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Blog entry by Spoontaneous posted 1896 days ago 1634 reads 3 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was wishing to have a few of my spoons photographed professionally and when I researched online, I found that the going rate is about $55 per SHOT (not including shipping). Figuring that some of my spoons might have trouble being worth that much, I set about to see if I could get ‘acceptable’ results with out the expense. I have a high respect for those photographers that make craft work look good especially for Jurying purposes, but to be honest, $55 would cut hard into any profit I fool myself into thinking I might actually make on a project. I’m going to have to wait a while for my work to attract the deep pocket buyers before I can hire a professional photographer.

I had been using a white paper background and didn’t really like it. I have noticed that the best shots of craft work seem to use a graduated background, and so my search led me to find the Varitone graduated background from Photo Tech Inc. I ordered the #928 in the 31” x 43” vertical format, vinyl. http://www.phototechinc.com/graduate2.htm With a $32 price and another $8 for shipping, my cost was about $40. I already own a digital camera, although it is just one of those fairly inexpensive ‘point and shoots’. I think my wife paid $150 for it a year or two ago when she gave it to me as a gift. It is a Sony DSW-55 (I think) and what I love about it besides it’s small size is that it has a remarkable ‘macro’ capability for its size. When I can hold it still enough I can capture the facets of a fly’s eyes. It can see a lot that I can not.

Anyway, I set the background up outside on a patio table while it was overcast, so the shadows wouldn’t be too strong. I had my camera set on ‘macro’ and white balance set for ‘overcast’. I hurried the whole thing since it looked like rain setting in, I did not use a tripod and didn’t spend enough time composing… but in spite of it all, my photos were much better with the graduated background. I want to do some experimenting with white balance, settings, shade/light, etc., but I think this can hold me off from having to pay the big boys for a while. You guys have probably figured all this out already, but I haven’t gone back to read the last thousand blogs.

Before: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7593136@N07/3472575112/

After: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7593136@N07/3537389052/

Before: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7593136@N07/3499716608/

After: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7593136@N07/3537386140/

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)



15 comments so far

View RobH's profile

RobH

465 posts in 2649 days


#1 posted 1896 days ago

Ok, those pictures are great. I have not seen pro pictures much better. Now, here is my question. Did your flash fire? It looks like it might have, but I do not have any experience with graduated backgrounds.

Keep up the good work, and thanks for the handy, cost saving tip.

Rob Hix

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View Loucarb's profile

Loucarb

2388 posts in 2044 days


#2 posted 1896 days ago

Those pictures look pro to me

View Sawdust2's profile

Sawdust2

1467 posts in 2687 days


#3 posted 1896 days ago

I think that is great and this is a great post.

I’ve also been doing some studying/searching.

You might like this site

http://www.sigma-2.com/camerajim/index.htm

and this one

http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-make-a-inexpensive-light-tent

so you don’t have to worry about the rain.

Lee

Lee Storesund

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Spoontaneous's profile

Spoontaneous

1286 posts in 1929 days


#4 posted 1896 days ago

Rob, no.. I did not fire the flash. The light is from an overcast sky (with maybe a little reflecting off the house wall).

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 1993 days


#5 posted 1896 days ago

Professional grade! No doubts about it!
My respect for those who make a living from photography, but same way I was quoting some shots for my son and my family the other day and I was shocked with their rates….No way!

I also try to have the best pictures as I can, for hanplanes I sale at ebay, my small apartment has a balcony in the back and that’s my studio…....I find the morning light to be the best for my pics. During the day, when the sun arises, the shadows and light are srong so I do not like the results.

I use a Canon G2, an old camera (current model is the G10) but i’m happy with the results, in Manual mode it’s possible to make classic photography and control shutting speed, exposure, ISO, Manual Focus, an many other fetures…..also use a Boggen tripode and that’s esential when working with manual mode.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View closetguy's profile

closetguy

744 posts in 2491 days


#6 posted 1896 days ago

Wow! I have to get one of those. I have the same problem with shooting with an uninspiring white background. Thanks for the information. This is my setup. I just need one of those backgrounds.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design changes....www.dgmwoodworks.com

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14592 posts in 2275 days


#7 posted 1896 days ago

Most of the photo blogs I’ve read go into a lot of stuff youi don’t really need if you just want to be as frugal as posxsible. With todays digital cameras, you don’t really need to know anything about photography except compostition. I once went to a lot of trouble to photograph some black ponies on dark dirt in an indoor arena racing with covered wagons using film. Later I saw a point and shoot indoor digital shot. That sold me on digital photography. You have it about as good as it’s going to get :-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View closetguy's profile

closetguy

744 posts in 2491 days


#8 posted 1896 days ago

There is one thing you need to know about digital cameras. They are not idiot proof.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design changes....www.dgmwoodworks.com

View Broda's profile

Broda

313 posts in 2118 days


#9 posted 1896 days ago

If my shots came out as well as that I don’t think i’d be hiring a professional photographer

they look great

-- BRODY. NSW AUSTRALIA -arguments with turnings are rarely productive-

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14592 posts in 2275 days


#10 posted 1896 days ago

That’s pretty good closetguy ;-)) She’s blonde, what can you expect??

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View tpastore's profile

tpastore

105 posts in 2415 days


#11 posted 1896 days ago

Nice job. The graduated backgrounds do make a nice backdrop. I have been spending the last 3 hours taking some long overdue pictures of some projects. Take a look at my blog on taking pictures. It may help. Someday I need to get out of the workshop and add another chapter to the blog.

BTW, nice job on the spoons too!

View noknot's profile

noknot

548 posts in 2041 days


#12 posted 1896 days ago

You can also get material from a fabric store and be alot cheaper< and those pics are great

-- GO DAWGS!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14592 posts in 2275 days


#13 posted 1896 days ago

Fleece makes a good nonreplective background with a soft tone.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View BethMartin's profile

BethMartin

111 posts in 1977 days


#14 posted 1895 days ago

Those pictures look really nice! I was playing with this myself a while back. I ended up making a light tent out of a cardboard box and tracing paper. :) Very cheap. I was just using a white background, but I really like your graduated one.

-- Beth

View Andy's profile

Andy

1535 posts in 2507 days


#15 posted 1873 days ago

Thanks a lot for the tip.This make a nice dramatic background.And your free spirited spoons are fantastic.!!

-- If I can do it, so can you. www.artboxesbyandy.com

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