Thursday, March 29, 2007

Alli's Photo 101...

There is nothing like taking a perfect photo and to be honest, I personally have so much to learn about photography that I just keep asking questions.
As I posted previously I was in awe of Kurtis' photos and sent him an e-mail a few months ago to ask him how he did it?! Kurtis referred me to a post on SCS where he had shared his photo secrets with others. Boy was I keen to learn. If you haven't been to his site, he posted part 2 of his photo 101 series. He has a LOT of good things to say. But let's be honest, you don't need a full set up like his to take a decent photo. He even stated that today. So what do you need????

1) a camera
2) a good light (fluorescent bulb is best)
3) good editing software

Ok so you are thinking YES Alli we have those things NOW what???

Are you ready to see my photo reveal space...don't it is...

YES that is it! Two pieces of paper and a lamp *lol*

I stuck a piece of paper against the wall and butted another piece of paper against it and placed a fluorescent lamp over top. I bought my lamp at W* for about $20 CAD. It has a magnifying glass at the top. I place the lamp so that more light is to the front of the card and so there is more shadow at the back. Like Kurtis, I set my camera so that the flash will not go off. Make sure you turn off other lights in the room as they may distract from the photo. I have a halogen work light that I use in my room and the lighting is yellow and makes my photos look terrible and orange! I just found that by turning off the other lights my camera does not have to compete.

I set a post it note where I want my card to be positioned. I find this help keep the card more upright especially if it is layered and has a tendency to be weighed down.

Sorry, I misplaced my other photo but this is how it should look. You can also angle the neck of the lamp towards the top of the card a little more (but not too close).

Once my "set up" is complete, I angle my card slightly (this gives the card more depth) and take a photo by setting my camera on the table. The camera stays flush with the table. You could also use a tripod.
We have interchangeable lenses so I find the one that suits my "project". Now I must tell you, we have a fairly decent camera so I know that it helps in the photo department. We own the Canon Digital Rebel XT. I highly recommend this camera and can reassure you that I am NOT a camera person and I can work this thing!!! There are many options I have yet to master but it IS possible for the novice photographer to use.
The more practice you have experimenting and taking photos the better you become. I sometimes take 2-5 photos of the project in question and decide after I blow them up which one is the best.

Photo Editing
You need a good program to edit and/or alter your photos.
I like irfanview. It's freeware.

1) I always sharpen my images.
2) I crop my images.
3) I try to make my photos even. That means I make sure that I have the same space on the left as I do on the right. I don't want my card to lean more to the left or to the right in the photo.
4) I resize my photos to roughly 400x300 or 300x400
5) I add my watermark (Cindy Keery designed mine for me)

That's it in a nutshell. There really isn't more to it than that.

I hope this has helped you understand a bit about my personal photos. They certainly aren't prefect but everyone needs to start somewhere.

Because I love to stamp and you do too!


Adelina said...

Thank you so much for that information! I've been checking back daily waiting for these tips. I'm excited to give it a shot. :-) I have the Cannon Rebel 35mm, we have not upgraded to digital yet. However my Olympus C-4000 takes a pretty good photo, so hopefully it will work. I'd love the Cannon Rebel digital - maybe Santa will bring it this year.

Rose Ann said...

Thanks so much for the tips! I definitely need to work on getting better photos. My camera is digital, but I'm not really sure what setting to have it on (need to get my book out...if I can find it).

stefanie said...

Great tips! I'm getting ready to purchase an OTT Light and I think it will really help when I'm photographing my projects!

Cindy Keery said...

Thanks for sharing your photography tips. I love the idea of putting the patterned paper under your card - what a great touch!

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic information. I also saw Curtis' photo taking hints but when I saw the photo of his "set up", I have up. He takes beautiful photos (I'm in awe) but I barely have room to stamp, never mind set up an entire area to photograph what I did. Yours - 2 pieces of paper and lamp (ROFLMAO) suits me perfectly.

Robin Stewart said...

thanks for all the great tips.


Anonymous said...

Cool! Thanks for all of the pictures. I had starting taking pictures of my cards without the flash, but the lighting has always been tricky.

ktstamps said...

Thank you. I didn't think of using one lamp...I fight with my pics to be in focus! You made my I just have to find room to do this lay-out! :) kt

christine said...

Thank you! I really appreciate the time that you took to make and share this. I have bookmarked your site so that I can reference it when needed, as I am sure I will need to!