Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Lights, Cameras, know the rest!

In my last post, I talked about my revelation in utilizing an 18% Photo Gray Board for taking pictures.  Several people on Facebook messaged me and wanted more information regarding the lights that I use.

In addition to a myriad of backgrounds for my photos, I have tried many different light setups.  Again - my studio has always been in a basement, and natural light is simply not easily accessible.  First off, I use a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W690 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom - phew...that is a mouthful!  It is available here.  I sadly left my previous Sony Cyber-shot at a friend's 60th birthday party celebration - it was at a hotel, and by the time I realized it was not in my purse (days was a party, people!!), it was too late.  So, I upgraded to my current camera.  It took me a couple of months to become accustomed to the automatic macro setting.  Angles are everything - if I am off just a bit, my subject is blurry in all the wrong places!  But, I am used to it now, and love it as much as my old Sony.

These are the lights that I use.

Yes - they are large BUT they are at all heavy.

I intentionally have them set up this way - one sits horizontal to my table, and the other sits portrait.  I don't know why, but this particular spread of the lights works best for my pictures.  The lights are available here.

No shadows - and true, true colors - so important to someone who is selling jewelry made with beads!

The description on Amazon states that these lights are portable, and technically, they are.  However, there are metal rods inserted into the jacket of the light - it took a bit of time to install these - so, I personally would not want to break these down, carry them with me, and set them up again.  For my stationary-at-all-times purpose, they work wonderful.  

There.  Those are my lights and my camera!

I have made a few things, as well.  Sue Kennedy of SueBeads was selling strands of orphan lampwork beads.  Nothing wrong with these beads, they were simply leftovers.  I ADORE the color green, but I rarely work with it - so I wanted a challenge and bought the strand below.

Yesterday, I made this necklace.

Personally, I love it when the beads don't match.  Typically, when making bracelets  I add a copper or silver bead to a lampwork strand, just to keep the eye moving around the piece.  Anyway, I wanted to make a pendant styled necklace, so I spiced up the design just a tad by making the mixed metal focal.  I soldered a sterling silver disc (stamped and domed first) to a copper backplate and added some eyelets.

Necklaces remain - for me - the hardest thing in the world to photograph - I don't care what kind of lights or backgrounds I use!

Much as I hate photographing necklaces, I made another one, also with Sue's beads - her Chicklets to be exact, in an awesome Black Metallic finish that flashes gold and purple when you turn the beads.

I paired Sue's Chicklets with Rachel Bishop's (Puffafish) nuggets - same type of black metallic finish, but a different flash of color.

That's a Cindy Wimmer link connecting all those beautiful beads.

I made the necklace large enough to just slip over the head - no clasp!

I wear a version of these copper hoops almost daily, so I added one to my shop.

The brass bangles below sold almost as soon as I listed them - I love that when that happens (it does not happen often!)  

I also found a new shop on Etsy, courtesy of a shout out by Nikki of Love Root.  Look at these gorgeous, crusty, ancient looking relics!  These are hand made, lead free pewter.  The shop is Inviciti, and I could do some serious damage to my wallet in this shop.

So far, I have only made one pair of earrings with these lovelies, which I topped with a trio of ancient looking Czech Glass beads.

So this is what I have been up to - not sure what I will make next.  I hope you have had a productive week as well!

Thank you for stopping by today - love to read your comments!



  1. Your jewelry is always so awesome and your photos just beautiful! Thanks for showing and sharing your set up!!

  2. Patti, I am totally worn out and exhausted after reading this blog post. Who would have ever known all that love and attention to detail goes into each picture of each work of art? Call me. I want to do a holiday show with a few select client vendors at Olde Towne Pet Resort.

  3. Gosh, now I have studio envy :) I love the lights!!

  4. I love your set up. One of these days I'll get there! Those necklaces are gorgeous! I love mismatched beads, too. So much more interesting than using the same bead.

  5. thanks for showing us inside the studio with your set up! that photo paper really is amazing how it shows off the colors of your work so well. and really loving all these new pieces!

  6. Thank you for this information on how you photograph your jewelry. It is a great set up. I appreciate all of the time and effort you take to make beautiful photographs of your jewelry for us. I especially love the piece where you soldered a sterling silver disc to a copper backplate and added some eyelets. That is a showstopper!

  7. Thanks for the info on your set up, Patti ~ I have always been curious as to how you do it, because you have some of the best jewelry photos out there and I know that doesn't come easy! Gorgeous jewelry! The domed focal you made is beautiful! And those beads and "relics" - so cool! I am in awe of that kind of talent.