Photographing Miniatures

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Focus

The focussing system of a fully automatic camera can get confused in some situations. For example if you're taking a picture of a miniature in front of a distant background. The camera's automatic focus system can sometimes decide to focus on the background rather than the figure you actually want to focus on. This can lead to results like the picture shown below left. The background is in sharp focus while the figure is completely out of focus.

Under some circumstances autofocus systems will choose to focus on the background of a picture rather than a figure in the foreground.
Manual focussing or spot automatic focussing (where the camera automatically focuses on a designated spot) allows for precise focussing.

 

This is an extreme example and more usually an autofocus system will go for some sort of "average" focus between background and foreground and the miniature in the foreground will only be slightly out of focus. Knowledge and experience of how your camera's automatic focussing system works will enable you to minimise such problems by careful positioning of figure and background.

On the other hand cameras with fully manual or spot automatic focussing systems allow you to establish the exact point of focus for yourself and will usually give better results and sharper pictures.

Next: Exposure

       

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Many of the figures used in the pictures on this site were painted by Pioneer's Jack Glanville
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Site created by Derek Hodge: derek@hodgenet.co.uk