The photographic explorations of a former film student.

Posts tagged “handmade

Nail Polish Necklaces

Last year, I became addicted to making what they call nail polish gems. Basically, this is painting glass with nail polish. I made many necklaces, and a quite a few magnets.  Fortunately, I was able to sell many of the necklaces at a craft fair last Fall. However, some remain, and I’ve decided another craft fair is not worth the expense or the time. So I’m going to sell them – eventually. I haven’t listed them yet, but I will post a link here when I do. Right now, I just have the photos done. Since I am selling, the only retouch I did on the necklaces was a few localized brightness adjustments. I did a little more retouch on the backgrounds (sweater fuzz, cat hair, evening things out, and so on). That’s my full disclosure for the sake of honest advertising. The idea was to photograph the necklaces against clothing like they might actually be worn.

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*Edit* Now I finally have them for sale:



Last week, I set out to photograph the entirety of some vases from my collection. I started by photographing the light-colored ones against a white background. Since I don’t have lights, I used a large window. Lack of lighting control resulted in an unevenly illuminated background, which was corrected in Photoshop. I went through the trouble of making an effort to do it in camera for two reasons. 1) It’s a challenge. 2) The closer you get it in camera, the easier it is to fix in post anyway. I started with a white vase on the white background for practice shooting white on white. 

Up next, my favorite pink vase. Although transparent, it has a beautiful iridescent coating on it. Charming, but tough to get on camera right.

The last vase I shot against white was an antique I got from my grandmother. Sadly, this vase bears the marks of wear. I love the shape and colors, though.  


Next, I moved on to the black background, partly for the sake of doing it, but mostly because I didn’t think this handmade vase would look good on white. I used a piece of black poster board for the background and lit the shot with a desk lamp and two mirrors. Having to fix the background in post again made me resolve to obtain a piece of black velvet larger than my poster board. The larger the piece, the more distance I can put between my “lights” and the background, besides the fact that velvet  absorbs light.

Last but not least, I did some more artistic shots. When it comes to shooting at home, I may not have lights, but I do have a wonderful prop library. For this shot of the antique vase, I used an old suitcase and a dried snowball bush flower. In addition to fitting with the age of the vase, they also went well with the colors. Window light provided a soft, reflective mood.

I also used  window light for this shot of the handmade vase. The lace leads to the vase and complements its curves. A dark wood background provides elegance without steeling the show.

The idea for this shot came to me in an odd way. I just set the vase down next to the nesting doll and noticed the colors went together. So I made a funny scene. Unfortunately, the vase is nasty to light. I used several pieces of poster board and a speedlight, but glare was still an issue.

One night, the nesting dolls go exploring in the library and find a vase . . .


Next Time: Knitted Rose Pins

At the request of my sister, I’m photographing her creations this week. They’re unique items, and I already have ideas for what to do with them.

Is there something you’d like to see me photograph or post about? Leave a comment and let me know!