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.
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.