Tabletop Photography, just for fun

Tabletop photography has become very popular. It covers a wide range of interests from serious product photos to just having fun. This is one form of photography where you can let your imagination run wild.

You can have a great time photographing toys or your favorite figurines. You can also use tabletop photography to catalogue your insured belongings such as jewelry, stamps or coins.

Do you like to cook? Think about taking some shots of your favorite dishes for your recipe files.
If you run a business you could take shots of your products for those sales fliers and other advertisements, or you could take photos for other businesses and earn a little extra cash.

Some people even take the time to build elaborate sets to photograph. This can be great fun and gives you the opportunity to show off your talents. This type of tabletop photography includes anything from city scapes to farm scenes or even model cars and airplanes. My son loves to build models of the movie monsters such as alien and predator, he then sets up a scene and photographs them.

As you can see tabletop photography is limited only to the extent of your imagination. So get your mind working and see how much fun you can have.

Equipment you will need
· Camera
· Tripod
· Shutter release cable
· Sturdy table
· Lighting source
· AC adapter for the camera
· Light tent also referred to as a light box
· Backgrounds for the light box
· Close up set or macro lens

Settings
Set the white balance manually if you are using a light tent. Your owners’ manual will be able to help you with this. When not using a light box for your tabletop photography you may find yourself in a situation where there is more than one kind of light source. This may be a combination of tungsten and fluorescent for example. If this is the case try the different white balance settings to see which one produces the best result.

Bracket your shots in order to get the exposure correct. Correct exposure is vital to the quality of your photography. You may, however find that a slightly under or over exposed photo to be more appealing.

When shooting small subjects you may want to try using manual focus. This will enable you to concentrate on the exact area you want to emphasize in the scene. Your depth of field will be shallow when shooting close ups as well so you should be sure the important area is sharply focused.

You can use the aperture priority setting to select the depth of field and let the camera automatically select the shutter speed.

Taking the shot
Set the light sources further away to achieve a softer light or set them closer for more contrast. Have enough lights on hand to be able to eliminate any shadows or to set up the shadow effect just the way you want. A light box will help eliminate shadows as it diffuses the light over the whole scene.

You can use your close up set or macro lens to help make smaller subjects seem life size or even larger than life. This is also where your tripod and shutter release cable comes in handy. When shooting close up scenes it’s very easy to have camera shake if you aren’t careful.

Another advantage of using a tripod is that you can plug the AC adapter into the camera and save your battery power. With the camera stationary you don’t have to worry about tripping over the cord.

Use a background that will emphasize the subjects’ detail and color. You can get some colored cloth from the fabric retailer or use colored bristle board from a craft store. Keep in mind the background has to completely cover the floor of the light box as well as the area behind the subject.

Some of the most popular colors are black, white, blue, red, and yellow. You can of course rely on your own imagination for this and use whatever you find most appealing.

With tabletop photography there’s nothing that states you must use a light box. Try setting your scene up on the table without the box and see what the results are. If you wish to use shadows in the scene then setting up in this manner will be a benefit, as the light box tends to eliminate shadows.

As with any type of photography take shots from all the different angles. Use different lighting positions and intensities. Change shutter speeds and play with the depth of field. You can see that using the same subject but changing the angle or light or the camera settings can produce variations.

Photo tips. Which is your favorite subject?

These photo tips will cover a wide range of subjects. Whether it’s wildlife, travel photography or digital sports photography you will find a wealth of information in these pages.

You can find subject matter for your photography almost anywhere you look. However we must start somewhere so let’s start out by discussing three of the most popular subjects, in no particular order.

More subjects will be added on a regular basis but these first three are the ones that interest most people.
· Travel photography.
· Digital sports photography.
· Wildlife photo tips.

These cover a wide range of interests from vacationing and family activities to scenic and action shots. So let’s get right into it and ask that all-important question.

What peaks your interest?
Exactly which subjects are you really interested in shooting? Perhaps you love to travel and would like to be able to produce some dynamite photos of your adventures.

Travel photography is a great subject. Everyone does some amount of traveling and photo opportunities can present themselves at a moment’s notice. You must be ready for them.

Another subject that is becoming very popular in sport photography. Almost everyone is interested in some form of sports.

It may be that a family member plays on a team or perhaps you are simply interested in fast paced action. There is a lot you can accomplish with this subject because of the sheer numbers of different types of sports.

There is always a sporting event going on somewhere close by and the opportunities are endless. This particular subject can cover indoor or outdoor activities and spans all four seasons of the year.

Perhaps wildlife photography is your thing. The chance to get out in the fresh air, do some hiking and shoot the wildlife that presents itself draws in many photographers.

It might be a nature trail or a camping trip for students that peaks your interest. Learning about wildlife in different regions and being able to document it in photos can be a very powerful incentive.

Wildlife photography isn’t just for nature trails and camping trips. Keep in mind all those great venues such as live butterfly collections, bird kingdoms and especially your local zoo.

The ideas are really endless and you can produce some fantastic photos of wildlife from the exotic to the domestic, from the small cuddly bunnies to the largest ferocious beasts.

Related to wildlife is landscape photography. This popular subject is more than just pointing your camera and shooting. There is a lot to consider when you are planning a landscape outing.

Some things to consider are the season, time of day, whether the location is forest, mountain or desert. Perhaps you are going to shoot shorelines or geographical formations. The point is there are truly an infinite number of situations that can occur.

With the rise in popularity of digital photography there has also been an increase in family photos. One of the most popular forms of family photography is that of the household pet. As full-fledged family members photos of pets at play and their portraits now adorn the walls of our homes and pages in the family album.