Sunday, August 8, 2010

Posting Great Pics -- Tutorial Part 2, Lighting

This is part two of my three part tutorial on how to make better photos to post on your blog. Make sure to check out all the Posting Great Pics posts.

Posting Great Pics -- Tutorial Part 1, Background and Setting
Posting Great Pics -- Tutorial Part 3, Photo Editing

Today's topic is The Importance of Good Lighting

Lighting is important. It really is true that you can take better photos in the morning and evening because of the lower angle of the sun. There are little ways to cheat this though.

A few days ago when my husband and I took the photos for the Mini Hoot Messenger Tote, we got out a little later than ideal for the lighting. No big deal, we just looked around for good light and made it work.

Full Light
Make it Work
Find the Light
click on the photos to see them larger

You can see that in the first photo, Full Light, everything we want to focus on is totally washed out. When things are washed out this bad, even photo editing can't make it beautiful.

We look throughout the yard to find some soft light. In the second photo, Find the Light, You can see the different types of light. In the very front of the photo the light is bright and harsh, not good for photos. In the middle you can see that the green plans look soft and warm. That is the light we are looking for! 

That soft warm light isn't always easy. You need to find a spot big enough for the item you are photographing. Hard dark shadows will ruin your shot. 

In the third photo, Make it Work, you can see that I found a patch of light that would work for the bag. I had to position my body a little awkwardly and I hitched the bag up higher than I would actually wear it; to make the shot work. Because the bag is the focus of the photos, it doesn't matter that I am mostly in the shadows. 
Before Photo Editing

After Photo Editing

We found a patch of good light for my favorite Mini Hoot shot. I didn't even have to contort my body too much. Look at the before shot, it might look a little dark but it is in full, soft light. Compare the light in this shot to the light in the Full Light photo we looked at above.

Lighting is only part of creating great photos for your blog. A few quick photo edits and the Mini Hoot really pops right out of the photo.

Make sure you take LOTS of photos in all kinds of light of each item you are photographing. I take at least 20 shots of each item I photograph for this blog. I will be lucky to find any that I think are awesome right off the bat. I generally find 2-4 that I see have the potential with a bit of editing to be good enough to post.

So far on Upcycled by Ash I have taken all my photos outside. The same tips work inside as well, it's harder to fake good lighting though. Harder but not impossible.  Luckily many other people have already written that post. Follow this link to a good overview-

Posting Great Pics -- Tutorial Part 1, Background and Setting
Posting Great Pics -- Tutorial Part 3, Photo Editing

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