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Thread: Dramatic Lighting - is it honest?

      
   
  1. #11
    Thanks, everyone, for an interesting discussion! My feelings on the matter are somewhat mixed as well. For contests, I would prefer to see all the miniatures with all-around lighting on a plain neutral background, so I can compare the merits of each more easily. For just displaying your work online, I guess it really doesn't matter, although you may get better marks in a rated gallery if you make a dramatic first impression.
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  2. #12

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    Agree with you on this. As I'm "new" to WAMP and CMoN (I've just gotten rebitten by the painting bug) - the better photos on CMoN immediately bump up the initial score thought for me... If it's dramatic then it at least has a chance to catch my attention. However, the ***really*** good posts are the ones that have multiple photos, multiple angles - and in there close enough to actually see the painting.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by shanerozzell View Post
    I think a lot also have some extra image manipulation, not altering the paint job but the whole image. Lots of things can be done in photoshop to make the image look better, lighting is just one aspect, swapping a background, removing shine and glare. It's a fact now that post painting image manipulation is just another tool in the arsenal of the painter.
    Is that standard? I come from a fine arts background, and while photo manipulation to improve one's image for publication purposes is normal, when submitting one's work to be judged for, say, a gallery show, it's decidedly frowned upon.

    If the point is specifically to judge the artist's skill in manipulating paint on the actual canvas -- or miniature -- then any kind of photo manipulation beyond color correction is fundamentally dishonest.

    After all, people are not submitting their photographs as photographs to be judged as photography. They are submitting photographs as documentation of their artworks to be judged as their artworks.

    To meddle with that documentation seems a fraudulent pesentation of one's art.
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  4. #14

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    Getting accurate pics of miniatures is very tricky. Most PS or other manipulation is done to get the mini to look as true to life as possible. I don't think any kind of "enhancing" is common place at all.
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  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by shanerozzell View Post
    I think a lot also have some extra image manipulation, not altering the paint job but the whole image. Lots of things can be done in photoshop to make the image look better, lighting is just one aspect, swapping a background, removing shine and glare. It's a fact now that post painting image manipulation is just another tool in the arsenal of the painter.
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottRadom View Post
    Getting accurate pics of miniatures is very tricky. Most PS or other manipulation is done to get the mini to look as true to life as possible. I don't think any kind of "enhancing" is common place at all.
    I was wondering about that. As I said, color correction is understandable, maybe contrast as well, if it makes the photo look more like the actual mini.

    The way some people were talking, I wondered if they meant digitally smoothing rough blending, or clonestamping out imperfections, or other things which would give a false image of how the painted mini actually looks in reality.
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  6. #16
    Enlightened Wamp Orki's Avatar
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    Since I've been getting more and more into digital photography and art again, I've started noticing more and more processes that people use when editing pics. Like Scott says, for the most part it's always an attempt to get some pics that look as close to life as possible, but unfortunately the very nature of how we view it means that can never be realised. It's always an interpretation at best. The different monitors we all view pics on ensure this, let alone what we each consider is an 'accurate' pic, or what the lighting conditions are in any given place.

    Saying that, I have started recognising some dubious editing on a few different prominent artists' work. I have no problem with artistic displays of mini photography, if anything i'd love to see more! I'm also not keen on it for critical appraisal of technical brush ability of course, but that's often a minor part of the hobby to me personally. I still find it hard to vote on stuff that's buried under hard-light photography though. It's still easy to provide critique on those sorts of pics though, we just tend tell each other that the lighting sucks, and move onto other things like the composition or colours.

    Anyway...umm, where was I... generally, good diffused lighting and subsequent contrast adjustment is the most important and common thing to get right, along with whitebalance/colour-gain adjustments. Background choice drastically affects the perceived image too (see Scott Radom's thread for some recent examples. I can't remember which one though. Possibly in the TMICTI sub-forum?).

    Sharpening filters are often used to salvage blurry photos (getting good focus and depth of field can elude most of us at times), but overuse makes for ugly pics though. There's a few more but these are the main things that may be used. The important bit is still to be able to paint well and get decent photos. You can't polish a **** basically, so get the painting and photo right and you barely have to touch a thing.

    The most common 'misuse' I've spotted is people using selective blurring to soften blends while keeping edges crisp (this is sooooo rare I can't stress it enough. I've only really seen it done in very few pics online). It looks hideous in all honesty, but while many would think straight away that the pics look a bit 'funny', most wouldn't spot what it was. I guess cloning and smudging could go on, but I still see flaws all over 99% of minis online. Most, if not all of the really nice minis I've seen in real life looked amazing compared to their pics.

    For studio and cover art etc, post production can go crazy of course, and some of the best artistic presentations of minis I've seen included all sorts of camera trickery and clever backgrounds to create the most amazingly believable scenes. There were some links post up not too long ago featuring some of the more extravagant setups, though this isn't really totally on topic, it's well worth checking out if anyone here knows what the heck I'm on about. :D
    Last edited by Orki; 02-01-2013 at 05:01 AM.

  7. #17
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    In terms of post production, I know the Dropzone commander rule book cover is actually an altered photo with lots of trickery in it. Then again, it's not claimed to be accurate!

    But I do get annoyed with how some models look so lovely in photos but when you see them in real life, the colours are nothing like it and I get the impression the photo was worked over to make it look better. Like Orki says, it's one thing to work on a photo of a model to make it look awesome. But you can't then claim it as a realistic image!
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