Jen Rinaldi Photography

Capturing Life's Fleeting Moments…

Backdrops – Make Your Own! November 30, 2007

I think I will be heading out tonight to buy some fabric for use as backdrops.

Definitely black but I may also get a white one…I’ll have to see what they have when I go. I also have to figure out what kind of fabric will work for photography…can’t be too shiny or to sheer…ugh, I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a nightmare in choosing. 🙂

I found this site that talks about what you can buy (fabric-wise) and I printed this to take with me:

I also found this DIY site that talks about making your own colored backdrop:

Cheap DIY (Homemade) Muslin Photography Background

Spice up your home made muslin backdrop

Tomorrow I’m photographing my friend’s newborn baby. This will be my first time photographing a baby so this is all good experience. She wants to use one for the family’s Christmas card which is so nice. That will be 2 Christmas cards with my photos this year. I love that! 🙂

I’ll be sure to share some once I edit them!


I just got back from JoAnn Fabrics store and I picked 4.33 yards of black Muslin. It was 7.99 a yard (AAACK!) I bet I could have found it much cheaper elsewhere but I didn’t care because I needed something for tomorrow.

I got it 108 inches wide because that was the largest width they had in black. Now, I have no experience at all with this kind of thing so I couldn’t even tell you if this fabric will work. I hope it’s not too thin or two wrinklely…well the wrinkle problem can be handled with an iron (yuck…ironing…uuughhh)but the too thin will be very bad.

I know nothing about lighting but I hope that the flash and some room lights will work (I pray). But, this is all experimental so I’m not worried. 🙂

EDIT: Oh! I just got a link to this great DIY backdrop hanger. I think a trip to IKEA might be in order:

My great friend Julie has shared some wonderful photographers to look at examples of their work for tons of great ideas. THANKS JULIE!




See this post for more information on backdrops I obtained “cheap” and info. on backdrop stands:


Dragan, Dragan, Dragan – The Dragan Effect

Last night I took some fun photos of the kids after portraits and when I got home I tried this technique called the Dragan Effect named after a famous photographer Andrzej Dragan. Check out his work HERE.

Last night’s creation:

Then I spent tonight making these:

I think this one is the best of the night:

Oh…and one more I just finished:

These two boys provide me THE BEST poses/faces for this kind of work!

Here is a great DRAGAN EFFECT tutorial that was recommended to me. It’s very in depth and does a good job explaining “how to” step by step:

DRAGAN EFFECT PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALThe best free videos are right here

If you find this tutorial helpful please leave me a comment below. 🙂


Family Photo Christmas Shoot November 29, 2007

My friend asked me to take some photos of her and her 2 sons because her mother wanted to use them as Christmas cards so I went there tonight and shot some quick photos for them aroud the house.

I’m excited that my website host started offering holiday cards for customers.

This is probably the “keeper” shot … they just have to finalize the card type our of the 36 varieties.

I like this one too…

I liked how this one came out as well:

And I couldn’t resist this one of my friend:


Do it Yourself Lightboxes, Ring Lights, Gel Lights for Product Photography November 28, 2007

I created my own “Do It Yourself Lightbox”

To view my Tutorial click here:

Links to Do It Yourself Softboxes, Light Tents, and a $10 Macro Studio:

Homemade Light Box for Product Photography

Light Box / Light Tent

How To: DIY $10 Macro Photo Studio

Guide/Techniques on Photographing Jewelry:

Jewelry Photography Techniques

Do it Yourself Ring Light Tutorials:

DIY Ring Light free standing

You can also reference another post I wrote with a link to an on-camera DIY Ring Light.

The Foamcore Homemade Softbox – How It’s Built

Do it Yourself Gel Light:

Gel Light

Article on Taking Professional Looking Photos Without a Professional:

Pro Photos Without Being a Pro

Now that I’ve created the first light box with the foamcore boards I can photograph my handmade jewelry with ease or any other macro photograph that needs good lighting! 🙂


Correct Converging Lines / Lens Distortion

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 3:00 am
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I learned about this freeware program this on my Photography Forum today that helps correct “converging lines” in your photographs.

I tried it tonight and it worked wonders!! Give it a try!

This is what was posted on the forum:

“To correct the converging lines I used a very nice and easy to handle software called “ShiftN
It’s Freeware and you can read/download it here: ShiftN
Language is German or English”


Dreary Day November 26, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 10:58 pm
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Well, today was my last day off from work and it was totally DREARY! Rainy and foggy and such a chill in the air.

If I knew it was going to be a terrible rainy day I would have saved the vacation day for another day or taken it last week…but what can you do? At least I got to catch up on some photos.


After I worked on my Christmas tree for a little while I decided that i wanted to try some ideas with multiple exposures and shooting low lights shots to create more HDRs.

My tree before the garland:

With the garland:

Once I put the ornaments on tomorrow I will take a shot of the complete tree and add it so you can see the results.

I’ll also be shooting the tree outside through the bay window (just thought of that idea tonight). 🙂

The angel on top:

Close up on the lights:

A snowman gord (light) I have (this is the light in his belly):

So, it turned out to be an interesting photo day after all….I guess if you get bored enough on a “dreary” day you can come up with lots of great things to experiement with and photograph! 🙂


Another Photo Trip Before Dark

Worked on editing photos all day and putting them on my website hosted by Smugmug.

Around 3:30pm I got tired of sitting around the house and I decided to run out to the D&R Canal close to my house to try to shoot some more RAW format multiple exposures to create more HDR photographs in Photomatrix.

Luckily the weather was a little warmer than the past couple days were. I took quite a few images while I was out and I’m going to be working on them tonight and tomorrow. Here are some new ones from today:


Please feel free to take a look at my entire HDR Gallery by clicking HERE. I’ve added quite a few to my gallery that I haven’t posted here.