Decisions, decisions…

Photographs – the current bane of my existence.

I have finally gotten off my butt and have started taking photographs of jewellery for my shop.  I should clarify – I have started taking photographs, but none of them are attractive or pleasing, and they will not be posted.  They are in focus, though, so that’s a step in the right direction!

In focus, but looks like it was taken on a dark and stormy day

In focus, but looks like it was taken on a dark and stormy day

I have found that deciding on a consistent style for jewellery photos is difficult.  And lighting… don’t get me started on that!  I’ve been looking at various blogs on photography for tips on lighting / focus / backgrounds, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t know what to do.

Many articles that I’ve read state that the best way for jewellery to be displayed in photos is with a white background, making the object appear like it is floating.  I understand that this is useful when the photo is being posted on various sites, although I don’t fully understand why (I had generally lost interest by that point in the article – I seem to have a short attention span sometimes).  I do agree, however, that the white background is best to show off the true colour of the metal and any beads or stones that are set within the piece.  The less busy-ness around the item, the better it shows.

In many cases I find the white to be dull.  There are exceptions, though.  For example, I follow @metalurj on Instagram (website:  http://www.metalurj.com/) and I consider their style of pictures to be one of those exceptions.  Their pieces are very strong and focused against a brilliant, somewhat over-exposed white background.  They stand out, even with “just white”.  The style of the jewellery works really well with no distractions, and looks stronger and more industrial for it.

Part of my problem with the plain background is due to the fact that I’m having a heck of a time with white balance – my photos are either a depressing grey or overexposed.  When the plain background is done well – ka-pow! – fabulous image.  When it is done poorly, well, there is no ka-pow… only a sad little whimper of an image.

Warmed up, but yikes - it's sure yellow!  This is with normal lightbulbs, directed at the pendant.

Warmed up from depressing grey, but yikes – it’s sure yellow! This is with normal lightbulbs which were directed at the pendant.

Using an Ott-Lite

Using an Ott-Lite.

Changed the white balance on my camera - it definitely helped, but I'm still lacking crispness.

Changed the white balance on my camera – it definitely helped, but I’m still lacking crispness.

Went a little white balance crazy with my camera.

Went a little white balance crazy with my camera.

But I have a little secret to tell you… I like busy-ness.  I enjoy an artistic shot with pleasingly placed props.  If the jewellery is in focus and there isn’t an overabundance of filters on the photo, I’m happy.

What’s a girl to do?

I think I need to start listening to what I like, and what I think portrays the piece of jewellery in the most honest and attractive way, and if the time comes that I need to do an all-white background, well, maybe that’s the time to hire someone with the right set-up who has experience taking jewellery photos.

Any photographers or jewellery picture-looker-at-ers with thoughts on this?  What catches or upsets your eye when you look at pictures of jewellery?

Live Long and Prosper

The Enterprise

The Enterprise

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Have you ever heard of Vulcan, Alberta? I’m sure many people haven’t, but we decided to stop in for a dose of science fiction fabulousness at the end of our road trip. Here is a quote from the City of Vulcan website:

Contrary to what popular culture might lead you to believe, the Town of Vulcan did not get its name from science fiction. In 1910 a CPR surveyor, who had a fondness for Roman Mythology, named the town after the Roman god of fire. Originally all the streets in Vulcan were named after the gods and goddesses of the classical world such as Juno, Mars and Jupiter.

In the Star Trek television and feature film series Vulcan is the name of the homeworld of Spock and his fellow Vulcans. Capitalizing on this coincidence, the town has become a worldwide known tourist attraction with the building of Star Trek themed tourist centre and replica of the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek V.

Trek Station

Trek Station

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I wouldn’t say that I’m a Trekkie (or whatever the politically appropriate designation is these days), but I described myself as “Trekkie-lite” to the nice woman at the post office who found us and our enthusiasm for Spock a little peculiar.

Canada Post

Canada Post

All I know is that I walked through the town with a huge smile on my face.  There may have also been a bit of jumping up and down plus a whole lot of giggling.

Unexpected murals were found around corners, paintings of characters were on windows (we had just missed Vul-Con by a few days), and even the pedestrian crossings has Star Trek logos painted on them.

Here are some pictures – some are quite poor quality due to reflections, but I think you’ll get a feel for the town.  I’ll do a separate post on art related findings.

Me in a signed Captain's chair - photo by Bo (thanks!)

Me in a signed Captain’s chair – photo by Bo (thanks!)

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Final Pear Update

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally summing up the Great Pear Experience.  Over May and June I taught four workshops, one of which was for the staff at the Beehive Wool Shop.  Pears are fun… I’m not sure I ever want to make another one again, but I sure enjoyed the process.  This was the first workshop I’ve taught where the focus was more on shading the object over building the shape. It was so pleasing to see people’s interpretations.

Before I show pictures of the all of the pears, here is a bowl that I started before the workshops so that I would have something to hold them.  This is the start of it – it was different in each class as I continued to work on it.  It still isn’t complete, but you’ll see the process/progress through the pictures.

 

The bowl in the beginning

The bowl in the beginning

First Workshop

First Workshop

Second Workshop

Second Workshop

Staff Workshop

Staff Workshop

Final Workshop

Final Workshop

Table For Class

Table For Class

Thanks to everyone who participated – you were all a lot of fun!

The World Loves a Pear

If you are hoping to take a pear workshop, another one has been added on June 11th.  There will be fluffy felted pears all over town 😀.

The first pear workshop was last Saturday, and we had a lot of fun.  It was a great group, and they produced some amazing pears. I’m looking forward to this Saturday’s class!  See sign up details for the class on the 11th on the Classes page.

Needle felted pears

Needle felted pears

Mmmm… Pears

It’s time for another workshop!  On May 28th I’ll be teaching a workshop on how to make needle-felted pears at the Beehive Wool Shop.  The shape is not too difficult, so we should be able to spend a little extra time layering fibres to produce shading.  Pears have so many amazing colours and shapes – I’m really looking forward to this class!  Space is limited, so contact the Beehive Wool Shop to reserve a spot.

Needle felted pears

Needle felted pears