Jewellery and bujutsu?


This blog is about two important parts of my life: martial arts (under the Dentokan umbrella) and making jewellery.

Please join in - there'll be ponderings on processes, and pictures of processes (maybe not in my gi, though...) but in both jewells and bujutsu I've got sooo much to learn, and waffle on about.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Getting pictures right - all the software

Hello crafters,

It might be useful/interesting for me to list the processes I go though before posting a pic on my Picasa galleries or on Folksy. It might be pitiful. It certainly isn't as good as it can be. But here it is:

1) Go get husband's camera from drawer downstairs. It has anti-handshake magic. Thank you Cannon Ixus

2) Peer out window to look for sun. Look left, look right, as it must be somewhere...

3) If adequate sun found, quickly set up enormous (about 1m sq) 'mini' light tent. It's good quality for the money and plenty of it (Hama mini photo-studio). Squeeze my fabric down the back to give my 1970s sci-fi look, which I feel balances the earthy hessian

4) Set up extra day-light lights around tent

5) Put dogs on bed and give them a meaningful look, which they understand to mean, 'this is work, and I am the pack leader. Do not move from your current positions'.

note/ Dogs are clean, non shedding, non sneezifying beasts, and support UK crafting.

6) Set up shot. Lie on belly a) to steady camera and b) cos the tent is so big it can only go on the floor. Be careful to adopt a position that does not disturb dogs, who are now laying on the floor with good view of proceedings.

7) Take many pictures

8) Download and winnow away the husking rubbish (out of focus shots etc)

9) Cup of tea

10) Use Cannon Zoombrowser (free with camera and downloadable online)  software to crop photos. It allows you to do this by pixels, which is really handy as you can get an exact square. I also tweak contrast, saturation and light to make sure the pic is as clear as possible. I started by upping the light too much, which lost colour and looked anemic. I'm use contrast more now - and I mean only 1-3 steps up or down - because that achieves clearness without losing colour (to my eyes).I save the edited pics with 'sq_' prefix in 'Folksy ready' folder. I am a bit of a nerd.

note/ Folksy squares off non-square pics when they are uploaded, and it's not guaranteed that the best bits will remain. Your Folksy shop looks smart because of the squareness, but it's best to crop oneself before uploading

11) Use Faststone (freeware) to resize if necessary and to add a watermark. It is really easy to use and enables users to change batches of pics at once: batch renaming, cropping, watermarking, resizing and so on. I use Inkscape (freeware of course) to create the logos and lettering which make up the watermark (and headers, avatars pics etc etc)

note/ Following a helpful Folksy post about copyright I've added '© Cat McCracken Jewellery' to the logo. To get a © symbol (such fun I did it again) put the number lock on, hold down 'alt' and, using the number keyboard on the right, type in 0169. 'Tidy', says my inner welshwoman (really).

12) Use Gimp (Freeware? Yes, of course) to edit out any dust particles. Very quick and easy.

13) Check photos. Get rid of any stragglers not spotted before

14) Cup of tea

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