Photographing on white and on black

I photographed the recently created “Bird” cuff on a white background and on a black glass background as a test to see what works best for the piece. Both seem OK to my eye… just very different. The black is dramatic, the white seems more contemporary.  If I were to list this in my Etsy shop, I might also photograph it with some props from the garden. A leafy branch or two for instance. Plus I need a photo that shows the out-side of the ends as an alternate view.

The brass sheet was originally photo etched to use as a plate for roll printing onto silver, however, I decided it would work better used directly for jewelry. I am now wearing the cuff to see how the polished surface might change over time. The dark background is a heat patina that developed naturally when I annealed the metal for forming.

bird cuff photo etched
Bird cuff 1
Bird Cuff - Carol Holaday
Bird cuff 1 on black

5 thoughts on “Photographing on white and on black

  1. jane April 25, 2015 / 2:47 am

    great piece love the delicate scale of the detail with the bold strength of the cuff
    in brass! looks beautifully ancient.

    • Carol Holaday April 25, 2015 / 3:26 am

      Hi Jane. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. The brass plate was originally intended for roll printing ring shanks and similar small jewelry, thus the small over-all pattern. It didn’t work as intended for that purpose, so I decided to make two cuffs with it instead. There are three complete birds among a lot of foliage on this one. Spotting them is a bit like bird watching from my windows.

  2. Barbara Mandese April 29, 2015 / 1:57 am

    Hi Carol, long time!!! I love this! I hope things are well with you! Your beautiful art never ceases to amaze me!! I strive to be like you. 🙂

    I have been playing around with etching for the last couple of months using salt water and a 9-volt, and some of it is pretty, but very mild and nothing as deep as this! May I ask what resist you are using? I have been trying a variety to see what works best, from sharpie to nail polish, and transfer paper. (more too, but no need to fill up this message with it all)

    Yer old student, Barbara Mandese 🙂

    • Carol Holaday April 29, 2015 / 3:14 am

      Hi Barbara,
      Awww… thanks!

      The resist used will determine how well the design holds up for a deep etch like the one on the cuff. I use PnP (Press n’ Peel) for photo-etching. Lots of instructions for this on-line, including on this site:

      Actually, I made that cuff from what was intended as a texture plate because the spray etcher (with ferric chloride) used at school over-etched and went a bit too deep. I prefer the salt-water and electro-etching method for the control it provides… and easier clean-up as well.

      If you want to draw directly on the metal, try red Staedler permanent Lumocolor pens. Not quite as strong as PnP/lazer ink process, but much better than a Sharpie.

      I tried using batteries for the salt/water electro-etching technique, but found they didn’t hold a consistent charge for long enough to accomplish the depth of etch I want. Click on the category “electro-etching” at right of blog page to find my earlier posts on the topic.

      I’ve used a variety of chemicals and methods for etching metal over the years. At this point, my favorite is electro-etching with salt water using the small power source shown in my February 2013 post.

      Hope this helps and that you get the results you want with your next try at it.

  3. Barbara Mandese April 29, 2015 / 4:30 am

    Thanks Carol!!! (I saw that you posted your etching resist on Facebook too before this). I’ve been trying this transfer paper that is normally used for other mediums and very thin metal, but I thought…maybe if I created a super high contrast black in photoshop first with my design and then printed it out perhaps it would work better. Trying to get my own unique method going…but…nothing being made in the mean time. So productivity low while experimenting. 😦 I create my design by hand, then scan into computer to clean up in photoshop, and making the design super black and high contrast black, and then print to transfer paper using an inkjet transfer paper that can be activated with a heat gun (since I don’t have access to laser!). This is the newest experiment for me. Also have been working on custom “stamps” made from hot glue to use as a transfer for the ink (staz-on inkpads are great!) to the metal which has been rather interesting… 🙂 But in the spirit of productivity, I thank you from the bottom of my witty bitty heart for the info on the pens too. I’m going to look into it now. Electo source sounds perfect too! Thank you again Miss Carol. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s