Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Polish your Photos Series: Quick Tips to Make them Shine


Hi, I am Becka (beckarahn) and I have been an Etsy seller since 2005. I am a fiber artist and technology geek. Through the years a lot has changed at Etsy, but having great photos of your work has always been the most important thing for a successful shop. The goal of this series is to show you some common photo problems and give you ideas of how to fix those flaws in just a few steps.


Quick Tip #1: The Golden Glow
A common problem I see with photos is the “golden glow” caused by photographing under regular indoor incandescent lights. Although this is a nice sharp photo, you don’t get a real sense of the color of the pendant because everything in the photo is very yellow.


My favorite way to fix this “golden glow” is to use the Curves tool in Photoshop*. First, open your photo file and then go to the “Image” menu, then choose “Adjustments”, then “Curves”.



A dialog window will pop up. Look for the eyedropper icon that looks like it is full of white paint. (There will be a black and a grey one too.) Your cursor will change to an eyedropper.


Go over to your image and click in any white area of the background. By clicking, you are telling Photoshop: “This spot I just clicked is supposed to be pure white. Please readjust everything else in this image so that spot looks white.”


Try clicking a couple of different spots in your image until you get just the right adjustment. Now the white background looks white and the color of the pendant really pops. Once you are happy with your new image, then click “OK”, save your image and you are ready to post it in your shop.



(*The screen shots for this tutorial are from a Mac using Photoshop CS5. Other versions of Photoshop will have the same tool, but the menus might look slightly different.)


What if you don’t have Photoshop? Try looking for a “White Balance”, “Neutral Picker” or “Temperature” setting or an eyedropper icon in your favorite photo software (ie Picnik, iPhoto, Picasa, Lightroom). That tool should have a similar effect.

Stay tuned for more "Polish your Photos" tips to come.

13 comments:

Victoria said...

Thanks! I think I'll have to try this and see the difference in my photos.

Sandie said...

Great article, Becka! I'm sure this will help a lot of people. :o)

Sandie
SAS Captain

Janie said...

Thank you for that! I just tried it - easy peasy! This will save lots of editing time.

Nicole said...

Thank you soooooo much!!!

Becka said...

Janie - So glad it worked for you! Hooray.

PrairieGarden-Liane said...

Wow!
Thank you so much. This is a great tutorial!

msveronicas said...

Awesome! Thanks a bunch.

AsteropeBC said...

I've always felt a bit nervous about manipulating those curves, but now I feel more confident.

Jeanne said...

Tell me you have more tips like that! I loved it, it works perfectly. I used to spend all kinds of time with all kinds of layers getting the yellow gone, now this is like, instamatic!!! That is the best way to get out the yellow. Wow.

Becka said...

I love to hear that it is working! I think I have some more great tips. Also be sure to leave your photo questions in the comments and I will try to answer them in a future post.

Jeanne said...

I would love to know how to "dampen" a picture that has bright glare on it so that it doesn't look bright, like a light bulb flashed and is reflected off the surface of your subject... object or human. I have a situation now and I can't a different picture.

Sandra's Satchels said...

I have a MacBook as well and I find the Iphoto editing hard to use. Etsy wants the photos 1,000 and square and it seems to me that the smallest I can get is 1256 x 800 and that is not square. How did you get around that?

Sandra's Satchels said...

I asked about the editing on Iphoto -- I can't find a way to crop to the Etsy requirements which I think is no more than 1,000 square. The smallest I see on their edit is 1256 x 800 and that is not square. So when I choose square, my handbags pop out of the frame on Etsy. I posted this but didn't see to ask for an email follow-up.