Posted on

Light Defusing Photo Booth

How to make a Light Defusing Photo Booth.

Taking photos of your art work is a whole other art. Good photos will help sell your work, bad photos will turn people away from purchasing your work. Good photos will give you a better chance of being juried into art shows.

Several companies sell photo booths for very expensive prices.  As a beginning artist  purchasing an expensive booth is not an option.  So you can make a simple light defusing booth, rather inexpensively.

A plastic Rubbermaid file box with three desk lamps shining through the plastic (defused light) makes an very good light box for a very reasonable price.  Place one light on each side of the box and one above the box.   You can also place a 4th lamp behind the box if desired.  The file box cost me $10 or $12 at Wal-mart or you can probably find one at an office supply store.  The desk lamps are about $10.00 each.  I have those on my work bench already, because I like lots of light when I work.  Use a hanging file box as it is square.  Other Rubbermaid containers have rounded corners and may not work as well.

I stand the box on it’s end and set it on my work bench and put a piece of gray felt in it and place the piece of jewelry on the felt.  I turn the flash off on the camera.  Glass jewelry will have a reflective glare if not.  If the pic is a bit dark because of no flash, I can always lighten it a bit in the photo program.  (As a note, I use Picasa by Google as photo organizing and editing program.  It is free, just go to google.com and download it.)

Close up of jewelry inside the box.

Finished pic of necklace.

I usually take 8 or 10 pics, then choose the ones I like best.  I take pics of the completed necklace and a close ups of my handmade beads or fused glass focal pieces.

As an added note, a gray background is the best colored background to use.  I have tried other colors.  Black is good, only if you have a piece of artwork that is very brightly colored.  Otherwise black will just absorb your artwork and it will not show up in your photos.  White is to bright of a back ground and will detract from your artwork.  Tan is a second best color, next to gray, but can show up with a orange tent using no flash.  Through trial and error, I have discovered gray is the best background to use and a piece of felt is very inexpensive, and brings out the best of your artwork.

Close up of my handmade beads in the Necklace

Close up of 2 fused glass pendants I made, strung on Sterling Silver wire with my handmade beads and Sterling Silver beads.

Note in all of the above pics the piece of jewelry stands out very clearly on the gray background, no matter what the color, blue, green, red, black purple, gold, or teal.

Hope this article helps you take the best pics of your art work.  If you have questions about photographing your artwork feel free to ask.  Christina

 

 

Posted on

After Annealing The Beads/Design

Once the beads are annealed in the kiln (see my previous posts) they are ready to incorporate into jewelry.  Thus begins the process of design.  I am constantly seeing design all around me.  I take pictures with my cell phone, or on my camera.  I grab a pen and paper and sketch out a design.  Sometimes a design comes from something I see someone else wear.  Maybe on a TV show or walking down the street.  Sometimes I find a picture in a magazine I clip out.  Sometimes designs just pop into my head, from trees or nature.  I have even dreamed designs.

I take all the sketches, photos and magazine pics that I collect, and scan them into my computer.  I save them in pdf format.  I place all ideas in a folder I call ‘sketch pad ideas.’  Then I break them down into two categories.  The first is ‘Others Ideas’ the second is ‘My Ideas’.  I sign and date all my original sketches and write notes on the sketch.  Others ideas I do not sign, but still date them and write notes on them.  That way when I start looking for ideas I will remember when and where I saw the idea.  I never steal someone’s design, but I use others ideas as a launching pad to stimulate my mind.  The collection of sketch pad ideas are just that, ideas.  A place to start.  I look at someone’s piece of jewelry and think, how can I change that and make it my own unique piece of jewelry.

Example:

 

The drawing above was an idea I had for a necklace for a birthday present for my Daughter, Becky in December 2005.  It was drawn on my computer in Paint program.  Since then I have a computer program called Bamboo.  (My Son’s family gave me Bamboo for Christmas in 2008.)  It is a drawing tablet that looks like a mouse pad, and the mouse looks like a fat ink pen.  You draw with the mouse/pen on the tablet just like on a sketch pad, which draws right on the computer screen.  I love the Bamboo sketch pad.

This necklace was designed around the small Topaz gems.  I purchased them then had to design a necklace that would fit the small Topaz without overpowering them.  Thus the making of the very small clear glass beads.

Below is the finished necklace which has 6 of my handmade beads.  They are small, clear, wrapped in dichrioc glass and it has 5 Mystic Topaz gems, with a Sterling Silver clasp.  Topaz is the Nov birthstone, my daughter’s birthstone.

 

The closeup shows the small hand made beads.  They are about 5 millimeters, and the Mystic Topaz are about 8 millimeters.  I hope this blog post gets your design juices to start flowing or at least gives you some insight into my mind and how I come up with a design for a piece of jewelry.  Christina