Catalogue photography aims to capture a complete and accurate representation of the collection item depicted. This is usually achieved through carefully planned lighting and composition considerations, as well as editing your photographs after they are taken.
If you discover that your catalogue photography has not captured your collection items as accurately as possible, post editing can often remove the need to re-shoot by adjusting and refining minor errors.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Before you read on, consider what image editing software you will use. For example:
- Your computer’s built-in Image editing program: Microsoft Windows includes Paint and Photos; Apple Mac includes Photos; and all feature basic image editing functions
- Free image editing software: Examples include GIMP and Pixlr
- Paid image editing software: Examples include Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom
Cropping involves adjusting or removing the outside edges of an image.It can be helpful for improving framing and composition, or removing unwanted details from an image. You can use your mouse to drag the crop handle to exclude unwanted areas of the image.
STRAIGHTENING AND ROTATION
It is important that your photographs are straight, so that any vertical or horizontal elements of the item depicted line up with the sides of the image. If your photograph is slightly crooked, you can use the straightening or rotation tool to adjust it.
A photograph is ‘underexposed’ when the light level is too low. The resulting image may be dark, with white backdrops appearing grey, and colours appearing dull and lacking in intensity.
By contrast, an ‘overexposed’ photograph, where the light level is too high, may appear unnaturally bright, with the colours appearing pale and washed out.
You can use the exposure tool to adjust an under or overexposed photograph so that the colours more accurately reflect the true colours of the item depicted.
COLOUR CORRECTION AND WHITE BALANCE
Colour correction involves adjusting the colours of an image to accurately reflect the true colours of the item depicted. If the item appears discoloured or the white of your backdrop appears blue or yellow, you can use the colour correction or white balance tool to adjust tones and tint.
Ensure that your object is on hand for comparison, as post-editing from memory is not reliable or recommended. You can use the colour correction or white balance tool to adjust the tones so that the colours more accurately reflect the true colours of the item depicted.
Post edits: are changes that are applied to digital images after they have been captured by a camera or scanner
Exposure: the amount of light that reaches the camera’s sensor
White balance: the adjustment of colours in a photograph to account for different lighting types and more accurately represent natural light.