Tutorial by Kimberly Mowers (aka: zaum)
Thank you Kimberly for your free advice, it is greatly appreciated!!
Let me first say that I AM NOT A PRO!! But perhaps something in here will help..
Ok.. the first photo I sent is of the set up where we shoot. If you don't have light and umbrella stands, dont worry, it's no
big deal. It just makes shooting alot easier, and if you want a set, you can get them on ebay for about $120. 2 light stands,
2 lights, 2 umbrellas. That is what I have set up here. If you use umbrellas, point the light away from your table, and facing
the umbrellas. You want the light to reflect off the inside of the umbrellas, and onto your bags. The backdrop is a large roll
of white paper. I just tacked it to the wall, draped it over the table, and let it go to the floor. On the sides of the white
paper are two large pieces of white foam core. I just taped the sides of them to the table and the wall. You want them
slanted out a bit, like opening up to you. Not too much though. The point of these is to reflect the light onto your bag, and
keep the color neutral, to block out anything else in the room that the light might reflect off of.
If you are using the photo stands and umbrellas, you need bulbs called "photoflood" and you want daylight bulbs. I use
5oo watt bulbs. they come in 250 or 500. They are blue. This way, you can also shoot any time of day, and not have to
block off the windows. (For example, if you were shooting with tungsten lights, you would have to block out all daylight, as
the colors of the light will be different) Daylight reads blue on camera and film. Regular house lamps and are yellow.
If you don't have the photo lamp set up, and don't want to buy one, there is a simple and cheap alternative, which is to buy
clamp lights. They are very cheap. I would use about two or three on either side. (I only put one in the photo) Just clamp
them onto the tops of the foamcore. Point them not directly onto your bag, but towards the opposite piece of foamcore.
this way, you are getting the reflected light instead of the more harsh direct light. I think you can buy them in any hardware
store, and they should only be a few bucks each. For these, you should also buy "daylight" bulbs. You can buy those in the
supermarket or hardware store too. They are for household use, in the lightbulb section, just look for a label that says they
are "daylight". ( I use sylvania brand)
If you don't have a tripod, you can use anything tall enough to set the camera on.
As far as shooting, I have always been a 'traditional" photographer, and only recently have ever used digital cameras, so I'm
sorry, but I dont know much about different cameras! We have an olympus camedia. On the camera, we can choose the
quality of the pic. Always use the best quality if you have a choice. (highest resolution) You can always make the images
smaller afterwards, but you can't make a higher quality pic from a low quality original... so.. we shoot on high quality, and
also for the smaller items we shoot, we use macro focus. For our larger bags though, we just shoot on portrait or
landscape, and they look fine.
If you want to try photoshop, it's really simple, I'll just give you a quick run down, and if you are interested in trying it, I can
go into more detail later..
open the image in photoshop. The first thing to adjust is "levels".
Go under image, than adjust, than levels. bring each little arrow to the first black peak on either side of the black peaks.
Thenyou can go under image again and go to brightness/contrast. I wouldn't use the contrast too much, as you don't want
your bags to look too harsh. Under image, you can also adjust the color balance. I don't use this much because with the
daylight bulbs, the color is already very good.