photo envy

I’m still grappling with my photos.

To catch you up to date, I used to take all of my jewelry pictures outside.  With a bit of practice, I managed to get some fairly good photos:

However, since the cold and snow drove me inside, I turned to my new light box.

A new set of problems confronted me with the light box. Ironically, the first problem was lighting. A friend of mine, ColtPixy, suggested I use 100 watt CFL daylight bulbs. I bought a pack and one of those dome metal shades and immediately saw a great improvement. But I was still disappointed with the final shots.

I turned to my camera. After searching the house several times, I finally found the users manual. It confirmed what I had suspected all along: my camera is smarter than me. I read about all the setting selections and choose to try the Av option. With this setting, I can manually adjust the white balance. (It also does bunches of more stuff which I am still trying to use. Or is that understand?) The new setting did help my photos, but again, I was still dissatisfied.

I decided that I just did not like the photos. Why? With the new lights, camera settings, and judicious use of Photoshop, the shots weren’t exactly bad but neither were they good. What was left? I turned to props.

I have seen many beautifully shot shops/studios on Etsy, ArtFire, and Zibbet. Many people use a pure white background or perhaps a nice piece of slate under their items. I usually used the same rocks or lumber under my items but those same rocks and lumber don’t seem to photograph the same way indoors. I needed to do something else. I dragged bits and pieces of the outdoors indoors for this photo:

I think it works fairly well for this individual piece but I don’t think it works for all pieces. So how do I set the scene for everything else?

Last night, I decided I was over thinking this and getting myself frustrated. I decided to stop worrying and just spend a little time browsing online. I happened across a foodie blog. Not only was it well written and the recipes doable, her photos blew me away! This woman had fabulous shots! How did she do that? Could I fly her to my house and beg her to fix my ‘stuff’? Then it hit me. Her photos said, “I love these lemons, this sprig of rosemary, and my food processor.”.

Hmm. I sat on my couch and thought.  I needed to show that simple (yet complex) warmth, my devotion to what I make.  I tried a new approach today:

Not bad. A little texture and color in the background seems to help.  At the very least, it is step closer toward my goal of someday taking the great photo.

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