Evening, chaps.
Another exam down today, only a few left. This means it's time to get completely unnecessarily distracted!

But seriously. There are good distractions too.
I decided that my picture setup needs an upgrade...scratch that, an entire new look and feel. My original light setup:
(Click for bigger pic)
This was a cardboard and tissue paper construction featuring between 1 and 3 OTT Lights. The setup looked nice, with a calming blue gradient background and smoothly covered lighting. However, it did not travel well when it needed to be moved and it was constructed of very rippable materials. Its location, conveniently far away from my desk, made it inconvenient and annoying to take pictures at. If I wanted to take a good shot, I'd be moving OTT lights from my desk to the box and waiting for them to warm up, then taking model pics; move models and lights back to the desk, then take camera and supplies up to the computer.
What needs to change?
1) The picture area needs to be CLOSER and more CONVENIENT. This means moving lights a minimal distance, and not taking models off of my desk to take shots.
2) There needs to be more STABILITY. Using macro focus is useless if there is no stability on the photo. Tripod, anyone?
3) There needs to be more STABILITY. This is different, however. This stability means that the lightbox itself is not breakable and can be moved in absolutely necessary. I can't be repairing it everyday.
4) There needs to be more variance. I'd like a more artsy background for my finished shots, and a simple WIP background that maybe says "WIP" so I don't have to edit my pictures for that. Also, a few different backgrounds would be nice so I can choose a background that works for the miniature.

So, what have I done?

Mind you, this is not final. But it gives an excellent idea of what I'm going for.
You'll notice that it is located right on the shelf on my desk. Right below the background is my work area with my paints and knives and such. Perfect for quick shots. I still might build something for WIPs, though, but that is a mere embellishment.
I picked up an ancient metal/copper tripod from my Aunt this week, and it hangs nicely over the edge, giving me a nice tripod mount to keep my camera in one spot.
As of this point, there is no real "lightbox". No diffusers, no structure. I'm not in desperate need of that now, I'm thinking I might build a PVC pipe frame. Suggestions?
Variance is another thing that is missing. I spoke of the need for at least two backgrounds, and only one is present. When I build a permanent setup, that will be easier to work with.
My big question here is, what is the best way for snapping good WIP pics that still look professional? Must it be in the "lightbox" or is there a quick desk setup I can build?
Thanks for any advice, and if this helps you with miniature photography, that's awesome.
And don't say, "You probably have an amazing camera that is uber-special and I can never afford one...mumble grumble". Truth is, many cellphones have better cameras than my 7 year old relic of a camera. use what you've got, and "fix it in post". If you have stability, focus and lighting there should be no barrier between you and anyone else.

So, a sample pic from my new setup, compared with my old one. I think there's a difference...

I think it's a lot less artificial.

So now, you may say, "Drew, dagnabit, we came here for your miniature projects, not a lecture on photography!"
About that.
haven't had time to sit down and paint/model since yesterday. I haven't managed to get superglue either.
But I have done some thinking about my warband.
I'm thinking my Inquisitor is going to be a young headstrong man, with a bionic arm (powerfist) and an electrified shield (shocks). He'll have a few servo skulls as well, making sure he stays alive.
His henchmen? There's going to be the Bio-Suit guardsman, the fanatic and some sort of bionically modified soldier. All equally interesting and fun to model. What do you all think of that for composition?

That's all for now, thanks for reading!