Archive Monthly Archives: June 2017

Conquering the Challenge of White on White Photography

Three essential techniques will help you take on the challenge of creating white on white photography – applying the proper amount of back lighting, using a grey card, and increasing exposure.

The way in which you use lighting is the key to your success. In fact, your light source won’t be focused on the subject, it will be lighting the backdrop known as back lighting. Sufficient back lighting is needed to keep the white object from fusing with the white background. This can be achieved by using one light source along with white cards to bounce and reflect more light onto the image.

Place your object on a white surface. Next prop a white board behind the object. You can use up to 4 or 5 white boards to surround the subject. Upon shooting the image, the brightness of the light will be evenly dispersed by the box you created with the white boards. Moving the boards around gives you the ability to create your desired light and regulate the quality of your photos.

A grey card should be used to get an accurate exposure reading. A grey card is a piece of cardboard that is the same tone of grey that your camera meter is calibrated for. It allows you to adjust the white balance yourself. Place the grey card in the area where the subject will be shot, grey side facing the camera. Look through the viewfinder focusing only on the grey card and take the reading off that. Dial in the reading on your camera and you are ready to shoot.

Trying to photograph something white on a white background is viewed by the camera as average brightness. Increasing exposure settings on the camera can help. Since you can’t rely on your camera’s screen to assess exposure and you can’t use auto modes, your camera has an exposure compensation manual mode. You can set your exposure in manual mode by zooming in on the white. Setting it 2 stops brighter than average will make it look white yet not be over exposed. Also, putting your camera on a tripod, positioning it on Av mode, and setting the aperture to f/3.2 will make your image brighter than average without being over exposed.

While creating white on white photographs is known to be very challenging, once mastered the results can be spectacular.

4 Steps to Awesome Smartphone Photography

So, you’ve decided to open your online store to sell your products. But what about photographs to feature the products you’re selling? There was a time that your only options were to a professional photographer or to buy expensive camera equipment. Just as online selling has become easier to do, so has picture taking. If you have a smartphone you have what it takes to make great pictures for your website. Our 4 steps to awesome smartphone photography guide will help you to start.

Step One: The Camera

At a minimum, the camera on your smartphone should be 8-megapixels. Some phones offer up to 41-megapixels, but this isn’t necessary for the kind of photography you’ll be doing.

Autofocus is also important. You want to be sure that the pictures you’ll take are crisp and clear with little blurring or noise to distract from your products.

Consider the screen on your phone. The larger the screen the easier it will be to do any editing on the photos you take.

Step Two: Accessories or Equipment

When photographing smaller objects, place the item on a table where you can easily work with your camera and with the positioning of your product. Have a white sheet or large roll of white paper that you can use as background for your product. You’ll want to minimize any background that might distract from your image.

Natural light is fine to use when you’re on a budget. Place the table in diffuse light or place it next to a large window. You can also use table lamps. Use one on both sides of the item you’re photographing to minimize shadows.

You’ll want to stabilize your smartphone as much as possible. Any shaking will create a blurry picture. There are some tripod devices made just for smartphones like GripTight and Spiderpodium that are easy to use.

Zooming in with your phone’s camera can add noise to your shot. There are lenses made for smartphones that can allow for zoom that will work and also enable other special effects.

Step Three: Apps

There are apps that you can use with your smartphone camera to help you with sharing your pictures, organizing your shots, or other helpful assists. Some of them are even free.

Step Four: Editing

Picture not perfect? You can fix many problems with editing. Most smartphones with cameras will have some editing capability. There are also apps available that can help you with editing. There are even online apps such as gimp or pixlr, though these can require some photo editing knowledge and time.

If you feel that DIY editing is a bit of a hassle, here’s a great option. Signing up with Background Be Gone will get your editing done. For just $1.00 per image, all the editing will be done for you