Okay, let me preference this article by stating I am by no means a professional photographer. In fact, the last time I even took a basic photography class was back in junior high school which was a long time ago. I did do a short stint as a photographer in the USAF, so I guess I can say that I do know how to take a decent picture. Studio photography was never my thing…I prefer the great outdoors, air shows or mishap investigative type work. The PR shots were left to someone who knew what they were doing. Other than that I am self taught and probably wasted as much film as the next person…thank goodness for digital cameras. Since getting my first, my collection of Cannon 35mm SLR’s have been inactive.
Lighting is next, I made do with the lights I had around the house but it got to be a pain setting up and returning them only to find out the pictures didn’t turn out and had to be retaken. So, with a budget equivalent of the price of a model kit ($50 or less) I made a trip over to the local home improvement store.
Using one inch PVC pipe, some elbow fittings, a bed sheet, an extension cord and of course the lights to make a table top set up like this. This is my first attempt at making my own booth. The whole deal was under $50, I was able to get everything on sale! The bulbs were the single most expensive item at just under $7.00 each. The sheet was $2.99. The PVC supports the sheet which acts as the light diffuser and gives a surface to clamp the lights onto.
To edit my pictures I use nothing more than the software that came with my laptop computer. In this case an HP. The software is very basic and easy to use. I do have the full Adobe suite which includes Photoshop, but I tend not to use it. For one it isn’t on my computer so it isn’t necessarily handy when I am trying to post up a picture.
The editing software allows me to adjust the images (light & contrast adjustment at the push of a button), crop and select file size and type. Here is an example of a before and after:
My photography is quickly becoming more of a second profession than a hobby. I am providing images for some of our clients as well as for myself. If you haven’t noticed the ad for Images By Hawkeye, here on my page you should check out some of the fun I am having.
Some of my images appear in the ads we have designed for our clients projects. I hit total geek the other day when I hooked up an old small LCD TV/monitor to my camera so I could view what the camera seeing as I need to have both hands in front of it as part of the shot. I used a remote shutter release to trigger the shutter release.