Simple Bud Vase

by Miwa Lee.

Amethyst and Crystal Multistrand Bracelet

I’ve read others’ comments about using bottles and jars so it’s not exactly a novel idea but I thought I’d contribute my photo as an example of using a bud vase for a bracelet display.

The vase cost only a few dollars from Target and I nestled it in my black pashmina.

As you can see, I’m still working on my photography skills.

It’s really really hard to photograph silver and crystals. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated!

Miwa Lee


Lovely sculptural prop
by: Rena

Your vase makes a graceful, pretty display, Miwa! Very nice effect.

Regarding your question about photographing crystals and silver:

Like nearly every other jewelry component, these elements photograph best with indirect light. That means no camera flash, no direct lighting or sunlight – or you’ll almost certainly wind up with glare and reflections on your jewelry.

In Tips for Photographing Jewelry I have a collection of tips and tricks for taking better jewelry photos – including a couple of ways you can make your own light box for optimum lighting.

Hope this helps – and thank you for sharing your bracelet display idea with us!

thank you thank you thank you…
by: Miwa

You are the goddess of jewelry-craft! I am learning sooooo much. The photography tips were amazing! I’m sure I’m merely repeating others when I say that your website is very well designed and managed. More importantly, it’s an incredible resource to beginners and experienced crafers alike. Did I say ‘thank you?’

another tip
by: Ann Nolen

Lovely setting for your jewelry (and lovely jewelry too!). I have also used many of the tips Rena and her jewelers have shared on this website.
I wanted to add that I usually use free software to crop the photo, which keeps the focus sharp but appears to be much closer. I use Picasa, which is a free photo editing software offered by Google (see I shoot the photo using the highest resolution I can, and then use Picasa to reduce the size of the file so I can upload it online or email it.
To save time, I don’t bother taking a lot of photos, I just use the Picasa software to crop it and “zoom” in on areas I want to feature. The photos still look great and I can direct the customers eyes to the features I want them to see. There are many programs offered for free on the internet, I just happen to be a Google fan… PS- I have a slide show on my website of my work, and that is from photos on my Picasa web page… they have a free feature to embed the slide show on the website. Love it!


by: Miwa

Thank you Ann for your kind words. Yes, I also use several photo editing softwares including Adobe PhotoShop but well…you can only do so much if the original photo is so-so. Rena’s photo tips and Pamela Lo Piccolo’s homemade light box are just that extra bit I needed to make the photos look more professional. I haven’t tried them yet but I’m confident my pix will look a lot better. Btw, you’re absolutely right. I neglected to give proper kudos to our wonderful community of crafters for all their creative and helpful tips. Thanks guys!!

photo help
by: kzjewelry

Just wanted to relate a recent discovery that has helped my photos IMMENSELY! And that is to get a polarized lens for your camera. It cuts out soooo much of the glare you are bound to get from crystals and shiny stones. I try to use natural light whenever possible (no flash) but glare is still inevitable. My BIL was able to find a camera shop (rare these days) that came up with a lens to fit my camera. I also discovered that using a tripod is worth the effort to get it focused – no more blurry pics!

Jewelry photography
by: Rena

Miwa – you are very welcome! And thank you so much for your kind words. :o)

Ann – thank you for sharing your great photo editing tips!

Kzjewelry – although I hadn’t heard about the polarized lens for jewelry photography before, it sounds like something worth experimenting with. If you’d like to send in a comparison of photos with and without the polarized lens, I’d be happy to publish them with links to you.

Also, I do agree 100% about using a tripod! Especially if you use it with your camera’s timer, you can get MUCH clearer shots. :o)

polarized lens
by: Miwa

Thanks for your tip KZ! Do you have a digital camera? If so, which polarizer did you buy and how much did it cost? I did some quick research and found that Tiffen seems to be most referenced (about $30??). Oh, in case anyone else is interested, here’s a site with useful info on polarizers.

Here’s an exerpt from the article:

“Be sure to get the right kind of polarizer. Filter vendors sell two kinds of polarizers: linear and circular. Virtually all photography is done with circular polarizers. If you’re offered a linear polarizer, don’t buy it: It won’t work with a digital camera and will simply confuse the sensor.

One other, makeshift solution: You can hold a pair of polarized sunglasses in front of the lens at the proper angle relative to the reflecting surface. (To get this angle, just watch the LCD on your camera as you fiddle with the sunglasses until the image looks right to you.) Don’t laugh: It works.”

I just LOVE down-to-earth money-saving tips like that, don’t you?

polarized lens
by: kzjewelry

Hi Miwa & Rena,

The lens I have is a Marumi digital filter (yes, I have a digital camera), Circular PL(D). It’s a 55 mm and cost $41.99. Not cheap but certainly worth it. Rena, I will take some pics with and without and email them to you. It may be a few days, as I’m heading out to DE to do a home party in a few days. But definitely when I return.

It may take a few tries to get a filter to fit, and a knowledgable sales person will be a big help. The first time my BIL when to the store, they said they didn’t have one to fit. When he went back to find one to “jury rig” another sales person found one that fit just fine.

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