Saturday, October 25, 2008

Critique--Improving Your Pictures Using Picasa

gigglinggoldfish is a very cute shop that sells colorful felt items and children's accessories(I'm not sure how to categorize her items. If I have to I'd just call them "cute stuff"..). Everything in her shop, from the shop announcement,shop sections, profile to listing descriptions, is about fun and color.She says she has been struggling with pictures, so I will focus on photography for this critique.

Before we start, we need to download Picasa(it's free!)
I cannot emphasize enough how easy and effective Picasa is.This is the photo editing software I use for my pictures.Let's try to edit one of gigglinggoldfish's stock photo using Picasa.Below is one of her original photo.

The background, which is supposed to be white, looks a little yellow, so we will use the "auto color"(under "Basic Fixes"tab) feature in Picasa.Simply click auto color, and you will see the color change--

After the background is adjusted, we will proceed to the "tuning" tab.Adjust fill light,highlights and shadows until the result is satisfactory(if you are using white background, this means we want to try to make the background as white as possible without hurting the color and contrast of the product)

There is one thing many sellers fail to realize--Etsy uses square gallery photos, so if your photo is not square,your item may not be centered in the photo.To fix this, we need to crop the photo.Below is the final result--

Let's try another example.Here's the original picture.It's nice and clean, but seems a little dark--

We will use the "tuning" features to adjust the lighting("Fill lights" and "Highlights") and contrast("shadows").Don't be afraid, you can always start over if you make mistakes(that happens to me all the time)--

The next thing really is optional.I like my jewelry to be seen, so I always crop my pictures to enlarge the view of my jewelry in the gallery pictures.I do realize that when doing so I lose a little bit of romantic feel in the picture--in this case, we can't see the earrings hanging from the beautiful cup.

You can read more about photography in my blog.I also found a very useful video clips on youtube about Picasa--

Have fun with photo editing!


giggling goldfish said...

Mu-Yin, thank you so very much for taking your time to do all of these critiques! It is such a thoughtful and kind act. I have heard of Picassa but have never used it. I will definitely teach myself how to edit and improve my photos. Thank you again for all of your input...I will be in touch to let you see my new and improved pics.


mu-yin jewelry said...

don't be afraid!This is not the first time I tried to convince someone to use Picasa.The last time I told the other seller she said she didn't think she could do it.Guess what? Two days later,after I tried to tell her how easy it was, she tried it again and said it was much easier than she thought and that she loved it so much she edited all of her pictures in one night! Once you get the hang of it you'll be hooked :)

Elizabeth said...

I love your blog! I use Picasa too. Isn't it just wonderful!:)

Do you ever use LunaPic's online photo editor? I really like that one too.

Nice to meet you!

mu-yin jewelry said...

wow!lunapic is cool!For selling on Etsy,Picasa probably is much simpler and easier, but lunapic seems to have a lot of fun features.What a shame I can't just download it onto my computer.

Andrew P. said...

Thanks, LunaPic is really cool service. Another site like this is - make a collage online - they make a new effect every day!

JewelleryByNneka said...

Thanks for sharing,this is just what my shop needed as it is in need of brighter photos..I just downloaded picasa and can't wait to start editing :-)

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