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View Full Version : I've Been working on my Photo Skills....What do you think?


dawnann
09-24-2004, 05:06 PM
Hi all, I have been playing with my camera after reading all the post on Photo taking.....I actually have a Macro Button, LOL....Please let me know how to improve these shots...I took them outside with no sun. Thanks all, I really love WC! Dawn

thatgirl
09-24-2004, 06:01 PM
Hi Dawn!

Love your beads - the second set in particular grabbed my attention! Well.. I'm no photo expert, but I have been playing around the last few days with background colors. A lot of people recommend purchasing the photgraphic 'grey card' to take photos of their beads on.. since I've been having a heck of a time trying to find a stockist here in Australia for it, I decided to try and make one myself. All I did was find a picture on the web of a grey card, saved it to my hard drive, then I used Paint Shop Pro to print a full page of the color. Here's the results of the last few photos I took on my 'makeshift grey card' - I took these photos in the early morning (10-11 am) on an overcast day in my office - I used macro and also manual mode.. and set the white balance to 'auto' (ignore the 'click for larger view' I've added to one of the pictures!).

I couldn't believe how much better the beads looked with this simple piece of paper used as the background.. normally I take my photos on a white background and then have to spend ages 'tweaking' the photos to get the colors right - this time all I had to do was crop the image and add the border.

Not sure if this info is helpful or not, but I've also included the 'snippet' of grey card below that you can use to create your own background.. just enlarge it to fit a sheet of paper and print it out.. see if it helps! If you're not sure how to do that, just email me and I'll happily send you, or anyone else, a JPG image of the grey card already sized to fit a standard piece of paper and you can just print it out.

Cheers,
Sue :cat:

dawnann
09-24-2004, 06:40 PM
Hi Sue, I took some of the pictures on grey felt(you can see the fuzzys) I tried to grab the color off of the snip but could not figure it out. Your Pictures are GREAT! Could you please send me the grey color Jpeg to [email protected] Thank you very much, Dawn

kissmyglass
09-24-2004, 07:56 PM
Dawn , your beads are fantastic! I do think you a little more from your light source. I am taking a little private class now from a photogragher with my new camera and beads to improve my non-existent photo skills soo I can appreciate how hard it is to get a photo that good!

thatgirl
09-24-2004, 10:28 PM
Hi Dawn!

I've just emailed the JPEG to you.. I hope it works for you! Anyone else who wants to try it, please feel free to email me and I'll send it across. :)

Cheers,
Sue :cat:

Hi Sue, I took some of the pictures on grey feltou can see the fuzzys) I tried to grab the color off of the snip but could not figure it out. Your Pictures are GREAT! Could you please send me the grey color Jpeg to [email protected] Thank you very much, Dawn

dawnann
09-24-2004, 10:51 PM
Hi Dawn!

I've just emailed the JPEG to you.. I hope it works for you! Anyone else who wants to try it, please feel free to email me and I'll send it across. :)

Cheers,
Sue :cat:


Thanks! It worked great! I'm printing it off right now. God Bless, Dawn

margaretz
09-25-2004, 01:15 AM
The pictures look great... true to color, but I think they could be brighter. I agree with Sue- I think having a solid color background will help this. Despite a few cautions against it, we use a white background. I found sheets of craft foam at the dollar store in all sorts of colors, and the white reliably produces the best results for us. Matt takes the photos in a plastic bin on its side, with the foam draped in the back. We set the bead/ set up and photograph from in front of the beads, rather than on top. For some reason (I'm not the photographer) the light just looks better that way, and we're able to get much brighter colors. After photographing them, we use Photoshop to adjust contrast/ levels if needed to get them really true to color. We don't spend much time on this- perhaps a minute or two per bead. Hope this helps you! (A few examples are below)

LadyArowana
09-25-2004, 01:43 AM
Hi Dawn,I agree with everyones comments about the grey background, I have a piece of suede that I put on a table outside in natural light. I think you might have cropped some of the pix a bit too close to the beads ( great work on them BTW esp the 2nd set, my favorites ), a teeny bit more background to frame them might be better. Fiona

jbriz
09-25-2004, 06:29 AM
I have worked with photography a great deal over the past couple of years with an emphasis on closeup photography (love doing closeups of flowers...), but I still find photographing beads difficult! Anyway, I am passing on a piece of info given to me from a photographer friend of mine about depth of field (area in focus in a photograph). The deal is this...when shooting in macro mode AND with the camera up close to the subject, the camera has a tendency to have a small area in focus. If you look at your first photo, the beads in the background are slightly blurry. It's not so evident in your ones on the deck because they are flatter to the camera. Anyway, I couldn't get everything in focus when there were subjects further away so here's what my friend said....

"The best dof (depth of field) enhancers in my experience include: (1) crank up the f/stop to f/8.0, (2) make sure the camera is on macro mode, of course, (3) secure the camera firmly on a tripod and fix the subject firmly in place, (4) move a bit further away from the subject (this may be the most important thing for you to try), since I seem to get better dof the farther I get from the subject - this is a tricky balance - you don't want to get so far away that the subject pixelates when you crop into the image to get the macro effect, but too close and the dof goes too weak for my tastes. "

Hope this makes sense to you. I found moving my camera further away helped a whole lot. Now mind you, I'll STILL learning myself trying to photograph the beads, but maybe this will be of some worth to you..... If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me and I'll see if I can help.

dawnann
09-25-2004, 09:10 AM
Thanks EVERYONE! I'm going to be playing with my camera and trying all the suggestions that you fine people made. I'll post some pictures when I'm done. Have a great weekend, Dawn

dawnann
09-25-2004, 09:12 AM
The pictures look great... true to color, but I think they could be brighter. I agree with Sue- I think having a solid color background will help this. Despite a few cautions against it, we use a white background. I found sheets of craft foam at the dollar store in all sorts of colors, and the white reliably produces the best results for us. Matt takes the photos in a plastic bin on its side, with the foam draped in the back. We set the bead/ set up and photograph from in front of the beads, rather than on top. For some reason (I'm not the photographer) the light just looks better that way, and we're able to get much brighter colors. After photographing them, we use Photoshop to adjust contrast/ levels if needed to get them really true to color. We don't spend much time on this- perhaps a minute or two per bead. Hope this helps you! (A few examples are below)



Your Beads are BEAUTIFUL.....Dawn