Easy Tabletop Photography

416888672_4e7952a99c_mI’ve been playing with my diopters this week. Diopters are close-up glass filters that screw onto the front element of SLR Camera lenses. They allow you to focus really close-up on the subject without an expensive macro lens. I took a bunch of shots with different lighting configurations, and these were the winners. Here’s how I did it…

I shot these images on top of a white piece of foam core placed on a table near a big window covered with white sheers. The light hit the bows and Play-Doh from the side, and then I used the shiny side of a homemade bounce card to fill in the light on the shadow side. I used a +4 close-up filter (diopter) on a 70mm lens to get focus on the Play-Doh label Stripey Goodness and the bows. The front of my camera’s lens was probably only 5-inches away from the front of the Doh.

416889285_f61e6501db_mThe nice thing about diopters is that they give you very shallow depth of field, so only a small part of the frame will be in focus. This can give some really cool effects and help to draw your eye through the frame.

I overexposed these shots by 2/3 of a stop to bring out the whites a bit and to punch up the colors.

On a crazed crafty jag the other day, I made a zillion little grosgrain hair bows for Chloe. They were begging to be photographed. This is a good technique for documenting small home projects.