Welcome to the 1st Craft School Saturday!
I’m really excited to start Craft School Saturday! I’m really looking forward to spending the time to nurture my own crafty learning… and I’m hoping others will play along with me! (be sure to post in the comments section if you do!)
Goals for Improving my Photography
Since I design professionally, taking lovely photographs of my finished work is very important. I feel like I’ve gotten a good handle on the ‘item in a white-box’ type of photo:
While these types of photos are pretty (and I will probably keep doing them as one type of product image, since they’re nice and clean), they don’t do everything. For example, they don’t do anything to show the scale of the animals (are they 2″ tall or 20″? How would you be able to tell from the photo?)
So, I began with the vague goal of taking nicer, more artistic photos. I want to take photos that:
- show the size of my stuffed animals
- make creative use of backgrounds and props
- inspire others to create stuffed animals of their own!
Resources for Improving my Photography
I read a lot of articles about photography… and I even peruse some discussion forums. But I thought that this week, I should focus on learning photography skills applicable to my goals, so I took Shoot it!, a product photography class on Craftsy.
This class particularly appealed to me because it’s aimed at crafty folks who want to take photos of their finished products, keeping in mind the goal of creating an artistic ‘hero’ shot. Exactly what I wanted!
What I learned
I have to admit… while I started the course last Saturday, it took me multiple evenings to take the entire course and complete the homework assignments. The course covered lots of bases: composition, camera operation and post-processing.
In my homework for the course, I played around with using color:
With using movement and lines in my photographs:
Working with a variety of backgrounds:
And playing around with some props:
I find it pretty hard to judge my own progress… I know that none of these are ‘stuffed animals on the hills of Scotland with sheep in the background’ shots- but I think they’re alright!
I think the thing that most struck me is how much learning photography is like learning any other skill… you have to keep practicing to develop that ‘eye’ for composition. I’m planning on carrying my camera with me more often, just to practice taking photos where ever I go.
While this course covered a range of topics, it didn’t delve particularly deeply into any particular area. For example, it covered some basics about getting the right image in focus, but didn’t talk details about f-stops or ISOs.
I’ve already read my camera manual pretty thoroughly (that’s important!), but now I’m going to practice putting those settings to use.
I’m also going to be on the lookout for more advanced courses/resources… if you know of any you’d recommend, let me know!