Before & After – Wine Glass Charms

I got a comment from Becky (Etsy shop theMonkeyButtons) about her wine glass charms. She says: “I have a hard time with black and white objects. I can only get the black or the white to look good in any picture. These are also made with carved mother-of-pearl buttons, and I can’t get the details to show well because they are slightly shiny.” Specifically, she was referring to this set, which includes the following listing photo:

It’s actually quite a nice shot, as are all the others in the listing. Becky obviously has good technique and understands how to control depth of field. But I think that the lighting is just a bit too yellow and warm to capture the true colors and details of the buttons. So I thought I’d try for a more dramatic look and avoid the influence of the tablecloth.

First up, a very simplistic shot taken on a reflective white background (click to zoom):

Same concept, different charms:

Same concept, different charms, and a cork for added interest:

Now for a few on a reflective black background, again with emphasis on the details of the buttons and wire wrapping:

This time, the entire set hanging in front of a flat white background:

Less attention on the charms, more on the setting:

Now for something completely different, a little post-processing to give this shot an aged, vintage look:

That’s all for this post. Click here if you want to see a few more photos, and be sure to check out some of the other cool items in Becky’s shop.

Next time — Glass Marble Pendants.

Reflections Aren’t Necessarily Evil

We all know that if we’re not careful and don’t pay attention to proper lighting and subject positioning, we can end up with some nasty reflections (usually on our subject). So, naturally, many of us assume that we shouldn’t have any reflections on our backgrounds either. That’s often true, but if staged properly, reflections can add dramatic effect to your images. Check out the following examples and see if you agree.


If you like the way these look, and want to try it for yourself, here’s a link to the reflective background I used for these shots: http://www.etsy.com/listing/97176853/photography-background-material

Until next time … Happy Shooting!