Prints On Canvas

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photographing Your Layouts

When I just started scrapbooking I thought that the process of creating a page was the hardest part, but I found photographing my finished layout more difficult because I was having a hard time capturing the real look of my page. The color was off, the alignment was slanted, and the photograph looks so different from the actual layout.

As I have tried several cameras I found out that the main key to get a good photograph of your layout is LIGHTING. Here are some tips that I have read and discovered:
  • the best time to photograph your layout outdoors is 1hr after sunrise and 1hr before sunset. This is the ideal time of the day because the sunlight is not that strong and the brightness is just right.
  • when taking photos indoors, take a photo in the afternoon when the sun is so bright. Find a room that has enough light. Make sure that the wall painting is white because colored rooms bounce back the colors to the layout.
  • you can also use a white cardboard to bounce the sunlight.Simply locate the sunlight in your room. Position the cardboard directly to the sunlight to bounce the light towards your layout.
  • if you want to use an artificial layout, create your own mini lightbox. You can find the intructions here: HOMEMADE LIGHT BOX. If I have time I definitely will make me one of those.
  • never photograph your layout using your flash or putting your layout directly to the sunlight! This will create strong shadows or the light might bounce back on the photo of your layout if you have used a glossy photo paper.
POSITIONING of your layout is very essential too. This will make it easier for you to crop your image later on using a photo editor software. Here are some tips on positioning your layouts
  • you can adhere your layout on a wall at eye-level
  • you can also use a photo stand
  • or simply place your photo on the floor
  • before taking a photograph of your layout, imagine a grid on the view box of your camera. Make sure that the spaces on all sides is parallel to the layout.
  
CAMERA. I think the best results is with a digital camera, preferably an DSLR camera like the Canon Digital Rebel. But if you don't have one it is okay to use a regular digital camera keeping in mind that the quality is different when using a DSLR. With good lighting you can still get a very decent photo of your layout.
  • Set your camera to Auto Depth of Field setting and shoot. The auto depth of field keeps all elements equally important visually, which makes the text and photographs all stay focused.
  • Use a tripod if your speed is below 100 to make your photo sharp.
  • ISO must be set not higher than 400. The higher the ISO the greater chance of getting grains-look on your photograph
  • Instead of just taking one photo of your layout, take several. It's easy to delete anyway. This will allow you to capture the perfect photo.
PHOTO EDITING SOFTWARE. After photographing your layout, it is still important to add some minor adjustment to your photograph by using some photo editing software. I actually use 2 software, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

Usually I use Lightroom to edit the colors because it has the capability to adjust the colors individually unlike Photoshop. If you edit a color on Photoshop it will adjust the entire photo and make it all green for example. In Lightroom it only adjust the green colors thus you can make it more vibrant or pale. I do them first on Lightroom then I just do the cropping or cleaning(removing spots) on Photoshop.

Whatever photo editor software you use, just adjust the levels, brightness, contrast or color balance to get your desired outcome. Crop it! I suggest you place your layout near you so that you can use it as guide as you do some adjustment. Make it look like as close to the actual layout.

 "My Home is With You" layout by LG Belarmino - Echo Park Life is Good collection and Shimmerz Paints

You're done! You can now upload your layout online!

Hope I was able to help you get an idea on how I photograph my layouts.

4 comments:

Calia Yang said...

LG great tips!!! Imma have to get lightroom now!

Lisa C. said...

Thanks for great photo tips!!

Deb Long said...

Thank you for these terrific tips!

Kimmie said...

I have to disagree. I believe lighting is the most impt aspect of achieving a great photo of your work. Doesnt matter what kind of camera you have.