Thursday, August 5, 2010

On photography and styling, part two

Light is a photographer's best friend.

Natural or artificial, properly wielded light is absolutely key to great photos!

I've relied on artificial light for my hand knit photos, but have been increasingly unhappy with my photos as my light - both natural and artificial - changed.

I've been longing to make the move to all natural light, but don't have very many options in my house (VERY few windows).

But got to eyeing my front door entryway the other day ...

So, I put up a few props (cross stitch sampler than I made myself along with my favorite straw hat) and starting taking photos!

Here's what I like:

  1. Zero color adjustment (we'll see how this holds when I try red, blue or purple!)
  2. Just adjust brightness and contrast
  3. Ability to create consistency in styling
  4. Lots of depth and texture
  5. MUCH less time fiddling with set up (don't have to move/trip over/etc. lights!)
  6. Having my living room back (back half of which had become my photo studio)
Here's what I'm not sold on yet:
  1. Radical change from my photos that were recognizably mine (not necessarily a bad thing!)
  2. Are they too dark?  I'm just not sure yet!
  3. Being chained to an hour here and there for key light is a bit frustrating
  4. Subtle golden cast to photos - I like the sort of vintage-y flavor that gives, like a wash of sunshine, but still getting used to it
  5. Lugging dress form back and forth from laundry room (where it's locked up in protection from Molly, who thinks it's her very own huge scratching post)
Here's what I've learned during this experiment:
  1. Morning light isn't working for this spot
  2. Mid day and late afternoon light is best
  3. Recharge your camera battery overnight ... versus in the middle of a photo shoot (argh)
  4. The closer you can come to SOC (straight out of the camera) photos, the happier and easier your life will be
I'm still working on styling, balance, etc.  I feel like I'm heading in the right direction!

I'll talk about styling and story in parts III and beyond!

Reprinted from Phydeaux Designs, On photography and styling, part two.

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