Saturday, August 6, 2011

Navi's guide to taking pictures of rares

I had a lot of pictures of rares that I had lying around in my library and since I started doing my gallery on this blog I have gradually changed and improved the way I frame and take my rares shots.

I also often ask people if they see any rares to take pics of them for me, and sometimes the pictures are less than perfect (though in reality I am thrilled to have a pic of the rare in the first place, just sometimes I think that good angles and thought about composition make for a nice rare picture).

I was always impressed that Cymre had great rares pics all the time, but she told me her secret - she would often use photoshop to layer out all the undesirable bits and also to get the silver dragon portrait in a nice spot to seamlessly look like it was part of the picture!

Since I am too lazy to do that, I instead spend more time trying to compose a shot resulting in lots of shots (see earlier post on Fulgorge for a classic example!).

So what makes a perfect shot in Navi's book?

Silver dragon rare portrait



I think this looks nice and also shows "proof" of rarity.  The thing is that you can't Alt-Z for this to appear so you will have to keep your interface free of distracting party members, mods and numbers.

If the mob portrait has a silver dragon with wings, it means it's an elite rare.

It does look better without the raid icon on it!  I keep forgetting to take it off, especially when I'm in a hurry.  NPCScan puts it there when it targets and finds the mob for you.


Natural state

I know this is hard, and I do a lot of flying backwards, stealthing in catform to get close, or standing in the pat path so that I can get a good picture of the rare close to its portrait.  However, sometimes you have to be in combat (like if someone is about to tag it, or a high level rare, or you just got too goddamn close).  I zoom right in to first person view so you can't see me at all for my best shots.  I think I prefer non combat but sometimes you do get good views with combat shots.  One of the problem with combat shots is that addons like Power Auras and also combat text/numbers can also show in the picture.

Non combat

 Combat

Composing your picture

Because of your UI, party interface, chat and combat log, quest objectives maps etc, it's best to try to get the rare as close to the portrait as possible for easy editing.  I crop for clean results.  

This image is easy to crop, and you are able to get the mob, the portrait and his name without the rest of the interface.  However as you can see, I've forgotten to take the raid icon off his head, which has been placed there by NPCScan (which is the little image of the mob at the bottom of the screen).

This is a better image, however you can see that I would be unable to crop him out cleanly without picking up the edges of the interface, healbot, chat and NPCScan.  I could Photoshop it but I'm just too lazy.



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