Sunday, July 27, 2008

Homemade Light Box!

A few musings about the ever-so-slow process of learning photography skills...

So, last August I bought this brand, spankin' new, top of the line digital camera. (I'll have to go look at it to tell you what brand because I am that new to this foreign world of photography! Wait! I just thought of it... Olympus! There ya go). It claimed to be indestructible, and besides a battery that doesn't last near long enough, it is!

*You can drop it from up to 6 ft (perfect, I'm 5'11"!)
*You can drop it up to like 15 feet of water... poolside, no problem! deep end, sure thang!
*You can leave it in COLD weather (like -20 degrees Fahrenheit) - in my car in the winter overnight, no worries!
*You can crush it up to about 300 pounds... and thank God, even though I need to get more fit and lose some weight, I don't weight that much - so I can sit or step on it! (and so can my poppa!)

I bought the extended warranty from Best Buy, figuring that by the time the warranty was off, I'd be ready for a new camera anyways. I think I had the 3 or 4 year warranty... number details are not my strongest suite (if you haven't figured that out by now!)

So, anyways, back to this light box thing. I googled "how to make your own light box" and clicked around a bit. This was the main websites that I used:

*http://www.tabletopstudio.com/documents/jewelry_photography.htm
(I would love that light cube and all of the accessories, but I used this to figure out how I could make my own)

My handmade table top light box (for now):

*Rubbermaid Bin (plus a couple more to prop things to the right height)
*2 Gooseneck multi light floor lamps (the kind with white covers and like 5 different bulbs
*Scrapbooking paper (12 x 12) - I stuck with just one tan & white baroque motif, but have intentions to play around in the future)
*A variety of silk flowers and found nature objects (like a smooth, polished rock from Lake Michigan - thanks to my scavenger Mom! <3)
*Cool vases (mine were from WalMart and Gordman's clearance section)
*Double stick tape (the answer to life's little problems - too little for duct tape at least!)
*Gorilla camera tripod (like $20 or so at Best Buy - very cool - you can wrap it around stuff to hold your camera suspended!)
*My trusty, unbreakable Olympus digital camera
*Ultra cool handmade jewelry - which is the whole reason I am learning how to do this!!

The best pictures were taken when I had some natural light coming through the windows. I also used my macro (or "flower" feature) with a little S1 feature on it (no idea what that means - think I'd read the owner's manual to my camera? Nah! I'll punt for now! I just make it a priority to read my owner's manual to life - the Bible - otherwise, I'd rather figure it out myself than read it in a manual - not the most efficient, but for my brain, sometimes, the most effective!)

I took a few pictures of each, and then popped the memory card into my computer and used Microsoft Office Picture Manager to resize my photos to "web - large" documents, auto corrected them (and if I didn't like the way that looked, adjusted brightness and contrast manually), cropped them and saved them. I figure it takes me just over 60 seconds to edit each picture, so not too bad (but could be faster always!). Then the long process of naming them - now that I'm selling them on Etsy, they need catchy, creative names. I'm feeling so corny... "Toes in the Sand" - goodness... who wants to wear a necklace with the word "Toes" in the title? Well, I enjoyed wearing it to a shower Saturday, so I suppose I didn't mind, but others might! :P

I have a ways to go before I would consider myself a true photographer, but the goal right now is to somehow end up with appealing photographs of my creations - show off how yummy the colors and designs are in real life... this'll do. :)

Also, since my first attempt at photographing my stuff, I have found a few more useful websites:

http://www.etsy.com/storque/section/howTos/article/how-to-photograph-jewelry-get-the-basics-with-vadjutka/1931/

http://www.home-jewelry-business-success-tips.com/jewelry-photography.html

http://www.home-jewelry-business-success-tips.com/tabletop-photography-studio.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_2113049_photograph-jewelry.html

Well, I need some sleep. Enjoy life. Thanks for reading my stuff...

BTW, post a comment to be entered for blog candy for July yet - anyone out there reading this? :)

2 comments:

E.T said...

you are 5'11!!!!!!!!!! WOWSA!

Anonymous said...

I love your cards. Heres to confidance!!!!!!!! LOL