Lately I haven’t had much time to spend with Claudia. I graduated from university this May, and my final semester was extremely stressful and kept me constantly busy. I had to carefully set my doll aside for the final month of school to avoid spending too much time with her and not enough with my studies. When textbooks made my eyes blur and papers tired my fingers, it was very tempting to ignore the rest of the work that was due and fuss with her instead.
Now that is over, and I plan to start taking pictures of her again. Taking photos of Claudia is one of my favourite things to do with her, because it is a way that I can share her with other people. This was especially important before my person moved, as prior to May there were usually several hundred miles between us. I am not a very good photographer, so I rely on a few tricks so that I at least have a few pictures decent enough to show other people without feeling ashamed.
Natural lighting is really the best for dolls. Artificial lighting seems to make them appear to be very odd colors–Claudia looks ghostly in the glow of a lamp, but fair-skinned and sweet in the sunlight. Sunlight does cause resin to yellow, however, so it is important to keep in mind the level of exposure the doll receives. I am not too worried about yellowing, but I love my doll and want to keep her in as good condition as I possibly can, so I don’t simply leave her in the sun to bask.
However, if the light is too bright, pale dolls can be washed out. In very intense sunlight, Claudia’s blonde hair and white uniform seem to shine and obscure a lot of details. I’ve noticed that a little bit of cloud cover is best for her; I try not to take pictures around noon, when the sun is directly overhead.
Framing is also very important. When I take a picture, I really scrutinize the image I am seeing on the display of my point-and-shoot camera. Sometimes I tilt it one way, then the other, move up and down, shift over, then come back, before taking a few pictures. A picture can be a lot more striking if the doll isn’t just centered in the picture and filling the entire shot. I try to catch other elements are positioned in such a way that attention is drawn to the doll, but I’m certainly not always successful.
Of course, my best trick is to take LOTS of pictures. My camera’s memory card can hold nearly 1,000 photos, and I clear it whenever I download the pictures to my computer and back them up, so I shoot constantly when I am taking photos of Claudia. I always take several shots (at least three, sometimes up to ten!) of the same picture. Sometimes the auto-focus malfunctions, or the lighting changes slightly, or something blows in the way. The display on my camera doesn’t show everything that I might notice while looking at the picture on my computer. I hate taking a picture that I love when I click “capture,” only to discover that it’s flawed and ultimately unusable! It’s so very frustrating!
I hope the weather is nice tomorrow! I’m really looking forward to taking more photos of Claudia~ ♥