Folksy Ltd

Taking photos

(Eileens Craft Studio) #1

Is the bane of my life at the moment.

I’ve just spent over an hour setting up the shots for 3 products on a white background now I see them all on my laptop they are either look like they are on a gray background or a blueish background.

I’m so fed up with trying to take photo’s on a white background unless I use the flash my white back grounds just aren’t white. But using a flash in natural daylight can wash out the colours in my items.

I think I’m going have to resort to another background nice and dark like black or navy or red to make the colours really pop in my items.

My best photo’s have always been the one’s taken outside against natural live green foliage which I’ll be using again with my Christmas items.

Anyone else having problems

Photographing red items
(Roz) #2

I am useless at taking photos. I find even using a dark background doesn’t work as it invariably looks washed out. I haven’t got a camera with fancy settings and even if I did I wouldn’t know how to use it! I spend ages photographing items but not sure the time spent photographing and listing is factored into the sales price! I have found a photo light cube helps quite a lot especially when photographing things that have reflections.

(Organized Chaos) #3

I, too, hate taking photos. Photography has never been an interest of mine so I find it a real chore. I do my photos in my conservatory to get the maximum light without bright sunlight which would cast too many shadows. I use the macro setting on my camera as I have no idea what all the fancy settings do! I photograph in a photo cube against a white background or something plainish, like a book page (I have tried dark backgrounds but they look awful). My photos always seem dark so I lighten them up and auto adjust the colour using Window’s Live Photo Gallery editing software. Then I trim them up and list… I try to do a few at a time but not too many, else it takes me all day. Sometimes pieces sit in my workroom for weeks because I can’t get around to doing it.

Sorry to gripe but the photography is the least enjoyable part of the whole process. If I never had to do it again I would be so happy!

(Diane Burton) #4

I use Picasa to edit my photos, it has a clever little feature to bring whites back to white, you click on the ‘brush’ then on part of your photo that should be white and it adjusts all the other colours too (now if only it was that easy to bring my son’s school shirts back to white :slight_smile: )

(Eileens Craft Studio) #5

See I love photography but not taking photos of items due to lighting problems. I use my conservatory for the natural light but then if I’m not careful I get light and dark shadows.

I much prefer taking photo’s of natural outdoor landscape photograghy I do a lot of sunrise, sunset over water atmosphere stuff that kind of thing and wildlife photograghy.

My favourite item photo I’ve ever taken was of Christmas decorations taken outside on a cold sunny morning with it hooked onto a neigbhours hedge showing orange berries and green winter foliage with sharp thorns.

(Gwin Kerry) #6

Taking good photos is tricky - I’m still learning but my last few are my best yet. Things I have found to be essential include:

  1. A decent DSLR camera.

  2. Good daylight or strong daylight bulbs.

  3. A light tent (I only have a cheap one and it does the job nicely).

  4. Practice and patience - if you look at my shop you can see how the photos of my products have improved - here’s one of my latest.

With regard to background -I think I’ve had better results with white than darker colours… Good luck folks! :smile:

(Melanie Commins) #7

It’s pretty hard to take a perfectly exposed shot with the correct white balance straight off the bat.

Your white looking grey sounds like under-exposure. White looking blue is a white balance issue. Using a white background can be a bit tricky as it’s always more apparent when your exposure or white balance is out a bit than it is on other colour backgrounds.

Both of those issues are fairly easily corrected though with some basic image manipulation software … like picasa for example. :slight_smile:

(Donna) #8

I just use GIMP to remove my backgrounds after years of trying out different white sheets and table cloths. It’s really easy to use and you can download it here :smile:

Donna x

(Fiona Thomson) #9

i also end up with a build up of pieces that i have to force myself to get on and photo @OrganizedChaos :slight_smile:

my photos aren’t the best, but they seem to get the job done.
this is my top pro set-up & camera…

and then i clean everything up, resize & watermark it in paint shop pro

(Stephanie Ellison) #10

I use it’s free and will let take out your background. There is a good video tutorial to show you how to use it.

(Esterina Kearse) #11

When taking photos I just use my mobile phone (4pixels). I am learning to use GIMP to edit my pictures as previously I was just using Windows photo editor which does not give me a lot of options.

Esterina xx

(Camilla) #12

There are lots of tips about product photography on the Folksy blog:

Including this post about white backgrounds:

I hope those help.

(Organized Chaos) #13

Hi Fiona, those little animals are so cute I bet they sell like crazy!!


(Eileens Craft Studio) #14

I don’t ever use any kind of manipulation of my photo’s and I never will.

The reason my white background appeared dull grayish was due to the sun being hid behind a cloud. However when it came out all I had were light and dark patches due to shadows grrrrr

(Melanie Commins) #15

That’s a shame really as you might find that using some simple software would make the photography process less frustrating and give you a final image closer to the results you’re looking for.

I wouldn’t consider using software as manipulating an image. It’s more about correcting the difference between what you see and what the camera sees :slight_smile:

(Nicky B) #16

I try to only take pics on sunny days. Then use a piece of fabric to get a white background and take picture out of direct sunlight but still in a bright room, like a conservatory.
You don’t need expensive equipment, but I do use paintshop to adjust brightness levels. :smile:

(Nicky B) #17

Maybe use an of white colour like light grey to make sure your pic will still be quite bright?

(Eileens Craft Studio) #18

you’ve washed out the colour of my blue card :frowning:

(Melanie Commins) #19

I don’t know what the colours in your item actually look like, so it’s a little challenging! I’m sure you’d do it better if you were doing it yourself. :slight_smile:

I was merely trying to illustrate how easily you could brighten your images using some simple software … since that what you mentioned you were having trouble with initially.

(Eileens Craft Studio) #20

That’s ok its not the colours of the items themselves it’s a white background that sometimes are a real pain when the light levels keep changing suddenly.

I really don’t like white backgrounds myself so I tend to hate working with them.

I know if you then try to washout the background it will wash out the rest of the photo which is why I don’t use any of the photo enchancing software.