Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: taking photos of crafts

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,572

    taking photos of crafts

    I know there are some talented photographers here. I need some tips on taking great photos of my yarn crafts for my newsletter, patterns and for etsy. Mostly a background suggestion, and maybe lighting to show off the details for the patterns.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    4,912
    The best background will be something simple; something that won't distract from your crafts. Plain ol' white is great though you could like the slightly softer look of an off-white that has some of the primary color of the item you're shooting. If the pieces are smaller, you could just use a good-sized piece of white paper (butcher paper or even one of those pieces of easel paper so many businesses use for meetings); place one end of the paper underneath the item, curve it behind the item, and tack it to something so you're photographing against that continuous surface.

    For lighting, you want to avoid shadows unless you need them to bring out a feature of your work. That usually requires two lights in addition to as much ambient light as you can supply. Natural light is good but full sunlight is surprisingly blue. You might prefer the look of "warm white" lights. For impromptu shots you can just position a couple of lamps on opposite sides of the item you're photographing (but out of camera range, of course). Lamps with shades are better than lamps that provide a pencil beam of light. (If that's all you have, though, try diffusing the light with some white fabric over the lamp but don't cause any fires :-o.) Try to have the same wattage and color temperature on both lamps (i.e., one is not obviously more blue and/or brighter). Move the lights around until the shadows are soft and even or nonexistent. It hurts nothing to use as much ambient light as you can -- window coverings open, overhead lights on (unless they're spotlights and glary); this helps cut shadows too. You (or the camera) can adjust for "too much" light but it's hard to recover from too little. I won't get into catchlights and the iike now; it doesn't sound like you're there yet.

    Take as steady a shot as you can. Use a tripod if you can; if you don't have one, propping up the camera (or phone) against something steady (back of a chair, etc.) will do most of the job. Fill the viewfinder with what you want rather than have to crop the image you want afterward.

    And that should help you take some good pictures!
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    907
    I was just this afternoon thinking I needed to look up some photography tips- thanks Steve!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,572
    Steve that was amazingly helpful, thank you for so much information!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    973
    Thanks Steve for all those tips I too have been trying to take photos of items to sell.
    This is good information.

  6. #6
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    4,912
    Thanks, all!

    I see in re-reading my post that I didn't mention using a flash. For the purposes mentioned here I recommend trying to get by without it. If you can on your camera, switch it off (that is, not on AUTO). Without knowing how to modify the flash (reduce its intensity, redirect it, etc.) you'll too often end up with a glaring spot on whatever you're photographing. Better to put a lot of light around an object than to aim a very specific light at the object.

    I also didn't mention depth of field -- choosing how sharp the focus is throughout the image. You'll need a "real" camera or an app that controls your smartphone's camera and the knowledge of how to select an aperture and a focus point. Not that it can't be done, but IMHO it's a bit esoteric at this point.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •