Mikko's photoblog

Board game photography.

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Rapuralli

Mikko Saari
Finland
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http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/ - the best Finnish board game resource!
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I've ordered a bunch of review copies - I went through the lists of Finnish game of the year candidates and asked for review copies of everything unfamiliar. This'll result to some new additions to the Geek database as well.

The first games arrived already. I've added Rapuralli and Jälkipeli to the database and will take some photos of both.

Here are the first photos:





Rapuralli is a very simple roll and move game. It's being advertised as a "first game", so simplicity is not a bad thing in this case. The game is also very well done, the components are very nice as you can see from the photos.

The photos were taken pretty quickly. We're having major renovations at our home, so we're in a temp home for six weeks or so. My lightbox, for example, is still at home and unavailable. I've got my flashes, but these photos are all natural light. I used the EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens, it's rather nice for close-up photos, and I didn't really have a chance to set up a good overview of the game anyway.

The photo settings are very simple. The white background is simply copy paper, I've just cropped the photos to remove unwanted background. The blue crab is shot on the concrete floor of our balcony.

Oops, looks like I forgot to add one photo. The fifth photo will appear in this post as soon as it passes GeekMod. Also, one of the photos has wrong colour, too bad BoardGameGeek doesn't support replacing photos, I'd like to fix it... Didn't notice the too-red colour soon enough.
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Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:13 am
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Translucent meeples

Mikko Saari
Finland
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So, I've got a new toy. I bought the EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro. I wanted a longer lens, but macro photography seems like a fun thing to try, so I ended up with the 100mm macro.

It's my first USM lens, and the difference is big. The autofocus is very fast and quiet.

The first game to try this lens on is Carcassonne: 10 Year Special Edition, which is standard Carcassonne, but it comes in a meeple-shaped box and it has translucent meeples. They look cool, but I'm not that sure if they're very good in play.





Macro lenses are often used for two subjects: flowers and insects. Here's the obligatory bug shot:


Fly by msaari, on Flickr
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Wed Jun 8, 2011 10:15 am
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May photo contest

Mikko Saari
Finland
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It's time for the monthly photo contest. Here's the GeekList:
May 2011 Monthly Photo Contest!!!! Win GG!!!!!

It was a tough choice for the photo, I had two excellent candidates. In the end I chose this:



This one had more thumbs, more tips and a comment claiming it's PotM material (so
Peaceful Gamin'
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, remember to vote for it!).

This was the other candidate:
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Sun Jun 5, 2011 4:49 am
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Slightly off-topic

Mikko Saari
Finland
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No board game photos to post at the moment, but to prevent you from forgetting this blog, here's some recent photography that's not about board games.


Bubble world by msaari, on Flickr


Silene dioica by msaari, on Flickr


Kauniisti joka paikkaa koristaa kukkanen by msaari, on Flickr
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Fri Jun 3, 2011 8:01 am
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Airlines Europe photos

Mikko Saari
Finland
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We played Airlines Europe last weekend. Unfortunately the lights were not good for photography: not enough light, so I have to use a large aperture limiting the photos to one style (no thoroughly sharp photos, just shallow depth of field over and over again), and nasty mixed light with some natural light from windows and a very yellow lamp above. That creates an ugly mix of colours that's very hard to correct: fix the yellow, and the natural light gets all blue.

So, not many photos. I took some Agricola photos, but all of those had way too shallow depth of field and were all quite unsuitable for public use. This was the best I got, and it's not thrilling. (Well, I got some Finca photos that may be useful, haven't checked them out yet.)



The game has a bit of a problem with the orange and red planes. In good light it's easy to tell them apart, but if the light is yellowish, it's much harder to tell the colours apart. Here's my solution:

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Tue May 31, 2011 5:44 am
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Kapteeni ja pilssihiiri

Mikko Saari
Finland
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Kapteeni ja pilssihiiri is a Finnish board game, from publisher Peliko. Peliko does mostly very bland games with good licenses (popular Finnish childrens' books, mostly). In a tv interview, the head developer at Peliko even said something to the effect that every interesting board game mechanic is already invented and it's just a question of applying them to new themes.

Kapteeni ja pilssihiiri ("The captain and the bilge rat") is, however, designed by an outsider, Colleen McCarthy-Evans. She's done a good job here, as the game is both simple and interesting. It's a die-rolling luckfest, but with some new idea.

I bought a copy, since I'd read a decent review, the game looked fun, my son was interested in the theme (he loves the Mauri Kunnas books the game is based on) and it was cheap. Of course I had to snap some photos, too.

I focused on the figures, as they're what's interesting in this game. Lightbox, two flashes and some experimentation on good light got me these:





There are several good photos in the set, but I like the big one because of the crocodile in the middle looking at the camera. It's not straight on, but almost, and that makes the picture work.
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Wed May 25, 2011 9:32 am
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Rattus photos

Mikko Saari
Finland
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We played Rattus already last week, but I didn't have my camera. Now I had both camera and Rattus on table. Here's the results:





Some of these photos include bits of Rattus: Pied Piper. Rattus is pretty cool for a 30-minute game with some confrontation and hosage.

These photos are simple available light stuff, shot with the 18-55mm kit lens. Curious enough, all four fall between 34 and 41 mm focal length. Sounds like a 35mm prime might make a good board game lens, then

I considered rotating the whole board photo so it'd be straighter, but eventually I decided the wider view (and the beer) was better than the straighter view (it would've cut the visible area a lot).

Here's a bonus photo... I went to feed the mallards at the local pond with the kids, and wanted to take some photos. Well, it turns out mallards and goldeneyes don't look like much when they are photographed swimming in the water. The gulls, in the other hand, were much more photogenic:


Black-headed Gull by msaari, on Flickr
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Thu May 19, 2011 7:06 am
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Bunte Runde photos

Mikko Saari
Finland
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Bunte Runde is a pretty cool game. It works great as a filler for adults and is simple enough for kids. It even has two sets of pieces, wooden blocks for adults and fun cartoon animals by Rolf Vogt for kids.

I'm going to write a review of the game in Finnish, so I had to take some photos, too. Outside the lightbox, for a change, these are shot on our dining room table using daylight.

I just got my copy of the game earlier this week, yet I had to borrow one for the photoshoot! I'm missing the runner figure from my copy and while I have a very nice replacement piece for it (and have asked for a new figure from Winning Moves), that's not very representive.

Hope you like the photos!



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Sat May 7, 2011 6:36 pm
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Photo geeklist

Mikko Saari
Finland
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Inspired by the gorgeous photo geeklist ⓛⓐⓝⓐ games through my eyes ⓓⓞⓥⓔ by
Svetlana
Russia
Moscow
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Ich will!
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In the confusion and the aftermath you are my signal fire. Hold me close, 'cause I need you to guide me to safety. The only resolution and the only joy is the faint spark of forgiveness in your eyes, I don't want to wait forever...
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, I created one for my photos as well:
Amateur photographer

Check it out, it has some of my best photos.
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Sat May 7, 2011 10:51 am
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Black Friday and Geschenkt

Mikko Saari
Finland
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Yesterday's board game session included a new game, so of course I had a camera with me.

The best shot, I think, was still of the old game, No Thanks!:



Here's some shots of Black Friday:



Black Friday was pretty good, by the way. It certainly needs more play so I can figure out how to game the markets best.
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Thu May 5, 2011 5:51 am
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