EJR Beads

Author Topic: Photography  (Read 3615 times)

KMD

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Photography
« on: April 24, 2011, 10:31:11 AM »
Ok, so we all highlight marketing, but thats no good without great photos for etsy or Folksy ect, what do you all do to get great pictures, I have used several methods and am finding Im maybe making it too complicated, I have resorted in using a white A3 sheet of card, and daylight, no good on dull days.

I am thinking on rigging up a Half moon frame with daylight bulbs allaround it do you think this would work?

should I add props or backgrounds like leaves ect. I expect everyone here has the same problem with clashing backgrounds as Polymer clay jewellery is very colourful and all different colours?


Karen

ejralph

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Re: Photography
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2011, 12:01:37 PM »
When I started out selling art beads online, about 10 years back now - the fashion was very much for plain white background, not to distract from the beads or jewellery.

And I tend to still do the vast majority of my photos that way myself. I use a light tent with a couple of fluorescent desklamps either side for illumination. Although I do some of the basic white balance adjustment with the camera settings, the real magic then comes in photoshop to fully adjust the white balance, crop the picture etc.

There are purests out there who feel every bit of colour-balance should be done with with the camera and lighting and that photoshop should not be required. Let's just say each to their own and I am not a purest.  ;D  Other non-purests might find the following tutorial by Helen of Beadybugs useful http://www.beadybugs.co.uk/documents/PStut1-whitebg.pdf if you want to crop your beads and have a white background.

As for background props - I have mixed feelings. When it is done right, it really can lift a picture to the next level. And certainly nowadays the fashion is much more for "styled" shots rather than a pure product shot.  But sometimes the things people choose for a background and the way it is framed etc just looks confusing and clashy too.  I guess with Etsy, by having more than one photo you can really do the best of both words. Give some styled shots and also a product / close up shot where people can see the details clearly.

I think props for photos tend to work better when they are neutral - peices of driftwood, grey rocks or seashells, monochrome sheets of text or musical score for example. But I could well be hideously out of touch there too these days. I guess like anything its a great idea to research things like designers websites, fashion mags, high street chains etc and see how other people are selling products these days. Just seeing which photos you like and which you hate and finding out why can really help isolate which direction to take your own product photography in.

I think your idea of rigging up a frame with bulbs will work, but could be overkill. You might get just the effect you need with a couple of bulbs at 45 degree angles and something to diffuse the light so there are no harsh shadows. A lot depends on your camera too really. I think we all just cobble together a system that works for us through a bit of trial and error!

Emma

Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
www.ejrbeads.co.uk Projects, articles, bead galleries & more
www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop Art beads, clay & jewellery supplies

KMD

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Re: Photography
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2011, 09:40:25 PM »
Very good advice Emma thanks,

I have used 500 watt work lights either side my tent they got extremely hot lol but still produce a yellow tint.
I dont want overkill I just want quick and easy so may stick with my method at mo get a couple of lights like you say.

I do play with photoshop and I think my photos are ok but keep getting told by others i could do better lol

Karen


ejralph

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Re: Photography
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2011, 09:56:31 PM »
Check your camera to see if it has different settings for the white balance. That can elimate much of the yellow cast.

Also, in photoshop you can correct the white background and bring it back to white also - which usually makes the rest of the colours behave I have found.

I just use flourescent desk lamps, so they don't have the heat problem and the light isn't too yellow either.

Another must is a tripod. However you frame a shot, you need it to be in focus and the tripod goes a long way in ensuring that.

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
www.ejrbeads.co.uk Projects, articles, bead galleries & more
www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop Art beads, clay & jewellery supplies

polynana

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Re: Photography
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2011, 10:11:23 PM »
On dull days I use a couple of daylight bulbs outside my light tent, one either side .The bulbs give a pure light so there's no yellow tint. You can get the bulbs from craft shops, they are a bit more expensive but I've had mine for a couple of years now.

Nafta

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Re: Photography
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2011, 10:16:42 PM »
I bought a couple of daylihjt bulbs but ended up taking my shots with a micro lense, by the window and trying to avoid shadows. The magic is then done using photoshop. I will post some pictures I took for my husband as soon as I can. He has many times been complemented on then an even asked for tips! :)
Natalia

polynana

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Re: Photography
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2011, 10:36:14 PM »
I use the macro setting on my camera and use serif photo plus for my editing, I love it

ejralph

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Re: Photography
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2011, 06:58:35 AM »
ooh yes - good point. Use the macro setting on the camera too!

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
www.ejrbeads.co.uk Projects, articles, bead galleries & more
www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop Art beads, clay & jewellery supplies

Grubbi

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Re: Photography
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2011, 02:52:54 AM »
If you're getting a yellow tint, try using the "tungsten" mode, that should eliminate it.

krielj

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Re: Photography
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011, 03:29:05 PM »
thanks for the beadybugs link Emma - that's really useful. I had a go at making a light tent but my pics were still rubbish. I can only get nice clear ones on my windowsill on a really bright day.

averilpam

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Re: Photography
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2011, 08:15:04 PM »
All my best photos have been in daylight without too much sun.  If it's sunny I stand so I'm casting a shadow on the jewellery otherwise I get areas whiting out.  I have a small light tent but only one small spotlight lamp and the photos are never as good.  It always takes me ages to get the white balance right in photoshop and I'm never very happy with the results.  I'll have to come up with something better by next winter!

KMD

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Re: Photography
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2011, 10:29:15 PM »
That tutorial is very cool!! I have a play nextweek. 
I need more hours in the day ;)

ickledookie

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Re: Photography
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2011, 12:58:48 PM »
I tried quite a few ways until someone suggested a light tent, they are fab!!! I use a daylight lamb & deliberately painted my craftroom bright white to get the best out of my pictures. I'm quite close to the window to so also get tons of natural light. Works a treat!