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Get Your Picture on the Homepage! Answered

audreyObscura here, I have been the gal photographing most of the featured authors for the recent homepage re-design. I am encouraging YOU! YES, YOU! to help us keep our homepage exciting and fresh! We are seeking excellent images of the community's authors, but keep in mind we have a particular aesthetic we are seeking:

  • Images of Authors working on their projects
  • Portraits of Authors in their workspace (kitchens! studios! where ever you make stuff!)
  • High-res, well lit images (2000 px on it's SHORTEST side)
  • Land-scape orientation
  • Strong compositions
  • Excellent accompanying instructables

I will continue to photograph local authors, and I'll keep the forum updated as I travel to other areas. I'll tell you where I'll be, and you let me know if you want a photo taken while I'm there. By no means should we limit ourselves to featuring just the authors that I am able to visit. So take great picture of yourself working on your projects, and we might just feature your work in our Homepage Rotator.

If you want more information feel free to PM me and I will try and coach you through making great photos for the site.

Please post your photos in the forum topic below :)



These are the camera settings I have been consistantly using on my DSLR for the Homepage Rotator:
  • JPG Quality - LARGE
  • Automatic Color Balance
  • ISO 1000 or slower.
  • f/2.8 - 5.6 (NO HIGHER! We want a shallow depth of field, I was only going to f/5.6 if I was zooming more than 70mm)
  • 1/25 - 1/1000 of a second. USE A TRIPOD for any shutter speed slower than 1/80th of a second.
Helpful tips:
  • Don't try and take your own picture, make time to schedule a photoshoot,.
  • Natural Light is your friend! Get outside, stand by windows, and avoid using your camera's flash.
  • Take a lot of pictures. Try and make each shot a little different, and have a trigger-happy friend help you.
  • If you are using a point-and-shoot camera, try all the different settings/styles.

Pro tips:
  • I use off-camera flash, which means: I am using a big flash that syncs to my camera's shutter. I point it at the ceiling if I am working inside, or deflect it to a disc if I am outdoors. This create a great diffused light with no harsh shadows
  • TAKE A LOT OF PICTURES, for each of the homepage rotators, I probably generated about 100 images and had to narrow down to one.
  • Get wide shots, and tight shots. The rule of thirds is your friend.
  • ASK A PRO! Post your concerns here, and I am happy to answer your questions. I've never met a camera I can't trick into making good photographs.

eeek this says its smaller but on the computer it says what i told you above ....grrrrrrr

That's OK. How about this... we will have a presence at NY Maker Faire, and will happily photograph you there for our homepage rotator. I am about to post a detailed comment on what camera settings I have been using, and further encourage other authors to publish their photos to this forum post.


this is the camera that i am using . im not sure of the settings yet i will take a new pic and see what happens

hhmmmm it says it 1632x1224 on my computer ..

that is a larger file size than before. do you know what quality setting you are using with your camera?

You are doing amazingly cool stuff! This is a little picture too. I know you have a camera that takes bigger pictures from lurking your Instructables images. Bust that guy out!

Its actually the same camera but i took these pictures from my facebook page so thats probably why they are small im guessing? I have the original pics om my computer so i will check later ..

How about these ?? Jeez im starting to feel a little bit arrogant here lol Besides i gotta catch up with Kiteman he still has more picks than me !!!! lol

melath3.jpgme lathe 2.jpgme lathe 1.jpg

I have lots of pictures because I had a trigger-happy 11 year old photographer.

But, I do make it a habit to take more photos than strictly necessary for most of my projects, then select the best for publishing.

jeeez kiteman i was hoping for more of a smart remark..... You told me you were the go to guy for teasing !!!!!!

dahhhhh im never serious !! My wife was asking me why i have all these pictures on our desk top at home. I just started laughing and said its work honey its work lol

now im trying to figure out how im going to take pictures of myself while making instructables he he he

That's the spirit. Now, if your camera has a delayed shutter setting (a timer) you're pretty much set :-)

yes it does a 5 sec ,10sec and 20sec. setting. Are they looking for self portrait or a pic while doing instructables only ??

I believe they prefer one of you in your workshop doing a project.

Not even it you face the camera the other way around, and exclude it from the pic?

IF you face the screen view finder towards the mirror, you can take a pic of yourself WITHOUT the camera included :-D

Cool!!!! These are great shots! There is a fair amount of wizardry I can perform, but good starting dimensions for one of these files is at least 2000 pixels on it's shortest side. Does your camera have a high res jpg setting?

Your shop looks awesome!!! This is a good opportunity to have your own maker photoshoot! Also, be careful with flash, try and get as much natural/room light in as possible. A solid investment is three clip lights from your local hardware store, you can get bulbs and ballasts for about six bucks each. -Then, (to be extra pro!) try to see what it looks like with your camera's flash and without.

I'm so glad that you guys are having so much fun with these!!! Keep it up, I love this!

I keep trying different things with the camera .Some by mistake. I was having problems taking close up shots .They were blurry. Then by mistake i took a few closeups for my next illable and the dial was set on iso whatever that means and they came out great without any blurriness or glare . I have fluorescent lights in my garage .

You may need an assistant that can help you focus the lens of your camera. Are you shooting with a tripod?

The lights are brand new actually there the ones that come on even in cold weather without the buzzz and the wait for the ballasts to warm up..

If you use the middle pick could you please use your photo magic and fix the gut for me please !! hehehehehehe

If you use the middle pick could you please use your photo magic and fix the gut for me please !! hehehehehehe

I know I already used this one for an ible' but will it work? My work station is a dim lit basement so pictures don't look so good.(I'm also real messy.)


Hmmm - do you think you could re-shoot this using a tripod? There is a fair amount of camera shake that I can detect. Your lighting and resolution are good - it is just blurry. Also, take a look at your background - your couch is hogging a lot of that image's composition - I would encourage you to re-photograph in a more visually dynamic room.

It's great that you work with Knex so much - it would be cool for you to get an overhead shot of you tinkering with mountains of them on a clean surface. or dump em all over the floor and have someone take a picture of you sitting on top of them - looking at the camera.

Yay! This is fun!

If you do re-shoot, be sure to wear clothing with no words on it...text is another thing that can hog an images composition.

Think you've nailed the new homepage, with the addition of featured projects below and the rotator above. What first got me hooked on instructables was the ever changing featured section. Just the rotator is lacking somehow.

We are working on keeping it fresh and interesting - stay tuned to this forum post and feel free to comment on other people's submissions.

If folk take their own pictures, where should they send them?