QUESTION OF THE WEEK #5: re: Project Photos

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Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 07-29-2011 11:58 AM 2160 reads 0 times favorited 41 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: wood or metal? Part 5 of QUESTION OF THE WEEK series Part 6: Challenges »

So you’ve finished your project and are ready to post it on the LumberJocks’ site….

How much effort do you put into the photo(s)?


1) I just “get ‘er done” ... snap, snap, snap

2) I at least clean off the workbench before taking the photo—I try to take a good, clear, uncluttered photo

3) I go all out – I plan the background for the photo, I get the perfect lighting – I want my projects AND photos to look as professional as possible


-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

41 comments so far

View Roger's profile


21011 posts in 3310 days

#1 posted 07-29-2011 12:17 PM


-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View john's profile


2382 posts in 4888 days

#2 posted 07-29-2011 12:23 PM

3 for me . Photos are very important to me :-)

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View CharlesDearing's profile


49 posts in 3013 days

#3 posted 07-29-2011 12:45 PM

Sigh. Ok, #1.


View j_olsen's profile


155 posts in 3678 days

#4 posted 07-29-2011 12:51 PM

A cross between 2 and 3 leaning closer to 2

-- Jeff - Bell Buckle, TN

View SSMDad's profile


395 posts in 3103 days

#5 posted 07-29-2011 12:53 PM

Frankly I go back and forth between all three depending on what I want to convey.

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3426 days

#6 posted 07-29-2011 01:31 PM

I am a #3-er! To me it is part of the creation process. The more I learn about Photoshop, the more I want to learn. I have a relatively inexpensive camera (around $150 and about three years old) but I find that you don’t need the latest and greatest to take awesome pictures. Presentation means a LOT and even simple backgrounds such as colored tissue paper can make a huge difference in the final picture – and not cost a fortune either.

After all – you put all the work into the project, shouldn’t you want to portray it in the best way possible?

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View TimL's profile


36 posts in 3281 days

#7 posted 07-29-2011 02:27 PM

I start out planning for a #2, then get carried away trying for a #3, and usually end up with what looks like a #1.

View ajosephg's profile


1881 posts in 4067 days

#8 posted 07-29-2011 02:31 PM

3 as much as possible. Also use Photoshop to do a final tweak.

-- Joe

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3543 days

#9 posted 07-29-2011 02:36 PM

2 aspiring to 3. I use a background, however simple. I try to get the lighting right. I use photo editing software to re-balance lighting and take out the occasional fleck of dust but what you see is what you get at the end of it all. Having said that I rarely take more than an hour over the whole process of picture to post.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4667 days

#10 posted 07-29-2011 02:59 PM

TimL – I’m sitting here chuckling.
Sounds like some of my woodworking attempts .. and cooking attempts.. and photography attempts.. and “life” attempts lol

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3859 days

#11 posted 07-29-2011 03:06 PM

#3 I take at least 2 pictures of every shot, do that with all my picture taking just in case one does not come out good then pick the best one. Re-crop, rotate in case cropping isn’t quite right, sometimes blur the background so as to focus the eye on the subject, pay attention to lighting and exposure, try to not use a flash, pay attention to cropping, resize so it fits properly within LJ size constraints. Took a photography course some 20+ years ago so still using what I learned. Just want the picture to be as clear as possible highlighting the subject matter. :-)

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

267 posts in 3861 days

#12 posted 07-29-2011 03:14 PM

#2. I don’t bother with a special background (I often use my table saw or work bench), but I do try to remove all clutter if at all possible and pick a nice angle. Unlike BlankMan I actually prefer to almost always use an external flash. I point it at the ceiling or away from the project to get nice uniform indirect lighting, then crank down the ISO as far as I possibly can. I actually do very letter manipulation of the images in software. Best to get a good picture up front, you can recreate lost information. :-)

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3743 days

#13 posted 07-29-2011 03:19 PM

I use Photoshop to clean up my photos and adjust the lighting. You can use it to remove blemishes and unwanted items in the background, but I don’t use it like that. I want the photo to make the best presentation of the subject while keeping the subject like it exists.

Photoshop is expensive, but there is a free program called GIMP that the latest version will do almost everything you can do with Photoshop and some things with GIMP are easier than doing the same task with Photoshop. I use GIMP on a couple of computers I have that are older and run Linux. Here's the link to the Windows version for anyone to download and try out.

When I’m photographing a project. I take photos at various stages of production, then for the finished photos, I take the item outside, place it somewhere with an attractive background (if possible) and put related items of interest in the photo. After I have my photos I plug the memory chip from the camera into my computer, load the photos into photoshop, adjust the contrast and brightness of the picture, change the size to 1024×768 and save it with a new file name in case I need the larger original again. The entire process takes no more than 15 to 20 minutes. The light outside, even on a cloudy day, makes the photo look much more natural than photographs taken inside.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4604 days

#14 posted 07-29-2011 03:57 PM

Mostly #2.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Manitario's profile


2781 posts in 3389 days

#15 posted 07-29-2011 03:57 PM

2 mostly, sometimes 3

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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