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Thursday, 19 May 2011

Improving the photo quality of my cards part 2 - taking the photograph

It's Thursday so it's my day to share with you some of the goodies I've used over at Quixotic Paperie!  It is also the follow up from my post yesterday with tips on how I improve my photographs for posting.

But first, here are two teenage girl birthday cards I made using the Creeper Crew set by The Greeting Farm...


I used Bazzill Kraft cardstock for the card base, the BasicGrey Curio paper pad and the sentiments are from the Whimsy Party Mini Letter Seals.  I used my Sew Easy Tool for quick hole making for the stitching - love this tool!  I inked the edges with my Ranger Archival Inkpad in jet black.

And now on to how I use my light box. Yesterday I shared with you how I use the Picasa 3 software (my post here) and today I'm going to tell you about how I take my photographs using a light box.  So these following pictures show you the difference between using a light box (first photo) and simply photographing on the sidetable in my dining room (second photo) and I haven't used any software on them at this stage...


Both pictures were taken at night.  The first photo that uses the light box is truer to colour in real life and the lighting is more even.  The second photo is far more yellow (because of the light bulbs of course) and you can see the shadowing on the wall.

As I'm not a good photographer (believe me, I'm rubbish!) I'm reluctant to spend money on expensive equipment.  Originally I was going to make my own light box using this tutorial here by Digital Photography School, but I came across a very cheap light box by Maplin that costs £14.99 that you can find here.  In addition to my light box, I bought a couple of work lamps and I buy the daylight bulbs from the internet as I can't find them in the shops.

Maplins now sell a studio kit for £39.99 which is basically the light box plus two table lights and a camera stand - you can find it here.  Maplins is a UK site - I'm not aware if they sell internationally, sorry!  I would have bought the studio kit if they sold it at the time but, hey ho, we move on and here is my set up in my craft room...


Please excuse the mess.  If you look closely, you can see some of the gorgeous cards on the windowsill some of my wonderful blogging mates have sent me - they give me nice warm feelings!  Anyway, back to photographs!  Here are the pictures after they have both been improved using Picasa 3 software....


I think it now comes down to personal preference.  I still prefer the first photo that uses the light box as I think it looks more professional, but which one do you prefer?

So that is how I photograph my cards for my posts - thanks for bearing with me to explain it all! I hope you found that useful.  If you have any specific questions leave a comment and I'll get back to you!  See you for now!


For my cards I followed this month's sketch over at A Sketch For You To Try. and I am also entering these cards into the following challenges:



Paper/cardstock: Bazzill cardstock, BasicGrey Curio paper pad
Stamps: The Greeting Farm Creeper Crew set, Whimsy Party Mini Letter Seals
Mediums: Copics
Accents: thread
Tools: Tim Holtz distressing tool, Nestabilities circle dies
Sew Easy Tool
 

33 comments:

Vicky said...

Hi sweetie loving these cards the images are awesome & I soooo love the Curio pad its lush.
I use a studio tent as well hun I got it from amazon its one of them foldy uppy things & it came with 4 different coloured backings & 2 lights. Altho lately I've just been using the backing & the lights cus I cant remember where I've put my tent lol. I think they are fabulous tho & give a much truer image its a bit like taking them outside dont you think hun. All I do is crop the photo's I've never got taime to fiddle with them & psst I dont know how either lol.
Fab post hun.

Lotsa hugs Vicky xxx

Rusty said...

1st photo for me, it looks much sharper and the colours really show up!! I had a foldy uppy pop up cubefor my nappy cakes, but somehow can't find it now, its quite big though. I normally just put a sheet of card behind but now use the fireplace and it looks better!
Beautiful card though, I love TGF stamps! xx

theCook said...

In fact, I can't really say which one I prefer... I like that there is much more detail in the light-box picture, but I quite like the warmer colors of the light-bulb one...

Lisa Jane said...

wow Mary .. thank you for all your hints and tips.. i take my photos on top of my gas hob with the cooker hood light on lol..
Love these 2 cards - fab images and colours
Lisa x

DesignerDiva said...

Gorgeous cards Mary J and a brilliant tutorial, I'm not sure which picture I prefer lol - The light is definatley better in the first but the colours look really rich in the second! They look like two completely different cards!!!
Hugs Laurie x

Kerri said...

good light bad light your work is still awesome..thks for sharing..love the cards

Cindy Haffner said...

LOVE your SWEET cards Mary, thanks for the tips.

Carrie said...

Sam is so gonna tell me off as I have just purchased one lol....

I always have to play with my photos and am never really that happy with them lol...

anyhoo's fab cards I am loving the images..very rocking!!

kurlygirl said...

Really love these posts on photography. They are so helpful! Love your cards! ~kurlygirl Kurly-Q

Jenny said...

Great cards and great tips too. Thank you for joining in with our birthday challenge at Paper Sundaes this week.

Davi said...

I love those cards...the rich colors, layers and distressing are really nice!! Thanks for the info about the light box and great photo info!

Nicola said...

Fab posts Mary, definitely and area I need to work on :)

I think you've done enough PR for Maplin as they've sold out of the studio kit! Are you on commission?
Nxxx

Dora said...

Wow Mary thank you for all these tips on how to take photos.. hubby got me a daylight lamp but still couldn't get it right, I must so now try the lightbox!!! I prefer the first one , looks sharper. hugs xxx

Molecraft said...

Fabulous cards Mary, love the rich colours and great images! I have the same light box as you but can't get my photos as good as yours, I will try it with the lamps!
Helen x

CreaRenata said...

These lookk really cute! Thanks for joining KD NL!

Hugs,
Renata

Pami said...

Thanks for the last couple of posts Mary with these really helpful tips. I do find getting the photo right the worst thing! I recently bought myself a light box after speaking with Kerry who has one. It really does make a difference! Pami x

Fabiola said...

c'est sympa de partager ton experience, moi j'apprécie, merci, biz

Kathleen said...

Mmmm food for thought I may have to talk to hubby to visit Maplins as I am a very poor photographer.
Brilliant card though prefer the lighter one myself.

Kath x

HandmadebyTLC said...

Love your images and the fact that you share your technique, great take on our circles challenge at Wags 'n Whiskers. Be sure to join us tomorrow for our BLOG HOP and great gifts.

HUGS,
Tammy Louise

Anita said...

Thanks for the great tips Mary J. You are such an enabler ... I think I now need a lightbox!

Delphine said...

Thank you for all the tips, Mary J! And your cards are gorgeous! I think I prefer the one with the light box and I have to confess I am going to buy one:-)! Lots of hugs Delphine xx

Lorraine said...

Oh wow, wow, I LOVE your cards! Gorgeous and perfect for teens! And I love the light box photos. I need to get one myself or make one, lol. Makes a big difference when you are taking photos at night - which I seem to do often.

Elena said...

Ahahhhhhhhhh so this is your secret!! I wish a lightbox from years... A day I'll buy it!! ;) Your cards are great, the colors rock, the style... and then TGf stamps... eheheh I love it!! Your coloring too, obviusly!!

Hugs,
Elena

Kerrie said...

Both cards are punky!... thanks for the tips on taking photos of cards, I must invest in a light box and hope they ship internationally....

The Spotted Chick said...

Love the sharpness of the 1st photo and the warm hues of the second. Isn't that weird? I have the same light box as well. The only difference is I use 3 lights, one on the outside of either side and one on top, all shining THROUGH the screen, not directly on the card. Then I take several photos of each card and pick the best one! Great tutorial and BTW, I LOVE this card. Great job! Thanks for playing along in my That's Krafty Thursday challenge! {{{hen hugs}}}

Nat said...

So cute and punky! love the papers, the fab coloring and the fun embellishments! Thanks for playing along this week at Anyone for Anya! :)

Bernadet said...

so beautiful, great colors!
Thanks for joining Karen's Doodles NL!

Sue said...

Thanks for your tutorials, I use photoshop, but it can be a bit fussy, might have to give Picasa a go :-) Love this card too, great papers, perfect for a non-girly girl!! Sue xx

Dangina said...

INCREDIBLE JOB! LOVE THE COLOR COMBO AND DP'S! YOUR CARDS ARE FANTASTIC!
THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AT ANYONE FOR ANYA!
HUGS, DANGINA

Lacey Stephens said...

Fabulous cards! Beautiful coloring! More great takes on the Circles Challenge. Thanks again for playing along with the Wags 'n Whiskers Challenge Challenge.
PS The Princess Digital Stamps are now available.
~Lacey
www.stampandcrate.com
Wags 'n Whiskers Rubber Stamps

Lacey Stephens said...

Fabulous cards! Beautiful coloring! More great takes on the Circles Challenge. Thanks again for playing along with the Wags 'n Whiskers Challenge Challenge.
PS The Princess Digital Stamps are now available.
~Lacey
www.stampandcrate.com
Wags 'n Whiskers Rubber Stamps

Renata van Miltenburg said...

I realy ADORE your cards, they are great so I'm very sorry I have to remove you from our challenge. I think you misunderstood the challenge as inside out means in this case a sentiment on front of the card and an image inside...

Hopefully we will see you back another time!

Liefs, Karen's Doodles NL!

Renata

Karen M said...

Hi Mary, I've just checked out your tutorials and also found the one about photographing cards with a light box. I've been looking for one for ages and was going to make my own but after seeing your link to Maplin's I've just bought it! well, it's my birthday soon and my son gave me money so this is really from him. He says I can't have it until my birthday though! so I'll have to wait aaaggghhh! Kx

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