You may have your camera too close to the jewelry that you are photographing. Try moving the camera back about 2 to 4 inches and see what happens. This is known as depth of field. You should consult your camera's owner's manual for more information about depth of field and the minimum distance your camera has to be away from the subject of the photograph and the camera's lens.
Another possible problem could be that you move the camera when you depress the shutter button. To solve this problem I recommend that you use a tripod and the camera's self-timer when you do jewelry photography. Using those two things will give your camera some time to bounce back when you depress the shutter button.
Your problem may also be all of the above.
Your camera should also have a circle or square in the view screen that turns red or green when you push halfway down on the shutter. When you're getting ready to take the shot, push halfway down and see if the box is green. If it's red, release the shutter, move the camera back slightly & try again until it's green. This will insure the subject is in focus.
A tripod is definitely the best thing to have, but in a pinch you can rest your elbows on something (the back of a chair, a stack of books, etc) so the camera doesn't shake as much. When you go to take the shot, exhale smoothly as you do. It steadies me when I do. Also, if your camera has an "anti-shake" feature it will help you. It waits to take the shot until both the subject & camera are still.
Hope that helps!
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I actually consider the tripod an essential, because you really want to avoid using the flash. By having a tripod, you can set your camera to shutter priority and make a nice, long exposure - up to 15 seconds. Anti-shake will not really compensate for that long of an exposure.
No flash means no glare or bounceback.
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The best type of light for taking photographs is indirect sunlight. When you take photographs outdoors I recommend taking them on overcast days which gives you indirect sunlight.
I agree that the best pictures are taken in indirect sunlight. My light box works great. I've got big windows on the south side of my house and I use the lightbox sitting on a table near those windows. I use my elbows to steady my hand (as Jeni suggested) when using the macro feature, and when I do/use all of these things, my pics come out great. Altough I would love to try a tripod, I'll bet they would come out even better. I don't think my Sony Mavica has a gizmo on the bottom to attach a tripod though.
What the heck - three people on the BD forums from Colorado!
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Not able to use a tripod, no problem. Just find something to rest your camera on and place a bath towel on top of whatever you found to use as support for your camera. That should work like a charm.
I don't have a problem with anyone disagreeing with me. It could be that I am wrong, or the way that I stated something was not clear.
I would say that your camera settings may be what is causing the problem. Your camera may have a setting for an overcast/cloudy day but you may have your camera set on sunshine. Be sure to read your camera's owner's manual.
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I purchased Photoshop Elements 5, which is a watered down version of Photoshop, several years ago for about 99 USD. That is a reasonable price for this very good piece of software.
About 6 to 12 months ago I found out about a FREE software program called GIMP. This is an excellent substitute for Photoshop, and it can do just about everything that the very expensive software program can do.
I prefer GIMP over Photoshop Elements mainly because you can do more with it.
Laurel, I will be glad to show you my light tent. I bought it on eBay about 5 years ago and it works great. And it was not expensive - maybe $25. It's about 14 inches square, but I would say 17 inches would be a better size. It is also easy to collapse and store. I will try to remember to bring it with me to the Steamboat show next month so you can see it. I'm counting down the days!
I have to disagree with our UK friend about using a desk lamp for photography light. Household lamps doesn't work for photography because in my experience it gives a yellow tinge to all of your pictures. Photographing on overcast days I get a blue tinge, even when I increase the exposure level. I would agree with Jim that we both need to check our camera manuals and we may find proper adjustments that will help with photographing in different light.
I also have to disagree about having "interesting backgrounds" to set off your jewelry piece. The best background to use is a neutral background, so that there are no distracting elements in your photograph. You want your jewelry piece to be the center of attention. I use white embroidered doilies for my backgrounds. They add a little background texture without distracting from the subject being photographed.
Although for some pieces, a white background doesn't work well, such as a piece with all white pearls. I sometimes use a plain black background and found by accident that if I reduce the exposure level, the piece will pop and will not look washed out from the light reflecting on the piece on such a contrasting black background. This works especially with items containing rhinestones. You can really see the facets when photographed this way on a dark background with reduced exposure on the camera.
I'm in the same boat as you Laurel - during winter, the only time I can take photographs is on the weekends. And I agree with you that overcast days don't work. When I said that indirect light is best, I did not mean overcast. I meant a bright sunny day with indirect bright light coming in the window. So I'm on the same page as you are!
I have always used and I recommend using goose neck desk lamps with a halogen lamp.
I have never used these, but there are desk lamps made by Ott lamps, or some name like that, that are suppose to be good for photography. They aren't cheap.
I heard that they where on sale a little while ago at JoAnns or Michaels, but I don't remember which one.
Good to see you posting again, Jim.
Jim Juris:I have never used these, but there are desk lamps made by Ott lamps, or some name like that, that are suppose to be good for photography. They aren't cheap.
I have one, but it ISN'T the same as daylight; and no, they aren't cheap, but I like it for the intensity. I use a standard light bulb in a gooseneck lamp with it to get a somewhat better color balance when beading, but it seems to be a bit red. (I don't photograph my work.)
Look in the manual? What a novel idea !! I often say, "When all else fails, follow instructions." [source unknown.]
Ignorance is curable; Stupidity has neither cure nor excuse.
There is a website with a lot of very helpful hints
Ditto - on the homemade light box. I have been trying to find ways to get a professional look to my pictures, but with out having to pay the professional price.
I didn't read all the replies so I apologize if this is repeat info. In addition to the light box, I suggest you invest in a couple of photographic background. I use the graduated shades of grey in the background and light it from underneath and it looks very professional. Grey sounds boring but it seems to work with my pieces. I have other colors of graduated backgrounds also but grey is the one I use the most.
Same also with my which im getting started my home based business ?
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