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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Pixie Floral Vase
My really photo crude set up...

This bead is interesting to me for a couple of reasons. It's the first of this type I've photographed, though I've been making them for several months. I photographed the setup, which unfortunately is extremely out of focus, but it gives the idea of just how jury rigged the whole business is:

The chain is hanging from the window lock and a leatherman tool balanced on the window ledge. The diffuser is a scrap of card stock left-over from cutting some business cards apart (had to print some up for my latest bead-store appointment). If you compare the setup shot to the picture below, you'll see the bead is more evenly lighted: I held up a white paper bag opposite the window to bounce light back on the bead. Not shown is the tripod; also, I took about 8 shots of this, from e.v. +1.3 or so to -0.7, and ended up using the lightest one.

pixie floral vase, 09dec03. It's probably about 28–30 MM long, and hollow. Pixie dust, effetre, sterling silver, czech fire-polish. Private collection.

One of the most freeing things I learned in my studio photography class is that you don't need all those fancy light stands and flash bulbs (though they surely make life easier)— you need to look at the object being photographed with a camera's eye: a lense that doesn't have all the light-softening and color-correcting filters built in, the way our optic nerves and brains do for us.