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Thread: Lighting help

  1. #1
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    Default Lighting help

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    I've taken pictures outside, built a light box out of cardboard and tissue paper, put daylight bulbs in my lamps and nothing works. My photos look rubbish and the colours are never right. I've also tried to stick to a plain white background but now I'm not sure that's right either. Everything looks dull and drab.

    Someone visited me yesterday at a fair and basically said along the lines of "I looked on your website and throught your stuff wasn't that good, but now I see it for real its really well made and striking"

    It just really hit home that I'm never going to get online sales if I can't get the photo's to truely reflect the items.

    What lighting does everyone use? Any suggestions greatly appreciated

    cj

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    I use natural light, usually in my brightest room which is the bedroom. Lay a couple of sheets of white paper down and then snap away.

    But I then photoshop the images to make them brighter and crisper.

    I do have a huge proper lightbox in the garage but could never get the best of pictures from it as I couldn't position a lamp properly.
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    Natural light works sometimes, but still hit and miss

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    How about a lamp right over head? That way there should be no shadows, or that is the theory.

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    I use a light box mostly which I light from both sides, but again they dont always turn out fantastic and need editing.
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    I always photo my window decorations in natural light against a light background. I have exactly the same problem that the colours hardly ever look right so I always have to manipulate the photos using my graphics program before adding to the site. Usually it is the contrast and brightness that needs some tweaking - I keep going until the colours look the closest to how they should without losing the image quality.

    It is very difficult to get the photos right online and I explain to people all the time that the photos in my online shop don't do justice to the finished article (it is even written on my site!)

    Trial and error is usually the name of the game and when you find something that works (e.g. I always have the light from an angle rather than straight on) photograph all your pieces in the same place/light to have a consistancy.

    Good luck with it.

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    Thanks for your replies.

    Hils, how do you light your light box? I bought 3 daylight energy saver bulbs, which I shine through the top and the two sides, in 'old money' these are the same as 2 x 60 watts and 1 x 100 watts, but still not enough light!!!

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    CarolineJ is offline Member So much more than a moderate crafter
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    What sort of camera are you using? Is it one where you can adjust the exposure or, even better, set the white balance? When a camera sees a big expanse of white or black, it's very reluctant to record it as pure white or black - setting a custom white balance will help or you can set the camera to overexpose by 1-2 stops. Alternatively, if you have something like Photoshop Elements, look for a command called Levels. The version of Elements I have has three eye droppers, one black, one grey, one white. Clicking the white one and then clicking the lightest part of the white background of a photo tells Elements that's the lightest part of your photo and it adjusts the colours accordingly. Doesn't work so well with silver though, it blows out the highlights.

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    Hi Just had a quick look at your image and they look fine, I think things always look better in person. My glass is really hard to photo especially to capture the depth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolineJ View Post
    What sort of camera are you using? .
    Thanks for your advice, I'm using a semi auto camera, which whilst not being a true SLR it does allow me to manually set things, I have to admit to never really getting to grips with it though!! I will have a go and see if I can play around with it. I think in general I just can't get enough light in the light box and get too much reflection in direct light and even sunlight (my leather has a acrylic shiny finish)

    cj




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