Frequently Asked Questions about my photos
I've been asked by quite a few people how I get my photos to look good, what equipment I use, etc.
I figured it would be easier to just post a page with some information to answer all of those questions.
First off, most of what I learned, I learned from a very skilled friend of mine that majored in photography and now owns her own studio in her home (The Family Room Studio). It's been a process of learning and one of the things that she taught me is that it's not necessarily the camera that takes good photos, but the person behind the camera.
That being said, here's the answers to those questions:
* What kind of camera do you use?
I use a Nikon E990 (digital). It has 3.34 megapixels. Now, while that doesn't sound like a lot, it just goes to show that even if you have a low number of MP, you can STILL come out with crisp, clear and well lighted photos.
This camera is actually about 10+ years old and was given to me by that same friend that owns the photo studio. While it's not the smallest of cameras, it has been a great learning camera and has definitely given me the capability to do what I do. Eventually, I'll be in the market for a new camera, but for now, this has been pretty loyal to me.
* What kind of lighting do you use?
Over the warmer months, I took all of my tutorial pictures outside on my desk, sitting at my deck table. I used a white poster board underneath for my background.
Now that winter is here and I can't sit outside to do my tutorials, I sit at my desk inside, which is right in front of a window. I pull my blinds up to allow the natural lighting to come in. I also use an OTT-Lite to even out the lighting.
* How do you photograph your projects to show such clear detail?
I use the macro mode on my camera to hone in on the details.
Here's a really great article on how to use the macro mode on your camera, specifically those of us using point & shoot digital cameras:
Macro Photography Tips for Point & Shoot Compact Digital Cameras
* What do you use as a background to take pictures of your finished projects?
I love to use the pieces of white cardboard that come in the packs of Designer Series paper that Stampin' Up sells. They're 12 x 12 and work really well to set up quickly, propped against something out on my deck railing.
It's the perfect size for taking quick pictures of cards.
I've seen other blogs that explain how they take their pictures and have seen really ingenious rig-ups of poster board and ribbon to create a seamless background.
Here's some great articles to create your own photo studios:
* What kind of Software do you use to edit your photos?
I use Adobe PhotoShop CS2. It's a pretty beefed up program, but I LOVE everything that it offers me, even though I'm still learning how to use everything it has to offer.
Most photo editing can be done on the software that came with your computer, though. You may not have the top line of what is out there, but you can still learn to make the most of your software just by playing around with it, practicing with it and researching its functions on the web.
I also use a plug-in called iCorrect EditLab Pro 5.0 to correct the colors on my pictures.
Here's just a quick shot of a start to finish shoot of one of my cards.
You can click on any of the pictures to see a larger shot in a pop-up window.
3. I set my camera in macro mode and find the angle I want to take my picture at. I allow my camera to focus itself on the card then take the picture. This picture shows what my picture looks like BEFORE I adjust colors, bring the exposure back and crop. Because there's so much white in the background (not to mention the snow in the background), the camera underexposes the picture. When I do my editing, I play with my levels to bring the exposure back to the photo.
4. This is my finished picture after I've used my plug-in to color correct, then cropped the photo, "healed" the seam where the two pieces of cardboard meet and brought the exposure back to the card.
Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions and I can add them to this page.