Monday, February 28, 2011

LMAJ Bracelet Giveaway....

This week, we will be giving this very cool bracelet made by me (MaryAnn Carroll).

Lots of Pics....  I know....








My biggest struggle lately is learning to take pictures of completed jewelry.  I've checked other shops..... I've checked in magazines.... I've checked blogs.... but I'm still struggling....

Todays comment request is that you leave a tip (or a struggle) that you have while photographing jewelry.  If you are a buyer ....  and don't sell .... what types of things in the pictures on Etsy, Artfire or elsewhere are appealing to you when you are shopping for jewelry, beads, etc.

As always ....  if you share this post on facebook, twitter, blogs or other places on the internet, leave a separate comment letting us know that!  Thanks a bunch!  Name will be chosen at random on Monday,  March 7th....  WOW!  2011 is flying by!!!

This bracelet was made with my porcelain beads.  The chain (have no idea where I purchased it) was given a light patina effect using a torch (purchased from Barbara Lewis).  The clasp was created using 16 gauge copper wire.

**The bracelet can be sized for the individual winner**



27 comments:

Barbara Lewis said...

Hi Mary Ann, Struggles with photography? Who has any of those? LOL

Photograph in the morning or in the late afternoon with the light of a south facing window. NEVER USE A FLASH.
Set white balance on camera to daylight.
Keep background neutral.

My few, basic tips that anyone can do ... no special equipment needed.

steufel said...

I would recommened the free program "gimp". Their automatic enhances work wonder:-)

mairedodd said...

very sweet bracelet made with beautiful beads... i am agreeing with barbara - additions of make sure the macro setting is chosen, and close up shots of details... saw a very neat photography tutorial somewhere (i have to look) and one of the tips was to put parchment paper on the window thereby reducing glare... as i ran out of it, it's on my list for the store to try myself...

Alice said...

Mary Ann, I love to cool color of the beads against the warm color of the chain! Lovely!

I am constantly struggling with photographing my jewelry. It seems nothing is a constant. The background, lighting, white balance, props are needing contstant adjustments. I'm still learning and have a long way to go, but recently I ditched my pricey light tent and began photographing beside a north window with difussed light.

SummersStudio said...

Finished jewelry is very difficult for me because I am so used to the smaller scale of a bead. I supplement natural light with daylight bulbs from the sides of what I am photographing. Natural light here is very bright and harsh so I photograph in an east window in the afternoon.

VanBeads said...

That is a gorgeous bracelet. Very earthy, but very elegant and feminine at the same time. I love the chain!

Photographing my finished work has been my biggest struggle since I decided to pursue my art as my "job". I finally invested a small amount of money in a light tent with two professional photography lights, and then I invested a whole lot more money in a good, entry-level DSLR camera. My photographs are still far from perfect, but they are definitely a lot better! The next thing I'm going to work on is setting up my shots better with props and backgrounds. It's always a learning experience!

Doreen said...

I struggle with lighting. I have yet to find the perfect place and time to take pictures.

For My Sweet Daughter said...

I have only the tips from Lorelei photograph on gray in front of a window. That has helped a lot. I am wondering how to set the white balance on my camera that is something I have no idea how to do.
Beautiful bracelet!
Shannon C

Jane Perala said...

I have even resorted to taking photography lessons - they are helping a little (emphasis on little) lol.
Love the bracelet.

Erin S said...

My husband is a professional photographer, so he does all my photos for me. (yes, its awesome!) I've learned that lighting is very important. Look at the shadows--how sharp or soft are they? In what direction do they fall? (shadows should never fall "up.") You can also fix them somewhat in photoshop, where I am slowly learning some photo editing tricks.
Erin S

MaCarroll Beads said...

What great things to work on!!! I will definitely focus more on shadows. I would think that my first pic is the shadows falling up!!! I have a light box also that I made from ceiling tiles. I need to get better lighting and I'm constantly rearranging the lights that I have to make the piece look like it actually does and give it more "appeal" at the same time. I'm with LeAnn on the experience with photographing small objects. I feel like I'm learning all over again.

D'Arsie Manzella said...

I love the copper paired with the soft blues in this bracelet!
I have always had the best luck shooting finished work outside on a cloudy day or with a sheet of white paper for diffusing.
I shoot all my beads right next to my computer near a bright window with a white sheet of paper hovering over them. My biggest challenge is to make the pewter remain "white" instead of taking on a golden glow. That can easily misrepresent the work.
I have never used any fancy equipment. I have a very old and very indestructible Cannon Power Shot!

SueBeads said...

Yep, macro is great! Love the bracelet!

urbandon (Don Pezzano) said...

Beautiful bracelet. here are some of my tips...
Use a light tent.
Use soft natural light.
Use a plain background.
Macro setting.
Fill the frame.
Expose for the piece, not the background (spot meter)so the background is slightly blown out (too bright)
...Canon Powershot is a great camera.

Susanm said...

As someone who makes jewelry as gifts and personal satisfaction (no selling), here's what I look for in a photo of a component, bead or piece of jewelery. First, is there enough lighting so I can tell what colour it is? I recently bought a very nice bracelet with pink stones, only to discover when it arrived that they were very pale pink - still pretty, but not exactly what I thought I was ordering. Secondly, can I see the whole piece in the photo- including the clasp on a bracelet or necklace? Close up shots are nice but I probably won't buy it if there isn't a clear photo of the whole bead, component, etc.

I think your pictures turned out well - reasonably good lighting and shots from different angles. The only point you might reconsider is the container the bracelet is draped around in the first couple of shots - it looks almost blood red in the photo and distracts the eye from the bracelet. But if you weren't giving it away, I would consider purchasing it - the beads remind me of the snow in the woods where I x-country ski.

Kelli said...

Mary Ann, I invested in a Cloud Dome last year. My camera fits right into the top of it... (I thin that's what it's called..... maybe Dome Cloud.) You should be able to google it. The one thing I see that I like is pics with someone wearing the piece. That way you can see the true scale. You can tell me the necklace is is such and such length, but seeing it ON, makes a difference...... think I need to start taking my own advice, huh?? :)

baglady said...

I agree- I like pictures that give the scale of the piece too- especially if it is a ring or necklace, not so much with bracelets. I also like to see the whole thing so there isn't any surprise on the back side. I like the interesting backgrounds that photographer use- I don't have very much luck with my photography- I think I need a better camera :)

rosebud101 said...

I know this sounds strange, but my bead photography has improved because I take pictures of something everyday. It doesn't have to be beads or jewelry, just something I want to keep and remember. The 365 Day Project has helped me with that. I learn by doing! This is what I do!

gretchen said...

I sometimes use an Ott light when the daylight is less than wonderful-which is most of the time in our cloudy wet area. You can also get simple lens filters that work like a macro lens and magnify your object. Your work is lovely, don't over stress the photo part!

Boot ~C said...

beautiful bracelet! I use pages torn from a wallpaper sample book.Some of them have a great texture & soft muted colourd w/ lots of depth & shading. I also use the text setting in addition to macro( I can have both @ the same time on my point & shoot digital)

Gerry said...

I am in the same boat as you. I try to take tons of photos of the piece and choose the ones that look the best.

Carol said...

I am still working on my photos too. Lighting and focus are key. Use a tripod. I have the best luck with light in the late afternoon or early evening. And take several pictures so you can choose the best.

Rebecca said...

My top photography tip from Beads and Beyond editor (who has a degree in photography!) is to photograph your jewellery with natural light on a bright but cloudy day - the combination of sun and cloud is ideal apparently! Sadly, I get a lot more clouds than sunshine round my way!

somethingunique said...

Hi MaryAnn, what a beautiful bracelet, what a lot of great tips for taking pics i am just getting redi to open my own etsy shop i don't have a camera a friend is helping me with that, i know when i am looking at picture of other peoples jewelry & supplies i don't like it when there is too much in the picture taking away from the actual focal so i know there has to be some background i would try to not over do it. thanks for the opportunity to win this pretty bracelet. ttfn Lana

Christine said...

Beautiful, beautiful bracelet - thanks for the patina tip, too!
Great question - all of the ideas are helpful! I'm always looking at jewelry pictures to get photography ideas. I'm still looking for a good camera & will probably take a class w/the purchase. The 365 day project is brilliant - you can only get better w/practice (I always tell my kids!). My oldest son also uses Gimp & says it's just as good as Photoshop.
Good Luck! I can't wait to put some of these tips to use!!

pam hobbs said...

I love the bracelet, it is very pretty. As for the photography tip....well I don't have any talent in that area, my tip for myself would be to have someone else do it. But you yourself are very creative and very determined, so I know you will figure this out. Good luck.

MaCarroll Beads said...

Ha, ha.... you would know! Determination that can drive some people crazy!!

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