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Unread 01-28-2008, 09:31 AM   #1
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Default How do you stage your pics for SCS?

I really need help with the pictures I am uploading. I stage them with a white background, but you still don't see all the dimension and details that they have. I use my flash and take the picture from a distance, using zoom. I have found this gets me the best picture, but they still aren't that great. What do you all do to get the dimensions and details to show?

Thanks for your help
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Unread 01-28-2008, 09:44 AM   #2
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This is a constant thorn in my side...I am always on a mission to get the perfect photo. Haven't gotten there yet, however I feel I get the best photo in natural light, no flash. I am thinking about getting a tripod, because there is just enough movement to cause a little blurriness. Will be watching this thread for pointers!
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Unread 01-28-2008, 09:46 AM   #3
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Unread 01-28-2008, 09:46 AM   #4
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I use a light tent, white background.

No flash in the Macro setting (the little flower).
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Unread 01-28-2008, 09:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanne S View Post
I use a light tent, white background.

No flash in the Macro setting (the little flower).
Ditto. I also use a tripod and the self-timer when I take pictures of my cards.

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Unread 01-28-2008, 09:57 AM   #6
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I use natural daylight, no flash, and the little flower.

p.s. Your gallery is gorgeous!
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Unread 01-28-2008, 10:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krystie lee View Post
I use natural daylight, no flash, and the little flower.

p.s. Your gallery is gorgeous!
ditto for me, with a white or neutral backdrop of card stock behind and underneath.

But, my photographs are still lack-luster . . . I need a more powerful camera . . . at least, that's what I am hoping to convince my hubby of . . .
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Unread 01-28-2008, 10:03 AM   #8
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Ditto. I also use a tripod and the self-timer when I take pictures of my cards.

Vera
I am the tripod........lol

I tried leaving a tripod up but my dogs kept knocking things over. Not good.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 10:10 AM   #9
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subscribing to get the info from the resident experts!!
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Unread 01-28-2008, 10:12 AM   #10
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Jeanne- did you purchase your light tent or make it? I have read this is the best way to do the pictures, I just hate to spend the money on a light tent. I was thinking about constructing my own.

Krystie Lee- thanks! I just went to yours...awesome! Your work is great!
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Last edited by stampcrazzzy; 01-28-2008 at 10:14 AM.. Reason: I just went to krystie lee's gallery...
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Unread 01-28-2008, 10:18 AM   #11
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Portable light box, tripod, no flash, and little flower mode here.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 10:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Jeanne- did you purchase your light tent or make it? I have read this is the best way to do the pictures, I just hate to spend the money on a light tent. I was thinking about constructing my own.

Krystie Lee- thanks! I just went to yours...awesome! Your work is great!
I bought it. It's one of those nylon collapsible ones. It came with 2 lights on tripods.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 10:26 AM   #13
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subscribing to get the info from the resident experts!!
LOL...... I'm a FAR cry from and expert when it comes to photography. I just bought what BadSherry told me to.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 10:28 AM   #14
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I opt for macro/no tripod. I usually get a decent pic, unless my hands are shakey . I also tend to stage my cards a little left or right (depending on which view I like better), as it shows dimension well.

Interested in what everyone else does, though! Always open to suggestion.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 10:34 AM   #15
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I use natural daylight bulbs as I often have to photograph my cards at night since I work during the day. I also use a tripod, self timer, and no flash. I've heard mixed reviews on the light tents. I'd be interested in knowing what one those of you who like them would recommend.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 10:45 AM   #16
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I place my card on the white carpet in front of my slider. I let the natural daylight hit it, and try and shoot the pic from an angle.

To steady the camera, I get down on the floor with it, usually hold it on the same level as my card, steady it on the floor to shoot the pic. I don't use a flash (or try not to). Some of the cards in my gallery you can see where I used a flash or indoor light. Just doesn't come out as nicely. It's definitely something you have to play around with to see how you like it!

Good Luck!
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Unread 01-28-2008, 11:13 AM   #17
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I have trouble taking photos of my projects, so these tips are great. I just purchased a new camera (Nikon D40) and I can't upload pictures. I try to save them as small, but they look awful when posted in my gallery. If I save it as a normal size picture, then they are too large to upload.

Any ideas? I hope I'm not highjacking the thread, but it does concern taking photos for the gallery.

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Unread 01-28-2008, 12:15 PM   #18
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I have been taking better pics lately. I have a piece of white posterboard that I lay on my stove. I turn the stove light on and take the pic. I think it looks better than what I had been doing.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 12:33 PM   #19
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I, too, turn off the flash. I have a desk mounted lamp that adds light for the picture. I place the picture on the desk and stand up. TRY to hold it steady. Sometimes it doesn't work so well but usually it does. I may try it with the flower icon on the camera as has been mentioned.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 12:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toy View Post
I also tend to stage my cards a little left or right (depending on which view I like better), as it shows dimension well.
I do this too, hardly any of my pics are front-on. Natural light whenever possible, macro setting and as I don't have a tripod I try to stage the pic somewhere where I can rest my elbows against something solid to minimise any camera shake.

I live in a very old house with tiny windows so natural light usually means I have to go outdoors to take pictures - you might spot ivy in the background of most of my gallery pics

I take maybe six or eight photos of a card, just changing the angle very slightly each time. It takes barely any longer than taking a single pic by the time you've done the set up and then you can choose the best of the bunch when you view them on your computer.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 12:41 PM   #21
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I use natural daylight and no flash. I also use the close-up feature and zoom in on my card. My best photos are the ones I take this way. If I HAVE to take a photo at night, I turn every possible light and I use the flash. I also will take anywhere from 5-10 photos, that way I have several to choose from. HTH!
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Unread 01-28-2008, 12:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiggynine View Post
I have trouble taking photos of my projects, so these tips are great. I just purchased a new camera (Nikon D40) and I can't upload pictures. I try to save them as small, but they look awful when posted in my gallery. If I save it as a normal size picture, then they are too large to upload.

Any ideas? I hope I'm not highjacking the thread, but it does concern taking photos for the gallery.

Linda
Do you have Microsoft Office? If so, open "Microsoft Office Picture Manager" (should be in your Start Menu, Programs, and then under MS Office). This program will allow you to resize a photo & crop it as well. If you go to "Picture" and then "resize" it will give you the options of what you can resize to. If you choose something like Document - Large - it's a great size for uploading the pics to the gallery.

Also, don't forget to name your photos something unique (ex: your username & date combined) so that they dont get automatically deleted when the cleanup process runs. Hope that helps you!
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Unread 01-28-2008, 12:50 PM   #23
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Place a piece of paper towel (white) on my cooktop, turn on the overhead stove light, use the macro setting, no flash. Works good for an amateur!
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Unread 01-28-2008, 01:00 PM   #24
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I use a tripod and a box draped with a white sheet. I set my camera far back and zoom in (this creates less distortion) I use the macro setting as well. For lighting I use my OTT light. Then when I am editing my photo and adding my watermark I usually adjust the exposure and the contrast to give it a little more punch and take out any gray YKWIM?
Would love one of those light tents, I think that is the next thing on my list!
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Unread 01-28-2008, 01:03 PM   #25
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Does anyone scan? I thought would give a crisper image. Am I wrong?
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Unread 01-28-2008, 01:05 PM   #26
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Does anyone scan? I thought would give a crisper image. Am I wrong?
Scanning will often distort the colors if you have anything with dimension on your card. It will also make the close parts of your card clear and the background a little fuzzy. This was my experience. You can use a little cheap camera and probably still get better results than with scanning. I started out scanning and got sooo frustrated. Just my experience...
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Unread 01-28-2008, 01:09 PM   #27
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there are some great tips here. I have found that the white cardstock behind the photo does help to get more detail in the pictures. Have not tired the flower setting though...will try that soon.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 01:12 PM   #28
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I have experimented with several different ways of taking pictures. My most successful seems to be putting the card on my dining room table with white or neutral card stock underneath, behind and standing on either side (like four sides of a box), with an overhead light and a small, movable desk lamp aimed from the front which I can use to equalize light and shadow. I use the "document" setting on my Kodak Easyshare P850 (which has no flash and doesn't do the weird automatic zooming of other settings that often causes blur). I position the camera on the table in front of the card, which reduces hand shakes, and move it around or tip it to get a good angle. I am also comfortable with adjusting the brightness/contrast and color levels in Adobe Photoshop after I've transferred the picture to my computer. I usually take between eight and 15 shots so I can pick the best one.

The one thing that confounds me is why the uploaded pictures of my cards that have red card stock or ribbon turn out looking odd. The red seems to lose its real-looking paper definition and looks like it's felt or something fuzzy. It doesn't always happen with red DP, but it almost always happens with red card stock. It doesn't look that way on my computer, but it must get strangely compressed when the picture file is uploaded. It's frustrating because I know the card looks better in person.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 01:21 PM   #29
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I bought a light tent online that came with 2 lights on tripods. Inside the tent I put my cards on white cardstock and have a piece propped up behind the card as well.

For my camera - I keep the flash off and shoot on manual exposure setting so I can lighten or darken as necessary. I've tried to use the macro setting but I would always have to adjust the image too much when editing.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 01:24 PM   #30
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Oh, I forgot to post this link which shows how to make a very inexpensive light box from a plain ol' box! (This was posted in an older thread about this subject.) I've been meaning to make one of these but have been too busy, so I cannot attest first-hand to how it works.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 01:30 PM   #31
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Quote:
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Oh, I forgot to post this link which shows how to make a very inexpensive light box from a plain ol' box! (This was posted in an older thread about this subject.) I've been meaning to make one of these but have been too busy, so I cannot attest first-hand to how it works.
THIS IS AWESOME!! I need to go home and try to make it!
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Unread 01-28-2008, 02:04 PM   #32
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I take my pictures the same way as Jeanne (Light tent with white backdrop, no flash, on macro setting). Personally I don't zoom. I think each camera has 'strengths' & 'weaknesses'. My particular camera (Canon Powershot A640) has just a little bit of distortion when it is on the Macro setting and zoomed in...so I don't zoom, I just get close to the card. Also, a good photo editing program is very handy...no matter what camera/pic setup you have!
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Unread 01-28-2008, 02:21 PM   #33
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I have my home-made lightbox. It's 4 sides of a box (the top and front are cutaway). I placed something similar to what Keri discusses here inside the box. And that sits under my True Daylight lamp (from Costco).

I photograph in the "cuisine" setting on my camera (an Olympus-SP-510UZ). I don't usually need the macro setting unless I'm doing an extreme close-up of an embellishment. And although it's against popular action, I will take at least 2 flash pictures and 2 non-flash pictures. I like to have lots of choice when deciding on my final picture, and sometimes it ends up being the flash picture.

Also, no matter what, I almost always do a little bit of photo editing, usually the Auto Contrast action in Photoshop Elements does the trick.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 02:57 PM   #34
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Quote:
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I take my pictures the same way as Jeanne (Light tent with white backdrop, no flash, on macro setting). Personally I don't zoom. I think each camera has 'strengths' & 'weaknesses'. My particular camera (Canon Powershot A640) has just a little bit of distortion when it is on the Macro setting and zoomed in...so I don't zoom, I just get close to the card. Also, a good photo editing program is very handy...no matter what camera/pic setup you have!
Hey! I use the same camera too!
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Unread 01-28-2008, 03:02 PM   #35
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Unread 01-28-2008, 04:08 PM   #36
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I use two Ott Lights, and 2- 12 x 12 pieces of white card stock. I have an older digital camera that's probably on it's last "legs", but when I do the photo editing....I always crop, brighten the picture, and increase the contrast a bit.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 04:59 PM   #37
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I purchased a light box from Wal-Mart for $30. I had seen it on amazon for $70. It worked ok. The lamps weren't quite as bright as I needed. When I had to move my set up to the basement so I could leave it up all the time, I purchased 2 reflector bowl lamps with clamps from Wal-Mart - I think they were $6.67 each. Then I put 100 watt bulbs in them. I use those lights to give me extra umph in the basement. Then I adjusted the tungsten lighting on my camera (Rebel XT) ro remove the yellow.

It's still not the best, but it works, and when I can learn to operate the PHotoshop Elements software I purchased, it might be better.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 05:30 PM   #38
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I use both the light box and just the White cardstock. Mostly the white cardstock because I'm too lazy to get my tent out again and again. I have two shop lights ($4.99 each at Farm and Fleet) with Daylight bulbs. These work as my spotlights. It's much cheaper than the photo lights although probably not as high tech. They have clamps so you can even clamp them to your table if you want.

I struggle with this on a daily basis.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 05:41 PM   #39
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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I use a super advanced technique *snort* . . . Depending on the colors I used in my project, I pick a huge bath towel that will offer good contrast and bring out the paper colors. I drape it over my monitors and keyboard and then prop my project on top of it. Then I stack up small boxes, depending on the angle I want to shoot from to steady my hand. By the time I'm done something I'm so excited I got the shakes! LOL Then I take about a half a dozen pictures and then pick the one I like the best. Lighting however continues to be a challenge *sigh*
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Unread 01-28-2008, 05:42 PM   #40
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I sure don't have the photography thing down yet and am trying every day to make improvements. I have every good intention of making myself a "photo box" some day. In the meantime, I am at the mercy of the weather. I use natural night, preferably in the morning, outside, but with no direct sunlight. (Cloudy days are best.) My neighbors think I'm a bit odd taking pictures in my "go to work" outfits on my deck at 7:00, but hey, it works. I too do the macros setting and no flash.

I use either tissue paper as a backdrop or two sheets of chipboard from the SU designer paper packs (8 1/2 x 11 is just too small to get a good angle) that I set up on my deck table, leaned up against the umbrella stand (kinda "ghetto"). Then I sit down so the table is at eye level to my digital camera. I try to pivot my card so it doesn't look flat if I can and show it opened up a bit. {{I can't seem to locate my little stand I had (in a black hole in my house) so I just open the cards up to prop them.}} Then I take several shots from a couple different angles (Tyra 'aint got nothin' on my cards!"Yea baby, make love to the camera!"). Then I come in and look at them on the computer and decide which one looks the best and clearest.

Once I've selected the best shot, I open the photo with Microsoft photo manager (I don't have any cool photo editing software). Then I go to 'edit photo' then 'crop' and fix it to show some border but no edges from the background paper. then I go to 'brightness' then 'auto correct brightness". I usually have to then tone up the brightness and tone down the contrast then turn up the mid-tone adjustments, but I play it by "eye".

If I'm happy with it I go to 'resize' and take it down 80% (that was a Daven hint when I started and had trouble). Then I save it to a folder called "To Be Downloaded" with a super cool name so I can find it easily. After I download it I can put it in another folder by type and I have it "forever"!!! (kinda sick isn't it).
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