Friday, March 8, 2013

Tea, and a camera, and Photoshop

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Back on January 1st while other people were resolving to diet, exercise, quit smoking, and spend more time with their families, I decided that 2013 was the year when I would pick up my camera and start taking pictures again.

How's that working out?

Pretty good, actually.  But it was my Facebook teacup project that really got me rolling this past week or so.

The cup that started it all--the one I gave away.
I've been posting pictures of teacups on my author page for a couple of weeks now (I even gave one away), but my Facebook pals kept saying they wanted to see MY collection.  The fact is, while I do have a couple of stunners, most of my cups are quite ordinary. They're pretty, but they're not outstanding.  But I do love them and have no plans to part with them.

I took the photo at right in my dining room.  It was sitting on a tiny table on top of a linen tablecloth.  But my friend Dan takes magnificent shots of his beautiful sculptures. They're studio quality.  We asked how he did it, and he explained that he does them on his coffee table with a foamcore display board and another piece of foamcore under the pieces.  He does have a better lighting set up than me.  I cannot get my flash to synchronize properly.  It's off to the photo store to see about that.  I may even buy one of those photographic umbrellas to soften the light ...but that'll only happen after some major research.

(Are you bored yet?)

My teacup contest hadn't even ended when I logged into Pinterest and there on my screen was my little teacup.  Someone had lifted the picture from Facebook and uploaded it to Pinterest. I have to admit, I was both pleased and disconcerted.  It's not that I have any interest in selling my work (wait a minute, maybe I do ... I buy a lot of stock photography; I wonder if I could sell something to them.  Hmm ...)  At any rate, I was not going to upload pictures of my collection, but then I thought ... if I could copyright them, I'd share them with the world.

Voila!  Welcome to the wonderful world of Youtube videos, where you can find tons of fun things and tutorials based upon just about anything.  (I have also learned to pack a suitcase like a butler!)  Okay, so the tutorial told me way more than I needed about macros, etc., but after watching it a couple of times I picked up just enough knowledge to do what I want.  And now ... I'm sharing my teacup collection on Facebook, and eventually on Pinterest.

I'm putting up a cup a day.  If you'd like to join me (and tell me about your teacups), come on over to my Facebook page.  Just click this link.


Sue said...

beautiful!!! looking at your tea cups makes me wish I drank tea!! The third one looks somewhat like a set my aunt had when I was growing up.

ponyswimgal said...

As usual, your photos are VERY good! (Um, the photo I use of me was taken by you in Chicago mumbly-mumble years ago. Darn, I always DID love your black & whites.) So -- I've been thinking of using one of those tri-fold thingies used in Science Projects at school for my background on my own photos. Is that what you're using? The hint of a foam board UNDER the object is brilliant! Thanks for passing along that nifty little tip! I, too, have indulged in YouTube tutorials & one suggested inexpensive lighting for photos -- two of the work lamps w/clamps & use the energy curly bulbs marked "sunlight" or whatever term they use. Got a pair of the lights from Lowe's and bulbs for under $25 & a reflecting circle (that collapses) for Christmas. Haven't had a chance to put 'em all together, but that's the plan.

Love your idea of photographing your tea cups & putting them on Facebook & Pinterest. Good luck with them, but don't let this renewed interest interfere with your writing . . . especially the Jeff Resnick books!! ::grin::

Unknown said...

I thought I recognized that photo. Looks like it was taken in existing light. Gotta love digital photography where you don't need a flash to take great shots inside. I'll look into your light solution. Ideally, I'd like to set something up in my office. (Pardon me while I laugh hysterically. There are so many boxes of postcards and bookmarks around here I can barely move.) Before this, I was taking shots out on my picnic table using white butcher paper (it's a great backdrop, too, but is difficult to manage). Gets a little too cold to do that during the winter.

Aurian said...

Lovely pictures, and a nice hobby Lorraine. Those cups do remind me of my grandmother's collection. I prefer drinking tea out of mugs nowadays. But if I had the space for nice china like this, I would certainly start a collection.

Edel said...

I love teacups and saucers.I started collecting years ago after I inherited my grandmothers teaset.It started an interest in pretty china.I just wondered do you like to collect mismatched cups and saucers or do you prefer to always keep them matching.

Cozy Chicks said...

Edel, I collect cups that are pretty. I do have matching cups for the two sets of china I have, though. I had to stop buying everyone I see, though, because I just don't have the space. Now I only buy them if the shape of the cup is unique. But I love every one of them. And with Pinterest, I can have a virtual collection of the most beautiful cups in the world.