Friday, August 22, 2008

Studio Series ~ Part 3

(aka a short photography lesson)

In an anonymous comment yesterday, some one said they would like to see my photo set up. I think they were surprised to see that I didn't have a big tent or dome set up with dozens of lights and a tripod.

My set up is fairly simple, and very inexpensive. I am set up on the top shelf of a short three shelf book case. I use a basic foam core poster board as my back drop and it is all lit with two lights. The bulbs are 5000K bulbs I bought on eBay, like THESE. The lights themselves are at any home improvement store. They were around $10 each.

Once the lights are on, I get a nice pool of light to set up my beads or jewelry for their glamour shot. Most of the time I can set the pieces up right in the center. But sometimes, I'll set something directly under on light or the other. It makes for less of a shadow.

These are my photos as they come out of the camera. The only editing I did was to the image size. My camera shoots the photos at 180dpi and they come out around 14" x11". I change the dpi to 72 (computer monitor size) and change the image size to what I want it. Necklaces are usually 10 x 7.5, and bracelets are 8 x 6. Don't ask my why, it is just what I do.

Once in Photoshop, I can crop the photo, adjust the white balance (levels), and sharpen the blur. And the photos then look like the one you see above. I won't get into how exactly to edit the image while in photoshop. Every version is different and I really only know my version. Basically, look for "adjust levels" and experiment from there.

Aren't these beads yummy? I am so much happier with the color combination now. And I have already started playing with the design I need these for. It is for one of the two new books I am contributing on. I have 11 tutorials and finished pieces due by Oct 1. I got to get my butt in gear.


pam said...

Thanks that was very helpful, my pictures look like your first picture. Must check out photo shop. My computor only makes the beads brighter sometimes losing the color that they are.

Michele H said...

Thanks for sharing. I found this very, very interesting. I always wondered how you got such beautiful shots of your jewelry. What's interesting to me is how "dark" your original shots look and how bright and colorful the modified shots look. I've used white felt as a background for some shots I've taken. I think the key is the super bright light.

Kerry said...

I am glad this could help. You really don't need to spend a ton on a photo studio to take good photos. But, editing software is a must. I think Photoshop Elements is what a lot of people use. It is a more basic, user friendly version of the big honker program that is out there.

Jo said...

Ummmm...definitely yummy!
Thanks for the look at your photo set up. I'm constantly working on mine, and need to get it sorted for taking photos in the winter. Definitely need to get photoshop elements.

Anonymous said...

Miss K, I LOVE those beads!! Fabric inspired?

ellen said...

I have the exact same photo set up.
I also use a black background.

Wiley said...

Thanks for the tips! I need all the photography help I can get. May I ask what editing software you use? I have Photoshop Elements... Thanks!

Kerry said...

I have the tradition BIG version of photoshop. But, I have worked with photoshop elements and it should have all the things you need to edit the images. Look under "image:adjust:levels", it should help whiten the background. I also use the paint tool to clean up dark edges.

I am glad you all are enjoying the mini tutorial.

Dana said...

Thanks so much for showing your picture set up, that is going to be so helpfull to everyone trying to photograph jewellery. Your beads are fab also.