Fun with Photography

Disclaimer: This is NOT a photography tutorial. I’ll put some links of tutorials on the bottom of this post in case that’s what you’re looking for. This is merely a write up of my struggles behind the camera.

Artists of all sorts have to wear many hats. Since I’ve started doing commission painting so long ago, I’ve had to learn about website design and maintenance, photography, and photo editing, among many other jobs.

As I improve on my quality of painting, the photography has to improve. There are so many methods and types of equipment. I’ve used everything from my cell phone camera to a point and shoot and more recently, my guy’s DSLR.

I thought that using a DSLR on manual would take better pics, and it does, but it really depends on the operator of the camera. I posted final pictures of the Treeman Ancient a while back. I thought I’d share the numerous outtakes.


This was one of the final pics that I chose. This was done with just window light, during the day, with a mirror placed to bounce light around. I believe the camera was set to a longer shutter time, somewhere around 2.5 seconds.  I did minimal in Photoshop. I try to not edit the pictures too much. The colors are true on the model, but the background is a little darker than what is pictured. That happens often with this particular background.

Treeman Daylight




This one was put in the light box, with three lamps.. one on each side and one from the front/side with white paper at the front of the light box to bounce light back.  The colors you can see are true, but there are too many shadows.





This next one came out really cool. I used a black background, a dark box, and the flash to the ceiling. While the picture is neat, it makes the colors look like they’re glowing and that’s not what’s going on by eye. It’s a bit misleading.

Tree flash




This one was done with a 6 second exposure in a light box only using natural light. No lamps. The background looks green instead of grey and the colors are a little off.


Long exposure




Here we have a black background in a light box in a darkened room, short exposure time. The lamps were the only light in the room. Still lots of shadows.

Light box


I have a few other folders of pictures that I have no idea how they were taken. These pictures are for a charity auction so I needed them to clearly represent what the item up for bid is.

Anyway, those are my adventures in photography, particularly with this large model.

Here are the photography tutorials I followed and experimented with.

James Wappel has a nice, simple tutorial. I didn’t follow this one because I needed help with the DSLR, but I like the idea of getting a point and shoot and simplifying this process.

Massive Voodoo, one of my favorite sites, has a two part tutorial. This is the second one about using a DSLR. The first is a great starter tutorial.

Tale of Painters blog has a bit different info as well. A couple of items there came in handy. They also have a write up on using an iPhone and on photo editing.


If nothing else, I hope this amused you. I go through this dance after every commission: take a ton of photos with all sorts of methods, sift through hundreds of photos to see which ones represent the artwork the best and then push it through Photoshop with minimal adjustments.


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