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Cloud Dome Tabletop Photo Kit


I’m thinking of purchasing the Cloud Dome Tabletop Photo Kit and was
wondering if anyone has it already and can you share the pros and

Cloud Dome at Ganoksin

Help others make informed buying decisions with Cloud Dome. We
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There’s been a lot of discussion on this within the past year. The
archives should have just what you need.


Rosanne, With a little luck and a few dollars you can build your own
"Cloud Dome". I found a 12" White Lucite Dome at a local plastic
supply company for $10. All it needed was to have an appropriate
hole cut in it for the camera lens. It works beautifully. If you
have any questions email me off-list. Joel

Joel Schwalb

I have been using the Cloud Dome for about a year. It has made the
whole photo process easier and the end result, better. I’m thinking
about ordering the slanted extender, however. Pictures seem to come
out better when the camera is angled. By the way, customer service
is fantastic. If you would like to see some Cloud Dome example
photos, go to

I would be happy to answer any additional questions you might have.

LouiLoui Designs

Dear Rosanne,

I have been using the cloud dome for several years. I can’t find a
down side to it, it is the fastest way to diffuse light and clamp my
camera down like it was on a tripod. I use natural light and have
several props to set under it to place jewelry on. I sat in many
photo shoots while professional photographers set their lights up to
block reflection and light the piece and would love to have the
amount of equipment they have but have neither the space or money for
such a set up.

Sam Patania,

... With a little luck and a few dollars you can build your own
"Cloud Dome". 

Hello Rosanne,

I second Joel’s suggestion. In my case I used a 1/2 sheet of clear
Lucite with the ends bent in to form the “dome” and a $6 cheapo white
bed sheet as the “cloud” part. Total cost was less than $15 … but
you’ll probably want to add some decent lights too --I use cheapo
halogen yard lights-- so that could double it to around $30 or so.

To make this technique work I find it essential to have a “white
balance” control on the camera, in particular one that allows you to
measure and “preset”. I always re-balance before I shoot and thereby
eliminate the effect of any odd lighting sources like daylight,
incandescent, etc.

Trevor F.

Rosanne and Sam,

I am just learning how to photograph jewelry so I am not an expert
but I am improving.

I recently learned about the Cloud Dome just about the same time my
dog needed surgery. We were given this white plastic funnel to put
around the dogs neck to keep her from chewing at the stitches.

I had tried several different techniques with Velum paper with no
great success and then I decided to use the devise that the Doctor
gave us for the dog. I simply cut the thing down to a smaller size to
create a smaller cone. I place my piece of Jewelry inside the cone
and shoot my photo from above while the camera is on a table top
tripod. I also hold a small piece above the hole to filter light.

I am using only Florescent lighting and it is O.K. but not great but
the cone sure did help with distributing the light.

I believe that you can buy those collars at a large pet supply store
for less than the Cloud Dome system.

It may be worth the experiment.
Good Luck
Greg DeMark


I’m sure the Cloud Dome probably works beautifully, but it seems to
me a great deal of money to shell out on a plastic bowl.

I have been using half of a large Heinz white vinegar bottle in much
the same way as a Cloud Dome - it has a hole cut in the bottom to
accept the camera lens (I use an Olympus digital), and it surrounds
the work to provide even, white reflections all around. It’s also
sturdy enough to keep the camera fairly steady while shooting.
Obviously, there are a few limitations to this setup, especially the
appx. 5" field of view, but it’s a quick, cheap, easy solution.
(Oh, and the vinegar is great for soaking off investment!)

HTH, and happy shooting!
Jessee Smith

The Cloud Dome is great - if all you really want to do is photograph
jewelry lying flat on the table. And it has to be somewhat of a
small piece. Personally, I think it is a very expensive product -
although many people love it. I had problems trying to photograph
ensembles and large collections. Plus, I also wanted to be able to
shoot from other angles, which you really cannot do with the Cloud

I found a great solution for the larger pieces needing photography
and also shooting from other angles. This company (link below) offers
the same plastic domes in a huge variety of sizes. Plus, I called
them and they are happy to cut the hole for the lens whereever you
want it to be on the dome. Prices for the large domes seem to be very


Hi All,

Milk jugs work well too. I have a variety of sizes, gallon, half
gallon, quart, etc. for different focal lengths and focus areas.


All this talk about the Cloud Dome and the other sources for buying
acrylic domes has me looking on line at all the options.

The EZ Cube is interesting.

I came across this:

Select: Lighting and Studio/Studio Equipment/Shooting Tents and

There’s this thing called the Paterson Light Pod Cocoon Style Medium
Shooting Tent. It’s $79.00.

There’s also a smaller one that is $56.95. It zips up and looks
like it folds flat.

Usual disclaimer. I haven’t even tried this, but the price is nice.
You still have to come up with a tripod and lights, but that’s not

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

Calumet Photo has a white plastic device that zips and velcroes
together , called a cocoon. They have a couple different sizes, in
the 60-100$ range. I have the smaller one, and am pleased with the
results. They also have fabric light tents as well in a number of
different sizes and prices. All of these type items serve the same
purpose as a cloud dome, only alot cheaper, and alot more flexible
in uses.

Ed in Kokomo

Just want to mention that at the link you gave there is a product
called the Lighthouse. This is what I’ve been thinking of getting.
I met with a photographic supplier a while back and was told this
was used by many professional photographers. I like that you can
take pictures from all angles and the size is much larger allowing
for larger items to be photographed. You can even set up a necklace
on a display and get a good shot of it. The price is good too.


I have both of the Cocoon size in my studio. I was actually looking
at selling them through our catalog…They are a pain in the butt. Set
up is difficult. Every time you touch the out side things fall over
inside. It is not as flexible as they say and near impossible to get
back in the storage bag, It needs to be warm to roll up. It is just
too light to stay put when working around it and the sides collapse
inward when the center section is opened to set up the pieces.
Detach the sides from the bottom, set up your work then set the
remaining unit over the piece and shoot. That almost works well.
There are three shooting ports at different angles but the holes show
up in reflections. Some things are simpler the old fashioned way
lights, stands, reflectors and diffusers. A good old white bed sheet
hood. Bill

Reactive Metals Studio, Inc.
PO Box 890 * Clarkdale, AZ 86324
Ph-928/634-3434 * Ph-800/876-3434 * Fax-928/634-6734
E-mail- @Michele_Deborah_Bill

Just want to mention that at the link you gave there is a product
called the Lighthouse. 

Hello All,

It took a little digging but I came up with some details on this.
It’s called the “Photek Digital Lighthouse”. It comes in a variety of
sizes from 10x10x13 up to 24x24x36. It appears to be available from
most of the major online photography suppliers. For example, here’s a
details page on the Small Lighthouse at

Usual disclaimer: I am not now nor have I ever been abducted by

Trevor F.

IF you use a ‘jug’ for a dome…does it have to be opaque like a
milk jug or can it be clear like the vinegar jug suggested?? Jim

Most plastic vinegar containers are not clear, most plastic milk
jugs are not opaque, usually they are both translucent.

Some things are simpler the old fashioned way lights, stands,
reflectors and diffusers. A good old white bed sheet hood.

Yes! Sometimes it’s good to not have enough money to buy at whim.
I’ve been watching this CloudDome discussion over the years, and
admired the CloudDome inventor for her skills at developing a
product and growing a nice little business. But I just couldn’t
afford one. I do, however, have several white sheets. And, even
though it’s New England, there’s plenty of good quality light

I did just have professional photos done, was present at the
session, and it was very interesting and educational. The cost,
while not trivial, was/is affordable and the resulst excellent. I
also appreciate the photographer keeping my originals.

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts

Hi Jim,

The vinegar jug I use is translucent whitish plastic, like milk jug
plastic, only thicker and sturdier. Maybe the packaging is different
in your neck of the woods :slight_smile: A clear dome or jug wouldn’t do much
good, as it’s the translucency that creates the soft “cloud” effect
and prevents reflections.

I may have to break down and buy that “Lighthouse,” though - it looks
like it would be perfect for shooting bigger stuff! Thanks to all
who have posted about it.

All the best,

Jessee Smith

i used tupperware, worked great