Photo Challenge: Photographing Objects
Most often scrapbookers will create pages depicting the people in their lives or the places they have been. These are the basic stories of our lives. Sometimes, though, scrapbookers want to write the stories of objects that mean a lot to them. To add depth to the story and to provide a visual cue to the layout, a photograph of the object is necessary. Photographs of objects can be done in many ways. Here are some tips on how to get good photographs of objects.
Composition. When first photographing an object, consider the composition or placement of the object. The object or group of objects will need to be placed in a certain way. Should it be vertical or horizontal? Should the angle be head-on or askew? Experiment with various arrangements and rearrange them until you are satisfied with the composition. With a group of objects you can place one object at a time and arrange them until you are satisfied. For my layout about flowers from my husband, I photographed the flowers he gave me. I took them out of the vase and arranged them in several ways. The various arrangements gave me the opportunity to see it from different angles and chose my favorite.
Background. The background you choose for photographing an object makes a great difference in the composition and tone of the photograph. For the best results use a backdrop. White and black are the most popular colors. A white or black background gives you a good way to check the white balance before shooting or during post processing. White and black also provide great contrast to your object. Experiment with different cloths and paper, as each type of backdrop gives a different effect. I experimented with several backdrops for the photographs of my flowers.
If you are not using a backdrop, always be aware of the other things in the background, especially lines. Also consider depth of field and the impact it will have on your image.
Light. Use natural light as much as possible. If you are indoors, place the object by a window or light source. Other light sources include your camera's fill flash and tungsten light. A fill flash can brighten up the scene but be careful not to overexpose areas of the photograph. A diffuser can help solve this problem. Use lights from all sides to avoid dark shadows. Use portable lights if you have them.
Camera. For photographing objects the camera should either be set to macro mode or you should use the manual settings. If your camera allows you to customize the white balance, use it for better color.
Experiment. The play of light and shadow is different with every object, background and camera angle. Take time to experiment with all these things to get the best photograph.
Digital Software. Finally, if you shot digital photographs, take advantage of a digital photo-editing program to perfect your photograph. You can use it to crop, change the white balance, adjust the colors and remove unwanted aspects of the photograph.
Have fun setting up and experimenting with photographing objects.