Whether it’s to keep as a record or memento for yourself, to show friends and family how you did it, or to enter a Handyman competition, taking good photos of your projects can be the difference between impressing and missing the mark.
Professional photography skills and fancy cameras aren’t required for a decent snap, just a bit of know-how and experimentation with angles and height.
GETTING THE RIGHT LIGHT
Handyman’s professional snappers all agree light is the key factor when taking photos and that natural or ambient light is ideal.
Morning and midday light between 10am and 2pm is the brightest with the least shadows, meaning less possibility of a dark and confusing shot.
If working in a garage or workshop position your project close to the door or a window, avoiding reflections if shooting through glass.
TO SHOOT INSIDE turn on ceiling lights and lamps if it’s too dark and use the camera flash to fill in dark spots or shadows. On camera flashes have a short range so stand about a metre from the project.
TAKE MULTIPLE PICTURES so you have lots to choose from. A bonus of digital cameras is that it costs nothing to take lots of shots. Change your position slightly, flip the camera from landscape to vertical and choose the clearest images when editing.
PLAN THE PROJECT IN STEPS
To record a project in steps visualise the end result, breaking it into the most important or useful stages.
THE BEFORE SHOT is essential for comparing the original to the result. If the before is an empty space, such as a wall where a cabinet will be built, take a wide shot of the entire area to show why the project was needed.
TO TAKE PICTURES DURING the DIY process select a vantage point to capture it. Close detail shots may be valuable for materials, techniques or tools but take the progress shots from a distance to show the whole area.
THE AFTER SHOT should showcase the project at its best advantage so ensure the area around, in front and behind is free of clutter.
TIP Seeing the before and after from the same position has the most impact so mark your spot with a masking tape cross.