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!ngridh 2006-11-14 2:47pm

photography and what works for me
I have been spending most of my time selling beads on ebay ....not mine.
Even the suppliers I buy from are envious of my pictures so IF you are interested...
here is a before and after photo of some iris beads.

I have a room facing east and south that gets good lighting. This is western Washington so not direct sun but plenty of light.

I use a mavica CD500. (this camera will make seroius adjustments if you are shooting in a dark spot) So I put the beads on a white sheet of paper. (that makes adjustment easier because you know what the background should look like.) (I have an old version of paintshop pro 7 and I am used to it and love it)

So the top is the photo naked. I put them on a table away from the window that gets no direct light at all. If the day gets late it can be quite dark there but my camera sees that it is too dark and will put up the hot orange/red grill pattern in my view finder and when it does that it lightens the background of the image to white(or close to it.)

Today I shot these and there was plenty of indirect light. YOu could read in that spot easily.

After taking the shot I go to paintshop and The first adjustment I make is hue and I lighten the photo by +14 to +16 this does not make a big difference. Then I go to brightness contrast and hit it up until the background is white. It is very important to not just take up brightness, take up the contrast too. For example if I take brightness to 45 I will take the contrast to 42 or 43. I then use "clarify" +1 or 2 that makes it highlight a little more obvious... then finally I go to sharpen and sharpen +1.

and I am done. Shooting in direct sunlight never works for me and even indirect where the light is close to the items. I have to shoot in a dark corner.
My back is toward the light and the beads are in front of me...


so nothing special but I feel like I can get good pictures without anything special. I think the key is having uniform light on the subject while not necessaryly much light.

Crazy Woman 2006-11-14 3:28pm

Thanks, Ingrid! I just get so bummed when I have nice beads and can't photograph them for didley!

Canyon Echoes 2006-11-14 5:34pm

Hi Ingrid,
I too use Paint Shop Pro 7 - thanks so much for sharing these tips. Getting nice pics of certain colors can be so frustrating.

TinaJ 2006-11-14 5:45pm

Thanks for the help. I use PSP v7 (I bought v9 but don't have it installed yet!) but I just hate having to tweak every photo because it takes so much time. I've been trying to find a way to shoot the photo and only have to crop the excess background out and not tweak. I use a FinePix 7000, which has all the bells and whistles, so I'll try your suggestions and see what I come up with. It sure would be nice to not have to wait for a sunny day and then go outside and fight the elements. :-)

!ngridh 2006-11-14 5:57pm

I must say it is a relief to be able to photograph my beads anytime it is daylight. Actually the more even the light on the subject the better so light but no direct light seems to keep them even...then all I have to do is get the paper to white.

if you are using PSP7 then the first adjustment is hue and that is
SHIFT H. I adjust lightness up about to +12-14.
That generally just lightens the whole picture just a little.

IF I didn't mention, make sure you have absolutely no artificial light on will change your colors.

So after shift H, brightness is
Shift B again you MUST increase the brightness AND The contrast or you will just wash out your image.

Play with these.

Then Clarify is one ...a square with a thing that looks like a target in it...cross hairs... Circle with cross hairs...

the max on that is 5 with effects highlights ...I think...

then the last is Effects which is a WORD EFFECTS in the upper line
File Edit View Image Effects - SHARPEN... Take the first will get grainy
if you go past the first level.

I finally feel like I have what it takes and am confident in all my photos.
And shooting iris beads seems to be the ultimate challenge ;-)

!ngridh 2007-10-05 12:55pm

An update. A customer asked me so I quickly put this together for her.
This shows each step of the adjustment in paintshoppro7

!ngridh 2007-12-27 10:05pm

OK I lost my the picture url should be

kentaymom 2008-03-01 7:18am

Thank you! I use PSPX and I just played with this and the results are so much better than anything I have been able to figure out on my own! There are tons of tuts for Photoshop, but not so many for PSP.

!ngridh 2008-04-06 1:40pm

OK some of these pictures weren't working...I have redone them and I will post this tutorial on my site too ;-)

TinaJ 2008-04-07 4:16pm

Thank you so much!
I quickly tried your steps to improve photos and here are the results:

And After:

What a difference! And I thought I was taking pretty good photos. . . until now.

I do use artificial light. . . daylight flourescent bulbs, and my camera has the white balance set for that type of lighting. Even so, you can see a dramatic improvement in the look of the beads.

Again, thanks so much for sharing.

Dragonfly Queen 2008-04-08 9:52am

This is an awesome quick tut. I am going to have to try it.

ziggys 2008-04-09 7:16am

I'm going to try this. I'm not a fan of Photo Shop so am ready to try Paint and see if that is any easier for me.
Thanks Ingrid, I'll let you know how it goes.

Troll Lover 2008-04-09 7:33am

Thanks for the tut, I'm playing with Flickr now but also want to try photoshop. The improvement of the pics is stunning!

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