A lot of people have asked me how I take photos of my jewellery and I've been promising a tutorial for a while, hope it makes sense - just ask if there are any questions and I'll do my best to explain in more detail. I'm not completely sure where this tut should go, so let me know if it needs to be moved somewhere else
How to get your photo looking like this:
***Take a large lid (or tray, or similar) and fix light bulb fittings to it. I have 7, but you could use more. I keep forgetting to buy more but the amount I have is fine. I've then used a cardboard box, cut the top off and cut in a window then lined it with white paper. The bulb tray balances on the top and plugs into a nearby powerpoint. Only use energy saving lightbulbs for this as they are much cooler than normal lightbulbs and therefore much safer. Remember that energy saving bulbs take a mintute or two to get to there full brightness.
This is the box of light bulbs that I use:
and here it is taken apart:
*Arrange your item as you want it to appear and take your photograph with a digital camera. I use a Canon Ixus 400 (Canon Powershot S400 in the States but is discontinued there according to my research!), its a small easily portable camera.
*You need to adjust the white balance on the camera to make sure it comes out white and not yellow. How to do this varies for each camera but its a very important step!
*I don't use the flash, just rely on the lights, but if you are photographing a particularly reflective item it helps to cover the lights with white paper or tracing paper to reduce the glare and reflection.
*If you have trouble arranging the item inside the window put a sheet of white paper on top of a tray or book and arrange the item outside the window and place the tray inside once its ready.
*Upload the pic to your computer.
The next steps I do using Gimp Image Editor (www.gimp.org), and I have no idea how to use any other photo editor so I'm sorry if you don't have it but I can't help!
*Open your picture up in Gimp, then you need to adjust the levels which are in the navagation bar under "Tools" > "Colour Tools" > "Levels" like this:
*You move the top bar of the level (badly circled in red!) to the left to adjust the brighness of the photo like this:
You can play around to get the brightness that you want. You can see in the "Input Levels" window that there is a black peak - you will want the arrow to be pointing somewhere within that area for your picture to change to the best level of brightness.
*Then I crop the photo so it looks like this:
*Still a bit grey around the edges so use the largest brush to touch up the edges like this:
I've outlined the ones I use in red. You can change the size of the brush to suit the size of the image.
*And here's the final photo:
I really hope that this helps some folks. It took me ages to find all this out, but now I know how to do it taking photos for my website is easy and I actually rather enjoy it now
If there are anymore questions just ask and I'll do what i can to help, and if i can't I'll ask my husband who knows way more than I do!