Tuesday, August 28, 2007

FUN with a fill card

In my forum on Etsy "Do you need Help with anything Photo -Digital Related?", I mention fill cards a lot .
They are very easy to use and everyone has them around.

The one I used here is really low end... a couple pieces of cardboard -one painted black and the other with a piece of white paper taped to it.

The first one is called a *Positive fill* (This is a White card folded in half ).
This just bounces light into the shadow areas of your subject and adds a highlight into anything shiny. This is perfect thing to use when shooting on a black background because the black surface sucks up all the light.

I shot the above ducky in shadow light. There was barely any light coming in on the fill card when I was shooting. The more light on the card, the more fill...simple, huh?

The next is *Negative fill* ( This is a Black card folded in Half)
This is perfect when shooting on White, because the white surface bounces SO much light around, it can wash out your subject and take all the shape away.

Sometimes you might need both cards... or you might want to wrap a little tin foil around one to add a bit of PUNCH!

I suggest getting all of them together and messing around with them to see what each one will do for you.
Also, look at them on your computer to see the results, because it is hard to make any decisions while looking at he little screen on the back of your camera.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Mini Studio

Good Afternoon, Morning or Evening,

A lot of people ask about what types of backgrounds to use or how to take a good looking picture. It is very simple. All you need is a little niche that allows you to move around freely, adjust the height, rotate and change background colors.
Obviously, a studio would be great... but most of us really can't set up a huge studio in our houses or sacrifice a room .
So, this is how we can solve the problem:


Really all this Mini studio is:
1- piece of 1/2 inch plywood that is 24"x24" (purchased and cut at Home Depot or Lowe's)
1- piece of 1/4 inch Foam core that is 24"x24" (purchased at Michael's or any craft store)
1 -90 degree bracket (purchased at Home Depot or Lowe's)
Strong tape (duct tape of any canvas tape)
1-6" baby wall plate (purchased at B & H or any camera store)
1-Grip Head (purchased at B & H or any camera store)
1-20" c stand (purchased at B & H or any camera store)

To assemble, it is very easy:
*take the plywood and fasten the angle bracket on the bottom
*tape the foam core to the other side of the bracket and secure it with tape
*screw the wall plate on the middle of the bottom of the plywood
* mount the wall plate on the grip head
*mount the grip head onto the stand

And, there you're done... PRESTO! A Mini Studio

This will greatly help your pictures because it will:
*Add symmetry to your pictures
*Enable to work at different heights and also give your product perspective
*Enable to turn and move to around freely to help with lighting
*Enable to let you use countless colors for backgrounds by using draping fabric, paper, gift wrap or what ever else you have around the house as shown below:

For around $150 dollars you can have yourself a nice little studio to call your very own.
(Don't be afraid to use new or used building materials. This is just a guide, so get creative!)
Feel free to post any questions you may have.


Saturday, August 25, 2007


Well Hello,

I guess this is POPPIN my cherry in the blogging world (that's probably been said about a million times). I want to thank everyone for reading my blog.

A little about Me: I live in Pomona CA with my beautiful wife, Raven. We just purchased a historic Spanish Mediterranean revival home. I have been a professional Camera Assistant in Los Angeles for about 11 years now and have worked with most Celebrities and on a lot of major ad compaigns.

I am not saying that I am the mighty all mighty master of all things photo-related, but I've been around the photo block and for most beginners I can offer a lot of insight info and help with lighting, camera, printing, digital and most things photo-related.

The main reason for my Blog is to help people from Etsy and other sites who are trying to sell their crafts online and are having a difficult time taking their pictures.

I started a help forum on Etsy and realized that most of the questions were the same, so I will answer them here with pictures and examples to help in the explanation.

I hope no one will get upset, but eventually I will be having advertising on my blog to help me with becoming a stay at home artist... and hopefully someday a Dad.