My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #138: Getting the Picture

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 10-19-2010 12:56 PM 5128 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 137: Almost There Part 138 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 139: I Couldn't Do This Alone »

I am glad that yesterday is behind me. I am not (really) complaining, but it is good that today is a new day and will be much less tedious than yesterday. It wasn’t disastrous or anything like that, but it was just the kind of day where it seemed that I had to work much harder than usual to achieve not greatness, but mediocrity. I don’t mind working that hard for greatness. In that case, the end results is its own reward. I worked much harder yesterday than I did on the day when I cut the Wright Inspired Candle Tray. I didn’t mind it that day though because I think that tray is one of my finest projects. Yesterday however, it seems I worked even harder and the end result is just “meh”.

So what did I do that was so tedious? I took photographs of the final submissions to the catalog for the wholesaler. Initially I had counted on a couple of hours tops, but the process took most of the day and even a bit after supper, as I had some more ideas regarding lighting. I not only needed to photograph my three new candle trays, but also three new baskets that my partner designed.

The baskets are really very nice. I hope that I did them justice though. I had submitted photos of them before, and I thought they looked good, but my contact at the wholesaler requested I try again because she thought I could do better. She also requested that I re-shoot the photos for my Wright Candle Tray on a lighter background so it would show up better. I really did like the pictures I took initially, but I did see her point because the pictures the customers would see in their catalog would be only about an inch tall and it would be difficult to see the detail.

I started with the baskets. I had purchased fruit to put in them and with having to finish everything else, I hadn’t taken the pictures, as I needed to set everything up to do so. I wanted to do it all at once so that it would go quickly. I did notice though that some of the fruit was starting to go soft and (kind of) rot and I knew if I didn’t take the pictures soon I would have to go and get more. The baskets are geometrically shaped and play havoc with the lens and become quite distorted in photographs. I use a filter in Photoshop to correct this problem, but again it is more time and there is only so much you can do without adding to the problem. After several attempts however, they did turn out OK and I think they are good.

The candle trays looked alright, but the main problem I was having besides the usual “dark wood” problem on the Celtic Trinity and the FL Wright Inspired ones was that once you light the candle as it should be, it throws off the light source and changes everything. It wants to take over the picture and you lose the detail on the charms and the tray itself, which is what will sell the pattern. Add in the factor that as I said, these pictures will be only about an inch in diameter and you will understand the problem. However, after many, many retakes and configurations of light, I finally have acceptable pictures of everything. I finished around 8pm last night.

The three candle trays are the Sweetheart Candle Tray:

From SLD334 Sweetheart Candle Tray and Charms

The Celtic Trinity Candle Tray:

From SLD335 Celtic Trinity Candle Tray and Charm Set

And the Shamrock Candle Tray:

From SLD336 Shamrock Candle Tray and Charm Set

I was (finally) happy with how the Celtic Trinity pictures came out, with the wood being so dark. I think I finally figured out how to do the lighting for that one. You can click on the title of the picture and go to my Picasa albums to see the several views of each of them if you wish. I think they came out alright in the end. It was just a long road.

One thing good about the new set up that I will have for my website is that I can present several pictures for each item. This will assist greatly in allowing my customers to really see the products. It is much like the gallery page here on LJ’s where there are several decent sized views. I still may retake the Final Shamrock Candle Tray Picture so that the charms are more visible, but I will see how the day is and how much light I have to work with. I actually did send a picture of it without the tinting for the catalog because you could see what was going on better. Right now the sun is just coming up and it it appears the sky is clear. So chances are good.

Today I will be writing descriptions for the products for the site. We are just about ready to unveil the new site and I am also quite excited about that. I hope to have it up by the weekend if all goes well. I have to figure for that one day delay where the domain name has to be hooked to it too after it is published. It will be exciting to see how it is going to be received. I just want to be absolutely sure that everything is in order.

It is good to have these catalog deadlines under my belt. I can get back to working on some of the other things that I really need to work on. I also want to get moving on my shoe and see how that will go. It will be fun to play with the Dremel and learn something new.

On a final note for today, I understand all the little bears from my Beary Tale have made it to their new homes in Apple Creek, Ohio. The girls volleyball team won the County Championships and they were each given a little golden bear to adopt. It was a wonderful experience to make these little bears knowing that they will be loved and appreciated. I am thrilled that they won the Championship too. Like icing on the cake. :)

From A Beary Tale

Congratulations, Girls!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

6 comments so far

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3091 days

#1 posted 10-19-2010 02:04 PM

Shelia, It is good to have a bad day from time to time. It reminds us how good the good days are. :-)

GOOD LUCK with the new site!!!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2975 days

#2 posted 10-19-2010 02:09 PM

You are right on there, Cozmo! And really – if that is a “bad” day, I am pretty fortunate! My partner says I am ‘too picky’. This is while he is obsessing over the new catalog, making sure that every font is the same and everything in it is consistent and perfect. I had to kind of laugh at him about it. He has that catalog looking like a masterpiece in itself yet says I’m picky! LOL

It sure does make you appreciate the days that run like clockwork!

Have a good one! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4141 days

#3 posted 10-19-2010 02:31 PM

Sheila, have you ever heard of Cowboy Studio’s Light Cube tent? I’ll include a link to amazon for it. It has different background colors to inset, and the white fabric bounces the light all around the object you are photographing. I bought one for small turnings, and love it. You can arrange an overhead swing-arm lamp with your choice of bulb to shine through the open top, or close it with Velcro tabs and bring light in from the front, or both. Check it out:


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2975 days

#4 posted 10-19-2010 02:43 PM

Yes, Barb! I am going to get one of those! I am looking for one in Canada here so I don’t have to pay for all the extra stuff with going across the border, or at worse case scenario I will get one when I am in New York. I was wishing so much that I had one yesterday! For my small stuff, it would be the perfect solution. I copied the link and may wind up getting it before though. Maybe I can ask Santa for it! ;)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3359 days

#5 posted 10-19-2010 03:42 PM

well it seems all turned out good, but i certainly understand how you felt…ive had those kind of days also …but your pictures here look really nice…i dont know what kind of set up you have sheila , but neil…beener…has a brother who is into photography and he sent me a few links of how to set up a nice small lighting booth for taking such pictures…if your can contact him, or i can try to find the links myself and send them to you…just email me if so…if not and you feel your good..then great…just wanted to offer…well i hope today goes as planned for you and that you have a nice weather day too…its really nice here…we dont have the tree color thing going yet…and when we do we dont get the reds that you do…not as brilliant …have a good one my friend…bob

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 2936 days

#6 posted 10-20-2010 03:01 AM

scrollgirl, you aught to post a video of what you do. Unless it’s a ‘trade secret’...shhhh! ;-)

It’s unbelievable how detailed your work is! Amazing!

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

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