Monday, November 18, 2013

A New Look for the Shop

Part One: The Battle for White Balance

So what was supposed to be a few days of tweaking my shop somehow turned into two weeks!  It all started with a conversation I had in the Etsy Forum. I was feeling a bit blue because of slow sales and no views, so I thought I'd drop in on a thread. Ya know, the one where you "say what's wrong with the shop above you."  And the comment I received was very nice but ended with a suggestion to "try to make all of the whites in your photos match."  And henceforth, the battle of white balance began! Oh brother has it been an uphill climb. After many hours of thumbing the exposure button up and down and bumping my head against a wall, I think I've finally figured out my system. Here's how I achieved a more balanced look to the photos in my shop...

This is my little corner of the bedroom where I usually 
set up to take pictures.

I would rest my pieces against the ledge to get the brightest spot. 

But I've always enjoyed looking at pictures on Etsy that have different backgrounds and foregrounds. I especially like photos that have aged pieces of wood. But where to find an old piece of wood? I stopped at Goodwill, peeked in a few antique shops and eyed some yard sales but no luck. One day I had the brilliant idea to head to Home Depot. I nearly cried with joy when I saw the entire aisle that showcased all kinds of wood tile flooring. Little did I know that you can't really buy one single, square foot of floor tiling. Thanks to the lady at the Home Depot who had to literally stifle a laugh in my face when I asked. Made me feel as if I had asked if there was a basement in the Alamo! But the joke was on her because I found just what I needed in the aisle over. So I grabbed a piece of plywood for the backdrop and headed back home with head held high. And this time I also decided to set up shop on the porch.

But I couldn't quite get enough detail. Totally frustrated, I tried to resist doing a Karate Kid type chopping block action on my plywood, took a deep breath and decided to go back to my original spot. This time I used my new set up. And the pictures turned out pretty good!

I'm happy to say that I can now take photos with ease. All you need is a bright day, two planks of wood and a teetering, unbalanced stack of books. 

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