Sunday, 21 February 2010

How hard can it be to take a photo?

"Very" is the answer to that question when it comes to making your artistic creations look attractive to potential buyers.  I used to be not bad with a camera. That was in the days when people put actual film in cameras and printed real photos.  I used to even develop my own photos and print them.  Mind you, I only did black and white myself. I left the colour developing to the professionals.

My eyesight was better then as well.  I can still see the subjects of my intended photographs clearly enough.  I just can't read the damned buttons or displays on the camera.  I am using a digital SLR camera that was my husband's.  He bought himself a fancy new all singing, all dancing number last year.  What I didn't appreciate until yesterday was that his cast-off camera is automatic only so I couldn't play with things like the aperture size, depth of field or any of that stuff even if I could read the buttons and displays.  This was a huge disappointment.  It means I need to be more inventive when it comes to taking photos.

I've read hints and tips about making a light box but I've never had the time or the energy to really have a go at that yet.  I saw photos of earrings being displayed hanging elegantly from wine glasses and thought I'd try it. 
Yes it worked for some things (if you get the right shape of glass) but it doesn't work for everything.  I have a lovely soft, black pashmina thingy that I've also used to display things on but dark things don't really show up properly.

Yesterday I think I stumbled on a good idea.  I had made some earrings using antiqued copper, topaz crystals and polished garnets.  I thought they looked pretty nifty but the photos told a different story.  So last night I went up to my photographic studio (my bedroom) and looked around for inspiration.  I have a tiny white soap stone box that's inlaid with gorgeous colours so I took that and tried draping stuff across it. Then it suddenly occurred to me to try using it as a tiny light box for the earrings.  Look at the difference!  The photo on the left was taken on top of a bed throw and is all fuzzy and wouldn't persuade me to buy the earrings, never mind anyone else.  The one on the right, with my soap stone light box shows of the shapes and colours and is actually in focus, which is a bonus.  It might even persuade someone to buy the earrings. What do you think?

I spent ages last night taking more photos of things that are already in my Etsy shop to try and improve their appeal and show off the colours and shapes better.  I think I've made a bit of progress but my photography skills need a lot of practice and I think I need to borrow my husband's camera and work on making a light box.  It appears that image is everything.

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