What’s Better than a Chocolate Chip Cookie?

I’m a cheapo – plain and simple, but occasionally I realize that my cheapo tendencies are making too much work for me.

For example, I’ve had my online shop  since 2010, and this blog since 2011.  I have sold close to 5,000 items in my shop and written more than 1,500 blog posts.  Do you know what that means?

That means I have taken thousands of photos…thousands.

Do you want to hear the strange part?

I’ve never really enjoyed photography. 

How I ended up choosing a job that requires me to take photos on a daily basis, I have no idea!

Anyway, I tend to make do with what I have, rather than “splurge” on things I really do need.  I’d probably still be using my point and shoot camera if my husband hadn’t bought me my first DSLR camera.

Now that I have one, I can’t imagine how I lived without it.

When I first started taking photos, I shot them in whatever light was available – ranging from glaring sunlight to nearly nighttime, and I used my flash when needed…

and my photos were HORRIBLE.  It hurts just to look back at them.

bad photography lighting

Then I learned you shouldn’t use a flash, so I bought “natural daylight” bulbs.  I’d screw them into a lamp, take the shade off the lamp and angle the lamp toward what I was photographing.  The light was a bit more natural, but using a lamp casts a shadow in across photos…

so my photos were slightly less horrible, but just barely.

Then I learned I could spend $1 to buy a piece of foam board to bounce light toward the shadowed side of what I was photographing, and that would reduce the shadow!  And if the sun was glaring bright, I learned that  a white curtain would reduce the glare.  I bought a whole box full of old curtains at a yard sale for another $1, so for $2 bucks I had a light reflector and a light diffuser…

and my photography lighting started improving.

And for the last few years, I’ve been using those two cheapo tools when taking photos.

For those of you using the same methods – I’m NOT knocking it.  It works, and it is cheap, but the problem is that both of those methods require a second pair of hands, which has usually been my teenage son…

and he’s not terribly thrilled when I ask him to hold a curtain the air with his arms spread open.  I guess I can’t blame him.

I finally decided to o just buy what I need to do the job, and give my son a break.  And when I realized how reasonably priced it was, I felt silly for waiting so long to get it.

For those of you who are working to improve your photos, I ‘ll share what I bought and show you what a difference they make, and how much easier it was than holding a curtain in front of a window!

I bought 3 things: (these are Amazon affiliate links).

I got a 5-in1 Light Reflector.  These come in several different sizes, but I bought the larger 43″ one.  It has the diffuser I used above, as well as a cover with 4 different reflector sides – white, black, silver and gold.

I also got Photography Stand for it.  The stand can also be used to hold photo backdrops, and umbrellas.

And I bought a Grip Holder.  It attaches the reflector to the stand and has a swivel arm to help direct the reflector at the angle you need it.

There’s a window on one side of my table and a door on the other, so I get beautiful natural light on my table, but  the light is very direct coming from the window on the door, which can wash out whatever it shines on and the lines from the window panes show, as seen in this photo.  Sometimes you may want that kind of look for a photo, but it may be a distraction in other types of photos.

photography lighting

 

Here’s the light translucent  diffuser in place, so you can see how I used it for the next shot.

photography light diffuser

 

Look at the difference it made putting the diffuser in front of the window.  It softened the  harsh direct light, and you can’t see the lines from the window panes at all.

chocolate chip cookie photo

 

Seen side by side, the difference between the photos really stands out.  I didn’t edit either of these photos at all – they are straight out of the camera.

photography light diffuser

I plan to buy a 22″ size reflector kit also, because it’s small enough to sit on the table (with clamps to hold it up).

I know I’ll be using the white side of the reflector all the time – both to help reduce shadows in photos and also when there’s less available light in winter to help brighten up my shots.

I haven’t tried the silver, gold or black sides of the reflector yet, so I can’t wait to play with them and see how they affect my photos.  I’ll update you how they work when I do.

I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to say I’m passionate about photography, but the more I learn about shooting good photos, the more I enjoy it!

I still have SO much to learn about photography, but I hope this tip helps some of you who have struggled to get  nice lighting in your photos.  There’s hope for all of us non-photographer people! 🙂

So to answer the question in my title – What’s better than a chocolate chip cookie?

Answer… a chocolate chip cookie that looks as good in a photo as it tastes! 🙂

Read more tips to improve your photography HERE.

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photography tips

 

Blessings,

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Comments

  1. Annette McPeake says:

    Hi Angie, I have never noticed the quality of your photography, it is what you have to say that is important to me.So be kind to yourself and look back on your early photos as a learning curve. I love reading your blog.
    Annette

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