Dolls House Emporium 3 Cullet Drive
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Bet you didn’t know this was a miniature! – Lord of The Rings
26 September 2018
We love all things miniature here at The Dolls House Emporium. This week on the blog we take you behind the scenes of one of our favourite film series and show you the incredible miniatures (or ‘bigatures’, as they were nicknamed, due to the sheer size of some of them!) created by the amazing WETA Workshop team for the Lord of The Rings film trilogy.
WETA Workshop were not only responsible for the incredible miniatures made for the films, they also made 48,000 items across six departments, covering a multitude of Middle Earth cultures and races.
Here are some of the beautifully detailed models created by the incredibly talented WETA team of multi-skilled craftsmen and artists. Enjoy!
All images from: https://www.wetaworkshop.com/projects/gallery
Starring movie role for Dolls House Emporium dolls' house!
7 November 2013
One of the Dolls House Emporium’s much-loved signature houses has become a movie star!
It features in a new film Austenland, based on a novel by Shannon Hane.
According to the producers' website, Austenland is a romantic comedy about a thirtysomething New York singleton called Jane Hayes, who is a seemingly normal woman with one secret.
She has an obsession with all things Jane Austen.
Then, when she decides to spend her savings on a trip to an English resort catering for Austen-crazed women, her dreams of meeting the prefect regency-era gentleman suddenly become within her reach!
Of course, what caught our eye here at The Dolls House Emporium, and yours too, is the Montgomery Hall featured in our heroine’s bedroom.
You can see it right at the start of this movie trailer (below).
Pride of place – again – for DHE.
While at "Austenland", the leading lady is plagued with self-doubt about pretending to be a woman from the Jane Austen era. But of course, along the journey, she makes new friends and finds a new romantic interest.
It was Montgomery Hall which featured in the smash hit revival of legendary drama Upstairs Downstairs when it returned to the small screen.
Montgomery Hall had already featured in the Darwin children’s nursery in the film ‘Creation’ and as part of the Coutts & Co bank Christmas window display in the heart of London – and now has more credentials to add to its CV. One recent success was with Asprey’s jewellers, which used tiny furniture to display their finest gems.
Montgomery Hall boasts six large rooms and impressive hallways, and being the epitome of stately grandeur it stands proud as a home for a Lord and Lady - or can be transformed into a modern abode for the chicest of residents. No wonder Montgomery Hall is the stylists' favourite!
It has been featured in numerous window displays across London and been loaned-out for many editorial spreads including a centrefold with Peaches Geldof for Company magazine.
Around thirty 1:12 scale Dolls’ houses are available for hire from The Dolls House Emporium with designs including Mackintosh, Lutyens, Georgian, Victorian, 1930’s, Art Deco, contemporary, shops and children’s models.
Following on from the previous two parts to this guide, it’s now time to get down to editing and sharing the images.
Editing your pictures
Many computers these days come with an application that allows you to edit your photographs or else you can download one from the internet. One of the popular free applications from Google is Picasa.
Once you’ve loaded your pictures onto a pc, you can do as much or as little to them as you want but every image can be improved with a little bit of photo editing work. With Picasa for example, you can do the basic image editing tasks very quickly and easily. You can crop (trim or cut) the picture, for instance to remove a thumb that has strayed into the corner of the image. Or you can change the colour balance if it doesn’t look quite right. It can be great fun and you can really enhance your pictures in the process.
Sharing your pictures
When you’ve done something you’re particularly proud of, you want to share it with everybody else and there are lots of places to post your pictures online.
First and foremost is the Dolls House Emporium website where you can show fellow enthusiasts what you’ve been up to and discuss particular issues in the forum. It’s great as well to get feedback and be part of our online community.
It’s also great to share on facebook, where The Dolls House Emporium page gets regular updates of images from fans!
Try to avoid sending huge files by email – it’s time consuming and can be really frustrating. It’s a good idea to reduce the size of the file which will shorten the time it takes to send it. It’ll still look great and it’s best to only send the original file if the person receiving it wants to print the image to a high quality.
Digital Photo Frame
Another method of sharing your photographs is to buy a Digital Photo Frame. This is a computer screen without the big box - and your pictures are usually stored on memory cards which can be plugged into the back of the frame.
A lot of online photo sharing sites allow you to order prints of your photos which they will deliver it to your door. This is great for sending to family or friends who don’t have a computer.
You can always copy your photos to your mobile phone to show your friends. Take a look in your mobile phone manual to see what options you have available.
This is a book created / printed by professionals but with all your precious photo memories and creations inside. They come in various sizes, shapes and finishes.
Taking good quality photographs of your miniatures doesn’t have to be difficult!
Here are a few more tips to help improve your results.
If you have the option to manually change some of the settings on your camera, the ones to give you the best results are as follows:
- Set ‘resolution’ to maximum – this will ensure the files are as large and detailed as possible. You can always reduce this later, but you cannot increase it.
- Set ‘quality’ to maximum – these settings are sometimes shown as Super Fine, Fine, Normal and Low.
- Set the ISO (or sensitivity) to the lowest number – depending on your camera.
- If you’re photographing something small, try looking for a macro option on your camera, usually shown as a flower head, as this will allow you to focus on objects very close to the camera.
Landscape or Portrait
It may be worth rotating the camera by a quarter turn and going for a portrait rather than landscape image – especially useful if you want to cut out unwanted background.
Angle of view
Get the camera in line with the subject and try to avoid taking a photograph of something from above.
Fill the frame
If you want to capture a specific detail get in close and fill the frame.
Avoid dust and dirt
Always check for specks of dust, dirt - or even fingerprints - which could end up magnified when you zoom in or get close to your subject. Use a small paintbrush to get in all those nooks and crannies.
If your photographs are coming out blurry or you don’t have much light, try using the self-timer on your camera to avoid any movement caused by depressing the shutter button.
Have you ever taken a picture of your dolls’ house, only to find the results fail to do justice to all the effort and imagination you’ve put into making your house look beautiful?
Don’t worry, help is at hand. This updated series of tips previously published by The Dolls House Emporium for stills (and now with added info for when you want to film a short video on your phone or digital camera) to share with other enthusiasts, your family and your friends.
Let’s start with the camera you use.
Make it digital
There are many good cameras around, so any digital one will do the trick! Using digital also allows you to easily sending your pictures via the Internet or share them online at facebook or Pinterest.
Avoid blurry images
Use a tripod! If you haven’t got one then any sturdy surface such as a table or stool will be sufficient to prevent the camera from moving when you take the picture. And because the camera is stationary, you can concentrate on composing the shot you want to take.
If you’re shooting a video, you’ll still need to stabilise your camera: although many cameras have built in digital stabilisers you still can’t beat a tripod. If you’re using your phone or don’t have access to a tripod, then rest your camera on a chair or a book while you’re performing!
Get the lighting right Try to use natural light and never flash. If you’re outdoors, the ideal lighting conditions are on an overcast day – this gives a much more natural and softer light than when the sun is directly overhead.
If you’re indoors, use the light coming from a window and always photograph with the light behind you, not straight into it.
That’s because the camera’s in-built light meter will register the brightest light and you’ll end up with your dolls’ house in shadow.
For video, the best result will be to turn on all the available lights in the room. Try to shoot when daylight is available – the sun is a massive light… open your curtains!
Think about the background
Make sure you only photograph what you want people to see and not items in the background such as plants or furniture or overly patterned wallpaper.
We have many sent in with a cluttered bookcase as the background!
Try to move your work in front of something neutral, a plain wall or plain coloured sheet behind the subject.
You could even create some sort of backdrop that will enhance your subject such as painting a seascape on an old white sheet to give the effect of a coastal village.
Wired for sound
If you’re talking about your project on video remember to speak calmly and accentuate your voice.
Most camera microphones are on the front so if you’re behind the lens, remember to compensate for this and speak ‘loud and proud’!
More tips tomorrow! In the meantime, here's one of our own most popular videos, the new Chateau!