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I was at the used bookstore yesterday, and I decided to buy some old books to use as photo backgrounds.  Quick shout out to Frugal Muse – a great bookstore. I always like the look of old books when I see other people use them in photos, whether text or a tattered cover or picture.  I got a an old text with yellowed pages and deckle edges, a large book of sheet music (good for longer items), an art book with both black and white and colored pictures, and a book about Rembrandt and his comtemporaries with lots of good black and white.  

As a book person as well as a jewelry person, it’s a little hard for me to do what might need to be done to treat these books as photo props more than as books, such as break their spines so they lay flat.  Eeek!  I haven’t done that yet, but I did get them out and grab some new beads to see what’s what.  Here is what I came up with when just quickly testing them in the overcast morning.  

ImageI feel like the sheet music works pretty well, especially for something colorful like these beads from Jubilee.  I am in love with the raku selection available from Mary Cullinan of Jubilee, here mixed with some glass.  The colorful beads show much better than the light ones.  If I were truly trying to feature the beads, I would choose a different background for the white building bead.  Also, I’m usually so focused on getting decent lighting, that I don’t notice other things.  The above picture perhaps wasn’t the best of the lot, but it’s the only one in which the building bead is showing front with the door.  In subsequent photos, like the one below with perhaps better light, the building is shown from the back.

ImageNext we have pictures of some gorgeous beads by Natalie McKenna of Grubbi.  I was lucky to snag the landscape pendant.  There was some hot competition.  🙂 

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I think this shady black and white background is perfect for them.  Color is a bit distracting as shown below.  I also tried one with a color picture more in the color family of the pendant, but it all blended together too much.

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Moving on, I recently got two beautiful word banners by Marcie Abney Carroll of La Bella Joya.  She keeps finding news ways to upcycle laminate samples.  I love it!  For this I used the cover of a book.  I thought the yellow banner might look better on a darker background.

ImageBut I actually think they both look better, or at least just as good, on the lighter background.

ImageLast but not least is a non-art bead that I am in love with all the same.  I’ve been enjoying shopping at Sam Siegel’s store on Facebook, Sam’s Bead Shop.  I got this big and beautiful Dzi agate bead with my last order.  I love it and have so many ideas for it, I added four more to my upcoming order.  I have a feeling I’ll be asked to replicate the first necklace I’m going to make for myself, so I want to be prepared.  

ImageI think the bead looks fabulous here on black and white, even though the black is very dark.  This bead is bold enough to hold its own.  I think I got kind of an Alice in Wonderland effect with this next picture having the bead look bigger than the room in the background.  That could be a cool effect to play with sometimes.  

ImageI hope you enjoyed this photo tour of some of my new beads and backgrounds. I really enjoy trying to improve my photos.  Please share any great photo tips you have in the comments!

 

 

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