Saturday, March 23, 2013

Did some photography for "Longstreet!"

Hey all!

As I mentioned a few months ago, Sam Mustafa of Maurice/Lasalle/Might and Reason/Grand Armee fame asked me if I was interested in doing some photography for his upcoming American Civil War rule set, "Longstreet".

Well... if you give me the chance to look at great collections of toy soldiers on nice terrain, and then the ADDED bonus of taking photos of them...?  I'll jump at that chance!

So last week Sam came by and we took a bunch of photos, using a mix of our terrains, my 15mm ACW collection, and his 25mm ACW collection.  I've got to say, we got a LOT of nice shots!  Obviously I can't share them, as they are being used in the book and I'd hate to ruin the surprise, but Sam did say I could use one... so, here you go!  Grade A Toy Soldier Eye Candy!

As silly as it sounds, after a few years of owning my camera I think I've FINALLY got it down.  The last setting I needed to get a hold of was the ISO setting.  For the last few years I've had the iso WAY up... at like 1600, which gave me very grainy shots when I wanted a nice deep depth of field.  I have finally gotten it all worked out, though, and it produced photos like the one above, which is shrunk down by about half!  Pretty crazy, right?  Nothing like a nice camera and a nice flash to make nice photos!

Anyway... I do hope people are looking out for Longstreet... it should be a lot of fun once it arrives.  I did get a chance at a playtest (which is outlined in this blog post) and the game has a lot of neat factors. To this Civil War buff it was especially nice to see how armies within the game change to reflect the year of the war.  And the campaign system on top of it, which lends itself to some wonderful chances to personalize your regiments and really "get to know them," is fantastic.  I swear, I am considering sponsoring someone somehow if they would be willing to make an army specifically for a Longstreet campaign and actively paint and model to reflect the progress through the war.  I'd do ANYTHING for someone to start with a beautiful clean flag and end the campaign with the flag in tatters, full of bullet holes and covered with battle honors!:)

So!  A great afternoon.  I think there may be one or two more sessions of photography... my buddy has some great pieces, including a bunch of early war units (perfect for Longstreet) and some great objectives, and if the Grand Poobah says it is okay maybe I can share another photo!:)

Thanks for coming by!


DeanM said...

Beautiful figures and terrain. Will definitely enhance the rule book. Best, Dean

Kris Marquardt said...

Modeling an army and showing it as it progresses through the war would be an interesting project. I think I would try and do that in 28mm just to be able to show things off a bit better. I have been waiting for Longstreet, I'll be curious to see how big an "army" really is within the rules, depending on scale a brigade might be more manageable.

Schogun said...

Care to share your secrets to good photos? I have found that shooting from farther back aids depth of field, but adequate light is essential.

yorkie said...

Nice photo!,

I'm looking forward to Longstreet, having never played ACW before.


Phil said...

Great looking figures and terrain!

Author said...

Hey guys!

First, thanks for coming by and the kind comments!

For the camera... Okay, my tips:

First, have a nice camera:). Mine was a second hand one given to me by my father in law, who got a new one... And it is nice. A Nikon d40 or something like that (can't look it up at the moment or I lose the comment I am typing!).

Second, have a nice bounce flash. A direct flash is just so very harsh. I have a very nice aftermarket bounce flash, again second hand from my father in law.

Third, have a tripod.

Fourth, get some extra light if you can. My table rolls, and I have big lights, so I could roll the table to a position where the room lights offset the shadow from the flash.

As for the settings... I believe my iso was 400, and the aperture was f16 or so, so I got some depth of field. I let the white balance be auto, as that seems to work best usually, especially when not shooting against white.

I think that is it! These images were taken on RAW, which is massive and detailed. I shrunk this one down for the blog. Honestly, it is mostly in the camera!

And yeah, the idea of modeling an army as you play just gets me so interested. I would love to do this... Make up your force and paint them somewhat generic. Then, as units get experience, use their old stands that die to make up your replacement units, and paint up new stands with maybe a few dead them and a few ragged guys to fill in the experienced unit. Of course you'd have to beat up the flags a bit too! I just think it has such potential, and if I had a regular opponent and the time to paint I would do it in a second!

Mikko Asikainen said...

I read the sales pitch for "Longstreet" a few months back. Seems interesting, especially if single games could be played in two or three hours.