Photography and getting my little pieces presented is one of my least favourite things to do. I've read heaps of things on this. I've tried heaps of things. I always come back to there has just got to be a better (and less expensive) way to do things.
Now that autumn is here that means for a lot of folks a there will be a limited amount of natural light for photos over the next few months. So what do we do? How do we compensate for the light in the grey days of winter?
Back when I was in Texas, I did a lot of my photos in relatively low light. Mostly because the natural light was so intense that I had to or all of my photos were over exposed and had deep distracting shadows. So while I was there I did a few experiments based on the tutorial by Boo Jewels.
Two of the things I picked up on straight away were reflecting light and changing your Ev setting on your camera. Mostly because I could reflect light with a cheapo 5 minute hand crafted fix and I actually knew where my Ev setting (that's an exposure compensation setting) was on my point and shoot camera.
So what I did was set up a tiny little experiment. I photograph most of my jewelrey components on a colour background because I think white is sort of boring for the pieces I make. This green that you see up there is one of the colours I find most pleasing for bronze pieces. It's also one of the most difficult I use to get good and true colour on a computer monitor. But I can't help it, I like how it looks with golden colours of bronze.
So basically, I bounced light around and compesated for indoor exposure. Easy peasy. The first photo, top left is without any 'enhancement', just my normal factory setting on the camera. I usually go in and edit these types of photos to make them brighter. The top right uses a reflector to bounce light onto the piece. Still kind of dark. The bottom two use and Ev setting of 1 (normal is 0) to compensate for low lighting. The difference is that in the bottom right photo I used a reflector to shine light back onto the pendant. (More on that later, promise) See how they get lighter and brighter?
None of these photos were edited in photoshop or other types of software. These are straight out of my camera. You could and probably would go in and do this.
And here is that same set of photos adjusted in a photo editing program to be brighter. It works but I still feel like it is over exposed and lacking depth. So I think this is really just a start.
So here's the photo set up. I use an inexpensive clamp lamp from the hardware store fitted with a daylight bulb, one of those spiral types.Those bulbs last forever. I think I've been using this one day in and day out for about 4 years now. It is clamped to the back of a chair in my dining room. The reflector is on the right and is a piece of kitchen foil scrunched up and then smoothed out and wrapped around a Whitman's Sampler Chocolate box. The chocolates are long gone and I really would like some more. The background paper is scrap book paper from the craft store. Low tech, not very elegant. Easy peasy!
Go check out the tutorial from Boo Jewels. There's heaps more information and ideas there.
How do you use light to photograph your work?
What will you do when the grey days of winter come around?
I'd love to here how you set up your photography!