Monday, August 25, 2014

Charmed, in Store, and a Shutterbug Showdown

Tank: Boscov's
Cardigan: Delia's
Skirt: H&M
Shoes: Betseyville, Macy's
Bag: Princess Vera, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Candie's, Kohl's

Top: Express, Marshalls
Jeans: l.e.i., J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Target
Scarf: A. C. Moore
Sunglasses: Cloud Nine, Ocean City boardwalk

Dress: Modcloth
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Princess Vera, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Kohl's

Dress: Mossimo, Target
Shoes: Fredericks of Hollywood
Bag: DSW (embellished by The Tote Trove)
Belt: Tournier  Everything Under $10
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's

First, a word about last week's post.  Apparently, I was premature in waxing philosophical about that studio taking liberties with Bridget Jones's screenplay in Mad About the Boy.  The whole thing ended up being a disaster, making me ashamed of having abandoned my original damn the man position.  (Sorry to let that spoiler slip out.  Although I did manage to keep a lid on the story's main secret, so that's something.)

Now that that's out of the way, I can get on with this week's post.  As promised, I'm featuring the rest of the kawaii charm necklaces I made from my Bohemian Findings supplies (a name, by the way, that I love, mostly for its implied imagery of a classy flea market.)  The pieces were equally, ahem, charming when confined to their prepackaged sets (hello, pumps!), paired in quirky, unexpected combos (teapots and bunnies unite!), or mixed up every which way (combs and guitars and stars, oh my!), and I found them a most versatile and entertaining medium.

That said, jewelry making isn't all fun and games.  For awhile now I've been wanting to take better pictures.  Although I've improved since starting nearly six years ago, it's always bothered me that my photos lack the crisp, detailed, feel-like-you-can-reach-out-and-touch-it kind of clarity that separates the diamonds from the rhinestones.  So I finally decided to capitalize on the trick that photographers have relied upon since the beginning of time (or at least since the beginning of cameras) and take it outside already.  That's right.  I'm talking about natural light.  (Although I'm not sure that it qualifies as a trick because the words "Try to use natural light and include a great close up" run right under the blank picture blocks on the Etsy listing page.)  I set up my trusty old (and somewhat battered, thanks to my craft show days) card table in the backyard, plunked down my first piece, and started clicking.  Without the flash. It felt weird, kind of like leaving home without my watch or my phone or my (Babybel) cheese wheel.  Also, it was hot and windy, the less-than-gentle Brigantine breeze wreaking havoc with my display more than once, and my sun-scorched shoulders making me want to run for cover.  But I stayed strong, committed to my art with all the zeal of a National Geographic photographer, secure in the knowledge that it would all be worth it once I was cozily installed behind my computer.

I ended up packing it in after just two necklaces.  (I didn't want to go crazy in case it turned out that I was using the wrong angle or something.  Also, as smitten as I am with my creations, there's no way they stack up to hyenas.)  Still, I was excited as I loaded the pictures, sure that the "quality" takes would stand out in sophisticated, sun-lit prominence against the amateur hour pics I'd snapped in my cave of a hallway.  So when I couldn't immediately tell the two sets apart, I felt a little deflated.  Upon closer inspection, I realized that there was indeed a slightly inferior set, and that, lo and behold, it was the one taken in the great outdoors!  Could it be that I was still doing something wrong, maybe catching the wrong light source or being out at the wrong time of day?  Or maybe it wasn't a light thing at all; maybe I just needed a better camera.  Yet, as disappointing as all of this was, it also came as something of a relief.  Maybe, just maybe, the original pictures weren't so bad after all.  I like to think that if I had more free time, then I'd take a photography class somewhere, maybe at the local community college (as opposed to in some weirdee's basement), but the truth is, I probably wouldn't.  Because I hate taking classes or even reading how-to books.  So for now I'm going to make peace with my imperfect pictures, instead spending the bulk of my time with my beads.  And my cheese wheel.     


Marisa Noelle said...

Light can be a tricky thing. A lot of time if I photograph things outside in the middle of the day, when the sun is the brightest - there is just too much of a glare on them, but shooting outside at magic hour (an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset, the photos turn out the best). However if I'm shooting indoors, I need that window of the day where the light is the brightest or else my photos are too dark with too many shadows.

Really loving that little bunny necklace to bits! And Delias....I didn't even realize they were still around! I shopped at that place religiously in the 90s, hehe...cute cardi!

Jewel Divas Style said...

Love the necklaces as usual! Can't go past a kitschy charm necklace.

As for photos it took me years too. I tried outside, they ended up yellow. Tried lamps, those pics were not bright, finally found a window which gets good lighting and I use a white tshirt for them to lay on or sit in front of as I don't use fancy photo equipment. I make sure the sun has passed far enough that it's not coming in, afternoon lighting is really good, and will then try different menu bits on my new camera. Some come out fantastic and others need a little help in editing.

What about hanging necklaces on a bust? I've found some of my pics like that come out well. It also depends on which angle you use, light behind you or in front when taking the pic.

Sadly, it's all trial and error and time consuming.