 filter.
Always read up on the macro seting of the camera as there is often a distance where the camera wil not focus if you get too close ( on the fujifilm S5000 is something between 60>90cm !)

Another free program (on mac/linux/windows) is GIMP.
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