5 Jan 2009

Photography Tutorials: Macro Setting

Thanks for joining me again this week! After browsing hundreds of Etsy items, I noticed a large number of blurry product shots due to the fact that folks are trying to photograph nice, close images of their products (good idea!) without using the proper camera setting (not such a good idea!).

Let’s start by photographing a ring with the camera in automatic mode:

Even with great, diffused lighting, there is no way to salvage this shot – the lens of your camera simply cannot capture an object that is this close. Annoying, because you’d like to show off the detail of the ring, right?

Here is a photograph of the same ring, as close as I can approach without getting a blurry image (still on auto mode):

Now this definitely won’t work! “But wait!” you say, “I have Photoshop! I can crop the photo and zoom in on my lovely ring!”

Hmm…..This is, by far, the most common type of photograph I see out there…a cropped image (even at a high resolution) will not give you the detail and clarity you need, no matter what product you are photographing. And worse, you’re giving your potential customers a headache…all they will be buying is a bottle of aspirin after staring at your fuzzy photos.

Now, go find your camera and have a look – do you see a little tulip icon anywhere? If so, it’s your lucky day – your camera is equipped with a “macro” setting that will allow you to photograph around a 1:1 ratio (meaning you can photograph your ring in life-size reproduction). Some will have even have a super-macro setting (a tulip plus a magnifying glass) which will allow even larger reproductions. If you have this little icon, it will become your new best friend! If you don’t, go find someone whose camera does have it and become their new best friend.

Now we are treated to the lovely detail in the band and the gorgeous color of the stone that we totally missed in the other photos (and if anyone is wondering, this is my great-grandmother’s ring that I snitched out of my mother’s jewelry box last time we visited…hopefully she is not reading this blog). So, go find that flower, have fun with your photographs, and show your customers all the details they’ve been missing!

Article written by Michelle Ciarlo of MKCphotography


  1. Your Grandmother would be proud of you for your tips! - CT

  2. LOVELY pic, and WONDERFUL post, and mUCH needed for Etsy sellers, pictures are the 1st impression and bring sellers in....very good post!
    Http://wilmothfarms.etsy.com and http://wilmothfarmshandmadesoaps.blogspot.com

  3. great article....! I cringe sometimes at shots I see on Etsy... this should be very helpful to some people. well written, clear and concise.,

  4. great tips & explanations, Michelle!

  5. Thank you so much for this article. I really wasn't sure what the macro setting was. Now I know for sure :)

  6. Thanks for all your feedback, folks :-D If anyone would like a specific topic addressed in future posts, pls. let me know (through a comment or an Etsy convo) and I'll be happy to tackle it for you!

  7. I struggle with taking good pics. Thanks for the article...and that ring is gorgeous!

  8. So that's were it went!

    The ring never looked more beutiful except on your finger the day you were married.



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