January 28, 2011

Just some photo tips today

I won't be making cards today, my brother is coming into town tomorrow to celebrate my birthday (My birthday isn't until February 6th.) I'll be 22.

But enough of that, I want to talk about something that I feel that anyone who sells their items online, hand made or not should know more about; photography.

I see so many bad photos on etsy. They are blurry, they're too dark, or the lighting was too harsh. So here are some tips on how to make things better.

This is the most important thing when taking photos of your products or any still life really. When I take photos of my cards I use natural light. But I don't do it in direct sunlight, I do it in the shade. this way, the shadows aren't so harsh, they're soft and diffused.

Another way you can do it, a light box. You can buy these at photography supply shops, but they can be VERY pricey. There's an article on etsy.com about it.

Forty's Foto Tips, #2: Make a Light Box

2. Crisp, Clear Photos
Never EVER use blurry photos, retake them if you have to. You can buy a tripod to steady your camera. Try ebay or Amazon if your strapped for cash. REALLY strapped for cash? Keep your feet shoulder length apart, bend your knees slightly, hold your camera with both hands and keep your elbows out. STILL can't get a good photo? Man, your really bad at this aren't you? Okay, try something else to steady your camera, stack some books to either rest your camera on or your elbows on. There, now you have no excuse for a blurry photo.

3. Photo Editing
Invest in an editing program or find a friend who has one who will let you use their computer (be sure to bring a CD or thumbdrive, I'm sure they wouldn't want you to leave your photos on their computer). I use Photoshop 7.0.... Yes I know, it's a dinosaur compared to the newest program but it works. To brighten, go to Image, Adjustments, Levels, or just Ctrl+L. See that little arrow to the right of the grid with what looks like black mountains? Slide it to the left until your happy with it then press ENTER.  After that, try using curves, which is under Levels, or just press Ctrl + m. Looks like a graph doesn't it? Click on the section of line that is in the upper right corner, once you've clicked on it drag UP. This will cause the whole line to curve upward and brighten your photo further. Once you're done with that click ENTER... Lookin good there!

Once you've done all that you can play with color balance, This one I can't really help you with because how you use it depends on you and the photo that needs editing. So don't be afraid to play with it. Another one to play with is brightness/contrast.

One last thing...
 Have fun! Get some different angles and close ups. You should treat your photos like they're a work of art, not just a record of something you made.

I hope these tips were helpful!

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