Using a Point-and-Shoot Camera to Photograph Your Cards

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Hello, Sweet Things!  Don’t you just love the start of a new week?  New possibilities.  A fresh slate.  Yes, I’m a big fan of Mondays and that probably makes me seem a bit crazed to some people!  There are new stamps in the Sweet Stamp Shop since last week was a new release week and I found myself happily playing with my stash of Sweet goodies over the weekend!

Are you ready for another installment of Picture Perfect?!  As you’ve probably guessed, I use a DSLR camera for my photography.  My DH purchased one for me when our first child was born over nine years ago and I was so thrilled!  From that point, my photography journey began.  For today’s post, I had this idea that I would force myself to take a card photo using my old handy dandy point-and-shoot camera, a Casio EX-Z120, 7.2 mega pixels digital camera.  This camera has been a part of our family for many years because it is the perfect size for a pocket or purse and we still have “dumb” phones with no photo capabilities!  I realize some of you do not have DSLR cameras and I’ve probably left you thinking that good photos are only for those who are lucky enough to have DSLR cameras!  Have no fear!  If you have a point-and-shoot camera, you can still achieve great photos!

Take a look at what happened when I used my point-and-shoot camera and a little editing at that wonderful website called PicMonkey.  You’re going to be pleasantly surprised!

Taking the Photo

The original photo straight out of the camera (after I cropped it very slightly):

2014 April 21 PAS InitialPic

Let’s talk about this photo for a moment before I continue on with the editing…

One thing you will notice with point-and-shoot cameras is that they are not as sensitive to light as DSLR cameras and, therefore, you need to make sure you have great lighting when taking a photo to capture as much detail as possible.  As you can see in the photo above, my photo turned out a bit dark for my liking.  Never fear, however!  That’s where photo editing is your friend!

Second, you’ll want to move in as close to your card as you can without making the photo fuzzy.  How close you can get depends on your camera.  Cropping begins to lessen photo quality, so the less you have to crop the better, especially with a basic point-and-shoot camera.

Third, I know some of you have mentioned that getting a blurred background behind your card is next to impossible with a basic camera.  Start off by doing two things:  a.)  Pull your card as far away from the background as possible.  b.)  Put your camera on Aperture Mode (the A on the dial).  I did both of these things when I took this picture and, although the background is still not as fuzzy as I’d like it to be, I’m not worried.  Why?  I have a little trick up my sleeve for you!

Editing the Photo

Let’s head on over to PicMonkey now, brightening and sharpening it a bit using the basic editing methods we explored previously in this blog series.  Here is the photo after I did this:

2014 April 21 PicM 1

Now let’s see about making that background a bit fuzzier!  Click on the Effects icon in the left hand menu (the little magic wand) and then click on the Soften option.

2014 April 21 PicM soften

Notice this softens the entire photo, but we just want to soften the background a bit.  Set the Softness to 100% and the Fade to 25%.  Then, Click on the little paintbrush.  A box will pop up with more sliders.  I set all of these at 75%, but you may need to adjust the Brush size depending on your photo.  Use the brush circle to carefully brush over your card, leaving the background fuzzy.  It’s a bit like wiping fog off a window!  You may need to decrease the size of the brush to get close to the corners of your card without brushing the softening effect off the background.

Here’s my final photo:

2014 April 21 PicM FinalPic WM

See?!  Where there is a will, there is a way!  I hope this helps those of you who thought it was impossible to get quality photos with a point-and-shoot camera!  There is such a wide range of cameras on the market today, but if you can figure out a way to use what you already have, you’ll find it’s plenty good for taking photos of your creative projects!

With the arrival of milder days, I’ve been craving smoothies again.  The adorable Yummy Love set came to mind and I had to use it for today’s post!  This set has such a great variety of cute fruit (& two peas in a pod) and you can’t go wrong having it in your stash!  This card uses most of the images, but I can see a teacher card being made with the apple and if you bop over to Oh, Smudge! (my creative blog), you’ll see an idea I had for that little orange!

With brand new stamps in the Sweet Shop and spring cleaning going on right now in a lot of your craft rooms, you may need a little retail therapy to freshen up your stash!  I thought I’d share a coupon code to help you out!  Use code MS15 to receive 15% off your total regular priced purchase TODAY ONLY!  Go grab those sets that you know you’ve had your eye on!  Yes, I am being a total enabler here today!  What is your have-to-have set in the Sweet Stamp Shop right now?

Until next time!

Melissa

9 Responses to Using a Point-and-Shoot Camera to Photograph Your Cards

  1. Judy1223 says:

    Melissa, yet another brilliant post…and perfect for those of us who are still using point-and-shoot cameras to photograph our cards! I must admit, the more i use PicMonkey the more i love it! Thanks for such good pointers, I am learning so much from your series! And, of course, your card is totally adorable!

  2. Becky says:

    Your card is adorable Melissa! Thank you for such a great series. Your tips have improved the quality of my photos and their editing tremendously! Thank you for sharing your talent with us!

    • Melissa C. says:

      Becky, I am so happy to hear you have been able to put some of the tips in my photography series to use! Yay! This makes me smile, knowing someone has benefited from the information I’ve been sharing! So happy! 🙂

  3. Carol Mc says:

    Great photography tips. Thank you.

  4. Kate says:

    Great post! I just love your photography tips!

  5. okay, your card is so super SWEET and thank you (yet again) for helping us to be Pic Monkey experts…I always use the tips that you share Melissa!!!! Thank YOU!!

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