Taking Pictures of Woodworking

Let’s face it – it’s tough enough to be a good woodworker, let alone be able to write about it. But when it comes to taking photos of your work to share with friends (or magazine editors) it can seem like a daunting task. Below we’ve posted a “Photography Guide for Authors” that will help you improve the quality of your photographs. Here’s a look at some of the tips you’ll find inside:

Tip 1. Blocking Out Light To control the image perfectly, there should be no other light sources in the room, other than your floodlights (explained below). That includes sunlight from windows as well as light from lamps or overhead fixtures. These other light sources will add color shifts to your image. If you cannot block the windows with thick black curtains, you must wait until it is dark to photograph.

Tip 2. Floodlights Buy a pair of 500-watt photo floodlights with daylight-balanced (approximately 4800°) bulbs. For digital cameras, set the white balance setting to “daylight.” Keep extra floodlight bulbs handy.

Tip 3. Lighting the 3-D Subject Use just one light aimed directly at the artwork. To avoid harsh shadows, keep the single light at least five feet away from the subject. If the shadows are still unpleasantly harsh, try bouncing or diffusing the light.

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