Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Taking Closeup Shots

I notice that people tend to have a lot of trouble taking close-up photographs of items, especially things for sale, or example online. I just left some comments about how I make it work, and while I'd *like* to include photos, I probably won't get around to that any time soon, so, here are some pointers (text only).

Often pictures are washed out (from the flash), dark (no flash), and or fuzzy. Here are some things I do to eliminate these problems:
  • Wait for the sun to shine through a window, then place the item in the sunlight and get to the side of it for some pictures. (If the sun's at 12:00, and the item is at 6:00, you and the camera should be around 2:00 or 10:00).
  • Pay attention to where your shadow is relative to your item (I usually try to keep my shadow off the item).
  • Then, place the item just into the shade, right by the ray of sunlight and take some more pictures.
  • Using natural light, you shouldn't need a flash. This will help with color, though it can also seem to make auto-focus camera images "fuzzy", so, try using different pre-set settings to take pictures of the same item. (Go crazy here! So what if you're taking a picture of something you've hand-crafted, maybe the best pre-set setting is one for "food" or "text" or "animals", try a whole spectrum to see just what your camera can do for you!)
  • Also, get the camera a little closer and a little further away. You can try zooming in and out (though for this kind of close-up work, I usually prefer not to zoom).
  • Take note of which settings you're using, and then, go look at them on the computer.
  • This first set of pictures, you might take 20 different shots.
  • You should find at least one or two settings that "work" for you, your camera, and your lighting!
  • You may want to (even plan to) crop your pictures, especially if getting too close makes things fuzzy or washed out, you can crop after and still get a nice shot!
I hope this helps; let me know if you try these experiments and how they go!

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