Still looking for the perfect light: today's photo shoot

105053-560980-thumbnail.jpgPerhaps with a positive approach I can spin things so there's no need to say, "I know enough about photography to be dangerous." Instead I can declare that I know enough to realize I have plenty of room left for improvement. What I don't know about photography is a whole lot more than what I did learn. I guess the "to be dangerous" part comes in if you consider that by now a lot of people would have sucked it up and hired a professional to do their product photography.

But my point is not just to save money while getting the job done, but to work (albeit slowly and inefficiently,) toward understanding a little more every time about what it takes to create a good photograph.

Once again I've been trying to get a series of photos that better captures the detail of my clay pendant necklaces. Good news: today, I've gotten some really great detail of the pendants. But guess what? The beads are all wrong. Too much light, I guess. Whatever it is, they have a decidedly cartoonish quality to them. This is a very good example of a time in which you want to go for as much realism as possible. Otherwise people won't really understand what's special about these necklaces.

105053-560982-thumbnail.jpg Once you click on the thumbnails of these examples, notice the difference in the detail between the pendants and the beads in each photo. Then perhaps what I'm trying to explain will make more sense. In spite of the fact that I much prefer the shot I took today, which is this first one, it's also clear that I have a very long way to go before my product shots even approach the professional quality I'd much prefer. Of course the only way I'm ever going to get the photos I want is to actually set aside a whole day or two, put together a spacious, quality lighting and backdrop setup, then meticulously approach each image as if it's the only one I care about. Then once I have the right formula of lighting and distance, etc, I can move a little more rapidly.  Theoretically the shots that follow will finally please me and I'll stop going on and on about how my photos fail to satisfy me.

Then again, when I compare today's shots with those from about a year ago, it seems I've made more improvement than I give myself credit for. (I went looking, see, and found this entry with photos. You be the judge!)

Which leads me back around to one of my favorite mantras: Trust the process. "The process," of course, is to keep working toward improvement, and - in my own case - write about it along the way so I have some sort of record of the progress. That way when I stop to consider how far I've come, I can offer myself a bit of reassurance that I'm doing okay. That's a lot of pressure for a little old blog, but hey: it gives me one more thing to talk about when I'm asked "why do you have a blog?"

Meanwhile, I'd better go look at the rest of today's shots and see how the others fared.  

PS: In case anybody picks up on something I didn't address at all, I'll just get it out of the way. Nowhere in this piece did I even mention the benefit of having an advanced camera. Don't worry about that. When buying a better camera is an option, I'll write a whole new blog entry on that topic. Probably more than one! That's all. You may be excused. I still have about 200 photos to wade through.