Saturday, January 13, 2007

Photography

So I offered to show people how to take better pics of their craft work this morning on Treasured Scrapbooking. I thought there may be some others out there interested as well! Here we go:

I'm lucky that my work table butts up against a window. It lets in lots of natural light and is fantastic for taking pictures! Not only because of the light, but the sheers are a perfect backdrop to my cards!

I actually prefer to take pictures at night, when it’s dark behind the sheers, because well... they're sheer and you can sometimes catch a glimpse of the swing set and sandbox in the backyard beyond my window. To take care of this, I pin a white piece of cotton cloth up on my sheers. This is still thin enough to allow light in, but thick enough you can't see through to my messy back yard! This cloth is long enough to cover the work surface of my table and actually drapes off the front end.

(If shooting at night I simply place a piece of white paper under my object to create the all white look that I prefer!)

I have on my work table a good old swing arm lamp. In it I have a “natural light” light bulb. It’s closer to daylight than a regular “soft white” bulb and is wonderful for crafting purposes and as it happens, for photography purposes as well! I swing the arm of the lamp over so it is directly above, but slightly behind the object. I mess around with it until there is no glare.

In front, slightly to the right of the craft item I have a Mary Kay demonstration mirror. I picked it up at a yard sale. Before I found this little gem I was using a man’s shaving mirror, and it was OK, but the Mary Kay mirror is longer so it casts a better reflection. I adjust the mirror so that it is shining directly on the face of whatever I’m photographing. It’s not to make all the shadows disappear, but to make them appear less harsh.

When I first started snapping pictures I would try to take at least 10. Yup! Ten! That way I can file through them and pick out the best one. I change my position every time I snap a frame. I’ve gotten better at it in the last few months and am able to take only 3 and end up with a perfect shot!

After I’ve got the shots I want I go back and edit and post my pictures. Easy peasy!!

Here are the steps in a more precise list:
1. Set up a neutral backdrop in a well lit area, use natural light whenever possible
2. Be aware of picture distractions and do what you can to minimize if not eliminate them
3. Use mirrors or other reflective surfaces to catch your work in the best possible light.
4. Don’t be afraid to change positions and experiment with your pictures.
5. Take more pictures than you think you will need.
6. Have fun!

4 comments:

Dale Anne said...

FABULOUS tips!!!
I enjoy reading your blog....GREAT JOB!!!

Anonymous said...

thankyou so much for this tutorial, saving the day for me..
Connie paxman

Stampin Jen said...

Wow I wish I knew this like a year ago!
Stampin Jen
http://crafts.webstore.com
Buy & Sell 4 FREE

Tammy H. said...

Thanks for the tips. I just got a natural light lamp for Christmas for my craft desk and love it. Can't wait to see how the mirror will work. I will try it and see.
Thanks again!