Monday, 20 August 2012

Trying to Improve my Product Photos

Not much has been happening in my world over the summer, last week I was taken out of action after a summer virus finally caught up with me and wiped me out, but I'm better now so I have a lot to catch up on.

During my week of blahhh, I decided I wanted to improve my product photos so that they have a pure white background, I've been currently using a large artist canvas outside in daylight with some photo editing with Picasa 3 to brighten the images.  With the majority of my products this has been working really well and for some images the pictures edges still appear a little greyer than I would like.

Almost perfect - improving product photos - Polymer Clay Necklace
Almost perfect - improving product photos - Polymer Clay Necklace

Still a little grey around the edges  - improving product photos - Polymer Clay Charm Bracelet
Still a little grey around the edges  - improving product photos - Polymer Clay Charm Bracelet


Unfortunately with my latest creations I have struggled to capture the pieces at there best, the whiter I make the background, the more I lose detail on the product, they blur into the white background and so I have developed a real bee in my bonnet about getting the photos right and White!.

Far too grey for my liking  - improving product photos - Polymer Clay Necklace
Far too grey for my liking  - improving product photos - Polymer Clay Necklace
I decided to create myself a light-box from cardboard, to use with two lamps I previously purchased from Ikea, to find out how you can do this I have listed some blog post tutorials below.  Sadly for me it did not work well, despite the wonderful help on twitter from @StillerDesigns who explained lots of different ways to try and improve my box and photos.

My handmade cardboard light-box - improving product photos

Despite many attempts and much fiddling my photos where either too yellow or too blue, after my lovely husband worked out how to change the white balance on my camera, I thought I had it set but alas it still did not work.  I then decided to go back to trying the canvas with the balance adjusted and trying out taking photos at different times of the day for comparison.

It was at this point, I became very frustrated and found myself hunting down new cameras within the price range of £500, after all a camera at the price has to be good right?

Then late on Saturday night, whilst browsing and catching up with blog posts I discovered one on photography by CraftBlog UK - Craft Photography Tips, its a brilliant post on craft photography and also provides links to more phorotgraphy tips, including Hilary's of CraftBlog UK own posts on the subject.  Hilary herself is a keen photographer and her posts on photographing with a mid range compact camera have really opened my eyes that there is so much more to learn than just pointing and clicking, I obviously have a lot to learn.

My current camera purchase has now been put on hold and I am determined to learn how to use my current camera to the best of its capabilities, to fully grasp and understand the different settings so that if I do purchase a new camera in future I will be fully aware of what I need from it, rather than presuming that the higher the price the better the camera.

Learning how to use my camera to the best of its capabilities - improving product photos
Learning how to use my camera to the best of its capabilities - improving product photos
This post is part of Handmade Monday with Handmade Harbour

Resources  
  1. Craft Photography Tips by CraftBlogUK
  2. How to make & use a lightbox to improve your product photography - Handmadeolgy 
  3. How to create an inexpensive photography lightbox - WikiHow
  4. Build a photo lightbox - Wired