May 20, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — by serendipper @ 12:59 am

I posted once before about my photography set up, but I’ll add a little bit more. I moved, so I don’t have the nice 5 bulb monster dining room light anymore. I use 3 lamps with 3 kinds of bulbs: one above and 2 from the side. I still use my taped together craft boxes. I stack boxes to get the height I need, then I cap it with the taped part. I use scrapbook paper as my backdrop, experimenting with different colors of metallic. When using a paper background, be mindful of it’s grain or if it’s printed. The grain or the dot pattern can show up in digital photos, and it’s not visible to the naked eye.

I recommend Black and White Photography, by Henry Horenstein for an easy to understand description of aperture and depth of field. Even if you have an all auto camera, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on when you take pictures. It’s pretty cheap used on Amazon. The new edition has info on digital. I bought mine in 1992, back in the dark ages! I have the benefit of a photography degree, and I have experience assisting a professional photographer. You don’t need a degree though!

Here are my concerns when taking pictures:

  • enough lighting
  • camera shake
  • focus
  • framing

I’ve taken enough pictures with my camera to know that 3 lamps is enough lighting. I don’t use a tripod, but I prop my camera up on something steady when I’m taking the pictures. I know that with the low light, my camera’s aperture is going to be wide open, so what’s going to be in focus is shallow. My camera focuses on what’s in the center of the frame, so I will¬† focus and hold the button on different parts of my jewelry, then move my camera back to where the whole piece is centered in the frame and press down on the button fully to take the picture. I do this for several shots, and it’s called bracketing. When I’m taking photos, I’m paying attention to the position of the jewelry on the background and how it looks in the frame. I don’t want to have any trouble later when I’m cropping my photos.

I focused on the pendant and the beads in the back are out of focus.

I aimed for the middle and the edges are slightly blurry. This is the shot I used.

Experimental shot. I needed a 4th light from below for the pendant, but my lamp shorted out and the cord started smoking! The light on the right is too hot and blows out the white. Other than that, the picture came out pretty well! When I try this again, I will move the craft boxes and lights further away from the stand. I will also add a 4th light. It will not have to be very bright.

I hope this helps, and feel free to ask me any questions.

May 19, 2010

Dizzy for Druzy

Filed under: Uncategorized — by serendipper @ 10:46 pm

I think these agate slices with druzy are just fabulous, and my clients do too. Three of these have been snatched up already!

I carefully selected the black agate beads to match this large agate specimen with lots of movement in it. The little red and black agate rondelles and copper spacers are from Magpie Gemstones. The copper wire clasps hook in front, and the pendant comes off so the client can wear the necklace by itself.

This agate slice is a beautiful work of art, so I set it in a copper frame. Hand selected brown and black agates bring out the varied tones in the focal. Luscious caramelized agates, copper spacers, and copper beads are from Magpie Gemstones. This necklace is still available.

This agate slice is dark and moody, so I wrapped it with dark steel wire and bright silver wire. Little sardonyx beads cling to the sides like barnacles. The pendant is removable and can be hung on another necklace. The necklace is a simple strand of beautiful dark black agate beads, some opaque, some transparent, and pewter beads.  I already have a request for another one!

And last, but certainly not least, the ever popular round agate druzy. The client selected all the beads and told me the length, and I added the spacers and played til everything came together. Quartz, gorgeous striped onyx, black agates, and pewter beads. Steel wire for the clasp, sterling wire for the earrings.

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