13 August 2009

Photographing Miniatures: White Balance

I am not an intuitive photographer, at times I am not even sure what looks good. I use a Panasonic Lumix 10x optical zoom, 9 megapixal camera. It is nice and compact; but I feel the pictures, I take, could be better. I wonder if I could get some help with white balance. I am curious on what you think is the best setting. The halogen setting seems to capture the colour of the blue background most accurately, but I wonder if the green is right?

Below you can see my trial set up for photographing miniatures. I am using 2 lamps with 100w Daylight CFL bulbs. In the ceiling, there is a halogen spot aimed at the table. I think I need 1 more overhead light, but I am still trying to find something that is inexpensive.
iA: This is the automatic setting on the camera.
What follows are the manual settings (macro, no flash, spot focus, auto ISO), with variable white balance.
Average White Balance
White Set (I am not sure what this means)


  1. To be honest I think that the automatic setting gives the best result although all your photos look great. I quite often play around with settings on my camera but always end up coming back to the auto setting!


  2. Thanks Ian, you are probably right, I like the halogen effect, but it does play with the greens in the photo.


    You have a nice blog by the way.

  3. It looks to me that #1, #2, #3 and #5 are very similar, and the only noticeable difference comes from the use of the halogen setting. It may well be a matter of personal taste, but #4 to me looks more like a winter light, and all the other pics as summer.

    My most recent pics were taken in the middle of the day with natural light from the window, and have a white-ish cold tint to them:


    In the past I have taken pics under artificial light (normal bulb lamp) and got much warmer colors:


    which, quite frankly, I tend to prefer.

  4. Thanks for looking Adik. I am still not sure what looks the best, although I agree with your characterisations.

    Nice website by the way.


  5. If I may... I think the BIGGEST thing you need to do is move the lights away from the side and to the front... as it is now, the lighting is not from the front, and tends to throw the figures into a bit of shadow.

  6. I think your right Author, I planned to put a light from above and forward, but until I do so, I agree with your suggestion.