Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lightbox upgrade

I've enjoyed the effect my cheap lightbox has had on my mini photography. The one thing I didn't like was the white backdrop. It seemed to either dampen the contrast in my photos or, if I adjusted the Brightness-Contrast levels in image editing, create a blasted, irradiated look. I had read in various places that the way to eliminate these effects is with a more neutral-colored backdrop, preferably with a bit of a pattern. I found a large sheet of artist's paper at Hobby Lobby the other day, so today I messed around with using it as a new background.

Here's the new setup. I just cut the paper to fit and taped it over the old white posterboard backdrop. Arguably this was a bit premature, but I was feeling confident. Note to self: Figure out a way to bolster the top dimensions of my lightbox. It's starting to look a little crushed.

I wanted to try some of the minis I recently took with the old lightbox setup. Here's Heinz and French, the condiment trolls, a few weeks ago.

And here they are now.

They no longer look like they are standing in a supernova. But the contrast is only a little better than before. Not the improvement I was hoping for, but wait: Notice the bleeding irradiated look on the right side. Maybe I need to adjust my lighting?

I tried again with some more brightly-colored lizardmen, just in case the problem was with the figures themselves.

Better, but still a little less contrast than I'd like. Lets move the right light and try again, this time with some goblins.

That's much better! Great contrast, and they're not overlit. I tried again just once more with the One Inch Guild. Here's how they looked a few weeks ago.

And here they are now.

I remember I had to oversaturate the first photo a bit just so it looked at all decent. I could have upped the saturation on the more recent shot as well, and it would have turned out a little better. Overall I like the second one more, though. They look more natural, and the eye is drawn to the figures, not the background.

I'm still learning a little bit about light placement and the like, but overall I think the new backdrop was a good investment.

1 comment:

  1. Hi !! I make a pause in my work for a short comment !
    Very useful post, like always ...
    I agree with you: the new background is better for the contrasts and maybe for the colours ?
    I hope to have time this summer for such a work ... after that my new Hobby-room will be ready.
    Mail is on the way ....