Over the past year, my jewelry photography has improved by leaps and bounds. I attribute this to two things - knowing how to use the settings of my compact camera properly and the Modahaus tabletop studio set-ups I use. They are super for helping photographers get good pictures, even amateurs like ourselves. Tips from a professional photographer don't hurt either!
The latest version of the original set up I bought has been released and I received one for review. I was definitely curious as to what the refinements were compared to the first version and how it could help jewelry artisans in particular.
For starters, there is now a Smartcase rather like the Smart Wallets of the Steady Stands. As you can see, the new cover is sturdier and slightly smaller than the original black bag. There are locking tabs to keep it close.
The main unit is the same size as the first version. I initially wasn't that keen on the new side tabs and slits of the white and colored sheets because it took just a little bit longer to slide the tabs in. But with subsequent use, I found they do indeed help the sheets to sit more securely.
The modifications also include additional hook tabs for hanging necklaces. This saves from having to use binder clips. Shown below is the tunnel which is formed from a slightly reflective white sheet. The diffused light is bounced around inside which thus helps lighten pictures.
|Swarovski Crystal Butterflies on Wire Crochet|
I tried out the fishing line idea which Lex McColl, the Modahaus inventor, shared with us before. But I was lousy at tying it properly so I resorted to just tying a line right around the unit. I propped up the line with clips on either side with another weighing down the back to keep it taut.
But this caused the problem of swinging earrings such that it was difficult to keep them from flipping every which way but the way I wanted!
So in the end, I just used an awl to puncture two small holes in the side panels approximately 3 inches down from the top. I located the holes close to the back panel so that the earrings will lay closer and won't swing as much. Threading the line through those holes also meant I didn't need the two side clips any more. I still had to weigh down the back of the line to make the line taut.
While the Smart Case doesn't reflect much light, it does a good job of diffusing light. I also tested it outside on my sunny deck. Here is my makeshift studio table otherwise known as my laundry basket!
Trying to take jewelry pictures in harsh sunlight produces heavily shadowed results. The fishing line I used to hang the earrings on wasn't obvious but its shadow is a dead giveaway as shown below!
|In bright sunlight with no diffusing|
|In bright sunlight with the Smartcase|
One idea I had was whether the Smartcase on edge could act as a diffuser (below left) for when I used the Steady Stand 100 on the 216 when taking pictures in the dark using just my Ott Lite lamp.
The short answer to that is, no. Even less light gets through with the Smartcase making the picture look duller and yellower even though my camera settings were the same for both pictures below. (Note that the Ott Lite with the Steady Stand seems darker than my earlier attempts using the reflective tunnel so I might have to purchase a bright lamp after all.)
|Steady Stand on ProTS216 with Smartcase|
|Steady Stand only on ProTS216|
In conclusion, I do like the new modifications. One extra feature I would like to see are additional slits or holes for earring line attachment. Now that would be the icing on the cake.
A new guide for the updated version is also available.
Lex read this post and said : "I don't think your Ott light needs to be brighter.
Before You Go:
- Jewelry Photography using an Ott Lite Lamp
- Natural Light Jewelry Photography Using White Backgrounds
- Modahaus Steady Stand Review
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips