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Handstitched Leather Card Case

As a serial hobbyist, my main hobby for the past 2 years has been hand stitching vegetable tanned leather. I make stuff for family and friends for holidays, weddings, birthdays and custom requests. I like to post photos of all my projects on my tumblr blog, and instead of using iPhone Instagram photos, I want to post better photos taken with my digital camera. 

All these pictures are taken with my Panasonic GF-2 using a Gorillapod tripod. Backdrop is my cutting mat. I experimented with the same shots taken at f 2.5 and f 22, and kept the f 2.5 ones. The f 22 shots were more overexposed, had washed out colors, and slapping on a neutral density filter did not help. I also wasn't able to tilt the camera more than 45 degrees down, since the tripod's legs got in the way. Because of all this, only part of the card case is truly in focus. Next time, I will try to get a more professional setup. I took the photos in the brightest corner of the house, 2 shuttered windows on both walls, right before dusk. 

I had some natural dyed fabric laying around (no sheets of white paper anywhere), so I used that as the backdrop for a few shots. Next time I will iron the fabric, as the creases are distracting. Below is a coaster I recently made; it's dyed blue and finished with Otter Wax. I wanted to test a darker product in the same natural light setup.

Lastly, I got rid of my laptop last year. I now edit all my photos (and videos) using iPhoto. My editing options are pretty slim, and I usually adjust the exposure and saturation. 

Questions:

- Should I get a full sized tripod? Lamps?

- Do you the shallow depth of field (all of product not in focus) is distracting or not helpful?

Thanks!

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