A couple of my friends have asked me how I get such nice looking pictures of my cards.I am by no means a photographer or Photoshop expert, but I have learned some tricks over the years, so I thought I would share my 'secrets' here. Hopefully this will help you if you are currently not satisfied with your card/craft photos.
Last year I purchased the Canon PowerShot SX100 IS. I made sure it had a Macro Setting and good Optical Zoom. Although I do own a digital SLR I choose my Canon point-and-shoot over it 99.9% of the time. I feel like the DSLR is just too much camera for me. I think this proves that even a 'regular' camera can get you nice photos.
I think one of the downsides to this camera, and my previous point-and-shoot, is when the flash is used, it always seems to discolor the photo and puts a glare. I always avoid using the flash when taking photos of my cards. This is why the 'stage' must be set just right...
I find that my photos turn out best when I photograph them in front of a window. Normally I try to avoid direct sunlight streaming through, but lately I have found a workaround even for that. Here is a picture of what my 'stage' looks like...
Once I have all of the shots I think I might need, it is then time for downloading onto my computer. The work is not done yet, next I do a bit of editing in Photoshop...
The Editing Room
Even though the best photos could just be chosen and uploaded to my blog, I choose to do a little editing in Photoshop before the final product is shared. Since I am on a few design teams now, I want to to make sure my samples and photos looks as nice as possible, so the owners of the sites feel choosing me is a benefit to their company/site.
With a few simple editing steps, I turn this photo...
I think the colors in the 'after' photo are so much more crisp and deep. After editing, the original looks almost washed out.
Because of personal preference I crop all of my photos (besides the blog post header) into a square. This allows me zoom in a bit on the card and crop out any of the wall or paper drawers that might be showing in the photo.
As far as photo editing, here are the basics of what I do in Photoshop...
- Create two (2) duplicates of the background layer
- One (1) of the duplicate layers I turn to a "Screen" and set the Opacity to "25%"
- The second duplicate layer is made an "Overlay" layer and the Opacity is set to "75%"
Once you have these three basic layers set up, you will have to do some tweaking of the opacity of each of the duplicate layers. For instance, if your original image is on the dark side, you will want to bump up the opacity of the Screen Layer. (The final settings I used for the sample above were: Screen - 40%, Overlay - 75%.)
For the 'detail' versions of the card, I generally use the same percentages as the 'full' version. Sometimes they are tweaked slightly, but keeping them the same is a good rule-of-thumb.
The final layer is created for the watermark. I usually use a white version of the watermark (this sample uses an image created by Melyssa of Whimsie Doodles) and set the opacity of the layer to around 90%. This allows some of the photo to show through the watermark itself.
Well, I hope this was helpful to you. If you do try any of my tips/tricks, link me up so I can come see your wonderful creations!
visiting yesterday's post.