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Basic PoLEIGH Talking Tips

Photographing Your Work After 2 years with a Digital Camera, I'm going to share my methods for photographing things for the Web. I'm using a 2 year old Sony Mavica camera to take the photographs. It puts them on 3.5 inch discs. I can then put them into my Paint Shop Pro 5 program and manipulate them as I want!

Eventually, if there is a call for it, I'll post a Basic PoLEIGH Talking Tips page on putting photos on the web, but this Tips page is for taking the photographs!!!!

Please be aware that these are all suggestions, this is how I"m doing it and if this helps you, TERRIFIC! If you don't have access to all the things I talk about, use what you can and think about a good replacement. I'm sure there are a zillion different ways to do it, but this is what I'm doing at this point in time! Heck, I may come up with something different as soon as I get this lesson done!!!!

Picture 1
1. First comes my Handy Dandy Photo Studio! This is a foam core presentation board that I bought at Office Max. I cut the original board in half to make this size. After a while I reinforced the hinges with clear wrapping tape, but any tape can be used! I can store my Studio just about anyplace I have an inch of space - such as between two cabinets.

You can see how neatly all the backdrops fold into the board.

Picture 2
2. When it is opened up, you can see my two cloths used for backdrops. These cloths are attached with report clips (also bought at office max) but any type of attachment is fine, I like to be able to take them off or put new seasonal backdrops on.

IMPORTANT: The material is much wider than the width of the center board, but pleated in the middle to allow it to fold neatly. This lets you drap the material over objects if you need to.

Picture 3
3. Here you see how this stands up and the backdrops are allowed to drape however you need them.

The black is a knit material that does not reflect the light, the white is actually a piece of synthetic leather. I use the back side of the leather which has a very nice look in the photos and adds weight to the drape of the material. Helps keep out wrinkles too!

Picture 4
4.Here we are ready for a photograph - the only thing missing is the special light.

I usually put on every light in the room to try to avoid as many shadows as I can. The High Intensity light you see on the right side has been added for fill to help keep out the very harse shadows I get from the video light. But more about that later.

Picture 5
5.Ah and here is my video light! It was expensive and the bulbs are expensive when they blow out, but they made a very big difference in the photographs! This light helps take out the yellow color that you get when you take photos with household lighting. Same as using a real camera and using outdoor film inside. There is a yellowing that can drive you crazy, especially when you want to edit the photos!
Picture 6
6. Okay, stop laughing!! It works! This is my "FILTER". It's actually a piece of tracing paper. This softens the light from the video light! I had to make a makeshift holder so that I could get it in the right place, it's hard to hold the camera, hold the item and then hold the tracing paper at the same time!
Picture 7
7. See, it fits right in front of my light on the counter next to the table! The filter is only a few inches from the light, but makes all the difference in the world!!!!
Picture 8
8. There's a better shot with the tri-pod. Isn't that the cutest tri-pod you ever saw? I have one for the camera also! It gives me a number of choices for taking the photos, although this set up usually works best.
Picture 9
9. And what are those things???? Well, they are little velvet jewelry boxes I bought a long time ago for decorating my craft show set up, but they just happen to work GREAT with my Handy Dandy Photo Studio. I place these UNDER the back drop in different configurations to raise or lower the subject, depending again, on what it is!

You can also see how the black drop can be pulled back and the white drop used. I've used them both at the same time also to get a neat effect.

Picture 10 10. Here you can see with teh Black backdrop down, there are different levels you can put your subject or subjects. You can lean them if you need to, or prop them up, lots of variety.
Picture 11
11. Okay, since I"m giving away all my secrets, this is my really neato wooden box that my friend Windspinner made for me! I don't think he knew I would use it like this, but it's perfect to set my camera on to take the photos! It's just the right height and has a little lip on it so I know if I"m going to push it off by mistake! It is so much better to rest the camera on something to take the photos. Cuts down on the shaking camera!
Picture 12
12. You can see here that the High Intensity light is being bounced off the white of the foam core. If you play with this light, you can see how much difference there is without it! This light improved the photos, although I took many many without it and got good results.

I use the other pieces of the original LARGE foam core board to help direct the light if I need to, although this seems to be a very good set up so far!

Sorry I couldn't get a photo of the set up WITH the camera, but then, that just isn't possible, unless I find a friend with the same camera!!

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