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Saturday, 20 April 2013

A (more) boring post... no death, just photographs

So, I keep being asked how I make my photographs 'pop' out so much, how I get them so stunningly beautiful, awesome and all round wonderful. Ok, I may have made up some of those accolades but you get the gist.

First up, a confession - I know nothing about cameras. In fact I'm not even sure what make my camera is. I do know that it's red, if that's any help? I can see you all furiously scribbling notes now - 'buy red camera'. Perhaps not. It says 'coolpix' on the front. Anyway, the point is I don't think it matters that much. It cost me around £70, no big flashy things here :D

The most important thing is to shoot your pictures using natural light, preferably outside. If you use the flash or have a lightbulb on, I find it really distorts the picture and colours. There may very well be a way around this but my basic knowledge does not stretch that far!!

Take a white sheet of paper outside and put your object on it. You need the light to be bright but not direct sunlight because if it is too bright you will get deep shadows.

Use the macro button on your camera to take detailed close ups - on my camera it is a 'tulip'.

Make sure your flash is off.

Take your picture.

Upload your picture to your computer and use a program such as Picasa, which can be downloaded for free here.

Upload your photo in to Picasa. Using the 'commonly used fixes' tab, choose to 'crop' your photo. One of the options is 'square', use this to make your photos the right size for Etsy so that when you upload them to Etsy nothing gets chopped off.

On the same tab click both Autocontrast and Autocolour.

Then switch to the 'Finely-tuned lighting and colour fixes' tab. On this tab put the 'highlights' slider up as far as it goes while keeping the true colours of your picture. It should make the white background really pop.

Then do the same with the 'shadows' slider, not too far, just enough to give the depth back to your picture. This bit is trial and error, you'll soon learn what looks best.

And that's ermm it :D

Here is a picture before Picasa:

Here is the same picture after Picasa:

You can also use the 'retouch' button on the 'commonly used fixes' tab to take out any fluff or fingermarks on the background paper etc.

If you have no outside space then there are many tutorials on how to make a light box on the internet, try this one.

Hope that helps all you Etsians!

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