Behind the Scenes in the Studio


Did you have a nice Thanksgiving Feast with family or friends? We’re all treading softly here in America, when it comes to choosing our table conversation and manners during holiday gatherings. The best tip I heard leading up to the holidays, is to plan some “topics” prior to sitting down at the table, so conversation doesn’t drift into politics or go down other rabbit holes. Actually, that is a good practice any time you are hosting a gathering. Ask guests about their hobbies or interests and you are sure to have interesting & lively conversation for most of the meal, if not the entire evening.

Nobody is asking me…but I thought it would be fun (for me) to share a part of my hobby. The Behind the Scenes of a photo shoot in my little Studio, for a photo to be used in an MML post. This photo shoot was for a recent DIY birchbark candle post

Image SOOC…

(SOOC = Straight-Out-Of-Camera, unedited) When I shoot photos I always use my iPhone‘s AE/AF LOCK (auto exposure/auto focus) feature, then pull down exposure even more, to darken the highlights. That gives darker shadows and darker highlights. I can edit back the shadows (to bring back black & mid-tone details) however, if I let the whites blow out then the info is gone, so details in the highlights can not be brought back through edit. Tip: If you are losing details in the white area of your photo, adjust your phone camera exposure darker until you get the details in the white areas back. Then you can take your image into an app or editing tool to bring back shadow details. I see most people just shooting without any exposure adjustment, resulting in their highlights/whites being blown out; like, in the sky, missing those beautiful details of white clouds. There are many editing tools available, probably on your phone right now, so give it a try next time you shoot a photo.


Image edited in Lightroom…

Then I took the iPhone 6+ image into Adobe Lightroom to run it through an edit using a Kim Klassen preset, “Truely.” The preset added an exposure adjustment and detail to the birch paper, without lightening up the wood box background…the candle remains the focal point. Want to learn Lightroom for FREE? Check out Kim’s Leap into Lightroom class…she is a fabulous teacher and her pre-recorded videos are easy to follow at your own pace.


However for the actual DIY birch paper candle post, HERE, I did lighten the mid-tones using levels adjustment, as I was working on the frame and text, in Elements, because for Posts, the photos need that brightness & contrast boost even though it sometimes blows out some highlights.

Behind the Scenes…

Behind the scenes is nothing fancy. Here’s what I did, and I am still fumbling to figure things out. The natural light from the window is bright so I blocked out some using the black board. A white board is propped on a bed (out of sight), to the left, to reflect light so the props don’t get direct light or fall into shadow. I am now more convinced than ever that all the walls in the room should be painted white, to really do this right.


Pop in next week, I am sharing more Neutral Christmas inspiration.

Thanks for Meeting Me Lakeside!

new Kathy sig w wc & big mug 159x50