November 15, 2010

Photo Redux

Morning all, thanks for popping by.  I've been recovering - from a computer crash and some health issues, not a good combo. But I'm back.  Working again like a little mad elf before the holiday rush.  Since most of what's been going on has been catching up and production work, I thought I'd share some before and after photos with you and some photo tips. 

The before shot - too dark.  The composition needed work - too much metal in the foreground took the focus away from the earrings.

The updated photo - better lighting and cropped closer to the subject.  I like the little addition of the sprig from a bush out of my front yard.  This pair of earrings sold the day after I changed the photo. 

Wowzers - way too dark and did nothing to flatter the earrings.  Bleah, bleah, bleah.

Now there is the stuff - love the lighting - nice diffused sunlight.  You can see the sparkle of those crystals and the flowers (from MissFickleMedia) much better.  Hmm, same composition as the photo of the other pair of earrings - that must have been working for me that day.  With the new Etsy photo dimensions of 500 pixels wide, horizontal pictures seem to work better for the first photo.

I photograph with diffused daylight next to a window. I have white sheer curtains to filter out harsh shadows. Another trick I have been doing to improve the lighting is holding a piece of vellum above the jewelry while I'm photographing it, the light reflects off the paper and seems to help the camera adjust better to the lighting.  (I'm not a techie camera person, I'm sure there is a reason for that little bit of magic.)

I use the window seat in my studio and stack up some books so that my photography area isn't at a back-breaking angle.  A trusty tripod is a must for good photos.  Simple backgrounds and props add some interest, they relate to my nature-inspired brand and hopefully they don't distract from my items.  And where would I be without photoshop to crop my images, sharpen them and adjust the brightness if needed. 

My favorite background for my photos is an old piece of slightly rusted metal that Jess found.  Other things I've used for backgrounds include scrapbook paper, old books opened and closed - love old linen covered books - embossed ones are even better.  A painted canvas with white crackle paint has been fun but works best as a background for small objects/beads. 

If you want to improve your photos - this is a must see!

What is your favorite background for your product photographs?


TesoriTrovati said...

Thanks for the tips Heather! I didn't know about the 500 pixels. Gah! I was just getting used to the other number (whatever it was!). I have it on my to-do list to update the shop this week (with my new schedule allowing for that time). I will have to watch this later. I have been having lighting issues with the changes in the season, so I need to do something, crack open my light cube, or at least get out my lights and some vellum I just found. Thanks again!
Enjoy the day!
P.S. I hope you are on the mend. I am thinking of you!

Pretty Things said...

Thanks for the video and your examples! And I hope you're feeling better!

Alice said...

Thanks Heather for the great tips! I have a light box and still can't get good photos. I'll be wandering around the house tomorrow to find some diffused light. Do you use a flash?

I hope you are on the mend!!! Take care!

Jen V. said...

Great tips! Every little bit helps. I get the daily shopping updates from Etsy and I'm realizing more and more just how important those pics are...and they just keep getting harder! haaaaaaaaa

rosebud101 said...

I use a fabric background. I've tried so many different things, even with the little tiny holes showing, it's better than it was! Glad you're feeling better!

Outstanding Stranger said...

Thank you so much for the photo tips. Shooting jewelry is difficult with the small size. I love your work and stop by often...Love and Hugs, Diane

Heather Powers said...

Hi Alice - I don't use a flash. Do you use a tripod? That makes a big difference with when using the macro setting.

Do Be Do Bead Do said...

With my "store" opening for business next week this couldn't have come at a better time for me. The only thing my work lacks is a good photographer! Thanks, Heather, you rock!