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Cloud Dome

Last week I met Cindy “Let there be Ambient Light” Lichfield in
Dallas, and she let me test a Cloud Dome. I believe that jewelry
photography as we know it has changed forever. Gone are tents,
shades, reflectors, hot spots, reflections, drop cloths, multiple
light stands, bounce lighting…all replaced with a simple and
sturdy dome that turns any lighting situation into a cloudy day…
…and we all know the best lighting comes from a cloudy day.

The Cloud Dome is extremely well built ( I can stand on it…think
Volks Wagon commercials and the Arch…), replaces the cumbersome
tripod and the infinite tripod adjustments needed, very light and
portable, easy to use, small enough to be carried to a photo shoot
(in one hand…with the camera attached ) , and costs less than some
of my bounce lighting reflectors.

The best part is its ease of use. I can shoot straight down on my
subject, whether its a stone or a piece of Jewelry, and not worry
about shadows, not worry about hot spots, and with a few simple
props ( coasters, black / white cloth, and a piece of frosted glass
) can duplicate most any shooting situation.

I’ve been taking pictures professionally and for fun for over 50
years and this is the greatest invention since the digital camera.

Another great feature is the speed with which I can change from one
shot to the next. On my Web page, I shot approximately 50 opals in
an hour. Its as easy as one, two, three, four…

  1. Place the Opal on the pedestal (made from coasters in order to be
    able to adjust the height in 1/4 inch increments).

  2. Cover it with the Cloud Dome and look thru the viewfinder to
    check if you got the ‘fire’ in the Opal showing.

  3. If not, raise the Cloud Dome slightly and rotate the stone while
    looking thru the viewfinder.

  4. Lower the Cloud Dome and shoot.

Pictures of my setup, the Opals I shot, and of some Drop Shadow
shots of Dave Steven’s “Comet Lady” are on my Web site at :

The Opals are at :

Love and God Bless
Home 214-321-6253
Cell 214-280-7775
Work 469-775-6650

Hi Randy,

What if you don’t want your shot to be straight-on perpendicular to
the subject? I think some of my most interesting professionally shot
slides are taken at maybe 70-80 degrees, as opposed to 90.


Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)