23 September 2008

The Right Tools

Always have the right tools on hand for the job, my Dad tells me, or you're just wasting your time. I've taken this to heart with my jewelry business, though I've had to acquire my tools gradually as I built my business. Moving online added a new demand: taking good pictures, to showcase my creations in an appealing manner to customers who can't just pick them up and look them over, try them on, and so forth. So I have a decent digital camera (though it now has a scratched lens thanks to a recent mountain [mis-]adventure), and I have Photoshop to make my pictures clear, color-corrected, and Web-ready.

But I've known I was missing one important element: a proper shooting environment. Lacking serious studio space and equipment, I improvised with deflected sunlight, but finally I found the perfect solution: a light tent made of special fabric that diffuses light evenly. You can see the difference it makes in these two shots, both un-Photoshopped, taken in the same window at around the same time of day:

I am ecstatic -- I was spending at least 10 to 20 minutes Photoshopping each picture, and this will cut that way down. The second photo just needs lightening up a bit, maybe some sharpening, and it'll be ready to post. And that leaves me more time to spend on my creations....

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