Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Photography Conundrum

I recently had my Etsy shop critiqued and the one thing that really got me down was the comments on my photography. I've always prided myself on my photography skills and I've even been published but I have to  admit, product photography is HARD!

So I set out to build a better set up.When I ran across a build your own photo tent on a jewelry designer's blog, I thought it was something I could do.

Her blog recommended an used large priority mail box.  The top and two opposing sides were cut out and replaced with vellum. The front was cut away and wrapped with aluminum foil and placed in the rear for more stability. A photographic paper was laid in the bottom and lights were placed pointing in the three vellum windows. I'm not posting links to her tut because... as you will see, the set up didn't work for me...


I will say that for round one, I did not have matching lighting... I had one flourescent overhead and two incandescent lights on the side because that's what I had at home. I also took my big fancy smancy light box apart and put it in the bottom of the cardboard setup.  This is the raw photo followed by my color correction in photoshop:


I noticed that some of the high-silver beads I had seemed blurry in this set up so the next day I purchased 120 watt equivalent matching fluorescent lights and removed the lightbox and replaced it with white matte coat cardstock. And the photos got WORSE!

I could not remove that ugly yellow tint from the fluorescent lights... and the photoshoped colors are hideous... So... I went back to what I've been doing... outside on my bannister with a notebook of cardstock in indirect light.

Not perfect but... as close to the real bead as possible! In the end, I wasted several days and still have no idea how to take better pictures!


Glass bead Bobbin Necklace is here.

10 comments:

CalliopeCreations said...

Me too. I've purchased, made and done without light boxes and nothing seems to work for me. I've been researching this since way before I started on Etsy but still fight with the clear white background and color accuracy. I'll keep trying but it's an uphill climb.

Aulani Photography and BH Giveaways said...

Well I love the last shot after you corrected it! :)

I am running around with some not hot shots of buttons and magnets but I dont have a choice until I finish orders and add to the pile of "new" pics and boy what a difference.

Maribel said...

I a new teamie, and I am scared of the critique.My photos are awful, please come by and check them out. Any tips on how to take better pics for showcasing wreaths will be exciting. I think your new photos area very cool!

Lori Bergmann said...

So sorry to hear about your problems with those new photo set up options you tried out. I think your last pic is great! Have you tried using daylight florescent bulbs made especially for photography? I use two of those on either side of a sheer white photo cube/tent and it works really well for me since I don't like to rely on natural light when we have so many gray days here in WA. And make sure to use a tripod to help get the sharpest shots. ;-)

Laura Leeder said...

Your last picture is definitely the best!

BillGuestPhoto said...

Not sure if you are using a DSLR but if you are shooting in RAW mode will save you some time, it captures a full range and makes editing so much easier! White balancing too! I have learned to shoot my products outside in natural light makes it show up the best and truest color ;-)

vintagebyrachel said...

Photograph your product is not easy, I agree ... But for me i found out that day light is the best.
and i think your last picture is nice
Good Luck Xo~Rachel

Petite Hermine said...

Great job! Your photoshops skills have worked wonders :) I photoshop my pictures too and boy, do they take up more time than one would think!

Mandee said...

Not sure if i am going to purchase a light box.

Holly said...

I hear ya - getting the lighting right is key and also a nightmare. By chance, did you change your camera's white balance setting? There are settings for auto, daylight, incandescent, fluorescent, etc. and that setting should match your shooting conditions.