One thing I love most about blogging is actually taking the images, there's just something about bright, interesting photos to accompany a post that I love! So today while my camera is ironically broken I thought I would answer some blog photography questions a few of you asked me!
Q - What lighting setup do you use?
Claire & Nic - Agent Smyth
A - I can't actually say I have a lighting setup as I only use natural light from a window (occasionally outside in summer months) as you really can't beat daylight. I've tried various daylight bulbs (which give off a white light making them good for product photography) in winter which did work okay but I didn't like the harsh tone or shadows to my photos - probably with a better set up of two lamps with daylight bulbs in them would have helped but it's just not the same as natural day light. For really grey days I actually place a large piece of white card on to a window sill and photograph from there, also a mirror to the side with shadow can help.
Q - I have the Canon 600d & I’d like to have the blurry background to my photos, how do I got about doing it?
Sarah - Those Stars That Shine
A - The easiest way to get a shallow depth of field (basically a blurred background) on Auto is to change the position of the subject, bringing the object you are photographing farther away from the background. So if you held up a lipstick with the background quite far away the lipstick would be in-focus and the background would be blurred, or you could stand up products with a back drop (maybe your makeup storage) to get the same effect. But if you placed products directly on a surface everything will be in focus. Another simple-ish way to alter the depth of field is changing from Auto mode to Av/A mode - Aperture Priority mode, this lets you change the depth of field whilst all the other settings are basically still on auto. Just remember the smaller the number the more blurry the background will be - the photo of the cherries in this photography post here shows this well.
Q - What are some good backgrounds to take photos? My backgrounds are always boring!
Tash - Tash Brilliant Book Blog
A - I think the easiest non-boring backgrounds have to be wallpaper samples! So easy to get hold of and can be changed for each season (here is my one of my favourite wallpaper background for summer and my favourite one here for autumn). Another interesting background can be where you set up a scene, so as you have a book blog maybe photograph a book on a side table with a cup of tea and a bookmark or a book peeking out of your bag with other contents slightly showing.
Q - Please could you elaborate on how you get that really white background without overexposing the thing you're photographing?
Sascha - Beauty Geek UK
A - Personally I always create a whiter background when I edit the photo, I just use Photoscape and use the 'Bloom' tool, but I realise that Photoshop is miles better - you would probably be better of with that! Also I always make sure to photograph with a white background when I have the most daylight so that the background is as bright as it can be to help with editing. If you don't want to edit each background though (because it is pretty boring) you can actually light the background from either side, out of view of the frame. You would probably want to go for daylight bulbs to give a white/cold light and it would take a bit of playing about. Maybe Google 'High Key lighting/photography' for how to create a setup!
Q - Could you suggest some simple, foolproof decor that just tie the whole photograph together? E.g edges of plates and cutlery for foodie photos. I'm finding it a little hard to keep my beauty product photos + backgrounds interesting!
Anita - All Things Anita
A - I actually love your images as they are - really nice and clean and bright! I think adding texture and soft shadows is nice sometimes so using a scarf or throw ruffled up a bit can look really pretty. Or using your makeup setup blurred out as a background could be nice. But really I think your photos look great as they are!
Q - If you're a newbie how important is it to invest in a decent camera? Can you get away with a point and shoot for a long time?
Kelly - The Vegan Taff
A - I think it all depends on how much you like photography and nice bright images. I've always loved photography so once I got into blogging I decided to upgrade to a Digital SLR within a year and was so pleased I did. I think if you aren't excited by the idea of buying a more expensive camera then that's a sign that it doesn't really matter too much to you, so I'd go down the route of learning to edit your photos a bit. I use Photoscape which is a free program I found on Cnet Download that is so easy to use for brightening and sharpening your images!
Hope this has been helpful!
If you have any other questions just leave me a comment and I will answer them in a future Q&A post.