I'm so glad that photos are digital now instead of having to buy film and get it developed. Now I can instantly see that my photos are terrible and blurry. I don't even have to wait a week and pay $7 to the drug store I remember when I was a kid, the excitement of getting photos back from the store and how disappointing it was when they were blurry, too bright, red eyed or a thumb was in the way. Good times.
I've been trying, for months now, to take good product pictures for my store. I think I need to take a class or something. Some of the pictures look good when they are small but the product photos can be enlarged to show texture (haha) and then they get blurry. And how do people take those cool photos where the foreground is in focus and the background is blurred? Am I expecting unrealistic things from my old 5 megapixel camera or is it operator error?
I was told that good photo editing software can make up for a mediocre camera. I tried the Photoshop trial for a month. I wasn't impressed. I think that I need to take a class in Photoshop. Sometimes I think that throwing more technology at a problem is not the answer. If I can't work my digital camera correctly, why would buying brand new software help me? It just confuses and frustrates me more.
One of the tiny house blogs that I read, www.rowdykittens.com, also gives tips on photography. She takes beautiful pictures. I looked up her camera. It costs $735. Wow. I can't afford that right now. I'm just going to have to learn how to make my old camera take proper pictures.
Don't buy photoshop - you can get free software that has the same functionality (at least what you would need) for free. Gimp (you can probably download at gimp.com or something or just search). My boyfriend is a computer geek and a big advocate of free software and apparently I've been converted because it drives me crazy to see people spend money on software unless they're crazy designers. You can also get non-free advice on lots of software at lynda.com (monthly subscription fee) - not sure if they have gimp or not but gimp is truly the same as photoshop the user interface is just a little different. hope this helps.
Well I think you are expecting too much from an old camera. My husband is a photographer and he says that it is absolutely not true that photoshop can make up for a mediocre camera. Photoshop can enhance what you take and if the raw material (pics from your old camera) is not good, the end product will not be good too. Good cameras and lot of reading and practice can help you focus on what you want. Personally I would not take an online shop seriously if the pics are blurry or bad. Good luck, hope you figure out a solution soon.
Are you taking the photos in natural light or with a flash? I find that my product shots do well by a window and paying attention to the background.
Photoshop can't make up for a mediocre camera but you can get decent shots with an older camera.
What kind of camera do you have? I'll try to think of camera specific advice once you let me know
- A lurker :)
This might be helpful to you:
Thanks for the free software tip! I forget about free software because there is so much out there but it is hard to know what is really useful.
I was researching how to make the blurred background photos and it seems that I would need a camera with manual focus. Photoshop can only blur the whole background evenly but it won't give me the foreground/background effect that I am looking for. Of course, then I looked up manual focus cameras and they start around $400. Something to think about. I do know someone with a good camera. Maybe I will pay her to take my photos for me.
saro, I have an HP M425. Just a point and shoot. I started off researching lighting and trying light boxes and lamps and daylight bulbs but you are right, daylight is best. I get the best pictures on my porch. When I come home from work I have about 20 minutes of light so I have been taking a few pictures before the sun sets. I need to improve my background also. My products are small and light. I've been trying out taking pictures on a blue plate. They look better. I should buy some colored boards from the office supply store so that I have more room to work with than just a plate. Thanks for the link, I always learn something every time I read more photo tips. Then I followed the link to "You Suck at Photoshop" and it was hilarious. I could relate.
Yes, I definitely think you need a camera with manual focus but I don't think it needs to be a $400 camera. If you have an independent camera shop nearby, I think you should just drop by and ask them for their advice on good, second hand cameras. I used to work at Wolf Camera (over 15 years ago!) and even though we were a chain, our people were very knowledgeable. I was looking for a replacement lens for my Olympus E-510 and saw it for sale for much less. Granted, my camera is 4 years old but it still works well. I will go look at your photos now.
I'll check out the You Suck at Photoshop soon, sounds funny!
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