Nov 8, 2009

photo magic

i've been meddling with my photo editing software and pushing the limits a little ... well, i think "pushing the limits" is an overstatement, cos i actually just discovered you can do things like that *v_v embarassed* ...

i used to just use irfanview to tweek my images, but today i decided to try the GIMP2.6 software (you can download free from the net) people tell me that it's a real basic software, but since i haven't gone and learn the illustrator or photoshop yet (and also i have no money to buy them... yet) i'll just stick to basic and free for now... :) initially i only used the GIMP2.6 for all the effects and the photo collage i make for my items, but never the photo editing part.

it all started when i saw my fren mindy's photos on her accesories collection in her facebook page (click on the link and you'll see what i mean) and she says she uses natural sunlight, a white dining table and a bit of editing!! crap! so why dun my images look anything like that? (ok... i dun use natural sunlight much for reasons that i won't go into and i only use a mini auto sony cybershot *sigh*)

mine would look something like this ...

and that's after the tweek on the software...

by the way ... that's my new dreamcatcher or rather, i think it's more of a suncatcher cos it does look lovely by the window when the faceted beads are a-glittering in the sun.

well ... dissatisfied i was, i decided to tried the GIMP2.6 photo editing functions ... and here are some results. the left image is the original straight-from-camera, the right image has been "photoshopped" by the GIMP2.6 ("photoshopped by the GIMP2.6", ironical isn't it? see what branding can do to consumers?)

images 1a & 1b

images 2a & 2b
i pushed the exposure (?) or is it gamma (?) higher than i normally would go and i got closer to mindy's photos feel. now if you compare image 2b (right side) with the very first image, it looks much whiter. i also pushed the contrast up to bring back the dark details.

images 3a & 3b

images 4a & 4b
i "burn" images 3b and 4b even more ... and they're starting to look like some ancient elven relics glowing with magic!

image 5a & 5b
and this final one 5b is waaaay burn i think!

i think i got quite close to mindy's pictures effect ... and now the question is ...
can i actually put a product shot such as this one in etsy? would it be totally misleading? i personally think 1b and 2b are still alright but 5b is pretty unrealistic.

since i'm pretty new to photography i would love to know what do you think? ... especially etsy users and my photographer frens :) tell me your thoughts ok ... and tips ;)

and on a different note :) see the bangles? familiar?

that's what i used for the dreamcatcher hoop :))

oh yeaaaa ... i also took this picture of my "photo studio set up" ... hehehe, just for you!

yes ... this is where i do my crafts, surf the net and where i take my product pictures!!

the "studio set up" is fully DIY and can be installed and pulled down in seconds ... and yes ... i usually do everything between 11pm - 5am :) i seriously think i'm some sort of vampire hybrid! see? that's why "no natural sunlight" :)

happy pimping! :)


  1. Photos are a really difficult thing for me- I always have to use Paintshop to edit them so that they're the correct colors and brightness.

    I think as long as you have them so they're close to the actual color, they're fine to put on Etsy. So I'd say the first four are fine, but the last one is too bright. But on the other hand, you do have 5 spots on etsy to use, so you could put an artistically edited one in one of the spots. As long as people know what the item looks like from some of the photos, I'm sure an artistic one would be fine. :)

  2. I do like the brighter ones, you can see the beautiful details!
    And the Frosty challenge is so pretty.

  3. beautiful job luthien! thanks for taking us inside the studio! :o) how do you survive on such little sleep?

  4. Hmmm... very cool dream catcher, Luthien!

    By editing in this manner you are fixing lighting and exposure problems *not* changing the product. If you were to artificially enhance the bead colors so they would look different that they do if the dream catcher was sitting in my hand, then it would be misleading (and disappointing for the buyer!)

    You're on the right track with your lighting set-up. Right now all the fabulous light coming from the top is escaping out the sides, though. Check out this link for a do-it-yourself light box:


  5. merily :)
    thanks for your input... yea... i think i do agree with you. i've always edited my pics very little so that they look natural. but lately (i think my elven soul has emerged again) i've been attracted to a more ethereal feel ... mayb it's a good thing too since it's so near christmas. my only fear is that when buyers get the goods, they would be disappointed cos it doesn't look like in the pics :))

    cherry :)
    thank you :)) my hubby said the same .. he thought as long as the details are still there, it's acceptable :)) and thank you for loving my frosty entry!! you should join us in the challenges some time :)

    maire :)
    thank you very much! LOL!! not much of a studio ... more like a messy store room :)) but it serves the purpose :) i do get to sleep a lot after that ... till about 11 am :)) hehehe ...

  6. susan :)
    i just missed you :)) thank you for your sweet comment on my dreamcatcher and a big thank you for the tips and the link!! i went into it and it was absolutely fascinating (to newbie me :) tomorrow i'm gonna own a DIY light box!! YAY!!

  7. I'm sure people won't expect something to actually glow, you know? As long as it's close and you say what it's made of, it's probably fine. :)

  8. Gawd you're adorable!! (I just ♥ you big time!!) ;-) Ok... getting back to your post... your images came out great and I know how frustrating it is to do all this photo editing, ugh! Took me forever to figure it all out. Granted I did finally end up going to Photoshop - had to - but Gimp works great too.
    I think you can use the high burn image on Etsy as a lead photo and then have the other images as the back ups, that way the customer can compare the colors and lighting and you can also include a note about the coloring if you want.

    Also, check out this link: You might be interested in the photo booth links or the PS tutorial if you ever go that way. ;-)

  9. Is that "Legion" on your desktop? I can't WAIT to see that movie!

  10. sharon :)
    LOL!! i love you too :))
    thank you very much for the tip and the suggestion. yea... from what everyone said, i think it's ok to use this batch of pics (tho i have reservations about the last image) i guess buyers nowadays are savvy enough to make a wise decision. i went into your tutorial link, but couldn't continue to the second page. the button wouldn't click for me... i'll try again tomorrow :)) but thanks for the help :)) really appreciate it!!

    chris :)
    LOL!! YES!! that's the legion wallpaper on my laptop :) that's paul bettany complete with washboard abs and wings!!! OOOO .... paul bettany!! i just love that guy!


thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post :) it makes my day!!
Luthien :)