Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Hate Flash: A Mixed Media Presentation

Having a bad picture of your wares is worse than having no picture at all. This is why flash photos of jewelry irk me. Imagine if I tell you I made a pair of mixed media earrings. They're square, largish with mosaic glass tiles and 20 gauge silver wire. Well, no need to imagine me telling you that because I did make such a pair of earrings. And tell you I did.

Without a picture who knows what fantastical, behemoth glass and wire concoction a body would dream up. Maybe even a lot better than the pair I've actually made. Maybe (or most likely) they'll not have any idea of what the hell I'm talking about. Either of these scenarios is better than a flash photo of said earrings.

Now comes the part of the entry where I show you a flash photo of those mixed media earrings to illustrate my point. But if I do that, the ugly flash photo will be the thumbprint photo of this entry and I'd rather eat the glass earrings than have that happen. Instead, here's a side by side comparison of two photos. The only difference between the two is one was taken with the flash on and one with the flash turned off:

We can all agree on one thing: these photos are not side by side.

Typically, if I were presenting this picture of my jewelry, I'd tweak the lighting, work on the focus, change the angle and fiddle endlessly to get the best picture I could. But just NOT using flash improved the shot exponentially.

P.S. The other side of the earrings have the same mosaic glass pattern. In between-- cardboard painted black.


  1. What you need is a flash diffuser. Here is instructions for one that uses something that IIRC, you should have on hand!

  2. Also - how to make a tabletop studio:

    BTW, I love how you stage your photos!

  3. I've got a cheap light box and cheap lights. Mostly I take my pictures outside since it's summer and I have a backyard.

    But three-- THREE people I know showed me pictures of jewelry and other crafts taken with flash. . . just don't do it, people!

  4. I have similar photos. How can I share with you?

  5. Tom, you'd like to show me your photos? Do you have Photobucket or Flickr? If you do, post a link. If you don't, you should.