Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lightbox - Help!

Pocket Mirror
Originally uploaded by m.Lee
Hi guys! Unexpectedly I am back today. I was planning on taking the day off blogging but I need your help. You see I got a lightbox yesterday and I used it for the first time today and I am getting mixed results with it.

First off I have no idea how to get the pure white background that some sellers manage to get. I have been using sunlight as my light source so maybe I need some sort of heavy duty lamp? I don't know. I don't think the photos look bad at all, but having that pure white would be nice.

My second dilemma is that I kind of miss the old background. Here is a revised listing with lightbox photographed images. The original photos were the worst I had so I made sure to update this one first. Now here is a listing that didn't use a no lightbox and has a block of wood as a backdrop. As much as I am drawn to getting the pure white background I do think the woodgrain pattern is beautiful and appropriate for my mirrors. Maybe I should try taking some shots tomorrow with the woodblock placed in the lightbox?

My final question has to do with what type of shot the first shot should be in the listing. Head on or at an interesting angle. Most mirrors on Etsy are shown head on for the first shot. The photos Kate took for me are head on. So I am leaning towards head on first with angle shots following.

Thanks for letting me unload these questions. At the very least the lightbox helps me get good shots easier. But boy did getting the top shots hurt because I had to stand on the sofa and that hurt my poor hips, knees and ankles bad. I took as many as I could before I had to stop and hobble away. Ouchie!

Have a great weekend everybody.


Helen | Pepperina Press said...

Marissa, I'm loving the second one! The wood grain is gorgeous -and- I love that it's at an angle. It just grabs so much attention that way, it almost jumps right out at you! That picture would make me want to click on more and -then- see the front on pics. So my vote: wood grain and angled.

There. :)

m.Lee said...

So what you are telling me Helen is that I just wasted $15 on a lightbox? :P

Not really. I can always put the block of wood inside the lightbox and getting good photos in there IS easier! Except for the whole standing on the sofa part until my legs give out part.

Plus I think it would be good to have at least one head-on picture with a plain white background, even if it is isn't the first one.

Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it. I will try taking more photos tomorrow.

Laura said...

Are you also adjusting your exposure on your camera? I use my works photo - light gear stuff, and I find I have adjust the exposure, and the angle of the light to get a crisper image.

So you might want to consider buying a small lamp, depending on the size of your light box.

annalaura said...

I think the light box photo is good also and I'm sure you will get good use out of it.

I get the pure white background by using the polygonal lasso tool in photoshop and deleting it out.

Mike Lyon said...

visually, 'white' isn't usually really WHITE, of course -- in your photo, there are lots of variations in lighting, so the 'white' background is really MANY values of mostly neutral-ish colors... If you were painting what you see in the light box and trying to make it like what you 'see', the 'background' wouldn't be white at all, right?

There's a nice illustration of a lightbox (a diffuser, right?) with a cyc ('cyclorama' that curved backdrop so a sculptural object won't have any horizon line and just appear to be kind of floating) at wikiHow LightBox if you're interested in another application... But the background isn't likely EVER going to be 'white' unless you back-light your box, and then open your camera lens so the object is properly exposed and the backlit background is overexposed and washed out...

Good luck!

-- Mike

m.Lee said...

Thank you Mike and everybody that has helped me out. I've gotten tons of advice and I am happy to say that my results are getting better and better. I'm going to attempt taking the pictures outside in the lightbox today or tomorrow and see what I can do. Yesterday I took them by a window. My goal is to get images that look as close to the ones Kate takes as possible. Depending on the item I can get pretty close now. Some mirrors are just easier to wash out than others.

my best shot

my goal taken by Kate Black