Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mr. Sun is a Tease

I am literally sitting on hundreds of items that I have not been able to photograph and list because of the lack of sun.

Many times I have been tempted to begin investing in the thousands of dollars for photography equipment but I am enamored of the soft, sweet hazy light of the morning. It feels better suited to the work I do than the cold, white/gray gallery type style.
And it is much more fun to buy beads.

This is not my photo, I just can't find where I got it!
It can be hard to find it here in Missouri.  Some days start with the perfect light and by the time you are all set up, the sun comes out full force and creates harsh shadows.

Other times it is perfect!

Sometimes you do what you have to do to get the job done.
This photo still makes me laugh. 
It is from the time I was working on the book Handmade Underground Jewelry and I had deadlines to meet.

The sun disappeared after I set up and I sat there on the edge of my bathtub, waiting and hoping it would come back. It never did.
But when the sun does come in for me, it is wonderful. There is a great reward in having the best picture ever for an item.

But, guess what? In our new house, I get the Florida Room as my studio! I will be able to have a table set up and ready to go for when the perfect light arrives which will be waaaaay more often because Florida is known as the Sunshine State!


  1. I use bulbs more often than I use sun b/c of where I live. It's either cloudy or dark when I'm home for the better part of the year. I probably didn't spend more than $15 on my setup. Translucent plastic tub as a diffuser with some flour sack towels thrown over it to soften the light more, and a couple of bright white fluorescent bulbs from Home Depot. I do have to do some color correcting in Photoshop, but I usually have to do that with daylight too. Possibly the biggest expense with using bulbs is a program like Photoshop or Picasa (which is free) to correct color cast, but I personally think people can benefit from enhancing their photos anyway for sharpness and contrast. (You probably won't have a sun issue in Florida!!! yay!)

  2. Oh the sun! I love pics in the sun, but I ended up making a light box out of a cardboard box and tracing paper. Use some lights, and Voila! Easy as pie and it cost me nothing. Of course, you won't have that problem soon enough:)

  3. one does have to get creative to obtain great shots in natural light - i love your photos from past times... and how wonderful to have a supply like that southern state is ready to provide...
    wow - hundreds of items?!

  4. Hmmmm, The Florida Room sounds very uptown!

    I'm so lucky to have a north facing window covered with a porch. The sun never glares in, but there's a lovely soft light.

    Love, love, love that photo of the multi-colored patinated rings!!!!!

  5. A new house in the Sunshine state..Im gettin excited for you! How did yall come to pick Satellite beach area? I too would rather have good light; the right light than alot of expensive equiptment. But the macro and my camera in general is a wonderful thing. Wow it sounds like yall will be moving sooner than later. Great!

  6. I've used the light boxes and hated it. I also used bulbs strategically placed and hated that, too. To me there is nothing that compares to that perfect, natural light that you do not have to edit photos with.
    I will wait.....

  7. I agree...I have a spot in my Pennsylvania room (lol) that catches the sun just right at least 1 day a week...maybe less....but when it is right...it IS right...Speaking of the sun...it is out right now....just on the wrong side of the house :-)

  8. Keep doing what you are because I love your pictures!

  9. I know...taking the "perfect" picture is a drag! Wow! hundreds of items, that would take me literally all day.
    The photo of the rings is fabulous!

  10. oh yes..I love your photos..shooting your wonderful wares in the grey/white mode would be a sin!..takes away their soul..:)
    lol..after reading your post..I was reminded of how John Singer Sargent painted the twilight ..just 5 min everyday to get the perfect light..

  11. I spend waaaay too much time with Photoshop so I definitely need to start waiting for the sun! Sadly, no California room so I'll need to haul everything outside to get the right light most of the time :)

  12. I know just what you mean about the sun. I have not had good results with lights. I so much prefer the sunlight, that I will wait for it too. It sounds like you will have a good set up in Florida!
    Hope tomorrow is good and sunny all day!

  13. Earliest morning or evening have the nicest natural light, I find.

    Florida it is! Yesterday I saw a wonderful film reminding me why summer is good, lush and just plain wonderful. One tends to forget, when living in the snow?

  14. I photograph outside whenever I can. I have a small light tent but my lamp isn't too good so I always have to spend ages getting the white balance right in Photoshop.
    I prefer outdoors without direct sunlight which tends to bleach out white and bright areas. I usually take photos with my body casting a shadow to avoid that!

  15. Making the jewelry is fun! Photographing the items is work! Sounds like consensus is whatever works for you, and/or whatever you have to do to get it right. I have a rock garden that works for 4 months and then it's indoors on a table or a light box. A pro photographer showed me some helpful things, but still....... Not always reliable. Shannon, your photos have always been beautiful, but happy that you'll have a specific room in Florida, livin' the good life! Yay for you!


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