October 28, 2013

A BD celebration and a review

Hi there:) Did you know that this past week was Casual Fridays Stamps one year BIRTHDAY? Yep, and I created a few simple cards to celebrate. One is a birthday card of course, the other is a Thanksgiving card. 
I used Amber Waves for the Thanksgiving card above. It's such a beautiful set. *happy sigh*  

This one uses Zigs & Zags for the card base, Mums The Word for the main panel and a tiny leaf image from Casual Elegance

No big fancy bows, no ribbon or buttons. Just a tiny piece of hemp for a bow on the wheat stalks of the first card and 3 tiny drops of pearl pen on the flower centers of the second card. 

Be sure to check out the CasualFridaysStamps blog every few days because you never know what kind of goodness might be posted there:) Sometimes it's fabulous samples from the DT, other times it's a coupon or a sale spectacular for stamps and dies! 

Now for a review: 
A while ago I was contacted by Vanessa of YesComUSA. She offered to send me some photography equipment of my choice if I would give an honest review on my blog after receiving it. I frequently get asked to review products by companies but I usually decline because they have nothing to do with the things I like to blog about (papercrafts/food/homedecor)! 
This however, was an opportunity to provide insight on the best studio light tents. We all want to take great photos of our cards and crafts, right? I get asked all the time how I take such good pictures, but I knew that could be improved upon.
After choosing this Pop up Photography light tent, it was mailed to me.
When I received it, the first thing I noticed was how well it was packed! This was not cheaply made and tossed into a box with some bubble wrap. Each item was individually boxed and everything was snugly packed. 

The actual light tent comes in a nice zippered carrying pouch, and came with four different colored background screens all with Velcro tabs that are easily interchangeable, two heavy duty light tripods with two light reflectors and two 26W daylight bulbs, and a strong aluminum and steel camera tripod. What a deal!
Right away I set it all up and LOVED how the large light tent was made with strong yet flexible nylon material. I chose the white BG panel first but because of how it was folded, the wrinkle lines showed when I took a photo.
I decided to wet it and hang it to dry to see of that would get rid of the creases. It didn't:(
I contacted Vanessa to ask if I could iron it and she replied right away saying she wasn't sure but she would find out. Long story short, I ended up laying a towel over it and then ironing it and the creases were gone! *yay*

Now, let me show you what a difference it makes when I take pictures...
First, the photos below are COMPLETELY un-edited except for cropping. 
That's it. 
*cross my heart*
This first one is how I normally take my pictures. In a south facing picture window in my front room with no additional lights, using two pieces of cardstock for a backdrop. I can get nice light provided the photo is taken during the day. If I have to take a picture at night, forget it! *grumble*
(I always have to edit my pictures in Photoshop to get the quality I prefer.)

This second one is how the same card looked when taken inside the studio tent. I used the tripod lights, the tripod for my camera, and took this photo at NIGHT!! *squeal*
 You can see the difference immediately. 
(Again, this photo has only been cropped, not edited in any other way.)
Honestly, if I were in a hurry, this photo would be perfectly acceptable to me to insert in a blog post. Because I had time, I did end up editing it a bit, as you can see in the top photo of the post:)

This was before I ironed the background panel, so you can see the crease lines in the backdrop, but I wanted to show you how big this tent is! It folds up nice and small though for storage:)
In short, if you are looking to take better photos, this Pop Up Photography Light Studio Tent Kit is a must have. I would not endorse something that didn't work for me, rest assured:)
I'm just so excited that I can take photos at night now! This makes my life easier for sure. 
If you don't want such a big one, they also carry other sizes (bigger AND smaller) for all your picture taking needs. And their customer service was fast and very nice to work with when I wanted to know if I could iron the nylon/velour backdrop panel. 

Thanks for stopping by,
Have a great day!


Cathy said...

Cool. I can see that the setup you have takes good pics. I like that first card alot. I need a good lighting and picture taking tent too.

Lisa said...

PRETTY PRETTY cards Dana!! My hubby bought me a small light tent a while back and it does make a difference!!