I've been a keen photographer for a number of years and since I started blogging on Philofaxy I've been trying to improve my own techniques to take better pictures of my organisers. So here are some tips on how to take better pictures.
Firstly Filofax organisers aren't the easiest subjects to take photographs of, sure they stay still when you tell them to, but they are relatively small, so in normal circumstances you will be quite close to your subject.
So my first tip, try to use natural light were possible, either next to a sunny window or like I often do, on a table outside. What ever camera you use the more natural the light, then there will be quite an improvement in your pictures. With indoor lighting or with flash your camera has to try to make up for the lack of light and so on digital pictures they will look noisy and also they will look quite flat and lack sharpness.
Try to take pictures from different angles, or zoom in on a particular feature or part of the design like I did with this shot:
I often crop my photos afterwards on the computer, but I don't change many settings just crop and save with most of them. It gets rid of wasted space in the photograph and concentrate on the Filofax not the surroundings.
By taking your pictures in sunlight you have better control of the 'depth of field', this is the range of distance between your camera and the background that is fully in focus.
Here is a classic example of very 'shallow' or narrow depth of field, the rings are in focus, but the pen in the foreground is totally out of focus and the address card in the clear envelope gets progressively out of focus the further away it is.
This technique can be used to your advantage if you are trying to get rid of a distracting background. By taking your pictures on a plain background and in good light you can avoid these problems of things being out of focus like in the following picture of the Aston:
If your camera lens can take filters, try fitting a polarising filter to your lens, I've found this can reduce the 'glare' you get off the shiny surface of the leather organiser and it then brings out the natural colour of the leather.
When you are taking photographs of the interior of your Filofax to show off your inserts, try to show them with some content on the pages, even if you have to create some 'dummy' entries, which I will hold my hand up to doing before now!!
In fact, the plan is of our house here, but you didn't know that until now!
Even if you only need two or three pictures for your blog post, take plenty of pictures, it's far easier to discard them at a later date after you have written your post than to have to set it all up again, like I had to do once. I took a series of pictures, took all the organisers inside and then noticed another one sat on the table.... 'Doh' back outside again start again!
The more pictures you take the better your technique becomes anyway, so try varying the camera position and angle, stand back a little and zoom in. Small changes can make quite a difference some time.
In full sunlight be careful where you stand as you don't cast a shadow across the subject.
So it is now time to take the lens cap off and try taking some more pictures... enjoy.