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Friday, October 8, 2010

Photographing Your Creations

Hello Everyone,
  So you want to take a good photo of your card or layout but it never comes out quite right.  These are somethings that I do and it works very well for me. I will start with my disclaimer.  I am not a professional photographer but I have been taking pictures for a while and have even done some weddings. That being said here we go.
   First, you should know your camera well, here is an instance where the manual can really help you. How to change settings, turn off flash, and any thing that it can do that will help you to get the best out of camera picture.(the object is to take a picture that needs little to no altering in an editing program)  This may sound silly but trust me it helps so much.  I went on a family vacation with a new digital camera that came 2 days before our trip.(this was not my fault, we ordered it 2 months earlier but they were out of stock) Bad, bad, ideal.  My pictures were so pixelated that lots of them were worthless.  I thought I hated my camera.  Well in time I got to know my camera, and it was one of the best buys I had ever made, in fact 7 years done the road it still works and takes better pics then almost all the new cameras that my friends and family have.

   Second, lighting can make or break a photo. Some photos can be beyond fixing in Photo shop or other editing software if the lighting is to bad.  I use a white background and I light from above with a lamp that has a daylight bulb. I never use the flash on my camera when taking pics of my work, it will wash out the color.When I take a photo I get as close to the card as I can without cutting off any of the card, or scrapbook page. This is not a fancy setup, my background happens to be my all white computer shelving unit and my lamp was clearance $20.

You can try natural lighting but for me I don't like the shadows I get from sunny days. An over cast day would work better.  This is why most photographers who shot outside do so early in the morning or in the evening before it gets to dark.

  Third, you need some sort of editing program.  When you  take a photo of a card there is still so much background behind the card that it distracts from the image and you really can't see the details.  You may also still need a little lighting adjustment. Depending on where you are posting your picture you may have to re size it, and lower the pixels.  All this is done in your editing software.
   I use Photo Shop Elements  to crop, adjust lighting, re size my image, and save for the web.  Here are some screen shots.

This shot shows the crop tool highlighted dark gray. Click on pics to enlarge 
This shows how to adjust the lighting.
 This shows how to resize your Image. I set Resolution at 72 pixels per square inch.

  These last two are how to save for the web.  I have to do this before I can put them on a forum or in an email because my camera takes pics at such a high resolution.  You will know if  you need to do this if when you try to load a picture to a forum or send and email it says image is to large.(when you save for web this is not print quality, it's only for viewing on the web)  When you click save for web, a  window pops up with 2 images, the original and the one you are going to change.  On the right there is a box that says new size with a height and width in pixels.  This is were I make my changes. I change my width to around 600 and the height automaticly changes to fit the width. If you make this number to small you image will also be small and you may not be able to see much.  You can always go back and resize it again with no problems
  You do not need an expensive editing program to make these changes.  Some are free or come with your camera.  So here are a few pictures to show how my image looks from start to finish.

This pic is straight out of the camera no editing

This is the cropped, light adjusted, and resized image.
Well that's it, I hope this was helpful.  Enjoy and Craft On!


  1. This is an amazing tutorial Dionne, I really got a lot of great knowledge from it. Thank you so much!

  2. Thanks for the tips. The card is wonderful! I still consider myself a novice card maker, I am just now realizing the picture you post makes a difference. So now..I am going to get into stagging etc!

  3. I have been trying for months to get good pictures of my projects. Thanks for the tips I have a setting on my Kodak 7.1 megapixel camera that says "documents" this seems to hit the mark. Thanks again for all of the tips!!!

  4. Thank you so much, I have been struggling with this for some time!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial with us Dionne - it's much appreciated. Must admit my photos are a bit hit and miss so will go away and have a play!!! lol

  6. Fab tutorial. Thanks for sharing your tips! Sheila:)X

  7. My camera was taking horrible pictures, but I didn't know how to get it to stop using the Flash every time, so I had to get out the manual. :-) I think it is time for a "manual" refresher course!!

  8. Wow. Helpful is an understatement! Thanks so much. I can't begin to tell you how much I learned from your tutorial!

  9. You can also finish your editing process by sharpening the pic a bit, to get the sharpest pic you can get. A 30% sharpening rate is usually sufficient. And as Dionne said, adjusting the levels is the way to go for a better pic.

    Great tutorial Dionne, thanks :-)

  10. thanks for this tut! Do you add your "signature" in the editting program too? That's what I need to start doing. TFS!

  11. Yes, I also have a watermark that I made in Photo Shop Elements and I add it to my photos now.

  12. Just found your blog, Dionne. Great tutorial. I'm a brand new blogger; still deciding how best to add images, photo or scan. Thanks!!