Having read that soft natural light is often best for taking photographs, I took my home made light box outside to the backyard. It was around 3 pm in the afternoon. I could tell by how the shadows fell on the ground that the natural light was very soft. I placed the box on one of the lawn chairs and my camera on my tripod in front of it. I turned the box until it appeared to be filled with bright light. Then I set to work.
f/6.3, exp 1/640, exp bias -0.3 , ISO 400, Manual White Balance
f/5, exp 1/400, exp bias +0.3 , ISO 200, Manual White Balance
f/5, exp 1/320, exp bias +0.3 , ISO 200, Manual White Balance
I took a number of other photos as well that I will share in later posts. The frustrating thing about these photos, is that they look perfect on my camera's LCD monitor. When they are on my computer, they look really dark. I am in the process of learning why that is and if it's possible to tweak the photos in a photo editor to make them match how awesome they look on camera.
However, with little knowledge of using natural light, I truly believed I lucked out. I had a nice collection of photos with my grandmother's artifacts. I should have taken two additional photos. One, my set up outside. And two, all the items as a collection. Points to remember in the future.
There was only one thing that I wasn't able to take a photo of inside my light box - my grandmother's high school diploma. Now this is so awesome because I didn't realize that Grannie went to high school and graduated. She did talk about hanging out with the "Gas House Gang" during her teenage years while at school. So it should have clicked. But sometimes, an artifact makes the whole story connect.
To take a photo of this rather large diploma that had been folded up and tucked away in a box for many years, I had to set up differently. First, I laid out a white cloth on the a lawn chair. Then I raised my tripod to the tallest setting it could go. Next, I placed the diploma straight on top of the white cloth (no box). Finally, I positioned (and re-positioned) a white foam board in front of the diploma until it was illuminated nicely. Then I snapped a few photos.
f/5, exp 1/800, exp bias +0.3 , ISO 200, Manual White Balance
Again, I have some tweaking to do post photo shoot. However, I'm so excited to have had God smiling down on me to take these photos with my amateur skills and be very pleased with the results.