Editing photos for Etsy using GIMP

29 11 2010

Well, we’re just toodling along here at Advokate! I had two phone calls today from attendees of my Etsy class, looking for more help on photo editing. While I’m excited to give one-on-one lessons with them, and there are a bunch of other great tutorials out there on photos, I thought the chiseled-down Kate version of editing photos of your work for online selling might make for a good blog post. I like to think it’s pretty simple.

I’m saving my pennies for Adobe PhotoShop, which runs $699. In the meantime, I use GIMP, the free knock-off. It does everything I need it to do. There’s also Pixlr.com which does all these things too, and you don’t need to install a program.

So I use my digital camera to take some photos. For my jewelry, I place the pieces on blank white paper in my studio, which has a lot of light. It can sometimes be more interesting to place items on clever objects to help “brand” your store. Since my stuff is so colorful, I think white sets it off well and makes it less visually confusing. I try to take close-ups, use angles, line it up next to a ruler, put it next to a business card, show what it looks like on a human being, etc. I take a ton of images and use the highest resolution setting on my camera.

Then I take my photos and put them on my computer and pick the five best to edit. They usually look like this.

First I might want to crop in to make it a little more interesting. I’ll just eyeball it and use the rectangle select tool to select something that looks kind of like a square shape and use Image > Crop to Selection. Then to make sure it’s square, I go to Image > Canvas Size, unlink the little chain, and make sure each side is the same. I’ll drag the preview around so I’m not cropping out something I want to use.

Prime size for Etsy is 1,000 by 1,000 pixels. So I go to Image > Scale Image and scale it down so it’s 1,000 x 1,000 pixels. Now I’ve got what I want.

Now for some simple color adjustment. I go into Color > Levels and select the white eyedropper. Then I click on the white background. Presto! The whole image adjusts and looks more like something out of a catalog. If it looks too blown out, I can drag the little triangles around to change it to be a little less drastic. You can do the same for black,but sometimes it comes out darker than looks right, I find. I want to have it set up so it shows the most detail and looks neat and clean but not cartoony or dramatic.

As a finishing touch, I give the color a little bump by clicking Colors > Hue-Saturation and dragging the Saturation up just a bit. If your image looks a little too blue or a little too yellow from being indoors or outdoors, you can mess with the Hue just a tad here, too.

And that’s it! You could go nuts editing images, but these are the quick steps I use in my everyday Etsying. Happy listing!

P.S. This item is for sale.

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One response

30 11 2010
kat griffin

great advice, kate. by jove i think i might maybe could possibly sorta do this… except that…. well…. it has to do with time and stuff. and having it. or maybe mo bettah managing it. you got classes on managing time? heh. but hey that’s where —>advokate comes in right? you got da time! wooooo hoo! there IS hope, by jove! you are totally on my “do the etsy thang” memo pad. it will be kate’s baby. after the new year. totally psyched to jump into this with you.

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