Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lightbox/Photography Get-Together

February's meeting was at Caroline's house and we started by laying some pictures of our work on a table and talking briefly about some issues we were currently having with photography. We then moved right in to setting up a prototype PVC lightbox frame and making a bunch of them at our own desired sizes.

This was the prototype I constructed at home and brought to the meeting. (See link for instructions to make your own PVC lightbox) I bought a cheap pillowcase and cut it so it opened to be a long skinny piece of fabric to diffuse the lights. ** Make sure you use daylight spectrum bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are too yellow. Lights should be positioned in front and on the sides of the object. A third light could be used on top. Photographing silver can be problematic due to it's inherent mirror-like quality. Sometimes using less light is better! Opals can also be tricky- I've found less light is best, with a smaller less-intense light in the front to bring out the fire.

In order to hang earrings on a rod, use 2 equal lengths of chain hung on the frame and then insert a dowel (I painted it black in the center with a Sharpie!) between them. Voila! To hang a necklace, adapt this to possibly include clips or some other attachment/hanging device.

This ring was photographed in the PVC lightbox, above. Any camera with a macro lens will work. Odaybea's camera was SO NICE (see last posting) and took much better pictures than my cheapie camera! But good results can be had with any camera! See link for background paper sources. The smaller graduated paper can be used for a smaller lightbox. Larger pieces for larger lightboxes- ideal for large necklaces that need to be laid out. This background paper (grey to black) is very matte and absorbs light, so there's no distracting reflections. Be on the lookout for dust.

This is Sandra's lightbox frame (upside down) after cutting pipe lengths and inserting connectors. Notice the T-shaped connectors are all facing inwards, then the corner connectors attach into the ends of the T's. It's best to construct it upside down, doing the top first, before adding the legs.

This is a close-up of Sharon's ring taken in the lightbox at Caroline's house with my cheapie camera. Good detail and diffused light quality. Sometimes placing your hand in an appropriate position can help eliminate "hot-spots" (as seen on upper right of ring). Using a camera tripod can free up your hands to do the appropriate amount of "blocking" necessary.

Sandra's fold-formed leaf earrings hung on a dowel rod in the lightbox.

Next meeting- how to get from photo shoot to Photoshop!

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