July 1, 2010

Photo Tute From A Plain Jenn

Okay, first let me say, I am not a professional photographer. I really don't even understand half the settings on my camera (which is a Kodak MD863/ 8.2 mega pixel) here is a picture of it. The one thing I do know about my camera is the Macro Setting (this setting is a must for jewelry photos, in my opinion) mine is on the top of my camera and is a little tulip icon.

I have two places I take pictures of my jewelry. The first is in my studio, I have a photo tent (I purchased mine at Sportsman's Guide, I do not use the lights that came with the photo tent, I just didn't think they were bright enough, so I have a few different ones which all have daylight light bulbs in them, I got mine at WalMart. This photo area is in a corner of my studio near a window. I use scrapbooking paper for my back drop and for under my jewelry, I also use a brown paper bag which I have torn and then stamped an image of handwriting that I got from Lisa Palvelka's shop.
The second place I take pictures is on my front porch on a chair. I use my brown paper bag background on top of the chair. I do not take pictures in the direct sunlight, I feel the light in the photos is just too harsh (just my opinion).

So now here is my sequence for taking my pictures.
1. I make sure I have my camera set on Macro (sometimes I forget), when taking a photo with my camera a hand will show up after I shoot the picture (red=bad photo, delete; tan=kinda bad photo,maybe delete; green=good photo, keep!). At this point I don't worry about size or shape of my photo, I just point and shoot, I will crop and adjust it in my photo shop program, I'll give you the link a little further down. So at this point just worry about how your jewelry lays, take a few pictures at different angles, turn the jewelry a few different ways. I also take a few pictures from above, to the side and straight on.
2. Okay, now here comes the important part, notice the photo above is a little dark and you can see the edge of the papers and the back of the photo box, so now I edit in my photo editing. I use Picasa, this is a free editing software and I really like it (I also make my banners for my Etsy shop using this photo editing, that tute is coming soon). First I crop my photo. I use the Manual option (not a certain size) for the cropping (choose the crop section and there will be a list to choose from) and I only eyeball the squareness of the photo, I don't worry about the actual number size of the photo at all. I just make sure I crop it nice and close and sort of square.
3. Now the photo above is nice and close, but still a little dark. I now go to the Tuning tab and adjust the Highlighting and Shadows (there is a little feature on the right on this part that you can click and it automatically adjusts it for you,  I like this sometimes, but sometimes I just like to do it myself, just play around and see how you like it. After playing with the highlights and shadows I then go to the next tab which is Effects and I choose the Soft Focus, this puts a nice blurred edge around your photo.
Now this is the final picture. Tada!!
On my next post I will show you how I take pictures outside, this tutorial was done in my inside photo area.
I hope you enjoyed it and it has helped. I am not a very technical person and really learn by seeing and again this is just what I do and what I feel works for me:o)

4 comments:

  1. Jenn this is a great tutorial. Thank you so much. I use a different photo editing program but I am trying to get used to picassa and i really appreciate that you went into more depth with just how to use the Picasa program. Your photos always look so good. Thanks for sharing your technique with us.

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  2. Mistyridge-Glad it has helped, I thought it would be good to have a tutorial from a non technical person:o)

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