photographing ceramics 1.19.2023

Let me start this post by admitting that I’ve not had any type of instruction in taking photos. You could say that I’m a self-taught photographer. I’ve tried a variety of locations around my home for taking photos of my ceramics. The couch, the piano bench, next to a window, and outside, on the back porch. I’ve tried different kinds of lights and backgrounds. I’ve posted before about this, back in 2017. And after years of trial and error, I’m still often dissatisfied with the image quality, usually due to glare. Or sometimes in the winter, there’s too much blue light and it’s hard to get rid of that in my photos. And sometimes I think I need more “professional” looking photos.

So I thought I’d up my game and spring for a photo tent. I got a Neewer brand tent. Some Neewer tents have lights included. I chose to get one without lights because I don’t want to deal with replacing those and am fairly certain I can come up with enough light using windows and lamps I already own.

When I take photos with my iphone, I use the Camera+ app. I first bump up the exposure on the app. Then when I edit, I adjust exposure, brightness, black point, and sometimes temperature and detail.

Here’s the Neewer photo tent set up inside, next to a window.

In the following images, compare and contrast the images on the left, taken inside in the photo tent, with the images on the right, taken outside on my back porch.

Here’s a small off-white orb. The image on the left, taken in the photo tent, is perhaps a little truer to color, because the glaze is indeed OFF white, not white. Also, the matte glaze works best in photos taken outside because there’s hardly any glare.
Another off-white orb, although this white is indeed more of a pearly white than an off white. This is a satin glaze, and shows a bit more glare in the photo on the right, taken outside.
The glaze on this green orb is more glossy. The photo on the right is an example of the glare I get when photographing glossy vessels outside. You can see the part of the porch that’s open to the outside and the porch roof in the reflection. The photo on the left, taken inside in the photo tent, deals with the glare much better. But the color in the photo taken outside is much truer. In the photo taken inside, the color isn’t as true, and it’s difficult to get the background as white and bright as I wanted without fading out getting the green colors.

Although I’m glad I found a way to get rid of the glare, I’m still not happy with the whiteness level and the color I’m getting with the photos taken in the photo tent. And I just can’t beat the color I get when I take photos outside! I’ll continue to make adjustments and hope to learn exactly how to get true white, true color, and no glare in my images. I’ll probably end up taking photos of glossier vessels inside in the tent, and all other vessels outside. Feel free to offer advice!

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2 thoughts on “photographing ceramics 1.19.2023

  1. You are doing great, I love seeing the versions side by side like that! I used to drive myself batty photographing food for my old blog, I bought all the fancy light boxes and screens etc., I learned a lot, and still use some of the techniques photographing my paintings, but I still struggle with glare and getting the real color.

    Liked by 1 person

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