A long, long time ago, in galaxy… You know the rest. Back when I first started making jewelry, I got books and asked questions in order to get better and broaden my horizons. I made pieces you can probably see on my Facebook Fan Page in an album. You see, I had all this jewelry and thought it was time to try and sell them. I took the advice some people gave me and opened an account on Etsy. Then it hit me. I have to take pictures and put them online. I bought an HP digital camera. It was simple to use, and I thought I was on my way. The pictures weren’t just right. I had a friend look at them and being a freelance photographer, he took a look at the pictures and gave me advice on how to make them better.
It was back to the drawing board. Taking his advice to heart, I found a magazine that helped me take better product pictures. Now, with a little ingenuity and a better camera, I am leagues away from where I was. How did I do this? How do I take the pictures I do now, and why do I prefer a digital camera over a cell phone camera? Read on, my friends. I will explain why and even give you a little advice along the way.
These were taken back when I was on Storenvy, and I used the camera on my Windows Phone. I really don’t like the phone, but when you don’t have a digital camera, you have to use what is at your disposal. I had the necklace display sitting in a window, as my lighting was in storage along with my wire racks I use to make a light box.
This is a pretty rudimentary set-up, but it’s lacking a little professionalism. It’s simple, gets the job done, and showcases the piece, but it could be better. I could have controlled the lighting by placing a white sheet or white plastic table cover on the window, but I compensated by using the exposure settings on the cell phone instead.
I love the camera on the windows phone, because it allows me to choose a scene, ISO, exposure, and light balance. Other phones I had weren’t near as techy with this part, and I had an Andriod and Crapberry Torch (long story). They only let me set filters on the camera for the cell phone, and not the shutter speed or anything else.
I use GIMP for further white balance and to filter out certain aspects, leaving just the colors that are supposed to be there. I am planning a video tutorial on what GIMP is, how to use it, and also how to optimize your pictures. Now, on to the other pictures.
I threw a LOT of terms your way. Let me explain some of them:
ISO- This lowers the sensitivity of the image sensor. This means the lower the setting, less light will come into the aperture, or opening of the camera.
Shutter speed- This is the length of time the aperture is exposed to light. This is also known as exposure.
Scene- This setting on a camera tells the camera how to focus the scene it is about to capture. There are usually backlight, night, portrait and macro scenes on a camera. The macro is for close up shots, a crafter’s best friend in capturing details.
White balance- This setting on a camera allows the camera to adjust for the type of light you are using; fluorescent, incandescent, low-light, and so forth. It’s sets the filters to compensate for the light.
Now that we’ve covered the vocabulary, let’s move on.
On the left, you have a new picture I took with my digital camera in a more controlled setting. I made a make-shift lighting box and used two lamps for cross light to try and minimize the shadows. I also used the following settings:
F-stop 3.9 (This also controls the light and what the camera focuses on)
White Balance- Incandescent
I also leaned the camera, which was on a tri-pod, closer to the product. A tripod lets you adjust the height of the camera, and holds the camera steady, even when your hands are shaking. This is why I prefer a camera over a phone other than having more setting options.
So, that it’s it. If you want to see the video tutorial:
If you would like to see my light box:
There you have it. I hope this helps.
Until next time, God bless and stay crafty!