Here is my submission for the Gem & Jewels and FDQ photo contest Maryann Roy blogged about. I have to say, this wouldn't have been possible without the help from my amazingly talented brother, Chris Hornbecker, Photographer Extraordinaire. What a difference lighting makes (and a good camera)! My brother taught me a ton about perspective, lines, filling the space, hard and soft light and cheap suggestions for building my own light set up from the the hardware store. This photo uses his professional lights, but I'll blog about my new lighting set up as soon as I build it. Click on the image to enlarge and really see the photo in its glory. When you compare images 1 and 2 in the close up mode, it is night and day from what a photographer can do, and what my current skill set is.
Modern MC was kind enough to loan me some posable dolls (thanks again!!). The left photo was my initial set up, but my brother suggested the the black was too dark for the photo and the couch was too big. So I swapped in Dr. Who dolls, new furniture, and I moved the bookshelf of rings to be more prominent in the scene. We took out some clutter and some lamps that added distracting lines, and eventually ditched the couch and moved the couple to the front.
Then the magic happened, adjusting the lights for the perfect "natural light" coming through the window. Changing the focus on different elements in the room. Getting all the shots for post production; yeah people, we mean business! The ring he is holding is actually in the girl's shadow so it looked dull. After getting the main shot, we popped her out and adjusted the lighting on the ring to get more sparkle out of it. Then worked some photoshop magic with masking the different layers with the best lighting and focus for the elements we wanted featured. There were 5 images combined together to create the final image. Thank you Big Bro, you are the best!!
Besides having a blast working with my brother on this, it was really fun setting the room up. I dug up a lot of old memories searching through my jewelry. Rhinestone earrings from middle school dances (when I was 13) were added to the lamp to make a faux crystal chandelier. I discovered the two etched glass jewelry boxes from my grandmother that worked perfectly as tables. The bookcase of rings is my favorite feature, I was short on rings and luckily my Dad's girlfriend let me raid her collection and I filled it up with hers and used her earrings in the bowl on the side table. I thought using the rhinestone bracelets to create a hearth in front of the fireplace turned out pretty cool too.
Here are the 35 pieces of jewelry in this scene.
1. Ring on edge (1)
2. Large earring in front and ring on right (2 & 3)
3. minimodernistas bookcase with 16 rings in it (19)
4. HBS lamp with 4 earrings (23)
5. small jewelry box for side table
6. large jewelry box for coffee table
7. bowl of stud 9 earrings and pendants (32)
8. two rhinestone bracelets to make hearth (34)
9. my engagement ring (35)
Accessories are PRD Miniatures, minimodernistas, Reac chairs, HBS side tables, Modern MC and Mad for Mod.
Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you share some mini love today.