Thursday, October 27, 2011

What Makes a Good Photo?

Some of my photos turn out well, and some just don't. Why? I enjoy setting up the shot, using props and arranging the woven piece to show it off.  My biggest challenges are how to get the color to show up correctly and the lighting to be even across the piece.  A light box, you say? Maybe I'll try this one day. For now, I photograph outside under shade, usually at the beginning or end of the day. (Like before and after work.)
A few weeks ago, I took a one-day digital photography class at the local junior college. The instructor, Jeff Luhn, has a super-impressive resume and was an excellent instructor! The biggest lesson I got was about setting the white balance on my camera.

Here is one of the guitar straps that I made last week. I did a great photo shoot one evening. Loved the composition of the photos and most of them came out crisp and clear. But, the color was much too blue (see above photo). The next day I tried it again after setting the white balance on my camera. The photo at right is a much more accurate representation.

Also, in this example, it is obvious that the first one (on the left) is much more blue than the second one (on the right). The one on the right is more accurate.
Although my camera (Canon PowerShot A560) has many lighting presets that I use, this one "Custom White Balance" allows me to get a reading from a piece of white paper and tells the camera to use this as the basis for it's information. Each time that I set up to shoot some product photos, I need to repeat this process for the exact lighting situation that I am in at that moment.

I also plan to experiment with the location to get the lighting more even. Mr. Luhn demonstrated several ways to get better lighting and one of the things I think might be affecting my shots is the reflection from the white stucco walls when I set up to close to them on the front patio. I'll let you know.

These are two of the six new guitar straps listed in my Etsy shop this week and it feels good to re-stock. 

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