Photographing Display Bays

Watch the Photographing Bay Displays video here!

And here’s some notes to go along with it.

Camera Setting

Raw for white balance, exposure, highlight recovery, maximum size

Exposure Settings.


Larger number = larger focal length (more in focus). Also lets less light in so you will have to use a slower shutter speed or a higher ISO

Shutter speed

Tripod allows slower shutter speed but camera shake can still be created by pressing the shutter. Use self timer to avoid this.

Hand Held. Shutter speed should be above 100 to avoid camera shake


The higher the ISO the more grainy the image will appear. Using an ISO of less than 400 will result in a low grain image.

Focal Length

Shooting close to the subject with a wide focal length will pull in and distort the edges of the image. This will result in lots of bay wall being included in the shot and make it difficult to crop out.

Moving away from the subject and zooming in to about 70mm (narrow focal length) will compress the image making it tighter and result in a better shot with less of the bay sides.

Make sure image is:

  • Properly exposed
  • Properly focused
  • Well framed (straight from all angles)
  • Reviewed on the spot. Take a moment to view the image on the LCD. Zoom in on the image to the maximum. Pan around the image and make sure all areas are in focus.

Other considerations

  • Take a number of shots with different settings, from different angles and distances to collect a range of options
  • Also take some shots with your smart phone for a different look and quick publishing to web or social media

Smartphone Photography

Nothing beats the quality of images captured with a professional DSLR. Sometimes the convenience of the camera that’s always in your pocket can’t be overlooked. Many modern smartphones have high quality cameras built in and with a few tips we can take images that may be good enough for our intended use. Check out this video on techniques and apps to improve your smartphone photography. 

Large Format Poster

“This Is Me” large format poster

Create graphics for a large format poster to be used in your This Is Me display.

The poster may be attached as a backdrop or may be suspended within the display.

Designs may include images, typography or even be pattern based.  All imagery must be your own however found imagery may be used for montaging and creating textures.

Resolution is an incredibly important consideration when designing for large format printing. Pixel based images must be a high enough resolution to not appear pixelated when viewed from the desired viewing distance.

Using vector graphics is a great way to avoid resolution issues.

Consider other ways to incorporate 2D graphics into your 3D display.

For example, including smaller 2D posters, cutout 2D shapes, wrapping 3D objects with 2D designs.

Dimensions of Bay: 700 x 845mm



  • A typographic solution
  • a pattern based design
  • a minimal approach
  • something symmetrical
  • something asymmetrical
  • Negative space
  • something static
  • something dynamic
  • something flat
  • something 3 dimensional
  • something with humour

See my Pinterest board with poster designs that use techniques achievable by all of you. 

Saving good quality, small filesize PDF’s

PDF (Portable Document Format) is the safest, most compatible way to share a document. A PDF will embed fonts and images and preserve pixel and vector information. A PDF can be high quality for professional printing or a small file for sharing via email or uploading to the web. Below are the instructions to save a PDF that is looks great but is has the smallest file size.

  1. Save your document
  2. Then, Save As a PFD. Click Save
  3. Set the Adobe PDF Preset to Smallest File Size. (Check to View PDF after Saving to automatically open the file in your PDF viewer)
  4. Under Compression change Image Quality to High

That’s it! Be sure to check the PDF after saving to make sure everything is looking good. Check the file size (Right Click of the file then Get Info on a Mac or Properties on a PC). Depending on your file you may find it  to be a few hundred KB (less that a MB!) Never email a file over 5MG. It may not make it to the recipient.



Intro to Sketchup

SketchUp is an 3D modeling tool that is easy to use and great for getting your ideas into 3D space.

Download SketchUp Make (free). It’s good enough to get you going!

Intro to SketchUp

Start a Drawing Part 1

Start a Drawing Part 2

Start a Drawing Part 3

SketchUp models can be made to look photorealistic using rendering software such as KeyShot.

You can make detailed 3D spaces then create walk-through animations:

You could even send your model to a 3D printer to create a physical version of your design.