It's time for the Baker's Dozen Studio Challenge. This is a monthly opportunity for the Taylored Expressions team to share what makes our stamping studios hum. Each month we have a fun, crafty question so we can share our favorites, some tips and tricks, stamping advice and more.
This month our theme is:
You oughta be in pictures!!
We all love to share our completed projects with others on our blogs and in on-line galleries. So, when the stamping ends, the photography begins. This is a fun step for some and a frustrating one for others. How is it for you?
Tell us how you get those beautiful project photos.
Since the theme of this month is photography, I thought that I would use the Oh Shoot! stamp set for my card today :) Here is the card that I created using the sentiment: "Oh Shoot!, sorry I missed your birthday!" I love that sentiment as well as all of the others in this set!
I am not a photography expert at all and I wish I had tips and tricks for how to take a good photo. One post that really helped me was reading Amy Sheffer's post on SCS about the photography tips that she uses. I didn't follow the whole thing, but it really helped me get started. So I thought I would share what I do to take a pic of a card. First, here is a picture of my photography set up if I pull back from this card. The table is usually full of stuff that I typically just shove over to one side :) but for this picture, I actually wiped my table down - it usually has the remains of uneaten crusts, smears of jelly and almond butter and a ton of paperwork - Its so refreshing to see a clear table and also I am realizing that I need to water the plant in the corner :) !!!
I use a photo box that my DH bought for Christmas for me (on eBay) a couple of years ago and set it up on our dining room table facing the windows for direct light:
I prefer to use natural light, but there times that I have to do the same set up at night, and them I use my OTT light over my box. I use a Canon Rebel 2Ti - which I really like, but is not necessary to have. The one feature that I really like about the Canon is that I can manually adjust the focus and so that allows me to sometimes just focus on one part of the card if I am trying to do a detailed shot of say just the sentiment - like in this picture below:
Here I wanted to just focus on the paper piecing of the camera, the glaze over the lens and camera, the sentiment and flash - so I manually focused in on these areas:
In terms of photo tips - I don't really know if I have any, but I will list what seems to work for me:
- natural morning light seems to work the best - by the afternoon time if you don't have direct sunlight, there can be a blueish quality to the background and to the papers on your card. I like direct morning sunlight the best (around 7am-9am)
- take the photo of your card while being level with your card - this might mean that sometimes you have to crouch down to lean down in awkward ways to be level with the card - but its nice to get a shot of the card level with your camera... also its a nice workout to get in some squats as you take your pictures :D
- try angling your card to one side which allows the dimensions on your card to be seen - I like to angle my card to both sides take lots of pictures and then decide which one or which angled picture I like the best.
- this brings up the point: take lots of pictures - its nice to have options!
Once the pictures have been taken, I upload my pics into my MAC (iPhoto) and see which ones that I like the best - I delete all the ones that I don't like and usually end up with three that I like the best - of which I see which one has the sharper image, is clearer etc. Then I open it up in Photoshop (I don't know which version I have, I think its a few years old).
- In photoshop, I change the image size (around a 4x6) and resolution of the pictures (to between 150 to 200 dpi).
- Next I like to create a little softness around my photo by using the modify feature in photoshop. I click on modify and the use the feather tool (about 90) and then select a box over the center part of my picture .
- One selected that portion of the picture will pulsate and then I click copy, click for a new file (which will be the same image size as the file I am copying from) and then making sure the background is white, I paste onto the new file and there is some feathering and softening to the edges of the photo.
- I might adjust the brightness of the picture also and might increase the saturation of the picture in case I was taking pictures on a cloudy day and there wasn't enough sunlight.
So just to show a demonstration of a before an after, I thought that I would show a picture of one of my photos that didn't make the cut because it didn't really show the glaze of the camera image. Here is the before picture - as you can see - its pretty dark, you can see the outer edges of the photo box and its not exactly straight/level:
I cropped the picture and then followed the above steps in photoshop and I kind of like how this side picture of the card turned out - here is the after:
Stamps: Oh Shoot! From Taylored Expressions
Papers: Pebbles: Seen and Noted (6x6)
Inks: Love Letter and Tuxedo Black and copics
Accessories: corner chimer, ribbon from stash, bling, glaze and Banner Stacklets 2 dies from Taylored Expressions.
The Taylored Expressions Baker's Dozen Design Team have not only amazing designers but amazing photographers and I can't wait to see their tips and tricks for how the take their photos!! Please hop along with me and check them out!
- Carole Burrage
- Charmaine Ikach
- Jami Sibley (DT Coordinator)
- Jen Shults
- Kerri Michaud
- Lynnette Kauffman
- Sankari Wegman
- Shannon White
- Shelly Mercado
- Stephanie Kraft
- Tammie Edgerton
- Taylor VanBruggen
- Wanda Guess
Thanks so much for stopping by today!