When I went on vacation in August I learned something that made me have an ‘Ah ha’ moment. My digital camera is about 5 or 6 years old. Turns out, the camera on my iPhone 4S was dramatically better than it. At least for vacation shots. Most of the photos of my vacation are from my phone. The photos below are my favorite from the trip and are all from my phone or my iPad. My camera worked best in the aquarium but for the most part by day three it was neglected in the bottom of my purse.
This led me to thinking that it was time to get a new camera. Possibly way over due time. Outside of vacation I just use my camera for Etsy updates, which have been hit or miss. Too much light, too little, odd shadows. Trying to get the proper angle, light, and picture. I tried an update with my phone and … no. So I started working on doing some research. Time to control all the things I can, and learn how to use my camera or any camera better.
I’ve also looked to work on things like lighting (a really difficult thing to get in my apartment), and recently found a great post on lighting. I also always take more photos than I need. I do use CS4 for make any picture I take better, and all but the first photo I believe have Instagram filters applied to it. Editing, even just a little bit is magic. But really the best way to get a great final picture is to start with a good picture. I think a lot of my photos have been ok with the occasional stand out.
I feel like the fact that I can get perfect shots, or shots that can be made much better, with a bit of Photoshop tweaking means its not just the camera that needs work. I learned about light balance for example by accident poking the settings on the camera. One of my favorite product photos is of my Tardis stitch markers. And below is the photo, I remember it being a blindingly sunny day, and taking a few dozen photos, and got a few gems.
So I kept feeling that I had the right idea about the photos then would lose the message the next shoot. Or something that worked a month ago, would not work again. I replaced my light bulbs with daylight bulbs so I would be less beholden to a sunny day. I set up a light lamp. I played with photo functions, and found the food setting of all things, provided the most consistent photo.
Then I won a Photography class from BostonJen of The Down Cellar Studio podcast. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and spend a few days focusing on my photography and making it work. Even as I continue to hunt a camera, possibly a DSLR or just an updated point and shoot, I have no idea. I spent weeks researching my last camera and clearly that was a good decision, it has lasted years hnd has; fallen into a bowl of water, fallen often to the floor, made it through rock concerts, vacations, and conventions, so the next needs to be just as reliable.
I’ve come far from thinking the first photo is good for an item listing (I actually pulled the picture off Etsy in my shop graveyard), to thinking the second is pretty much the basic standard I should be posting. My photography is still a work in progress, and I pattern photos will be a large can of worms I open up eventually.