Monday, 4 February 2013

Photography tips & Tricks * EtsyMetal Blog Carnival

This month's EtsyMetal blog carnival is about photography tips and tricks. Here are some things that I learned either by trial and error or by searching the endless sources of the web.

1. Use a white box
The shadows and the shiny surfaces of silver usually were very harsh before I started photographing inside a white box. With the white box they look soft and natural. I made it my self, using a cardboard box and transparent paper. It's not high-tech, but it's very effective. It's very easy and I found the instructions online. Use the terms "diy white box" or "make your own white box" to find instructions like this

2. Natural light
I find it much easier to photograph my pieces in natural light rather than artificial. I put the white box and the piece in a position so that the light comes from the side and not facing the object.

 3. Use a reliable camera
I use a Canon PowerShot G11. I use it for some years now, and it has saved me a lot of time of corrections in the computer and has made these tasks simpler and quicker.

4. Color correction
Most photos need some color  and contrasts correction when I upload them in my computer and I usually use basic photoshop settings for this job.
To correct the color tone I use: Image → Adjustment →Auto Color.
To correct the lightness I go to: Image → Adjustment →Auto Levels. This is many times enough. If the photos need more adjustments I do them manually, using: Image → Adjustment →Curves until the lights and shadows of the image are balanced.

5. Backgrounds and styling
Well, this is a matter of personal taste of the maker and the result of experimentation with different ideas and materials. I prefer the settings to be neutral, so I have an assortment of different papers, from pale to deep grey.  I lay them inside the white box and curve them towards the top as they touch the back of the box, so that the background will be uniform.
I place my object on the paper and then I try to photograph it from different angles and show the back or any other detail that gives a more full picture of it.
If I need to use another object, as a support for example, I try to use something simple that does not distract from the jewelry or that enhances its idea (it can be an apple, a stone, a pebble or a pine cone).

Valentine Heart Earrings *

Sweet House Earrings *

I usually end up with 20 - 30 photos for each piece, from them I choose about 10 and then 3-5 which I finally upload.

6. Pieces on the body
When I can, I try to photograph the pieces worn, so that there's an idea of the scale of the piece and how it looks on the body. I take many shots (trying not to be very close ups) from which I chose 1-2 in the end.

3d Rose Earrings *

These are the things that work for me. I'm very interested to see my teammates' tips and ideas and learn some new things:

Lou Hunter:
Laura Jane Bouton:
Mary Anne Karren:
Deborah Lee Taylor:
Abella Blue:
Evelyn Markasky: