Friday, March 2, 2018

I Love My Golden Retriever Scroll Saw Pattern.

The Golden Retriever was next on the list of "I Love My" series of dog breed patterns. I'm still receiving lots of suggestions for more breeds. I will do as many as I can over the next few weeks. Some are easier to draw than others. I have to get the right reference photos and for some breeds that is proving difficult. 

Winners of the Bear Woods Sponsored Giveaway are....

 Ken Hurlbert from Ontario Canada.

Rick Brunner of Rick's Trucks 

Here is the photo that Rick submitted for the giveaway.

Both winners were chose at random by a trained monkey named Bobo.
Thanks for entering Ken and Rick. I have sent your email address to Bear Woods
so they can process the gift certificate.

Taking Pictures of our Scroll Saw Projects:

Let me start out by saying that I am no expert on taking product photos. I have taken thousands for the blog so I have experience even if the experience is not well educated.

I have to take photos of my projects to show them on the blog. Some of you need high quality photos when you sell your products on Etsy, Ebay or your own website.

Even more of you like to share your projects by posting pictures on Facebook or Instagram.

Here are some tips to help get you started with your product photography.

If you are going to sell your products then it is critical for you to have quality photos. They do not have to be professional quality but they need to be well lit, in focus and color balanced. You also need to understand how to format your photo for the web.

The first investment is a camera. Luckily many of you already have one in your pocket. Any of the newer iPhone or Android cell phones have very nice cameras.If you have one of the older smartphones or a flip-phone then you may need to invest in something better.

If you can afford a high end camera then your results can be a better but only if you know how to use it. I have a Cannon 20D DSLR that is wonderful but requires a degree in quantum physics to use to it's fullest potential. Not really but it is not for point and shoot fans.

It is also important to have a tripod of some sort to make sure the pictures are in good focus. Poor focus one of the most common biggest mistakes I see. Nothing says "Not Professional" like a poorly focused image. There are many inexpensive tripods on Amazon . If you will using your smartphone make sure you pick up and adapter the phone can be attached to the tripod.

The next purchase I recommend is a light tent. These inexpensive devices can take your photography to a completely different level. They are a must if you are planning to use the photos as product shots on or

I have the photo tent below. It is large enough for most of my scroll saw projects. You can buy smaller ones if you know you will not be shooting large products. Most of these tents come with lights. They are just barely acceptable so I recommend upgrading to more powerful lights.  I use three of the cheap clip on shop light fixtures with 5000K Daylight LED bulbs.

This light upgrade is especially important if you will be using a smartphone for the photos. They do not have the same low light performance as a high end DSLR. Without good light the pictures will be grainy. What they call noise in photography speak.

This is my Photo tent with upgrades lights and my Cannon 20D DSLR. There is also a tripod ready at the side. As you can see there is lots of light and enough room for most of my projects.

 Pis is a photo taken using the photo tent with my Cannon 20D camera. This is after photo processing.

This is the same setup but I used my iPhone 8 plus for the photo. After processing is is nearly as good as the Cannon 20D. There new smartphone cameras are amazing. At full resolution this photo does have a few problems. It is over sharpened out of the camera. That gives it a bit of a harsh look but it's still good enough for a web base product photo.
This picture is an example that we have all seen on I used the nice camera in the iPhone 8 but it still looks terrible. The lighting is bad, the color balance is bad. the focus is not great, the background is awful and it just says "Don't buy me". Please, please do not do this to your product.

Processing the image is just as important as the hardware you use. You can spend lots of money on software or you can go the free route. Here are a few options.
The granddaddy of all photo processing software is Photoshop. I have used Photoshop in the past and it can do amazing things. The learning curve to become an expert with Photoshop is steep. If you are a professional photographer then this is the way to go. Photoshop is a subscription service so be prepared for sticker shock.
Photoshop has a little brother named Photoshop Elements. This is a full featured photo editor that will do anything you need for product photography. You can buy the PC or MAC Download version on Amazon for $99.99. The Box version includes both PC and Mac for $89.00. Amazon pricing is really strange. The physical package costs more than the download version??? I use this software and the one below.
Corel PaintShop Pro is a wonderful piece of photo editing software that I have used for years. It sells for $64.98 on Amazon right now. More strange Amazon pricing but cheaper than you can find it in stores. This price is the Disk version the Download version is $79.99. Who knows why! It's just Amazon. 

The free way to go. GIMP is a cross platform, open source graphics package. It is used by thousands of people around the world. It has all the features you need for product photography. Did I mention that it is free. Free is hard to beat. Okay if it's free then why do I use other software that cost a lot of money? I find it powerful but clunky and not as efficient to use. I have it installed and I use it from time to time but it is just not my first choice. If budget is a big factor then GIMP will work.

How I process my photos for the blog video:
This video is not a tutorial on photo processing. The intent is just to show you that it is not difficult to process your product shots with these software packages. The menu selections will differ in different software but the technique will be similar.

I hope this helps you take and process your product shots better. It really is important to get the best photos as possible. 
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Email Newsletter Readers: Remember that the Newsletter is just a copy of the daily blog post. To see the post in it's proper formatting click this link. If you ever misplace a pattern or any item you see here you can always find it on the blog. Everything stays on the blog forever. 

Products for your consideration:

Scroll Saw Pattern Design Tutorial: DVD
Let me teach you to create a beautiful wooden portrait pattern. I will show you everything you need from start to finish. The video will show you the free software program you can download for Windows or Mac OS. I will show you how to install the program and configure it for best results. 
Then I will show you the technique to take your photograph and make a pattern from it. When the pattern is complete we will go in the shop and cut it.
The DVD is $10 plus shipping. This is a data DVD that you will use on your computer to watch the video tutorial  

Every Scrollsaw Workshop Pattern from 2007-2017 in DVD
Purchase the entire Scrollsaw Workshop pattern catalog for offline access.

This DVD has 2,300 patterns published from 2007 thru 2017.
The DVD is $20 plus shipping. Ships to 60 countries around the world.

If you use the DVD on a Windows PC there is a simple viewer program to browse through the patterns.

The DVD also works fine on a MAC. The viewer program is not MAC compatible but there is an included PDF with all the patterns shown as thumbnails for easy viewing. 

Unique Wooden Vases:
Want to create beautiful wooden vases on the scroll saw?
My two "Wooden Vases on the Scroll Saw" books make it easy.

The books are $12 each and available for instant download after purchase. Click for Video Demonstration.

The Scrollsaw Workshop is primarily supported by donations. If you enjoy this Blog and would like to make a donation please click this Button. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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Support the businesses who support our community.
Home of Pegas scroll saw blades.

This is the end of the daily posts. Keep scrolling for lot's more scrolls saw fun!