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01/31/2011

HOW TO TAKE BETTER BLOG PHOTOS...

 

Apple 

BETTER BLOG PHOTOS

To learn more than you'll ever need to know about taking great photos, search the World Wide Web and choose from thousands of articles on the subject. 

My post is short and sweet, specifically offered for crafters and bloggers who wish their cards, scrapbook pages and 3-D projects looked as good on camera as they do in real life.

First things first... Great pictures can be taken with a simple point-and-shoot camera. Equally true, poor photos can be shot with expensive SLR (single lens reflex) cameras. It's the photographer that takes good photos, not the camera.  Fancy equipment with powerful features, interchangeable lenses and other bells and whistles won't assure a good photograph. Here's a picture of the simple camera I use: SONY Digital Cyber-shot 14.1 Mega Pixels.

SONY Cybershot

OBVIOUS TIPS FOR TAKING BETTER PHOTOS: Spend a little time getting to know your camera. Read the manual and don't skip over the sections that explain how to control the flash and macro modes. Consider using a tripod and pay close attention to the focus directions. Always edit to improve your image.  Finally, (I saved the best for last)... IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LIGHT! 

 

HOMEMADE PHOTO LIGHT BOX

There are dozens of tutorials on the internet about purchasing and/or making photo light boxes. After many requests, I decided to make my own and took pictures step-by-step, to share HOW.

Any cardboard box will do. I chose an 18"x18"x18" white corregated box. It's the perfect size for cards, large scrapbook pages, and a variety of 3-D projects - with room to spare.

1 

I'm using the white side as the inside of my photo box to reflect more light, with the kraft color on the outside.

6a0115711a4c43970b0147e21c96cf970b
 

Measure carefully, drawing lines for layout and cutting. The size of this box worked well to leave 2" borders on the top, sides and front - with a little extra off the bottom front for better access.  Write notes and "map" directions on the box as you go, because it's easy to get things upside-down-and-backwards.  Easy for me, anyway.

3 

If available, use a metal straight edge along with your box cutter.  Take your time to assure both accuracy and safety. 

4 

To cover my box, I purchased white bleached muslin from a local fabric store. The cost was about $4 for 2 yards. I drew pencil lines on the fabric and cut it approximately 1" narrower than the width of the box.  Ironing is only necessary if you're a detail freak like me.

 

7 

Box is cut.  Fabric is ready.  Now the fun part.  I used heavy-duty clear packaging tape for assembly. The cardboard folds were a little stubborn, because I was turning the box inside out, so I scored the pesky seams to achieve sharper edges.  Fold and tape... Fold and tape... Fold and tape.

5 

Next, I used a standard piece of white poster board to finish the inside. I cut the width 1/4" smaller than my box width, but added several inches to the length to make a rounded, seamless backdrop. 

 6

I covered my box with one continuous piece of fabric, working from the top down and around to the bottom.  Inch by inch, little by little, stretching and smoothing as I went along. I used short pieces of tape, and as desired placement was achieved, reinforced it with long pieces.

8 

This is the completed box. Now for lights...

 9 

I purchased 2 metal desk lamps and a clamp-on light for $10 each.

10 

Several other online tutorials recommended 100W, Compact Fluorescent, Soft White Bulbs, 2700K, so that's what I bought.  But they were not bright and made the background look yellow!  So I got some advice from a friend, and bought the right ones... 100W, Compact Fluorescent, Bright White, 5300K, Natural Light.  Cost of each bulb was $3.69. 

Lightbulbs 
 

THE REVEAL

  (I borrowed that term from the HGTV Network.)

12 

Well now!  It's time to give it a try!

13 

This was taken with the new bulbs...

     Starlight1

just for you

Starlight2 
 

Linda Aarhus, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, Vancouver, WA

 

Comments

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OMG, thanks so much for your great post. I'm always striving to take and have better photos. I usually set up some white paper around my cards but I need to make a box.
Thank You for all these directions and your cards are super great. thanks

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  • Linda Aarhus

    Vancouver, WA • USA

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