This book is all about lighting and photographing small objects with your digital camera although the principles you learn will also serve just as well with larger subjects. It's for small business people, artists, naturalists, collectors, writers, and anyone else who wants to take high-quality studio pictures under controlled conditions. It presents a totally new approach to studio photography made possible by the two most important ways that digital cameras are revolutionizing studio photography for the better:
- Many digital cameras allow you to preview your picture on the LCD monitor built into your camera, and all allow you to review your results immediately. This makes studio photography very interactive. You can explore and experiment to your heart's content—and there are no film costs. With some imagination and the techniques discussed in this book, you'll get the image you want.
- The camera's white balance setting lets you shoot under almost any light. You no longer need expensive and complex strobes to get good results. You can now use simple and inexpensive tungsten, quartz, or fluorescent bulbs with reflectors. Not only are the results as good, but with the lights on all of the time, you can see the effect they are having as you arrange your setup.
These two things, all by themselves, remove the guesswork from studio photography. If you have had any fears about trying to do your own studio photography, you can now lay those fears aside. Another piece of good news is that you don't need a special camera. The digital camera you already own will probably be fine.
This book is comprehensive and explains camera settings used in studio photography and describes lighting and other studio equipment. It presents sixteen cases studies so you can see how a professional studio photographer thinks about the images he's taking and see the techniques he uses. Finally, there is a section that answers all of your questions about image sizes, and one that shows you how to add images to eBay listings. While putting all of this information together, we have continually kept two things in mind:
- We have been conscious of your budget because most of us have more creativity then money. We describe professional equipment, but also show you how to get equally good results using inexpensive materials you can find at your local office, hardware, or art supply store.
- We have been conscious of your space limitations because most of us are trying to squeeze a studio into our already full house, apartment, or office. We'll show you how to work on top of a desk or collapsible card table. We'll highlight equipment that you can knock down for easy storage, or put to other uses when not photographing.
With the development of tools such as digital cameras and page layout programs, and the vast expansion of low-cost marketing outlets, a new era of self-publishing has arrived. All by yourself, you can now create illustrated catalogs, Web sites, portfolios, on-line auction listings, and eBooks to share information about, or sell, all kinds of objects from anaglyphs to zeotropes
We've tried to make this book a gateway into the new, and much easier and less expensive world of studio photography. We hope it guides you to the results you want in your own studio work. For links to our recommended products, be sure to visit us at
USES FOR PHOTOS
. On-line auctions
. E-mail attachments
. Web sites
THINGS TO PHOTOGRAPH
. Flowers and animals