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Pictures of cards on your website

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  • Pictures of cards on your website


    I'm in the process of setting up my card making business and am sorting out a website.

    Photos taken of my cards propped on a table etc look really dreadful and I've tried scanning the cards but if they aren't completely straight they look a bit pants! (plus the scanner doesn't pick up all the colours and show the cards off to best effect)

    How do you all get your cards looking so professional on your websites???

    I'd really appreciate some tips!

    Many thanks, EJx

  • #2
    Feel free to have a look at mine but I don't think mine look very professional - plus I haven't done anything to the website in ages! My husband took my photo's and he just tried lots of different angles/settings on the camera before he got it how he wanted it. I'm going to re-take mine at some stage and Mr Media recommends photo software to make the best of the pictures. I might try that out at some stage too.
    Hope this helps
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    • #3
      I scan all my cards and then use Photoshop CS2 to straighten them, tidy up the images etc. Photoshop is not a particularly cheap option but I use it for my designing too. There are other graphics packages available and I have even heard there is a free one called 'Gimp' available but as I have no experience with it I wouldn't like to recommend it other than a possible option.
      Anice xx
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      • #4
        I'm responsible for the pictures of greetings cards on my wife's website. You can see them to determine whether my advice is worth anything!

        Some hints are:
        • The most important thing for high quality photos is lighting. You simply cannot fix it after the event no matter how great your editing software is. You want the light to be as soft as possible. Make sure that you have a big window or two, but without direct sunlight (a bright overcast day is ideal) - have the cards facing the windows. If you must use flash, do it with a proper flash (the kind that comes off the camera, such as with an SLR) and bounce it off a white surface or backwards into a large white umbrella. You could also use a softbox. The idea is to get the light coming from all directions to avoid that "harsh" shadowy look. With a point and shoot camera with built in flash, the results will always be poor - switch it off.
        • Don't get too close to the cards as this may cause distortions. Camera lenses are at their best quality midway through their zoom range, and if you zoom in a bit your own shadow is unlikely to get in the way.
        • Use a consistent background for all your images. You can get rid of this later if you have an editing package such Photoshop Elements (which isn't too expensive) using the Magic Wand. If you want a white background, you'll find it difficult to actually get this white unless you have a second flash to overexpose the background. For a smooth background, use a large sheet of sugar paper that doesn't have any creases. Set it up so that it's a smooth curve that you can stand your cards on and when viewed through the camera fills the entire background. To make the background out of focus, use a large aperture (small F number) - getting it out of focus is actually easier with an SLR compared to a compact camera at the same F numbers. The more you're zoomed in (and further away you are), the easier it will be to get the background out of focus as the depth of field is narrower.
        • Make sure your shots are in focus, and use a high enough shutter speed, or tripod, to ensure that you have no motion blur. Make sure you are facing straight on to the card when taking the photo, and if you are looking down on it slightly (so you can see the back of the card), keep your angle consistent.
        • Make sure the colour balance setting is correct for the lighting on your camera, otherwise the colours on your photo won't be true to those on the card.
        • Once you've got your files on the computer, use a package such as Google's Picasa, which is free, to change the contrast. If you've taken a photo of a predominantly white card card, you'll probably find that the camera underexposed it (the camera guesses that your card is 18% gray and exposes according to that). You'll need to increase the contrast and/or brightness to make white white instead of a dull gray.
        • Use Picasa's export function to export sizes of image that are suitable for your website.
        Hope some of that helps!

        Pete Bowman.


        • #5

          Pete, i am going to copy and paste your advice into my documents folder - great hints... thank you!

          for all your cardmaking supplies!


          • #6

            I use Photoshop as well, but I'm still learning how to use it! Not quite there yet but your welcome to take a look.



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            • #7
              I photograph my wife's cards as straight as possible, and then crop them so that the background is not visible. Sometimes I need to rotate or skew the image a little bit, but it's easier to get it right when taking the picture to start with.

              The best light to use for photography cards (I find) is diffuse daylight. Flash or lightbulbs just don't do as well for colours. Pictures can be adjusted on the computer for contrast or colour balance, but daylight is always best.

              Here an article which has some further tips for you: Take Better eBay Photos.

              Last edited by craftyfox; 11-02-2007, 12:24 PM.
              Make Money While You're Online with the revenue sharing toolbar.


              • #8
                Card Photos

                As my sister (fellow cleo crafts business partner) said Pete gave really good advice.
                As a wee extra idea, I also find it good if the card is placed flat onto a piece of white cardstock. I use repositional glue dots to keep my card closed for the photo and to hold it flat against the background cardstock. I then place the card in direct sunlight and take my picture from directly above. (To take my photo i set the camera to the flower setting.... this gives it a sharper focus). i then load the photo onto the computer and crop it using a photo package. At the minute i use fine pix to edit my photos....i used to find the kodak photo package very good... itr allows you to crop the photo to the exact size of your card - even if it is an irregular size.
                Hope this helps a little.
                Cleo Crafts
                for all your cardmaking supplies!


                • #9
                  i photograph my own stationery for my website, I just use my kodak digital camera on the close up, take absolute loads! cause they are easily deleted and for the backgrounds I use a peice of black silk, throw some flowers or hearts etc (something to match the cards) and hey presto, well I'm happy with mine anyway and I'm no computer person so its the only way I know how.
                  I do crop them after on
                  Hope that helps x
                  Deanne x

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                  • #10
                    My attempts at photographing cards also met with problems - especially as my cards would not lie flat. In the end, I abandoned the camera and settled for the scanner - despite the fact that colours aren't always truly represented. I'm afraid that you may need to persevere to get your cards straight when scanning, though some photo editing software packages have a tool for straightening crooked piccies.
                    Mod edit - please at least introduce yourself before advertising!


                    • #11
                      I scan all of mine unless it's got something on it that's very 3d. It does off the colour sometimes though. I've got free software with my lexmark that allows the card to be previewed to check it's straight before it scans.


                      • #12
                        Hi I dont have any experience of phographing cards just thought id mention if your looking for a good basic free software you can download Picasa.
                        I have photo shop elements but still use Picasa when i can as its so easy and uncomplicated. Just how i like it lol


                        • #13

                          The best way to take professional photos are with a Canon SLR Camera, well i think anyway because my partner and i have one and its excellent, but don't forget they are very expensive to buy, unless u take photos all the time including of your cards then it's well worth investing in one the range from £350 upwards just for the body then the lens are from £100-£1000 with the better lens the better picture quality etc...

                          Hope this helps Love Donna xx
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