Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Steep Learning Curve

When it comes to taking photos of jewelry, it's always been a bit of a struggle for me. I would easily say that photography has never even been a hobby of mine, so I have had a long road! A while back, I found a great sale on a "photo shop in a box". It came with this white pop up box, two lights, and a tripod.
{Yes, that's a rock in my photo box!}

I have gone back and forth on using it. When I first started my Etsy shop, I wanted a natural feel to my pictures. Since it was summer, I shot all of my pictures outside, in my backyard. It wasn't until after I had everything done that I realized that "natural light" isn't the same thing as "direct sunlight"... Tough lesson learned. So with an Etsy shop full of overexposed photos with gargantuan, black shadows, I pulled out the pop-up box again.
The two little lights were never quite enough for good light. But, I've discovered that if I put the pop-up near windows, and used the lights, it was pretty good.

So knowing that the weather changing means no more outdoor pictures, I wanted to find a way to make my indoor shots feel as natural as possible. I had heard from some of the other jewelry makers in the Etsy forums that they use flooring tiles as backgrounds. What a great idea! There are so many great stone tiles with beautiful texture and color. So, I went to Lowe's and picked out two tiles - one with creams and tans, and the other with a more rusty orange color.
So I brought the new tiles home, only to find that they are {somewhat} larger than my pop-up box.
So I had to start thinking. My husband offered to cut the tiles in half, but I didn't really want to go down that road. It's not always easy to get a necklace photographed without a bunch of crap showing in the background! So, I knew the tiles would stay as is.

I decided instead to find another way to diffuse light, without the pop-up. I decided to make white tissue paper my ally. So I cut a couple of squares of it.
And I taped them over the lights, like this.
I do have to be careful with them, because the lights get {really} hot. If I work for too long, I can start to smell the scent of burning paper. But, it seems to diffuse the light pretty well. And if I set each light up, with one on each side, it cuts down on the shadows.

So, I brought in a few stones from around the pond in our backyard, where I took my pictures in the summer. I add in some props here and there, and I can take my pictures indoors.
So I'm making the best of it, and setting up my little photo studio a bit at a time. One thing I've never figured out is how to use the tripod. I have to get my camera into some funky angles to get most of the shots I take, so how can I make use of the tripod? If you use one, leave a comment and let me know how you do it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi there. Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts!!!