Monday, July 25, 2011

Look here you lot, I have something to say

Backgrounds! We all need 'em, we all got 'em, we all want 'em to look nice. That's where I come in. (No I'm not modelling for you.) But I can teach you how to know what to do to get the best results, no matter what kind of camera you have.

Above you see a picture of some of the props n' whatnot I use when photographing supplies. I have a small collection of various antique papers, books, old journals and the like, to shoot against, because the paper gives texture without too much pattern. On the top is an antique camera negative plate which gives black background for dark things, next to it is a tape measure to give an idea of scale, and on the right is a folded up piece of cloth- this is no more than a resting pad for the camera! I put my camera down a lot between shooting items, and when I'm short on temper and there's a cat wanting to be fed nownownowNOWNOWNOWNOW, I tend to drop my camera down a little too harshly, so having a padded surface means there's no damage done.

detailed and small things need a plain background so nothing distracts the eye

But this post is just sort of a teaser- the post before the post. I plan to write a nice big long boring post about this subject; I'm looking to teach you a little bit about the right props for your product, the right colour backgrounds for your product (another sub-lesson in Know Your Market), the right lighting, the right approach. I can't teach you how to ignore the cat, it cannot be learned.

I'm trying to do is help as many people in the right way- there's no point in me bleating on about how to shoot on a black background if none of you intend to. So many people have trouble with their photography but I maintain that once you've got your background looking good, the rest is as easy as riding a horse backwards while on fire.

So your backgrounds- let me see them! Leave a comment in this post with a link to your troubled item/s and I'll use the pic in the post so we're working with relevant examples.

Props help your item to feel less lonely.

And yes I am really on holiday, and no I don't consider this to be working! It's helping. I can help and still be on staycation. Helping is not working! Honest! Stop making that face!! Look, here I am spending time with the bird:

See? Holiday!


Thespa McLaughlin said...

Sounds awesome! Can't wait to read all about it! Hugs!

Anonymous said...

I must agree, this does sound awesome! Photography has never been a strong point of mine. What a wonderful staycation you must be having!
Hugs from me too!

fancylinda said...

Ooohhh... I could use some help! All the photos in my Etsy supply shop are shot head-on with a gray slate background.
I want to show the items I am selling clearly and accurately, but this makes for a very boring look. Any ideas?

Alice said...

Oh yes, I totally need this. I typically shoot on a white background as I like the clean, crisp, uncluttered look. But I'm getting bored with it.

Also, all those buttons on my camera...well they just confuse me, making photography for me a huge, frustrating chore that I put off until the last possible moment.

A mermaid in the attic said...

I love LOVE your photography, I'll be back to learn more...I always end up taking my photos in a hurry, when the sun has knicked off, the kids want dinner, I've half written a blog post or etsy entry and just realised I haven't any photos and need some NOW! Not the most organised or creative way to do it!

stregata said...

Ehm, excuse me - when do you teach the class about riding the horse backwards while on fire? I think I missed that one.
I agree - it is impossible to ignore the cat - especially when the cat is hungry... sigh.
Looking forward to the post about the backgrounds.

amth13 said...

Yep this will be great I need all the help I can get, I can't seem to get the look I'm after.

Sidereal Day said...

I relate to A mermaid in the attic's comment on this one, I want to be more creative with my photos but find I'm usually in a big rush.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to your background post, your photos are always, without exception, fabulous.

fanciful devices said...

when I've tried adding props, my brain explodes. It's hard enough getting the one thing to look right. I too feel my stuff's plain, though it has improved over time. and the light is never right.
more importantly- you have a bird? and you never told me? wtf?

Gardanne said...

I'm With Alice I only use a white background for my enamel and glass components and I'm getting bored. I was thinking of gray but I worry about anything other than white impacting the color. This is especially true with glass which can have transparent and translucent qualities. I'll be listening.

Tammigirl said...

You want to see my what? Lady, I have no idea what you are talking about! I just snap photos of things where they are. I need way more help than background tweaking! You must come to me at once (Hey, I know you're on holiday) and lead me through this treacherous world of photo taking.

p.s. I have no cat, so, really, I'm advanced! Right?

p.p.s. I have two small dogs.