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Topic: Photographing Your Products - A Couple of Tips  (Read 7993 times)
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« on: February 08, 2004 05:13:48 AM »

i'm just wondering if you guys have a special set-up for photographing your creations for your websites?

i've been having a few little probs with lighting... i've been using the 'close-up' mode on my digital camera for small objects such as jewellery, but when the flash goes off it tends to bounce off objects, creating glare. i'm thinking i'd be better off using lamps and such, and turning the flash off?

also i'm not sure about backgrounds... white seems too harsh...

any tips and info would be muchas welcome  Grin

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
-George Bernard Shaw
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2004 06:50:00 AM »

I've been having a lot of problems with the lighting myself!

I put my stuff on white background though. Because when the picture comes out a little dark, I find it a lot easier to fix that in Photoshop when the background is plain white.

But I know what you mean. White can be a bit boring too.
I'm just waiting for the spring so I can take picture of the stuff outdoors.
Better lighting and much more interesting background!
You can put your items on the green grass, on a stone, among some flowers, just think of all the posibilities!

Oh..I wish it was spring...

« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2004 07:25:29 AM »

Yea!  Something I know about!  There is plenty of light outside to take pictures as long as it isn't raining or snowing or such...  If you are taking pictures of your item, you want a plain background so you don't detract from the item - a white background - I like the look of white fleece kind of drape-y.  a couple of folds gives interest and do not use a flash!
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2004 08:32:16 AM »

Keep some cream colored fabric on hand as well.  Some items will look better on cream, just like some people look better in cream than white.  Also, some dark fabrics are good to.  When I got my digital, I picked out a couple sample objects and played around in different lighting with different background.  I've read some digital camera books since and that is what they suggest because each camera is slightly different.  Also, try the different settings, if you have them, on your camera.    I found I have the hardest time with closeup photos like those your asking about.  So you are not the only one. Smiley
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2004 08:46:41 AM »

The best way for your photos to come out looking nice, and even proffesional, is to never use the flash! It messes with the colour, making everything look washed out in a weird way.

Instead, use a couple of lamps at different angles. Sometimes changing the bulb in the lamp can make a huge difference. What looks really nice though, is if you can get the light to shine a certain way so that it looks like there is a rim of light on your jewelery....it will look like the sun is shining inside!

I'm lucky though.....my boyfirend is a lighting technician for film, so i get help in this area. But one thing he taught me, was that lighting is an artform in itself. That's why some movies or photos look so much better than others.
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2004 11:46:01 AM »

When I photograph "shiny" items for my site (www.craftology.net) such as hair pins or bags with shiny vinyl to get rid of the glare I turn off the light and leave a small light behind the camera on and then I use the flash too take the picture.  The flash in the darkness gives enough light so that the glare doesn't show up.
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2004 05:26:54 AM »

In college, I was taught how to take slides of my art work so that they would look professional. It was actually pretty easy and I think a lot of the same ideas can apply here. Basically, we draped a light gray paper and arranged the piece on the paper and lit it from the sides with cheapo lamps from Home Depot. The ugly silver ones that clamp and can rotate. Then we played with the light until it looked good. I think we may have used a special light bulb, too, but I don't think it was 100% necessary.

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. - Maya Angelou
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2004 07:52:20 AM »

I've also always heard that not using your flash is best, when possible. Also, my sister-in-law is a graphic artist who has done a lot of catalog and magazie work - she says - there is not a picture you see in a professional catalog or magazine that has not been re-touched or altered in some way! So don't think you are not doing a good job taking pictures because they don't look like the pros - the pros have a lot of help.

If you don't have/can't afford Photoshop to work on your photos, try either Paint Shop Pro (I think it's under $100) or check out this article at TechTV.com about free image editors - Gimp is supposed to be almost as good as Photoshop!


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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2004 12:26:40 PM »

Hrmmm...I haven't heard the one about not using a flash.  The way I take pictures of my scarves is that I put a piece of white fabric on a counter with my scarf on it, stand on a chair, and with the overhead lights on I use a bounce flash off the ceiling so that I don't get these weird shadows from the overheads.  My pictures turn out pretty well that way, and if there are any problems, I fix them in photoshop.  But as mentioned previously, I can't wait until spring to take pics outside of stuff!  

« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2004 10:23:07 AM »

I have also found that my items photograph best outside, in direct sunlight, and with no flash.   We even tried setting up a little make-shift studio with those clamp lights from Home Depot, but the pictures just came out looking "cold" and dull for some reason.

For a background, we ended up liking the look of plain old plywood....   http://www.sirensport.com/shop/category/detail.aspx?id=005|620-179|620-104

One issue I am having though:  I can never seem to get reddish colors (rust, pink, etc) to photograph true to color.   Does anybody else ever have this problem?  Any suggestions??


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