Like a PRO, Four essentials.
Are you Calibrated?
An un Calibrated Monitor can cost you dearly
Viewing object images on an un-calibrated monitor can cost you a fortune. Correct colors are essential when it comes to viewing art of any kind online. What you see with your own eyes, should look exactly as it does on screen. If not, it’s going to look the same or worse to a viewer on another screen, phone or tablet.
Properly shot photos should NEVER need any color adjustments or sharpening in Photoshop or any other photo editor. If they do, something is wrong and should be fixed before taking piles of photos.
Calibrating is easy. On “Windows” simply type in “Calibrate” in the Windows search window, click on “Calibrate Screen Color” and follow the steps. Apple OS has a similar arrangement.
The camera required to take great photos need not be a high-end one and can be had for $450. As long as it has manual settings and manual White Balance capabilities, you should be fine. Of course, a very fancy one can be used also but is not necessary.
Take the time to read the manual,and learn the basics to use manual settings. Also learn how to manually White Balance the Camera for accurate color representation.
You only need to White Balance if you’re using Manual Settings. On “Auto” it’s all taken care of.
Both Canon and Nikon make great cameras for under $450 that will do everything you’ll need. Check the Canon “Rebel” line or for a little more the Nikon’s D3500 series.
NOTE: You can still pick up refurbished Canon Powershot cameras refurbished for under $70. A FANTASTIC camera series.
No matter what kind of Camera you’re using, MAKE sure to set the MAXIMUM pixel size no higher than 1,200 pixels. 1,000 pixels is more than ample, if you take the pictures at the right distance.
1200 x 1200 pixels produce a 16-inch square image on your computer. That’s more than half of the front page from the New York Times.
What about phone cameras?
Some are ok, others are not. In general, I am not a fan.
Use real photo lights.
In order to get the right colors in your photos, we strongly urge that you buy a set of photo lights on stands with diffusers.
For as little as $100 you can buy perfectly good full-spectrum lighting sets. They are a bargain these days and will do the trick for you. Amazon and Walmart both sell them.
They work best in rooms with no other lights on, and preferably no outside light interfering.
Backgrounds and Photo Tents
Essential for taking professional images
If you’re serious about taking consistent catalog quality images, do yourself a favor and pick up a Photo Tent with correctly coated photo backdrops or backgrounds.
Backdrops can be white, light gray, and “Gradient” sheets. Gradients are white at one end and gradually transition to dark grey or black at the opposite end.
All of them are useful at different times depending on the subject matter. With just a little experimentation you’ll quickly see what works best for which objects.
A tent and a few backdrops to get you started will cost you less than $100 delivered.
BUY One…end of discussion.
“Slik” makes a few excellent ones for under $65. No more shaky images, consistent vantage point images..and on and on. Just get one.
These are what you want..
White Back Ground
So, if you have a camera already, you’re in good shape.
However, do yourself a favor, get a tent, backgrounds, lights, and a tripod if you haven’t already got them. They make a world of difference, trust me.
Perhaps take out the User’s Guide for your camera and brush up on using manual settings and White Balancing.
If you cannot find the guide that came with the Camera, you can find the manual in a PDF download by googling for it.