The Crafters Guide to Taking Great Photos

“Foolproof techniques to make your handmade creations shine online.”

I know that sometimes my workshop photography is not always the best. I find some of the shiny materials difficult to capture and often contrast between parts is not well define.

So I decided I needed to up my game a bit and got hold of this book by Heidi Adnum. My logic was that many of the issues seen by online crafter would apply in the workshop environment, small details, reflective surfaces, macro shots etc.

Heidi takes us through the process in 3 steps. Firstly looking at the equipment you might want to use, then specifics for different types of craft and finally finishing off and post-production. Each of those sections is broken down in turn, so the book is very well structured. And that makes it great as a reference book if you want to revisit it.

The equipment section is detailed as covers points such as understanding your camera, lighting and making some DIY accessories. As Heidi points out, taking photos is not just about the technical aspect, it is for communication. So a section on “How to Tell Your Story” is included and that message is repeated in the composition details of the next section.

For the craft specific section, Heidi has enlisted a number of craft experts to share their thoughts and techniques that are useful for their niche. This is my one area of criticism for the book, there was low contrast on the section headers and a bit of repetition here. These combined meant it was difficult to tell which section I was looking at. Although I suspect for most people this won’t be an issue as they would not read the book linearly but to drop into the chapters that were most relevant.

The final section looks at some of the technicalities of post production. Although I am already comfortable with this aspect, there were still things to learn and I’ll review some of the techniques and see how they apply to my software. The book focuses on Adobe Photoshop Elements, the lightweight version of the professional photo editing tool. Heidi suggests that the techniques here apply to other tools My quick bit of research suggests this should all work with Gimp but I’ve not had a chance to experiment.

I can definitely recommend this book if you are looking to improve your photography of things you’ve made or repaired.

Let me know what tips and tricks you have for photography.

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