Color and Shadows

Yes, Eric. I know I goofed the RGB “B” standing for blue. My brain
was already into the CMYK thought by the time my keyboard finished
typing the RGB part.

One thing I did not say about the colored shadows that appear in my
jewelry photography is that I use a scanner rather than a camera
whenever possible. I think it does a more accurate job most of the
time than my camera. (However, a newer camera might do better than
my scanner.) The scanner’s very bright light shines through anything
transparent, which naturally will cast a colored shadow. This
shadow is sometimes so brightly colored that you can hardly see where
the bead edge ends and the shadow begins. The brighter colors in
transparent beads, like glass, are the worst. I use Photoshop to
clean it up. I also sometimes use it to make the scan look more like
what the human eye sees. Yes, sometimes this means a color
adjustment. In some cases, if left in the un-retouched state, the
photo would not be a good representation of the item. So photo
re-touching is really not an adulteration of the product but a method
of correcting errors in the translation from scan to screen or screen
to paper, in the case of catalogs.

One additional thing that comes to mind about photography and
catalogs is that people have the expectation that “if it’s in print,
it must be true.” This thinking applies to photos as well. In the
case of stone beads (my business), there is usually quite a
difference from bead to bead, and strand to strand, due to the nature
of the natural material or the person who did the work of making the
bead. If something is machined in a factory, then you will see
uniformity. Mother Nature does not make things that way. Instead,
stones will reveal a wonderful play of variety. This variety offers
the jeweler and craftsman and opportunity to make one-of-a-kind
pieces as well as provides texture within a single work. I think
that’s one reason many people like natural materials in jewelry.

It is certainly disappointing when one orders from a catalog and
gets something that looks quite different. The vendors who sell by
catalog put a great deal of effort and money into their work, but it
is inevitable that some items in the catalog will not be accurately
represented. This is especially true of natural materials. That’s
why I like the web based catalog, because when a second shipment of
something arrives that looks quite different than the first one, I
can take a new photo, upload it, and voila - good representation
again. This is something you just can’t do with a paper catalog.

Sun Country Gems