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"Cigar Box Mats and Photography Issues" Topic

18 Posts

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1,473 hits since 21 Oct 2017
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Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2017 8:30 p.m. PST

I have used the desert mat and the grassland mat and cannot take a good picture of them. They are too bright and light colored. Doesn't matter if I use a flash or not. The desert one looks like snow and the grassland looks like lemon pudding.

They need to tone down the colors. The desert one needs to be darker. The grassland also needs to dial it back some on the yellow. I need a mat with a grassland background with green and brown hues, for all-round use and more realistic mat. I won't be buying anymore of them.

Vigilant23 Oct 2017 1:09 a.m. PST

Is our issue with the mat in general, or only when you take pictures? If it is the pictures the problem might be with the saturation levels set by the camera and can be adjusted in any decent photo editing software.

Dave Woodchuck Inactive Member23 Oct 2017 5:45 a.m. PST

I haven't had that issue – have you tried checking what your photo settings are? And do the mats look fine in person?

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2017 6:03 a.m. PST

What Dave said. It sounds like a camera issue.

Personal logo Fergal Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Oct 2017 6:15 a.m. PST

That is perhaps the strangest criticism of a product that I've heard…

Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2017 6:21 a.m. PST

Fergal, Copy that. Very strange. Rallynow, Do you like the mat when you are NOT taking a picture of it? That would be the question…

Gone Fishing23 Oct 2017 7:17 a.m. PST

Yes to all the comments above – that's an odd complaint to make. I love my mat and hope they DON'T change their colors!

McKinstry Fezian Inactive Member23 Oct 2017 8:32 a.m. PST

I use their desert mat quite often for 10mm Crusades and have not had any photography issues I couldn't deal with using Photoshop.

Splintered Light Miniatures Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Oct 2017 11:23 a.m. PST

Uhm. Okay. I have found their mats delightful and get great use out of them.


YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2017 1:34 p.m. PST

I find my mats quite objectionable when I turn off all the lights and try to play in the dark.

TacticalPainter0124 Oct 2017 10:48 p.m. PST

I have a similar issue. The mat looks fine to the naked eye, but photos from everything from an iPhone to a Canon SLR make it look bleached and brown, when it is green.

I was taking pictures one day with it laid on the floor and accidentally had one of my new, dark blue sneakers in the shot. That had an effect and balanced out the colors to how they look naturally. I'd say there is something in the dye or fabric, or both, that throws the colour balance and saturation right out if there isn't something with a strong saturated colour in shot.

If you run a blog or want to publish your gaming pictures it is an annoying issue because it makes all your other scenery (which you have carefully colour matched to work with your mat), now look out of place. Of course, if you don't take pictures or enjoy playing in the dark, it's not an issue…….

Must Contain Minis25 Oct 2017 2:53 a.m. PST

I run a blog and enjoy the mats quite a bit. The mats work just fine in my pictures, but I am working with more affordable cameras than an SLR.

I will mention one thing though… I like to punch up my colours of my photos in a program called GIMP2. When I try to do this with the Cigar Box Mats, it generally doesn't work out. Perhaps your camera is trying to do some auto processing regarding white balance and you are running into a similar problem. If it is, that should be a feature you can turn off of your camera.

Best of luck to you. I absolutely love my Cigar Box Mats. :)

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2017 4:23 a.m. PST

Came to this by accident thinking I was going back to a Napoleonic Forum.

Immediate reaction…forget the flash for miniature photography. Hopeless unless a ring flash and, even then….

Do you have the correct white balance for the lighting you use? Can you select Av to override the auto settings? If so, go for the smallest aperture (f27 or 33) that your lighting allows. ISO 100 or 200 maximum…snag is now that you will need a tripod for longer exposures

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 2:10 a.m. PST

Rallynow, try lowering the room lighting and use a backdrop. Directional lighting behind your shoulder pointing at the backdrop will provide a better and softer appearance. The directional lighting should also be soft and not too bright. This may help.


The Angry Piper30 Oct 2017 8:15 a.m. PST

Rallynow: Not to be a "board lawyer", but shouldn't this be on the Photography of Miniatures Board? This is hardly a Consumer Affairs issue, and your title makes it seem like you have an issue with the company.

I get that your pictures aren't turning out how you want them, but the Cigar Box guys most likely designed their mats with gameplay in mind, not photography. And when used for that intended purpose, they're awesome.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP30 Oct 2017 10:27 a.m. PST

Didn't know there was a photography board. I was about to suggest one. Well it is technically a photography of miniature board not mats.

I took a pill and poured myself several drinks and I feel much better. I am not as upset as I was.

I am glad there is at least one person on this board who has the same issue. The best pictures I took was with the flash. Without the flash the photo is washed out and it looks like the figures are fighting on a white beach. I have seen the same issue discussed on other forums. I am going back to my tried and true green and desert mats with my ground covering on it.

TacticalPainter0106 Nov 2017 6:04 p.m. PST

I've pondered about what the issue is and it doesn't seem to necessarily be the brightness of the light, I think it's the source. I now think that halogen bulbs may be partly responsible for the washed out effect, particularly when the light falls from directly above.

Here's the mat under halogen down lights directly above:


Here's the same mat under different lighting:


Both pictures taken with the same iPhone and no flash.

It doesn't matter what other terrain is present, as with this example, it's the lighting that is the key. This picture is taken at a different venue from the first one, however both this venue and that in the first picture have halogen down lights directly above the table. Coincidence? Possibly.


Aspern1809 Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 7:07 p.m. PST

Great example! The mat isn't changing color. It's all about the lighting.

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