UPDATE JUNE 27, 2013:
I ended up purchasing the Nikon D3200. I love, love, love it!! It’s so much faster and nicer than my D80. I also (just today!) purchased the Nikkor 40mm macro lens. This lens allows you to take very close-up shots. I’ll be practicing with my new lens on future posts. It’s so exciting to get new electronics!!
Happy Friday All!
I get questions all the time about how I take my photos and videos. So, finally, here goes…
First, the still photos. I have a Nikon D80, but not for long. Last week, I was walking through the kitchen on my way upstairs to my craft room and the shoulder strap got hooked onto a cabinet knob and it went flying out of my hand and hit the floor pretty hard. It still takes good photos, but the on/off button is jammed and cracked. And now it’s a little flakey on the manual focus.
I think it’s about time to upgrade anyway (this camera is about 5 years old), so I’m researching new cameras. I may actually go out and get one tomorrow! When I buy a new one, I will update this post. As of today, all the photos on my blog have been taken with this Nikon D80 and a 18-200mm lens. Here’s how I setup the photoshoot (pardon the background mess!):
A few things to notice:
- I prop a coordinating background paper against my Stampin’ Up! Color Caddy.
- I place a piece of 12×12 white paper under the top of a plastic 12×12 scrapbook storage case (similar to this). I place the card on top of this plastic piece, which creates a little bit of a reflection.
- I use an OttLite High Definition Craft Plus 24W Floor Lamp as my only source of light.
- If I’m taking the photos during the day, I will shut all the blinds.
- I do NOT use a flash.
After I take the photo, I usually do a “quick auto-fix” on it in PhotoShop Elements, which will brighten it up a bit. I crop it and add my logo to the bottom right corner with the text tool in PhotoShop Elements. Voila!
Second, the videos. I use a Canon Vixia HF M40. Honestly, it’s way better quality than I need for YouTube. However, I also use it as my home video recorder, so I want the extra quality for that. When I take card videos, I put the quality on the lowest setting, then I further reduce the quality in Adobe Premiere Elements so it’s easier to edit. Here’s how I setup the photoshoot:
This is where the professionalism kind of breaks down, can you tell? There is a kid table (yes, the one that my kids have outgrown) on top of my craft table. To prop up the camera further, I use an empty box. The camera is attached to a uni-pod, which I then lay across the box and point downward onto my work table. I lay a thick piece of fabric on top of the uni-pod to keep it from rolling around too much. It’s almost kind of funny how it’s just a makeshift assembly of whatever seems to work that I have laying around!! But seriously, I use this same exact setup every week and it works for me. 🙂
I put my Ott-Lite to the left of my table to provide extra light, but I don’t really point it directly onto the work surface. I try to do the videos in the late afternoon, which seems to be when the light is best coming into the room from the windows. Here is a close-up of the camera on the box:
As you can see, I flip the screen towards me so that I can make sure my work is always in the center of view. And if you think about it, I am recording the video upside-down. So, I have to flip it both horizontally and vertically in my editor, Adobe Premiere Elements. I also use this software to edit out delays, speed up boring parts, narrate, and add music. Phew!
Finally, here is a photo of the video camera setup from above:
In the bottom right of the photo, you can see a little portion of the post-it note I keep next to me with the high level steps for creating the card. Since I almost always create the card off-camera first, I display it right next to the post-it (you can see this better in the first picture). I layout all my supplies in order from left to right in a circle. That way, I don’t have to search everywhere for the next stamp or tool – it’s next in line!
Anyway, hope this answers some questions about what I do every week behind the scenes! Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂