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msknight

Michelle's corner

Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)

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Your Beauty Mark. All You Need to Get the Hair, Makeup, Glow, and Glam.
Dita von Teese

Book photography - part 2

Put a sock on it.

 

WARNING - Only use this technique if you're using cool LED lights. If you're running tungsten, or other bulbs that get warm, you're going to have to use another method of diffusion.

 

Diffusing LED lights can be as easy as sticking a sock on it. I bought one of these for thirty pounds (actually I have three of them) and they also detach and provide light for four to six hours, which is useful in case of power outage.

 

Because the LED's are cool, I can put a sock on them without risking setting fire to anything.

 

In the two pictures below, you can instantly tell the difference in the light quality by looking at the shadows and the amount of glare coming off the paper. Harsh shadows don't look so appealing to the natural eye, but soft shadows do ... so if you have to use an artificial light source ... the first thing you should be thinking of, is how you can diffuse it.

 

I'll be honest, I threw these pictures together in a few minutes for you. I haven't take a great deal of care. I didn't even adjust the exposure compensation. I just pointed the mobile phone camera and shot. I didn't even try and hold the camera steady ... sorry!

 

300gsm paper can be your best friend. It's strong enough to hold a shape, but thin enough to be able to bend and form a nice, "infinity curve." It also comes in a variety of colours and should be inexpensive.

 

Get used to cropping your pictures in a simple graphics editor. If in doubt, under expose and lighten ... never over expose, because it will, "blow," the white of the paper ... and you'll never get it back.

 

Work out a mechanism for keeping the camera as still as possible while you shoot. Mobile phone cameras don't come with tripod holes, so practice leaning on the back of a chair, and holding your breath while you press the button.

 

Use two lights ... one from either side. It helps eliminate shadows.