new appliquéd onesies!

Monday, February 21, 2011

I must be so in the mood for spring because all I can think about are birds and butterflies and flowers!
I prototyped a couple of new appliquéd onesies this week for chirp & bloom. I couldn't decide on one colorway, so I did 2 for each. I do get requests for boy onesies, so I think the grey & blue birdies fits the bill. I just don't have a feel for sports themes or trucks and they would look out of place in my shop anyway.
A lot of trial and error and time goes into prototyping. The original design for the birdies had 16 birds! What was I thinking? There were so many and they were so tiny. It takes me plenty long to applique the 9. Then I thought it would be cute to have the odd one off kilter at the end, pecking at some crumbs. Just makes it more interesting.

The other time-consumer: getting good photos. It's an ongoing challenge for me. I am basically an amateur. I know what looks good, but how to get there is the problem.  I recently invested in a studio flash with an umbrella to boost my light indoors without glare. I still prefer the natural light to be dominant though, so I wait for sunny days and turn the flash way down to use as fill light. I wind up doing lots of editing in Photoshop never the less.
original shot straight from the camera
I prefer to err on the side of underexposure with digital shots (the opposite of what you would do with film shots) so all the color information is there and not washed out. But BLECH! The light wasn't as good as I thought and the studio flash didn't seem to help much. I had it turned way down to look natural.
final shot heavily edited in Photoshop
After several Photoshop operations it's good enough to use in the shop:
- increase exposure (+.52 in this case, but I've been known to go higher)
- select background only using selection tool (select onesie & clips, then select the inverse)
- using selective color tool, remove black from whites, neutrals, and from black itself (fiddle with the percentages)
- sometimes I'll increase the color saturation on the item a little too but I didn't this time.
- on top of it all, I increased the brightness by a little bit and dodged the bottom edge
- then there's cropping. I've started cropping to the ratio that Etsy uses for main shop photos 794px x 1000px. That way I have better control of what the shot will look like in the shop rather than being left to the mercy of Etsy's cropping.

I still may go back to the attic on a better light day and see if I can do better.

Ok- the sun came out I found a better spot to hang my clothesline. I knew something still missing from the other onesie photos! Sparkle. Can't beat good natural light (and a foam core reflector). Much less photoshopping was needed for this new photo.


Jes - oh, buckets said...

they are adorable!
I have similar trouble with photos for my shop...thank goodness for editing programs!

Rachael said...

How cute!! I just love the little birdies! ;)

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