Google+ Lilies and Laurel: More Light!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More Light!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I often feel like my product photos repeat, "You need more light!" 250 times each.  There are definitely some limiting conditions on my current ability to take well-lit pictures.  It being October in Oregon is a big one.  From now until April, or May... June... sigh... from now until the 4th of July, the weather in the Willamette Valley will work pretty hard to fulfill the stereotype of Oregon as being a gray and rainy place.  There is also only one window in the house that faces north (which would provide the best natural diffuse light) and at this time of year, the sun is low enough in the sky to be hidden behind a row of trees most of the time, even on the days it's not raining.

When I lived in Portland, my studio space had a south-facing window, and by hanging sheer curtains or taping up tissue paper, I was able to have pretty decent light most of the time, without trying very hard at all.  Since I moved back to the Eugene area, I've tried various setups for my winter photography, ranging from just waiting for sunny days to take all my pictures to trying to set up a white box lit with a combination of "full spectrum" incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, but I haven't been very happy with any of them.  But, since I had mostly put my Etsy business on hold when I moved, it was never a very high priority item to deal with.  Now that I've rebooted the shop and started making new pieces again, though, it's moved right up to the top of my list.

Also, Hobbes would like to be a house cat.
There's a lot of good photography advice on the internet, but if you only have a minute, I'd recommend this article, which has some gorgeous jewelry pictures taken by combining a white box with filtered natural light.

I didn't have any tracing paper, but having had good luck in the past with white tissue paper, I started off by taping a sheet of that to the sliding door, which gets whatever afternoon sunlight we're going to get.

I also didn't have any foam core board, and didn't want to drive into town to get some, so I decided to make a box out of some card stock I had on hand.  I've been able to get a few decent shots, but between its floppiness and the number of seams I have to try to shoot around/ edit out, it's definitely NOT a long term solution.  I'll pick up foam core board tomorrow, and will keep my fingers crossed that we get a bit more sun later in the week so that I can finish getting pictures of my "Fall" line before winter comes.

Pictures taken on a cloudy day definitely need some help in post-production, but even photos taken on a nice, sunny day still require a bit of editing.  I'll be sharing some before and after pics of this weekend's work tomorrow.