~ My new bendy lamp ~
I think it's a really nice idea that Vampy Varnish is doing a few posts on blogging.... Here is a few things I have learned along the way which may be helpful to other people.
Also this is my 300th post! holy cow!
The compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light-bulb that I use is supposed to be mimicking bright natural outdoor light. I bought at the grocery store for like, $3.00 CAD it's nothing fancy, & I have been getting great photos with it. So if your not ready to drop the cash on a fancier light, then this would be a good start....... I also found this bendy lamp at the grocery store for $6.00 CAD. This bendy lamp has been awesome..... It has been perfect for my toe-nail photos..... I love how this lamp has a clippy thing on it so you can clip it to soooo many things. Still I have alot of perfecting to do, but I am so far very pleased with my results. Those fancy-pants 'Ott' lamps and other fancy lamps are going down in price, but I seriously need to only be bringing things into my home that are necessary and have multiple uses..... and I have already used this for lots of different things.
I have a post coming up where I am trying to calibrate colors with my blog...... meaning I will be posting popular polish's that alot of people have to see how they show up on my blog. I have viewed my blog from other peoples computers and everything looks alright, hope someone will tell me if it doesn't♥
My camera is a FUJI FILM Fine-pix F480 , and is 8.2 Mega-pixels..... I always take my photos in 'Macro-mode' to get the most detail. My computer monitor is set to 'Internet' setting.... I don't really know what that means, but I imagine that has something to do with brightness and tone, etc. The only things I do any photo-shopping are pieces of fluff, or tiny specks of hair follicles on my toes.
Generally when I take photos of a manicure I average around 50 photos.... and then I look through them all and pick the best ones.... It drives me crazy that just slightly moving the camera can blur a photo... so sometimes I use a tripod that I got at the Dollar-Rama... It's definitely not fancy or high tech, and one day I may invest in a more quality one.
I sometimes use the timer on my camera, to avoid multiple blurry photos, but that does not always work.... So now I just keep snapping photos then pick out the best ones. In my region of the country, the sun is down by 6:00. From 5:00p.m. until 6:00p.m., the sun casts a very red glow to my manicure photos.... So if I cannot get outside mid-day to snap some outdoor sunshine pics.... then I won't get any.... I do find my shade and indoor pictures to be turning out okay though.
For my toes, I just take that bendy lamp and clip it on my jewelery drawer ( I moved my jewelery drawer to the bottom drawer of my dresser which is bigger) in my bedroom, I don't put as much love into these photos. But so far they have all turned out pretty good with this method. Taking flash photos of my pedicures never looks right to me.... Something I plan to work on in the future.
So to sum this up.....I have never before taken photos of anything as small as my finger-nails or bottles of nail polish... learning how to take decent photos drove me nutz for a while but here are some important things I have learned;
♥ Keeping the camera steady is important.... your heart beat making your blood move through veins (groooooooossssss) will move the camera around. I hold my breath when I take photos! Serious!
♥ Using a tripod, or elevating your camera by placing the camera on something like a small box and holding your hand in front of it gets some good photos... if you have a timer on your camera this works out really good.
♥ Just keep snapping a million photos..... Thats what I do.... 1 out of 5 is usually decent.
♥ Holding a non reflective bottle of polish (like Nailene Acrylic Strong ChG Fast Forward) has been extremely beneficial when taking flash photos. Actually - holding any non-reflective objects is a big help.
♥ Holding an object ( like my Angel by Therri Mueller perfume) makes staying in one position easier.... I love "The Claw" pose, but it makes my fingers tender to hold that position for more that 1 minute ( boo-hoo... hand modeling is soooooo hard ) I am on the hunt for another object to pose with.... something that is non-reflective and not glass.... I am trying to have my hand in the same position for all my photos and that is surprisingly hard to accomplish!
♥ Before I bought this bendy lamp, I just held my hand under a normal everyday lamp from my bedroom... this was an old antique lamp that finally bit it..... I am going to re-wire it though, because I love how well my photos turned out when I used this lamp and I think it has alot to do with the combination of this 'natural bight' light-bulb, and the white fabric lampshade.
♥ I found a mini fluorescent tube light fixture at the thrift store.... 1 out of 10 photos turns out okay when I use this as my light source, but I find that this lighting fixture makes my skin look a really weird color. Also I don't find that I get the detail like I can get with this other light bulb and the bendy light fixture
♥ I use a piece of black fabric which is non-reflective as a backdrop for my photos, I just drape it over the entire area. It's just a piece of black fabric I had laying around. Eventually I will hit up the fabric store to find a piece of deep navy blue fabric as a background as well.....A dark blue background is supposed to help get better photos of purples, and the yellow and orange family ... we'll see! But I think that when you go to like, a portrait photo-studio they usually have a black background, a blue background and the 'Lasers' background.... If I can find some laser fabric for my mani/pedi backgrounds that will be awesome!
~This is where I take most of my indoor Manicure photos~
~ My 'Studio', By flipping the clip and light around I can lower this bendy lamp another 12 inches ~
this is supposed to be a 'natural bright' light, I don't know that that means.....but it's getting the job done
~ I will add a better photo here....... eventually ~