by spendlove Moderator 22 Mar 2015

Over the past few days, several people have bemoaned the fact that their photographs are not as good as they would like. I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread where people could add their tips for taking a good photograph of their project.

I don't claim to be any kind of expert, but here is my two penn'orth:
1. Use natural light wherever possible, but not direct sunlight.
2. I find it helpful to put the item on the floor (not a patterned carpet!) and take the picture from a standing position. This ensures that square items still look square in the picture.
3. Crop the picture to remove any distracting extra parts. This will often reduce the picture sufficiently in size so that it can be uploaded easily.

Over to you now. It would be great if someone could help us solve the problems with pictures from tablets and phones coming out every which way but the right way up!


by Patricia109 26 Mar 2015

When I want to take photos of my work, I try to use the very light grey table at work. This fine for small items. At home I lay out a light coloured beige sheet (don't have any white ones) on the floor or the bed. I try to stand above the item to be photographed so that it is flat (not always successful) I would love to have a felt wall that some of my friends use for their quilt layouts. Then I could just stand back and snap away.

1 comment
Patricia109 by Patricia109 26 Mar 2015

Lighting is never natural for me as I am always taking photos of my stuff at night or at work. I have good fluorescent light at work and the mercury fluorescent at home.

by spendlove Moderator 25 Mar 2015

Any more tips?

by katydid 23 Mar 2015

I ruined some very important photos several years ago because I had the flash suppressed and did not know it and not one person bothered to let me know that they did not see a flash. I used to take some really nice shots with a Pentex 38mm camera. What a thing of the past! Do you realize that there is a whole generation that have never loaded film in a camera or carried a lead lined pouch through an airport. Kay

by kingmar 23 Mar 2015

Agree with natural light suggestion and taking that one step further, an overcast, cloudy day is best. Gives enough light without the glare of bright sunlight... difficult to find in sunny central AZ desert. When there is a cloudy day I grab the camera and head for the botanical gardens or zoo!

by jrob Moderator 23 Mar 2015

I appreciate this post. I would also like to know how to take a picture that makes me look 20 something again......if you don't mind.

1 comment
spendlove by spendlove 24 Mar 2015

Photoshop! That's what the "celebrities" do.

by rescuer Moderator 23 Mar 2015

I try to remember to use solid color fleece for my backdrop in photos. It removes the distracting things from the photo and gives the item center stage.
I try to take several pictures of one item so that I can pick from the best ones and discard the rest. These were taken with my cell phone camera -- so not the best -- but not bad either. The one shows the true blue color and the other shows a different blue.

by haleymax 22 Mar 2015

Be sure to watch your shadow when taking a picture of an item on the floor/table. It can be very distracting to see the shadow on the item. Also, try to keep your device (camera/tablet) level to the floor/table as just a little angle can change the look of your item.
Watch how your picture looks on the floor/table, are there lines (example; grout lines on tile) showing in places that may confuse the viewer. If there are, place a solid color sheet under the item. Poster board in white and black will work for most items and will be flat for a better picture.

getEdited - SELECT
by airyfairy edited 22 Mar 2015

Great post Sue. I have found out that to take a picture on an Apple iPad the on/ off button has to be on the right hand side. That seems to prevent pictures being 'upside down' when posting or e mailing. Hope this helps.
I do find when taking a picture with my camera that my hands are not too steady and that I always get a blurred picture. Sarah

1 comment
jrob by jrob 23 Mar 2015

My DH does the same. He brought my coffee this morning and I said, "If you don't mind, I like my coffee stirred, not shaken." He nearly spilled it on me laughing.

by draco 22 Mar 2015

Thank you, this is great information !

by basketkase 22 Mar 2015

Thank you, thank you & thank you........hope to use some of these tips to improve the quality of my pics!!

by rescuer Moderator 22 Mar 2015

iPhones and tablets from Mac require that you hold the camera the "right" way to take a picture. The software on YOUR computer installed for your phone will auto-rotate the picture for your computer. However, if you upload it to a website or send it in an email -- it will be whatever way it was when it was taken. I will add a picture of the right way to hold an iPhone. Make sure the home button is in the right place -- just as in the picture. The iPhone "knows" which way is up and it "thinks" you want an upside-down picture if you hold it wrong.

There are apps that can help -- but they might be a challenge for some. Also, it is recommended that you use the phones "grid" when you take a picture and do not use the zoom feature as they say it distorts the picture.

spendlove by spendlove 22 Mar 2015

Thanks for this very useful information.

radmom by radmom 17 Apr 2015

Thank you! Most pics I take with my iPhone vertical, and when I do turn it horizontal, I have it the opposite way of your photo above.

by 02kar Moderator 22 Mar 2015

Thanks I think it is a great idea to help out those of us with poor photography skills.

by marianb 22 Mar 2015

Your input is wise as always.. I find if uploading from the computer make sure it has been rotated and saved in the position you wish it to be viewed I do find photo's my daughter takes on her phone sometimes end up on their sides when emailed to me..

1 comment
rescuer by rescuer 22 Mar 2015

If she has an iPhone, then it looked right when she sent it because her computer would auto-rotate it due to the software that comes with iPhones.

by asterixsew Moderator 22 Mar 2015

Thanks very much

by lolly3 22 Mar 2015

Hi spendlove, thankyou so much for the above information, I have sent my first picture to Chris & it worked. Now I can join in & show the Cute site what I am up to. Thankyou once again. Regards Lorraine McNeill of Woodcroft in South Australia.