Experiment with Photographing Jewelry with a Scanner

by Rita Muller.
(Indian Rocks Beach, Florida)

Experiment with Photographing Jewelry with a Scanner - Bracelets by Rita Muller  - featured on Jewelry Making JournalBracelets

Double Flat Spiral and Kumihimo

Intrigued by Rena’s article How to Use Scanners for Photographing Jewelry in the last JMJ issue, I decided to give the technique a try.

(The photos in this post were done with a scanner.)

I’m happy with the results, but also anxious for cooler weather so I can do a photo shoot outside again. It’s still blasting out 90 degree heat here in Florida in the middle of October. GASP!

Experiment with Photographing Jewelry with a Scanner - xby Rita Muller - Green Wire Wrap  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

Wire Wrap Green Bead in Calico shell

Some may recall my rant in a comment (a couple of JMJ issues back) about embracing the chaos of all the beautiful techniques available to us as jewelry artists.

I jump from stringing to wire wrap, flat spiral to kumihimo, etc., all the time. There are so many techniques to try that I’m never bored.

Experiment with Photographing Jewelry with a Scanner - xby Rita Muller - Green Wire Wrap - Mermaid-set  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

Mermaid Illusion Set. Two Necklaces Worn Together with Matching Earrings

This summer I’ve been working on some illusions necklaces. The black and white piece and the mermaid set were both inspired by the sea near my home. I use ten pound fishing line and #1 crimp tubes with my beads and just have fun.

Nature is truly so inspirational.

Experiment with Photographing Jewelry with a Scanner - xby Rita Muller - Green Wire Wrap - Mermaid-set - Black-and-White-set  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

Black and White Illusion Set with Matching Earrings (for Halloween)

The wire wrap piece has a large green, milky bead in the center of my favorite shell known as the calico shell. Calico shells are all over my beach year round and make such lovely pieces on their own, or as a background for beads of any design.

The double flat spiral bracelet (white, blue, and gold), sports two mermaid clasps. The other bracelet is one of my first kumihimo pieces (white, blue, and silver). I’ve been beading for many, many years and I’m having the best time creating in retirement.

Rita Muller

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  • Rita, thank you for your feedback on my tutorial for photographing jewelry with a scanner. Your illusion jewelry is intriguing. My favorite piece here is the wire-wrapped seashell pendant/necklace.

  • JBH says:

    Rita, your jewelry pieces are beautiful. My favorite it is wired wrapped seashell. I do like the results of using the scanner to photograph the pieces. I read the same article that Rena provided, and plan to try it real soon.

  • I used a scanner for years before a decided to make my own light booth.

    The scanner did a great job, but still required some final editing to clean up the lighting and give the photo a polished look.

    If your computer is running Windows 10, download the PS Express ap PhotoShop Express for easy to use free photo editing tools. You can adjust exposure, white balance, contrast, shadows and highlights, even add more clarity to sharpen the details.

    Good luck!

  • Before I owned a good camera, I used my scanner for all my jewelry photos. I thought they looked good! Then I finally got myself a good DSLR camera and started taking pictures outside in the shade with natural light. My older pictures revealed themselves as flat and boring compared to the new pictures. I started noticing pictures on Etsy, seeing which pictures jumped out at me and attracted me. It was always pictures that showed the jewelry in good lighting and as 3-D objects. The scanner pictures looked so 2-D that they did not stand out in any way. The scanner cannot show the dimension and size of the piece, and there are no natural shadows. If you don’t have access to natural lighting outside (which I don’t now) get yourself (or make yourself) a light box for photos. You can still use nice background ( I like scrapbook paper) but the pieces will stand out more and catch a buyers eye. You can photo the pieces flat, or hang them in the light box. I still have pieces that need new photos, as the older photos don’t look very professional any more. Good luck!

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