Author Topic: Tips for taking good project photos?  (Read 795 times)

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Offline Andromache

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Tips for taking good project photos?
« on: February 26, 2012, 02:03:41 AM »
Do you all have any tips for taking good photos of your recent sewing projects?  I can get anyone to take a picture of me wearing something, but I don't have any sense of how to find an appropriate background, pose, and lighting.  Right now I can only look at pictures I've taken and wonder at how the lighting washes out the details of the dress, or how my pose looks stiff, or how distracting the background is.  That, and my wacky facial expressions!   :P  What do you do?  How do you think through these things in advance?
κτῆμά τε ἐς αἰεὶ μᾶλλον ἢ ἀγώνισμα ἐς τὸ παραχρῆμα

Offline HongKongChick

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Re: Tips for taking good project photos?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2012, 05:27:55 PM »
I m with you on that, I always see peoples projects in such clear pics I can't seem to figure how to do it myself. 
My Sewing Blog - HongKongChic

Offline tumblina

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Re: Tips for taking good project photos?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2012, 06:07:55 PM »
I use a tripod, because it's far more patient than DH ;). Recently I've been setting up a screen (to take out the cluttered background) perpendicular to my main living room window, then standing angled toward the indirect sunlight (northeast facing, almost always indirect!). The camera is set fairly high quality so I can zoom in on the pictures later. Lots of photos + postprocessing (I use iPhoto that came with my machine, but photoshop or any other photo editing software will do the same thing): add exposure, saturate, increase definition, take out shadows, etc, whatever helps to see the details. Then I'll use the camera in my hands on macro setting with the garment flat to get the pockets/seams/etc detailing.

Still not always great, especially in the winter (darned lack of lighting), but it certainly helps!

Offline shams

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Re: Tips for taking good project photos?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2012, 07:36:18 PM »
I don't know if my photos are considered to be in the "good" category, but I do care a lot about taking good photos.  I really like to see clothes on the body, so I take photos on my body, as well as hangar shots.  I use both in my reviews and on my blog.  I realized it's nice to have hangar shots if I'm collaging the pics.  I also take some photos during the construction process.

I live alone, so a tripod is essential, but even when my teens were here, they were not great photographers.  What makes a not-so-great photographer?  Someone who is rushed (like my teens), someone who is critical (making one very nervous and awkward), someone not willing to try different backgrounds, someone who might not notice that tree growing from your head.

I used to be quite unphotogenic (really, I am NOT kidding) but after taking so many photos of myself, I've learned how to take a better picture.  It's just a matter of practice and then noticing what works and what doesn't.

Since I started using a tripod, my photos have gotten much better.  I can take as much time as I want (though I am often pretty quick).  If something isn't working, I can change location. I don't feel self conscious so I am able to pose more naturally.

I prefer to take my photos outdoors out of direct sunlight.  Against greenery, or a fence, or something interesting, but not too distracting.  I have an excellent camera and a remote with a 2 second delay, so I have a brief moment to "hide" the remote, turn around, twirl, jump, etc.  I avoid the middle of the day when there is direct sunlight everywhere.  My favorites are often taken in the late afternoon when the shadows are amazing.

I try to have fun with it.

After I upload the photos to my computer, I use PhotoShop Elements.  (I just bought version 10 for my Mac on amazon for $59.) I shoot the photos at high resolution, so I reduce them for uploading.  I crop to remove extraneous background or to highlight a particular feature.  I sew a lot of black, so I sometimes have to lighten a picture to show detail better.

I then upload to Picassa.  I use different resolutions when I post to different venues.  When I post on my blog, I use the version where the narrowest direction is 400 pixels.  When I post on Pattern Review, I always use the highest resolution (they reduce the resolution, so you shouldn't use a smaller size or you will see postage stamps).  When I post here on SG, I use the version that is 128 pixels or the image is too enormous.

That's all I can think of for now.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 10:39:46 PM by shams »

Offline Karendee

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Re: Tips for taking good project photos?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2012, 09:46:24 PM »
Shams,

Thanks for this excellent information. Your photography is always wonderful. I love the walking trip you made  this yr. The plants and steps photographed were wonderful.

Karen

Offline margyh

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Re: Tips for taking good project photos?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2012, 10:41:23 PM »
Shams generously shared her self-photo experiences with me and helped me get the set up (tripod and timer). Now if only I could learn to jump and twirl like she does... ;D

Online vtmartha

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Re: Tips for taking good project photos?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2012, 10:51:31 PM »
Now if only I could learn to jump and twirl like she does... ;D

I agree!  She is totally amazing.  I would be more likely to trip and fall flat on my face.  ;)

 

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