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Topic: How to take good pictures of my stuff?  (Read 1792 times)
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« on: June 05, 2006 05:15:53 AM »

Well, this is the dilemma, you can craft beautiful stuff, but on pictures they look damn ugly! I own a simple digital Nikon, is it possible to take good, warm and clear pictures with it? I appreciate advices! Wink

« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2006 05:22:50 AM »

Definately use SUNLIGHT!

Take your stuff outside on a sunny day when the sun is roughly overhead. If you do a simple google search, there are many photographers who offer simple advice on how to take good photos, but they invariably say sunlight is best.

I would also reccommend a realtively unlcuttered backdrop (maybe a plain cloth or something) so that your items are clearly the topic of the picture and the focus of the viewer.

Also, take multiple pictures of the same thing. Try slightly different angles. When you are done with your shoot you can look back on the pictures you took and pick the best ones. Don't underestimate the value of cropping a photo. Even the simple free editing software you got with your camera will suffice for this.

If you have access to photoshop, use that as well. Use "curves" ( a tool in photoshop) to optimize the lighting.

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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2006 05:30:59 AM »


Use natural light where at all possible, and as much of it as you can.  Make sure your item is lit evenly, so you arenot casting shadows.  You'll need to investigate settings on your camera with regard to white balance so that you don't end up with blue-white or yellow-white photos.

Photograph your goods against a plain dark coloured background for light things, and a light background for dark ones.  Keep thing simple, and the background uncluttered.

Find out if you have a macro lens setting, and if you do then use that for close ups and details.

Check out these tutorials on lightboxes for taking good photos - they are for jewellery, but might work for other items:



Hope this helps!

« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2006 05:38:31 AM »

Are you shooting large things or small?
Yes, use natural light.  Or use fake natural light, a blue "photoflood" bulb.  You can get one of those silver dome like clamp on lamps and put the bulb in there, and then direct the light where you need it.  Photoflood bulbs are an excellent alternative if you can't really use sunlight.  Or in addition to it, if you dont get enough in your house.  And get a big WHITE sheet or foamcore board, or anything big and white for a background!!
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2006 06:07:24 PM »

hello. i have the same problem. I'm trying to start a business and recently began photographing everything. it is really hard for me to get a decent photo, let alone one I'm really happy with. the tips about natural lighting are right on. that is how i get my best pics. i don't know how you are with digital camera's but I'm lost. i don't really know what all the functions do so i play around. i take the same pic using different functions like a million times. it is time consuming but i have fun with it. I'm not really sure what your products are but these sites might be helpful.

http://www.theswitchboards.com/switchboards_articles.html   ---> has a good article about taking professional looking photos and using photoshop (sadly i don't have photoshop)

http://www.home-jewelry-business-success-tips.com/    ---> has tips on photographing jewelry but I'm sure they would be useful for other things as well

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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2006 08:20:35 PM »

One thing that really bothers me on Etsy is when photos of wearable items are not taken on a person, like scarves for example.  A scarf on a body looks 100x better than a scarf thrown on the tile floor (there's photos like that, and they wonder why they haven't sold anything...).  I think it gives a better idea of how it would look on you as opposed to seeing it laid out.

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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2006 05:49:21 AM »

Put wearables on a dressform, or a ballon head for hats, or something body-like. Jewlery can be flat, but use macro mode on your digital. That's for close-up shots. If you have no other plain background, a white sheet is great. Pin it to a tree or something and (for a dress or similar) put the dressform in front, drape it carefully (like for school photos) and snap away! for the small stuff just lay it flat and snap. If I had that picture my hubby took of his mini, that would be a great example of what to do... even if the background is busy... (he used a movie poster as a background, but it looked great!)

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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2006 07:19:05 AM »

I just bought a Styrofoam head for my hats-to-be. That never would have occurred to me before reading this.

Any suggestions for purses?  Should they be held or just displayed? Right now I improvised something using my camera's timer and running in front of the camera.

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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2006 04:30:12 PM »

Any suggestions for purses?  Should they be held or just displayed? Right now I improvised something using my camera's timer and running in front of the camera.

If you have a dressform, you could hang it on the shoulder of the dressform and take a picture that way.

If you're like me (I am dressform-less, though I hope to get one in the near future), I sometimes hang the bag on a hook on the wall and try to take a picture that way. I put socks or something small into the bag just so it doesn't flop around.

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« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2006 02:00:05 PM »

Here is a photo of my "photo studio" it is basically a sheet over a TV tray set up in my yard! It is easy to set up when I need it and easy to store when I don't!  I use a sheet that is not stark white, it is an eggshell just slightly off-white.  I get less glare that way and it seems to warm up the photos a bit.

Oh ya....my new puppy thinks my "photo studio" is a dog house!

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