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Photographing Cards


I was recently asked about photographing cards, so I thought of showing you my set-up. I did not have time to make any cards anyhow, since I got snowed in at work yesterday and slept over there.... No I'm pretty tired and its going to be off to bed early, so no card today either....

I have been using a light box now since last April -when I got one from my sister for my birthday. Its a pretty easy, but effective set-up. I absolutely LOVE it! I used to struggle with taking pictures after I came home from work, making sure I'll have some daylight or trying to take halfway decent pictures at night with a flash, which really is sub optimal.....Now I don't have to worry, I am even using it in bright daylight.

And that's how it looks like:

It is a simple white plastic box. Home Depot has them for a few bucks - you may want to stock up on paint chips, while you are there ;)

Cut some thin heavy white paper to size and fit it in. I also put some books under the box to straighten out the bottom, since its slanted. I have two lights, which are flexible and can be moved in any direction. 

If you want special background paper just stand it in there, although I mostly use the white background - less distracting from the card....

If you want indirect light just bend the lights and have them shine through the outside walls
And lastly take pictures of your card or whatever you want to photograph. Its important to be perpendicular to the card, if you want a straight shot, otherwise your card seems to get more narrow at the top. Leave yourself some room around the card so you can do some straightening and cropping in whatever photo editing software you use. I use Picasa - a free Google download. 
Here is a straight on shot:

You may want to photograph your card at an angle to bring out the shine of sequins or other shiny stuff you are using. With angled pics its less important to be perpendicular to the card - distortions are less obvious. 

 Here I just photographed a post card - without editing it - you see its a bit tilted and needs cropping. So don't forget to do that extra step.

And lastly the info on the light bulbs I am using: energy saving daylight bulbs - see the magnified picture:

In case you want to know what camera I'm using - its a 6 year old Canon Powershot S2 IS - you can't but that anymore - totally outdated, but good enough for me. It is was one of the better "point and shoots" a long time ago....

I hope that helps all of you that struggle with taking pictures!


Cathy said…
Thanks for this info Cornelia. I have a daylight and use a large sheet of card behind my card to be photographed. There's always lots of shadows. I'll look for a white box to try this technique, Cathy x
Anonymous said…
Interesting to see how fellow crafters take their photos. Thanks so much for sharing your set-up, Cornelia! I take my photos in the kitchen and use 2 thick cardboards (from the watercolor pads by Canson) to set my card on to. I like the all-white effect with your set-up, though, so I will have to give that a try. Thanks again and I hope you get lotsa rest and sleep!

MaryH said…
Oh you clever person, to think of using a plastic bin! Now why didn't I think to do that...we have plenty of these. And I have the lightweight poster paper too, as well as lamps. My lamps are Ott lights but I think they'll work. If you don't mind, I'll share a link to this post on my next post. I know a lot of my readers will be very interested in how you did this! Thanks so much for taking time to photograph this..may I say "Great Photos!". This is really a wonderful idea. Hugs
Rosmarie said…
Sehr interessant wie du deine Fotos machst ....ich nehme immer noch mein Handtuch *lol*
Vielen Dank für die ausführliche Info!
Susanne Vargas said…
That was very interesting! A plastic box! I will have to try that! All the other light boxes I have seen always seemed too involved but I think I could manage that! Thanks so much!
Flo said…
DAS ist eine Superidee!!! Die werde ich versuchen nachzumachen. Danke dafür. Schon lange war ich mit dem Fotografieren bei künstlichem Licht sehr unzufrieden. Leider ist es im Winter selten so, dass man gute Fotos schießen kann. LG
Kim Heggins said…
Thank you for the photo lesson, need to hear over to Home Depot, this is just amazing Cornelia!
Great info. I found the best place in my house to photograph is on top of a couple of bins next to my desk. It is right next to the desk lamp and has a white wall so now I see it is all the white it is near that helps me get better photos there.

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