Thursday, January 06, 2011

Light box convert

Photos have long been something I've struggled with on Etsy. I'm not a photographer. I used to try to take slightly artsy photos (because I have friends who are photographers), but really even those weren't very good. The first items I listed on Etsy were REALLY badly photographed. I'm honestly shocked that I ever sold anything!

But 2010 was a good year for Scary White Girl Designs, so I decided to splurge a little at the end of the year and pick up a light box that I had my eye on. It took me a few days of playing around with it to get the hang of it, but now that I have... check out the difference.

I'm almost embarrassed to have the second photo in my shop right now. But this is the best comparison I can make. What you might not realize unless you look very closely is that these two items use, in part, the same yarn. Guess which one is the real color of the yarn? :)

The photo on the left is taken inside my light box, with light coming in from both sides. There's an overhead light in the room as well, but it only lights up a small portion of the room--not the portion where I took this. I also used a tripod to hold my camera steady. The photo on the right was taken with a bright light shining down on top, in addition to the overhead light. And no tripod. Both photos were edited in Picnik for resizing and touch-ups.

What this has convinced me, of course, is that I need to retake EVERY photo in my shop. Yeah. All of them. That's going to be quite a bit of work, of course, but the difference is worth it. And it means that I don't have to wait for a free day with just the right amount of sun--always a difficult proposition in the Pacific Northwest.

So if you sell online and you've been vacillating on whether or not you need a light box... trust me. You will be SO much happier with your photos once you have one.

ETA: I've updated the second photo so that it stays in this post when I replace it on Etsy.


samsstuff said...

This is something that I need to get or make. I've been getting pretty good results using natural side light, filtered through a light curtain & no flash, but a light box would be even better, especially for very small items & a tripod would be great, too. You can definitely see the difference in the photos. Thanks for showing us how much difference this makes!

Dawn said...

Natural light is definitely awesome, when you can get it! When I moved out of my studio (with a large, west facing window that had a good amount of building filtering) to my new craft room (with a smaller, south facing window screened by pine trees), my natural light was so hard to come by that I had to figure out what WAS feasible.

Cheryl said...

big improvement, dawn. Congrats! i love my lightbox, but i use it around my "black look" -- must edit to brighten. it's amazing what a sheet of black on the bottom can do to a lightbox! guess i must "pay" to get the look i want:)

HalinaB Designs said...

What a difference! I have a light box and have it set up under an overhead light in addition to the side lights. For people who photograph jewelry with gemstones or crystals consider a special lightbulb sold on Adorama which creates sparkle on the facets.