Photographing projects

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    I have completed numerous pieces of jewelry and plates that need to be photographed.  What products and set-ups do you recommend to photograph crisp, detailed pictures?   Thanks.


    For jewelry, a scanner often gives the best results with very little effort.

    Simply place the jewelry face down and, if wanted, place a stiff backdrop behind it.  I’ve used black fabric over a piece of cardboard and gotten exceptional results.

    Helios Kiln Glass Studio



    For larger objects, you want to minimize harsh shadows, provide even lighting and make sure that the object is photographed in true color.

    There are lots of people selling eBay-set-ups for photography, but if you follow a few principles, you can get good results for next-to-no cost.

    1. Diffuse the light. I put objects in a box I constructed out of old PVC, but a cardbord box with the sides cut out works. That is then wrapped with thin paper or white cloth. Bedsheets work. The lights should be placed on either side at about a 45 degree angle to start. I also hang a light on top.

    2. Adjust the lights to remove shadows. I do test pix and download them onto the computer before I change the set up.Usually I can see big shadows in my box before I shoot, but the test pix are to ensure I didn’t miss something.

    3. Keep lights consistent. I use the same kind of daylight bulb in the fixtures.Keep in mind, too, that black or dark colors absorb light more than light colors which reflect light so you might find a difference in shooting one to the other.

    4. Keep the background uncluttered. You can do lots of different colors in the backgrounds by changing cloth backgrounds or using paper backgrounds. Keep it simple.The glass art is more important than the background.

    5. Get close. You might not have a macro, but you can physically get closer to the subject.It  helps in showing the details.

    6. On a cloudyday… You can also take the whole shebang outside and use natural light. Overcast days diffuse the light well and won’t reflect light off the subject.

    7. True color. That’s a bit tougher, but if you have access to PhotoShop or PhotoShop Elements, you can actually color correct in a few steps. If that interests you, I can provide the steps, but if you have enough light, you will probably be in good shape.



    steve worcester

    I saw a technique once that used a translucent plastic storage tub.  They turned it on its side, and taped a black backdrop to the back and draped it down the the front.  Put the item inside, and put a bright desk lamp over the top…you can use multiple lights. The translucent plastic diffuses the light nicely.

    Your digital camera should adjust for the lighting source…if not you can use PhotoShop to adjust the photo “filter.”

    Also, on jewelry, I find that if I’m too close to the item I can’t get my camera to focus.  Get a little further back and zoom in on it (not too much…if you go too far your camera does some “interpolation” and the picture is grainy.

    And when you’re done, you can use the tub to store your photographic stuff!


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