Sunday, June 15

We take a snapshot of Andrea Press' new “How to Photograph Scale Models” in our review…

One of the last mysteries in Modelling – no – not being able to paint figures, it’s the other one – Being able to take good pictures of your finished scale model! Well Andrea Press have a nifty little guide recently released to help you try and take better pictures. Let’s have a look at it shall we in our review...

Code: AP-54I
• 48 pages
• Format: 210 x 297 mm
• Over 100 full colour photographs
• Soft Cover
• Available languages: English

So many good modellers out there… SO many bad pictures… Mine are not exempt.. I see so many good kits being built but sometimes you just never get to see the real finesse of a build because the picture is out of focus, wrong colour temperature or low ISO. Hang on – if I have already lost you then you need this book as much as I think I do. Andrea Press have just released this softcover book that details all of the theory of just how to take good photographs. Seeing the shots of their kits are always so good I thought there would be some merit in us taking a look at it.
 Not really my "before" picture
A short forty-eight pages, softcover landscape book with a glossy cover and in simple English. This is a book that promises to take you through the theory and the practice in real life of how to shoot and compose your shots. It book promises you will learn not just the basics of photography, the performance of different types of cameras and mobile devices, but it shall help you build your own photography studio and learn how to control the lighting for your scale model shooting with professional quality.
At a brief 48 pages this book isn’t that many pages. This I like funny enough, as I don't want to get in too deep into photography when I have models to make. I think most people need a “101 in photography” and I have seen a few photography books in my time but I soon would lose track if the text got a bit heavy. I personally don't want to shoot for “Life” magazine. I just want to represent my model as lifelike as I can. This book straight away left me with the impression it didn’t want to blind me with science.
After a brief intro into the importance of social media and forums and the internet in relaying your modelling skills we go through a bit of theory at the start of this book. The format for this is usually a spread of two pages for each point with accompanying pictures and captions.
Getting the right focus, depth of field, exposure time, ISO, exposure and white balance are all so important – as are the formats you will learn about capturing your images in and when to use which of these formats for either internet, printing or sharing or maybe a magazine shoot.
We go on to look at hardware next – with the existing formats of cameras, both simple point and shoot compact cameras and DSLR’s with detachable lenses and plenty of options but plenty of space to get lost in the options as well. This book shows you the most popular options to get the most out of the majority of DSLR’s on the market. 
We also look at the new trend of tablets and phones (or as I might say “why don't you hold it in front of us so we all can’t see it”) - like em or not these cheap and simple to use new ways are sure to become more popular with people as the image quality develops. It’s handy and nice to see these new methods included.
We look at setting up the simplest of home photo booth’s next – starting at a nearly no-cost option of a white sheet on a table in the corner to the progressively more expensive route of natural settings, tripods, background colours sets, continuous lighting with daylight bulbs and the use of flashes.

Perspective dominates the next small section of this book. The differences of shooting from a myriad of angels from low too high to front on to sideways is discussed. This can make such a difference with photos and the overall feel of a model. This book describes it most adequately.
Lastly we finish off with a gallery of models shot beautifully. I get the feeling these are for the pictures more than the models themselves. It’s surely a show of what can be achieved.

Well what a handy little book this is. Not too in-depth but straight to the point and directly attributed to our hobby which is nice with all the latest methods and tools. The only thing it could have talked about is image editing – but I suppose this is a whole new subject in itself!

At fourteen Euro this is the best lesson you could ever get!

Adam Norenberg

Thanks goes to Andrea Publications for sending us this book to read and review – It is now available at the Andrea Miniatures Website.