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WIP Critique Zouave, 1870. 75mm from Ellie Miniatures

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by ChaosCossack, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. ChaosCossack A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    Hey All

    I have, slowly, been working on the 75mm French Zouave of the Imperial Guard during the Franco-Prussian War. The figure is produced by Ellie Miniatures, I did an Open Box Review of the fig in the review section.
    So far, the blue vest and jacket, the red pants and fez and the skin tones are 90% done. As usual all painting is done with Vallejo Model Colour acrylics.
    1DSC00160.jpg DSC00083.jpg DSC00086.jpg DSC00087.jpg DSC00101.jpg DSC00102.jpg DSC00109.jpg DSC00111.jpg DSC00115.jpg DSC00128.jpg DSC00138.jpg DSC00142.jpg DSC00149.jpg DSC00155.jpg DSC00156.jpg DSC00157.jpg DSC00159.jpg

    *I bought a new camera (Sony Cybershot) and I'm working on figuring it out. The pics are a mix of flash, no flash, various settings and lighting. Some were good for blue, crap for red, others vise versa... red seems to be the hardest to get a good result for :mad: Practice practice practice!

    Anyhoo, Let me know what you think. Any comments and critiques and hints on photography are most welcome.

    Colin
    pgarri27, mil-mart, Aveleira and 7 others like this.
  2. tiberius57 A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    Nice start Colin! (y)
    What Sony Cybershot model do you have?
    Pictures are looking good, specially those under exposed (darker). Let me know what camera model you have and I'll give you some hints. Those that I'm using. I'm not a guru but made some experiments with photography and found some practical applications.
    Cheers mate and let me know.
    Zeno
    ChaosCossack likes this.
  3. ellie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Good start so far it's quite a colourful figure looking forward to seeing him progress. this is the first one I've seen with paint on. keep up the good work

    Ian
    ChaosCossack likes this.
  4. megroot A Fixture

    Country:
    Netherlands
    looking good Colin.

    Marc
    ChaosCossack likes this.
  5. zane666 Well-Known Member

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    This is coming along nicely, I wil be following this.

    Regards Zane
    ChaosCossack likes this.
  6. Joe55 A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    I really like this figure, and yours is coming around nicely Colin (y)!

    Joe
    ChaosCossack likes this.
  7. ChaosCossack A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    Thank you all for the kind words and support.
    A nice fig to work on, the drapery of the pantaloons is awesome. I plan to deepen the reds and bring up some of the highlights of the blues, especially around the wear spots like the elbows and shoulders. I really like the little touches like the split seams in those areas.
    I'm dying to start cutting in the yellow braiding on the jacket and piping on the pants. I think it will really make the base colours pop.

    Zeno, the cybershot is the DSC-H200 model. It's last year's model so I got a great deal on it! I'm going to try some different setups (but this time I'll keep notes), if you have any insight please share, keeping in mind I'm photographically challenged and illiterate ;) so keep it simple :) If all else fails, I'll bring it to the next meeting and you and Colin can give me a tutorial.

    Hopefully I'll get some more done tomorrow or Friday. This afternoon shift ruins my bench time.

    Colin
  8. T-34/85 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-States
    Excellent start Colin. I'll definitely follow your progress on this one. (y)
    Tom
    ChaosCossack likes this.
  9. swralph A Fixture

    Nice start.
    ChaosCossack likes this.
  10. tiberius57 A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    OK Colin! I'll keep it simple.
    Here is my photo "studio". It is a very simple set up. Just few considerations: I used 2 desk lamps to cancel the shadow coming from one single source of light. I clamped parchment paper on the lamps to make the light more uniform. The bulbs are standard, 60W. Under the figs I put a monitor riser and under it is a small lamp for the backdrop light. This is optional but, IMHO the pictures look better with a droplight. In case I have a taller display or a diorama, I'm taking the monitor riser away.

    [IMG]

    Of cause, you can go wild with the type of bulbs used, giving you different types of light, but I tried to keep it simple for myself.
    The target was: uniform light and canceled shadows.
    This is minimal. A professional photographer or somebody who knows more than me about this will say: Oh Boy! This is very primitive. Yes it is, but it allows me to take decent photos at a decent level of investment.
    Hope it helps and I'll come back with the camera settings.
    Talk to you soon, my friend.
    Zeno
    captnenglish, crf, Gaudin and 4 others like this.
  11. ChaosCossack A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    That's a simple but effective set up Zeno. Now if I can match the camera set up to the lighting I'll be golden! ;)

    Thanx my friend

    Colin
    captnenglish likes this.
  12. tiberius57 A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    Now, lets have a look at the camera settings.

    Choose the maximum size (pixels) that your camera allows.

    I recommend, first of all, to do the White Balance (WB). This has to do with the "colour temperature", so to speak. Translated means: how the white colour will look in certain light conditions (warm white or cold white). Auto WB and build in settings for WB are available in the camera menu. I recommend you to use for the beginning the Auto WB. Probably the camera is already set up with Auto WB on.

    I found on the net a very simple explanation of what will follow. Here it is:
    "Photography is built on the three pillars of exposure: shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity. Shutter and aperture are controls for adjusting how much light comes into the camera. How much light is needed is determined by the sensitivity of the medium used. That was as true for glass plates as it is for film and now digital sensors."

    Next step is to set the ISO number. I'm using ISO 100. This has to do with sensitivity.

    Next step is to set the camera on M (manual settings) and try to control the aperture and shutter speed (exposure time).
    The aperture controls how much light goes into the camera. It is represented by letter f and a number. The bigger the number the smaller the amount of light going onto the camera. Here is how it works: I'm using f22. This is the biggest f number that my camera provides. In reality, f22 represents a very small "hole" through which the light enters the camera.
    Using the proper arrow buttons on your camera, set the aperture at the biggest number provided by the camera. I think it is f9.7. The aperture is set.

    Next step is to set the shutter speed (exposure time). Using the proper arrow buttons on your camera, set the exposure time. Now, because your aperture is allowing only a small quantity of light to go in the camera, to get a picture you need a longer exposure time (shutter speed). Play with the proper buttons and check the display. You will see that the image will get lighter or darker by changing the exposure time. The exposure time is long (0.6, 0.8, 1.0 sec) and this indicates that you need a tripod to keep the camera steady. Shoot with the camera timer on (my camera set up is at 10 sec).

    For sure you will ask why should I bother with all this manual settings and not to go with the Auto. The main reason why I'm doing it, is the Depth of Field (DOF) control.
    "Depth of Field is the amount of distance between the nearest and farthest objects that appear in acceptably sharp focus in a picture."
    I'll give you an example. You have a mounted figure and you want to have a picture under a certain angle. Say we that it is a frontal angled view. The closest objects are the horse nostrils and far back is the tail. Somewhere in the middle is the rider. So, our display has a certain depth. Our target is to get the whole display in sharp focus. By having a small aperture and a long exposure time the whole display will be in sharp focus.

    About the zoom. I'm shooting from about a foot, a foot and 1/2 away from the display and I don't zoom in to much. I'm using an editing software to crop the picture to the size I want followed by a sharp adjustment.

    Summary:
    1. Use a tripod
    2. Set the Camera timer
    3. Choose the maximum size (pixels) that your camera allows.
    4. Do the White Balance (WB)
    5. Set the ISO number at 100
    6. Set the camera on M (manual settings)
    7. Set the aperture at f9.7 or bigger (the biggest number that camera allows)
    8. Set the shutter speed (exposure time)
    9. Have fun
    10. Don't shoot Zeno cause he promised to be short
  13. ChaosCossack A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    That's perfect Z.
    Question about the lighting... How far back do you set your lights? Over the fig or set back shining at the fig? I was thinking of building a light box as a permanent set up with the inside painted flat lack.

    Colin
  14. tiberius57 A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    You are very welcome!

    The 2 lamps are not over the figs. Are set back shinning at them. To give you a reference: if the 2 lamps form a line, figure is at about 4" back from this line.
    This set up is a very flexible one. Allows me to move each element as required. I can bring the lamps down and change the lighting angle. I can change any distance between elements as I see fitt. I can change the backdrop very easy, too. It's a very flexible permanent improvisation.:)
    Of cause, it can be done in many ways, but I preferred to stay simple and flexible as possible.
    Zeno
    ChaosCossack likes this.
  15. Grod A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    This is looking great a very colourful and dynamic figure.
    Gordon
    ChaosCossack likes this.
  16. mil-mart A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Been waiting to see one of these painted. Great start Colin .(y)

    Cheers Ken
    ChaosCossack likes this.
  17. Metal Extremo Well-Known Member

    Hi Colin.

    I like a lot the miniature. Very dinamic, with goods wrinkles in trousers, and beautiful colours in uniform. I think that the contrast of reds could be more. These trousers admits more shadows at the rear part, and extreme shadows at wrinkles. It give more difinition and depht to the legs and don't have work. Just a little. Maybe some highlights too, but i would begin with shadows, cause red is a colour that burns itself easily, as blue.
    At the other side, the hat colour is very similar, and the position is very high relative to the pants, so more light at this point is admited for the figure.
    ChaosCossack likes this.
  18. Metal Extremo Well-Known Member

    Sorry, was repeated
  19. ChaosCossack A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    Thanks
    I agree with what you have said. The photos wash out a lot of the highlights and shades. I probably won't add to the highs but will definitely deepen the shadows. I prefer to achieve depth with shadows as opposed to pushing the highlights. I think 2 more passes with burnt cadmium red will do the trick.
    The hat is just base coated so,much still to do with that.

    I hope to be able to get my camera set properly to show the actual contrast in the colours.

    Thanks for the input Metal X

    Colin
  20. Ferris A Fixture

    Nice work so far Colin.
    I note the red has a slight sheen, is that correct? If so, you could dull that down by mixing in a touch of Tamiya X22 mat medium, not sure if you're aware. In my opinion this stuff also makes the paint go on smoother. And the matt surface also helps getting better pictures.
    Good luck getting to grips with the new camera.

    Cheers
    Adrian
    ChaosCossack likes this.

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