Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Taking tutorial photos

Diane at the Soda Lime Times recently asked if I would like to do a tutorial on making these heart pendants to be published in the February issue of her popular digital magazine. She'd seen the Christmas ornaments I was making and thought they'd make nice pendants. Of course I was honored to be asked and gave an enthusiastic thumbs up.

But making something I felt was worthy of publication, then writing the tut and taking photos took me just a wee bit longer than I'd expected. I take photos for my tuts myself, which means camera in one hand and hot bead in the other. It also means I've gotta be quick. And the chances of bead fail are high because the poor thing is spending a lot of time out of the flame, and the sludge is cooling and being heated way too often.

I was not pleased with the first heart I made- the lobes were not pronounced enough, just not really what I wanted to show off. So I gave it another go and was quite pleased with the resulting bead. I began work on writing the instructions up and sent the photos for the headpin off to Diane so she could take a gander at how things were progressing. Unfortunately, the photos were blurry and couldn't be used. Why didn't I notice that? How annoying, not to mention embarrassing!

So it was back to the drawing board. The Flow has a lot of great tips for writing tutorials and taking photos, so I took another look there. Diane suggested I try laying the bead down on a marver while taking photos. Was I shaking the camera or the bead or both? Who can tell? When I looked at the settings for some of those photos, I saw they were taken at crazy slow shutter speeds, which made me realize that my new studio space is very poorly lit. So I brought in all the light I could find, laid down my white paper for a nice uncluttered background and played with my camera settings until I got a reasonable shutter speed- between 1/60 and 1/125th of a second- much better! Then, when I was actually taking photos of all the steps, I leaned the mandrel against something to stabilize it and took several pics of each step. When the background was darker, I found I had to go down a step or two on the exposure compensation to keep the shutter speed faster.

Results? Good! The photos were no longer blurry and the tut was ready for publication! The February issue of the Soda Lime Times is out today- lots of lovely eye candy and som fun tuts too!

1 comment:

Rita Wilson said...

Hi Laurie: I really enjoyed reading your tutorial in the Soda Lime Times. You did a fantastic job!