Monday, January 3, 2011

Better Photography

These are all great tips for photography. I do a lot of photos of Rosaries, which are a great deal like jewelry to photograph. I have tried several different types of lighting, backgrounds and settings on the camera. I recently got a new digital camera. I am still learning it, but have found some interesting things to do with it that have helped.
My additional tips:
1. Learn your camera. Even if you can’t access the on-line instructions, play with it. Take photos in different lighting, different backgrounds and different settings. You may take a lot of photos, but it is worth it. I have seen a lot of very bad jewelry photos. I have seen a lot of very bad rosary photos (those are all mine)!
2. Lighting. Very important, but you may be able to work with what you have. All the digital cameras I have had allow you to choose your lighting settings… fluorescent, incandescent, etc. However, after playing with all of my settings, I found leaving it on the incandescent (or it’s original settings) worked best because I could adjust in photo software.
3. Background or backdrop. I recently purchased several pieces of different colors of satin fabric. After trying photos with various pieces on various colors, white STILL works best. I still have difficulty with photographing white, but I have a royal blue piece that helps a little. Gold and silver tones are also difficult, as sometimes what works for the color of beads does not work with the color of the metal.
4. Flash. With jewelry-type items, I have found setting the camera to flash ALL THE TIME is better than allowing it to decide which is better (the auto setting). It is VERY difficult to fix lighting issues with jewelry-type items. They either become too bright or you can never get the color proper.
Some colors almost never photograph true to color. Purple is a big issue. I try to just make sure if I cannot get the color accurate or close to accurate that I list that in a listing. I also try to get several different photos. Most of my listings here and on other sites have multiple photos. Y’all are more than welcome to check out some of my photos of my rosaries. If you go to the item’s page, you can see how I list several photos for better “look see’s”.
Another tip for photos of jewelry-type items. Make use of your Macro setting. Some cameras will use it automatically. Mine does. I just learned that recently. Macro allows you to take really close up photos.
Tips for taking photos without a flash (sometimes it’s necessary) USE A TRIPOD! I don’t always do this and they come out blurry. I have one item with an additional photo (pink miracle bead cat rosary) that was taken without a flash. I have it listed as the photo is for color reference only, as miracle beads (also known as fiber optic beads) give a halo effect when a photo is taken.
I use Corel Paint Shop Pro, and it allows you to brighten photos, as well as adjust the color balance. It helps with lighting, as sometimes lighting can change the color of metal. I rarely adjust the gold-tones with the color balancing because it washes out the gold.
When worse comes to worse, I paste a photo in Word and adjust the contrast and brightness with the picture toolbar. Then, I copy and paste into Paint and save as a “.jpg”. It’s a last resort I don’t do often.
Hope this helps for all you jewelry-type photo takers. If anyone needs any additional help, contact me and I’ll try to help.
One thing I have noticed here with photos is the lack of using the editor in Bonanzle to adjust the cropping. Seeing only a partial photo is annoying. My suggestion to all those who have photos that are only partially there because the photo is too big, go in to the editor and adjust the cropping.
Another tip…
I noticed I do when I took another photo tonight. I use it when I take photos of enameled pieces or items in plastic sheets or glossy finishes.
If you have a problem with glare or shiny spots…
~ Try to take the photo at an angle. ~
When the flash hits a glossy or enameled finish head-on, it usually creates a shiny spot or “white spot”. I’m sure all those selling sports cards in the plastic protective sheets know what I am talking about. You may have to take the photo several times to make sure you get a “good” shot.
A tip I learned a long while back with any photography… ALWAYS TAKE MORE THAN ONE PHOTO!
I ALWAYS take more than one shot just in case. I hate to have to go back and set everything up again.
Several shots will help if…
1. one is blurry
2. one cuts off something you didn’t realize while taking the photo, one glares
3. one’s too dark
4. one’s too bright
Take your shots…
1. with the flash
2. without the flash
3. from several angles
4. with different backdrops – change colors to enhance colors without washing them out (here’s a tip I learned… just because a white porcelain item is trimmed in gold does not mean it will photograph well on a gold backdrop. I found the gold backdrop is rather distracting and washes out the trim)
It may seem time consuming to take so many photos, but you will be much happier with your photos in the end.
From so many photos, you will learn…
1. how your camera works with the lighting
2. how specific items photograph
3. what angle works best
4. how to make adjustments for certain colors
5. how certain metals photograph
If photographing jewelry-type items, keep this in mind…
once you find a spot – lighting, backdrops, etc. – that works well and produces great photos for your items, ALWAYS start off photographing in that spot. But, don’t limit yourself. There will always be that one piece that doesn’t work and you have to find out the best way to photograph it.
If I think of anything else that may help the jewelry-type photographers, I’ll let y’all know!
Have fun with your photos & God bless!
Sacred Heart Blessings Handmade Catholic Rosaries & Chaplets
Sacred Heart Rosaries
St Francis Paws4Critters Rosaries
~ Hand-crafted by Robyn, Hand-guided by God ~
My Online Shop:
My Bonanzle Booths:
My Blog:

No comments:

Post a Comment