Tuesday 26 February 2008

365 / 189 & 190 - Buttons and Photography

My mother has left now, so it's straight on the computer to update my blog. How sad is that? Oh well...

On Sunday night (day 189) I finished the buttony brooches I was working on:
Then last night (day 190) I picked more buttons and started work on a few more butterflies and some brown moths:
Today I got a chance to take some product photos of the newly finished button brooches, and have also been chatting to fellow Etsian urbanwoodswalker about how I take my photos so I thought I'd write a post about it :)

As most of my pieces are small, I'm lucky in being able to use windowsills in my house (normally the kitchen windowsill as the light is round that side of the house when I have the time to take pictures) as my "photo lab". Sometimes I use a bit of white paper as a backdrop, sometimes I use a white kitchen tile (the reflections can be troublesome!). When I take pictures of my mobiles I often have to drag my kitchen table over to the windowsill and stand on a chair to get my shots!

I take a LOT of photos of each piece from all kinds of angles, always use the macro function on my camera (absolutely vital for close-up shots) and never ever ever use a flash. I recently discovered how to use the white balance on my camera and now absolutely swear by it. I use my camera's "white balance preset" function which measures the light and sets the white balance accordingly. I keep resetting it every few minutes as the light can change so rapidly, especially with the British weather! (you can see in the workbox shot above how the light had gone slightly yellow by the time I'd taken that photo and I was lazy and didn't adjust the settings). The white balance allows you to knock out that annoying blueish tinge and can make your colours more accurate - I've posted about this before, here.

Once I've taken all my pictures I upload them all and choose the best ones in terms of light, colours, focus etc and crop them nicely to get rid of the excess white space like this:Sometimes the light turns out to have been fantastic, and I put off the cropping session and instead rush back to take more photos! Other times I have to scrap the lot and retake them another day because the colours have just not worked or they've all come out too grey. I do have the option on my photo editor to "brighten" photos but I use it very sparingly as colours can really quickly become distorted (the background looks more white but all of a sudden a mid blue looks baby pale, etc; I would much rather have accurate colours than a true white background) and often natural light will do the trick perfectly - like today, lovely light! Apart from the cropping, this photo was completely unaltered:


bonnie said...

thanks for sharing that~~~
i have so much trouble with photos.
love those button brooches.

Jess littlebunny.etsy.com said...

i love those brooches!

edward and lilly said...

Thank you for sharing your tips, very helpful!

Sandy said...

Buttons, buttons, buttons....who doesnt LOVE buttons! I know I do! Thanks for sharing your lovely crafts.

fi at moose and bear said...

i have such a hard time taking photos, and yours are always so good!! the tea cup brooch is fab btw!