Tuesday, October 6, 2015

of Photography and Neutral Backgrounds

MagPie Approved: the art of Juggling and Keeping it all up in the Air
MultiTasking the To Do List

With the pending launch of Amazon’s Handmade I’ve  been up to my ears in retaking photos for those pieces I intend to offer.  My camera died just in time for Amazon to give the thumbs up for setting up shop.  The kiddo as you know graduated Fine Arts with a focus in ceramics, but she started out a photo journalism major. The kid has a camera! Kiddo to the rescue, this is no point and shoot and I have zero familiarity wth it. She set it up for me, showed me how to manually focus and was gone. Some 200+ pics later the battery needed recharging and that leaves me time to write this, and descriptions and SKU’s and sort through possible posts for my FB page— multitasking getting just a little bit of everything done all at once lol

MagPie Approved: Wind Dancer Studios Green Dangles, Amazon Handmade
Long Green Dangles

Amazon has asked for white to neutral backgrounds no props. Neutral no props is not a problem, I’ve got antique linens, burlap and hand thrown pottery (kiddo again!) that serves quite nicely. 

MagPie Approved: Wind Dancer Studios Copper Bangles, Amazon Handmade
Wind Dancer Studios: Copper Bangles

White however, takes quite a bit more work. I’ve got a poster board that makes for a great back ground but it has a slightly reflective surface and a purple shirt during the photo shoot makes a pretty water color effect but…. I’m looking for a uniform white.

I managed the sliders well enough to get some of the photos to cooperate when Marica mentioned Foto Fuse. As we discussed it I realized  it works much the same way as PS Elements does using the magic selection tool and a paint bucket. 

MagPie Approved: Wind Dancer Studios Black Dangles, comparison editors
Photo Editor Comparisons

In the true form of an artist facing pending deadlines I researched all three methods for the better part of an afternoon. The kiddo observing this and now has a healthier self esteem - Mom does it too! lol  Here’s what I found:

I’m on a Mac Book, iPhoto was the photo software installed for many years, the newest updates are Photos minus i. It brought back some of the functionality that was lost along the way and just takes a little play time to figure out what each slider does and doesn’t do.

If you take the time you can create a very natural white background with soft shadows and a hint of reflection.

PS Elements,  I’m still running 9, is much the same however shortcuts and time savers were what I was hoping for so I elected to use the magic wand to select the jewelry then a paint bucket of white to douse the background. That worked great! Only problem is it’s fairly resource intensive and tends to unexpectedly quit after just two or three photos. There is a tool that works just like Foto Fuse for deleting backgrounds, I just couldn’t remember what to click to get to it.

Foto Fuse allows you to upload a pic, or import it from Etsy (spent a little time playing with that feature too!), hi light the area to be saved and deletes the background. With a little adjusting of brush sizes this works very nicely. Sometimes it looks a little unnatural but overall it’s the fastest method and is a good alternative when facing a time crunch.

I’m using a combination of the two. If I can get a natural white with Photos I’m good, but if it still has a hint of cast to it off to Foto Fuse it goes. I do actually like the water color effect so I’ve kept a copy of those as a secondary photo.

As for the product in use for size reference photos - the kiddo has stalled in her promised life size portrait for me….. she doesn’t like the size of her mouth, the one she drew. So I’ll wait until she does.

I’m off to write descriptions, create SKU’s and maybe make a few things as the battery is still charging. 

Have a great day!
Thanks so much for stoppin by!

We’ll see you next time!

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