Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Photo Technique

The technique I am about to share took me several years to figure out but it was well worth the trial and error!

I make a lot of pierced pendants which have large flat arias of shiny shiny metal. Because of this they like to reflect everything in the room like a mirror or just look really bad if great care is not taken to counter their natural behavior.

Here are some examples of really bad photos before I figured out a simple nifty technique:

All of the above photos were taken with the same camera but under different lighting conditions. Some may have been taken inside a light box, honestly I can't remember. Since I took those photos I came to realize that I cannot fight the metals natural tendency to reflect and I figured out a way to get much better photos.

Instead of taking the photos straight on I now angle the pieces slightly so the piece will reflect what is just next to the camera instead of the camera itself. Now here is the simple nifty trick... I hold up a piece of white paper next to the camera so the metal reflects the white paper and nothing else. This not only gets rid of annoying reflections but also keeps the camera from picking up details that cannot be seen with the naked eye. It also results in a much truer color for the metal.

Here are some photos using the above technique:

I hope this little photo tip will help ease the photo frustrations of others.

If you are interested in any of the pieces here or other totem animal jewelry please visit the Totem Animal page on my website. And please keep in mind I have not retaken all of the photos yet ;)


  1. My Father did much the same thing except he would use colored paper to achieve effects. He used yellow or black with gold - blue or white with silver - brown or orange with copper.

    I do think your angle idea is much better as he went into all kinds of contortions to take his pictures, lol.

  2. Sandy,

    I hadn't really thought of using colored paper. I'll have to keep that in mind. I have used colored things to get a better white balance on my camera but not for effects.

    The slight angle does help though I still end up contorting slightly since I have a portable table top light box but not table to put it on! So I end up on the floor.


  3. What a great Tip...thanks for sharing!

  4. You're very welcome, Blog Artist. I know how much I struggled with it so I am happy to share and reduce the frustration level of the world even if it is just a teensy bit!


  5. This is a super idea... thank you for sharing. It's all very well being artistic but when you try to share a little of your talent you find you have to be proficient in other arts as well (i.e. photography and IT as well as creative writing!) Every little tip helps. Jane