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You don't have to own an iPhone to appreciate UK based Lex McColl's amazing post on how he used his new iPhone 4 and the Modahaus table top photo studio set up to take great jewelry pictures.

An iPhone camera is not what he typically uses as a professional product photographer but he was curious to see if the pictures it took could pass muster in the hardest test of all - jewelry pictures with white backgrounds!

The short answer to that is yes, if you have an app called camera+ ($1.99), a special stand for the iPhone, proper lighting and the Modahaus. No wonder the post drew a lot of attention from iPhone fans. However, the real star of the post as far as jewelry artisans are concerned is the new Modahaus table top photo studio! This innovative system was developed to improve on the traditional light tents.

There are several features which make Modahaus so much better than an ordinary light tent. The light filtering effects are awesome with the special sheets of translucent polymer in white and four other colors as well  in opaque white. It is a highly compact system which sets up quickly. Check out this short video which shows how fast that process is!

Also innovative is the infinity curve produced by the bending of the top sheets when attached to the backdrop support.  This eliminates unsightly horizons.

The sheets are resistant to water and oils and are anti-static. If you're tired of greasy finger prints on background papers and taking pictures of dust specks and stray hair, you'll definitely appreciate those two features! It also wipes clean easily and is food safe if you also like taking pictures of your latest cupcake creation or whatever.

Lex's post showed how he obtained the white background pictures using lights.  For non-professionals like us, we won't be able to afford the LED light panels he used for the picture above. But Lex also uses a couple of cheap angle poise lamps with CFL daylight bulbs for his other shots which are much more affordable.

In the picture below, he simply reorientated the backdrop support to accommodate a necklace.  The resulting picture of the pendant needed just cropping and very little post-editing.

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The colored sheets can be muted by placing them underneath a translucent white one as well using another as a light diffusing tunnel as shown below. Are you thinking earrings like I am?  How about popping out the glass from a small picture frame and propping it up with a couple of clamps for an earring shoot?

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I was so impressed with the Modahaus, I actually bought the Studio 216, the smallest one.  It cost about US$54 including the shipping. Note : international shoppers do not have to pay the UK's 20% sales tax called the VAT. They didn't have Paypal when I bought it but they will very soon.

It was a bit more than what I paid for my large light tent.  It won't replace it  because I still need it for Lola (remember the mannequin post?) but I will definitely use the Modahaus for workshops and at home.

Within a few minutes of me setting it up, I took what is the most professional picture I have ever taken using my Lumix (I have no stand for my iPhone), the Modopocket stand and in natural light. I just cropped it smaller. No Photoshop! This is the same pair of earrings I used for the post about my new camera.  I much prefer this picture even though it was literally "plonk earrings down and click"! Doesn't the blue background look great with the green onyx and beads?

I loved the subtle changes in the background hue which was simply due to light coming from one direction -  the window on the left and shadows.  Lex pointed out that "the  inside of light tunnel also gives pleasant reflections in the piece."  Yep, those translucent sheets are magic!  But there are ways to improve.  I shall be experimenting further with guidance from Lex.  So watch out for future posts as he shares invaluable professional tips on how to take better pictures.

If you're as excited as I am, get ready to be in a frenzy!  Modahaus is sponsoring not just one but TWO Studio 216 set-ups as giveaways for a couple of lucky winners. This size will also work for other crafters so long as the items are not too big.  If you make larger items, there are two other sizes available.

If you do go on to own a Modahaus, Lex would love to have your pictures in his website gallery. He plans to add product links to online shops. Read - free promotion!

For your chance to win a Modahaus, all you have to do is make a comment below. Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway on your favorite forum, own blog, Facebook or Twitter, from now on those will count as additional entries too!  Please say so in the comments.

The giveaway ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, August 1, 2011. I will pick two winners randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to come back and check! Good luck!

Subscribers : To comment, click on the post title to return to the blog post. At the bottom, click on "Comments". If you do not have a website or online store, use Name/URL - and leave the URL blank.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips