Bead Photography Tutorial
Bead photography Tutorials for Lampworkers and beadmakers
I like shooting beads on a white background. It provides a uniformed look with other photos, background colors don’t interfere and it allows me to easily isolate the the bead in Photoshop for compositions like ads or banners. But one problem I come across from time to time is losing the details in the edge of the bead. This usually happens because the bead itself is pale and it looks like the white is swallowing the bead.
After some experimenting I came across a simple solution. I place a large piece of black cardboard behind it out or frame. By doing this it ads enough dark reflection to define the edges on the light background.
As you can see in these examples the edges are more defined. Which makes it easier to adjust the contrast with out losing detail.
After photographing some Dichroic Scraps and I discovered something I wanted to share.
The Dichroic Scraps will be on sale in the Fun House so they needed some photos. The scarps were of dichroic on clear. I had a problem was when I was photographing them on white I was loosing all detail.
So what I did was place a black piece of foam-core out of frame to see if I could get a little contrast and something really cool happened. The color on the Dichroic Scraps jumps out.
Here is what append when I placed a black piece of foam-core behind it.
As you can see it made an amazing difference. So if you’re having problems photographing dichroic beads try putting something dark next to it out of frame.
show you 2 techniques using the Layer Mask in Photoshop to enhance your Bead photography Read more
Here is a 6 minute walk through video showing how to use Actions in Photoshop. Actions are one of my favorite tools. It allows me to do a menial task once, copy what i did and do it to another image with one click of the mouse. Read more
My theory was more lights there were meant for better photos. Later I learned that is not the case. It’s all about how you use the light. Some times more light makes it worse. The photos would have too much contrast and hot spots. I needed to develop something that would allow me to easily set up and break down for any type of bead, pendant, marble or sculpture and any type of glass as well. I would shoot something like Dark Ivory a lot different than an opal or dichroic. Read more
A solution for photography of small beads. Keith talks about a simple and cheap solution to. Read more
What you need to know about Aperture and Depth Of Field for Lampwork Bead Photography. Read more
In this video I’ll show you how to adjust and prep your bead for the web. I’ll be using Photoshop CS2.
The 4 steps I show are:
- Levels (To adjust contrast)
- Hue/Saturation (To adjust the color tone)
- Cloning (To remove unwanted items)
- Cropping for web
When watching it I recommend making it full screen and “HD”.
Thanks and have a great day,
Studio Photography is like painting with light. Instead of paint on a canvas you are laying light on the surface of your subject. But unlike painting you don’t have a brush to spread the light to where you want it… or do you? Actually you do have tools to do that, a light diffuser and a light bounce. These are two of the most useful tools any bead photographer has.
Light Diffusers are useful because they soften the light by spreading it out. This cuts down on the contrast in the photo so you will be able to capture more of the true color of the bead. It’s also a good way to cut down on hot spots on the bead.
Light Bounces work the other way. Diffusers soften the light, but light bounces soften the shadows by reflecting the light back at the bead with a soft glow. When shooting with only one light you need a diffuser to fill out the shadows.
To achieve this effect you can buy a photography tent or dome. They can be expensive but they work. I used to use a photography tent to take the photos for Frantz Art Glass, but I found that some home made light modifiers work better for what I was doing. For $10 you can make a diffuser and a bounce.
I have attached 5 pages of my tutorial explaining how to do this. If you’re interested in how to make a diffuser and bounce set Click Here.
Another fantastic thing that light diffusers can do is really enhance your silvering glass. Sometimes it’s tricky to get a good photo of glass that has a metallic shimmer or prismatic effect. But if you use a diffuser it softens and spreads out the light allowing the shimmer to really come out.