I am not a photography expert, but I have done an incredible amount of research in order to improve the photos of my jewelry. I strive for clear, crisp, professional looking photo’s where a person can accurately see what they are buying. Although most of my knowledge is in perfecting photographs of jewelry this could be applied to your own craft.
First, you have to learn about your camera and understand the features. Since each camera is different these ideas are just to help give you a direction. Look up your camera manual and look for these specific features and experiment. I am going to try to break down info and not use a lot of fancy terminology so please understand this is not meant to be technical, and again I am not a professional photographer.
Here is an example of one of my FIRST pics:
Here is a picture now of a product after I experiemented with these things:
1. Aperature: This is simply the opening of your lens. It controls how much light will get in for your images. Generally the smaller the number is the larger the opening is. The aperature is expressed as an F (don’t ask me why LOL) so you should see something along the lines of F2.8 or F/2.9 etc. If you are shopping for cameras a good range to look for is F1.8 - F16. Basically you need to find where these settings are on your camera and experiment with which setting will give you the truest light. (reference: http://www.photoxels.com/tutorial_aperture.html )
2. White Balance: Have you ever had a picture come out yellow or with blue hues or other shades you don’t want and didn’t see in person? Then white balance is the issue. White balance allows you to tell the camera which object in the room is white and supposed to come out white in the picture, then the camera can tell the difference between the current color of that object and the correct color of a white object. And then shift all colors by that difference.
3. Macro Setting: Most cameras have a little flower icon on them. This is your macro settting. It helps your camera focus in on small objects. When trying to capture a close up this is the mode you should have your camera in. One note, it takes a little while for the camera to adjust when switched to this mode. You can help by putting your hand in front of the lens to get it to focus.
4. No flash! Most of the time flash will create a harsh lighting, or reflections, and shadows that aren’t very appealing. This is especially true for jewelry, sparkly items. If you use flash when taking a picture of a watch face you will see the glare in the watch face instead of the actually numbers and hands.
One last tip for this post is to use a Tripod. If your photo’s are fuzzy it could be from movement of the camera. Keeping the camera still will help a lot. Next week I am going to go into detail about lighting. Where to have your lights, what type of lights, how many lights!! Lights lights lights! I will talk about lightboxes, how to make them yourself or where you could buy them. For now, find your manual and experiment with these features. I would really love to hear what you find on your camera, and if these make a difference in your photo’s.
THANKS! This is Part 1 of 3. (Part 2 is lighting, Part 3 is staging/props)