Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Technical Assistance from New Zealand - Photography 101!

Thanks Paul F from Plastic Warriors for showing me a few tricks to make my pictures a little better.

 I didn't realize it, but if you crop the photos, Microsoft's photo editor will zoom in on the new picture and adjust the ratio.  Brilliant!  Take a look at these "fixes" from some of my horrible pictures:

Bad French Generals:

Cropped French General:

Isn't that something?  The second picture is the same general on the right in the previous picture.  Photo editor zoomed in on him and WOW look at the detail in the face.  Unfortunately you can also see some of my foul-ups but that's ok....  look at that face!!!

And my bad Canadians:

Same cropped, improved bad Canadians:

The camera really really focuses on the figure in the center and brings out the detail of the casting.  Take a look at this next batch.  These are all the same photos from yesterday, just cropped and zoomed in.

More bad Canadians:

more improved bad Canadians
the shadowing around the kit really came out in this picture.  Now everyone will be able to see how sloppy I painted the division patches on these NNSH troops in the next couple of days.
Anyways, thanks very much to Paul F for showing me the light.  and introducing me to the cropping feature on Microsoft Photo Editor.  Plenty more pictures coming!  Stay tuned!


  1. A few tips and tricks can really help - the one you've used (accidentally) helps focus and not the central figure, and then you crop away the blurry stuff around it.

    I have collected a few handy articles you may find interesting - the certainly helped me improve significantly to reach the dizzying heights of sub-par amateur!

    And yes, many times I have done a final pic shoot, only to be gutted when I see the zoomed in pics with bad brushwork and missed bits (or flock stuck in areas it has no business being!)...

    1. Thanks, Paul. The quality of my wife's camera is not as "hopelessly over-engineered" as I thought it was. It sure looks nice when you zoom in on what the camera is actually focusing on. I think I like the "cheap" pocket cameras that do all the zooming and quality control for you.

      Thanks for the link - I'm going to surf over to it next.

      That's one of the bad things about these high resolution cameras too - the "bad" parts are all too visible!!! Ups the ante for paint-job quality.

  2. I am glad I could help Steven. I don't use this all the time, but it is usually a mainstay for Model Mystery Mondays.

    As most of my pics are taken at night inside I find good lighting really helps as well. I use to use a photo box, but now I usually just throw done a piece of A4 white paper as the background to enhance the subject.

    Do not worry about the bad parts being too noticeable. They are just toys after all :)

    Model on!

    1. Sorry about the grammar here.I was in too much of a hurry!

    2. Paul,
      No it was great you did offer some advice. Those pics were not doing my toys justice. I'm not "that" bad of a painter :)
      The lighting in my basement presents a challenge as it's fluorescent and there is inconsistent coverage on the models themselves.

      No worries about the grammar! The comments area is a grammar free zone.

  3. Paul is a clever chap. That's a good trick, although the iPhoto thing that came with my Apple Macbook Air doesn't give those impressive results when I crop a photo. Maybe I should try looking for a better app. Any Mac users reading this got any ideas?
    And yes, sometimes zoom isn't your friend, but Paul's advise is wise, they are just toys.
    I have to take issue with you, sir, there are no such things as "bad Canadians". :)

    1. Yes he is, Michael. I was quite pleased with the results, thinking this DSLR camera might not have just been one big paperweight.

      Mac's can be tricky. Anyone have experience with Macs on here?!? Chime in please!

      Quite right you are, sir. There is no such thing as a bad Canadian. Maybe just poorly painted Canadians (this yank's fault).

      I'm going to be painting a shed-load more of them for Battlegroup: Overlord. Going to play the North Nova Scotia Highlanders battling it out with the 12th SS Panzer in Buron. Carriers are next, followed by more troops!