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Jury Slides - taking your own


#1

I’m in a panic. I’m running behind on my pieces that I’m finishing
up for some jury deadlines - actually I have 7 deadlines and they
are all next week. I’d really like to hear from those that have
taken their own jury slides successfully and have been accepted to
higher end shows using slides they created themselves.

I don’t think I’m going to make it as far as finishing the pieces,
Fed Exing them to the photographer, getting them back and FedExing
them off to the juries.

I’ve got a Nikon 5700. I have experience taking my own pictures,
getting slides made and being accepted into juried shows - some of
them the more high-end retail shows. But I’m worried about the
high-end wholesale - ACC and Buyer’s Market, etc.

I need some encouragement. I’d love to hear from those that were
accepted using their own slides. It would relieve some of my stress
and give me a couple more days to take my time finishing up a couple
pieces that need some finishing touches.


#2

Hi Catherine,

I'd really like to hear from those that have taken their own jury
slides successfully and have been accepted to higher end shows
using slides they created themselves. 

I now take all my jury photos myself and I am far from being a
professional photographer. Using these self-taken images, I have been
accepted into ACC shows (including Baltimore). The trick, as always,
is to maximize the image in the frame, focus precisely, use effective
lighting and a plain, simple background. Hmmm. I guess that’s at
least four tricks, isn’t it :-).

Anyway, you can see three of my shots on my temporary home page at
http://www.bethrosengard.com (I’m working on a permanent site behind
the scenes which I hope will be published in another month). I should
have been a little closer to maximize the pieces even further, but
they’re certainly acceptable. (And, now that I take a closer look,
the earrings are off center but I never used that image for jurying.)

Beth


#3
http://www.bethrosengard.com

Thanks Beth - Those are great pictures and great pieces of jewelry.
I think if I’m just patient about it, I should be able to make this
work.

Catherine


#4

Dear Beth,

se self-taken images, I have been accepted into ACC shows
(including 

Those are really good. Much better than any I ever managed to get.
What camera did you use and what kind of lighting?

Janet


#5

Hi Janet,

Those are really good. Much better than any I ever managed to get.
What camera did you use and what kind of lighting? 

Thanks! I received a few posts off-list which I answered yesterday
so instead of repeating myself, I hope you don’t mind if I reproduce
my answers. Here goes:

Just read that you took your own photo's  and was curious if you
did them with a digital camera...and if so ...what kind ? 

The pictures you saw were taken with a Nikon SLR with 105mm macro
lens. However, I just bought a Canon Eos Rebel XT digital SLR with
50mm macro and plan to use that from now on. I’m still just learning
how it works.

I saw your post on Orchid and looked at your photographs they are
great! If you don't mind sharing, what background do you use to get
that lovely rose colored gradient effect? 

The background you saw was created in Photoshop. It’s black a third
of the way down and then shades to that mauve-ish color. A friend
helped me with it (I didn’t have a photo imaging program at the
time). After it was created to my satisfaction, he made me a slide of
it. After that, all I had to do was take it to a print shop and have
copies made of it in whatever size I needed, mostly 4 x 6 (in a matte
finish). Then I would scotch tape one of the background prints to a
piece of cardboard and poke holes for earring posts, etc. It didn’t
matter how many I ruined because I could always make more.

However, now that I have the digital camera, I’m going to do it
differently. I’m still experimenting, but see here:

http://www.bethrosengard.com/purplewhite.jpg

I initially shot it with the new camera on a grey card, then
downloaded it into the computer. I used a photo imaging program (I
still don’t have Photoshop so I used the program that came with the
camera: ArcSoft Photo Studio) to remove the background. Then I
created a background I liked and superimposed the image on it.

By the way, I usually shoot with my camera on a tripod. Since I was
just experimenting, however, I shot this one hand held and using
the camera’s flash instead of my regular lighting setup! I couldn’t
believe how good it looked, although there are a lot of hot spots
because of the flash.

I read your post on Orchid with interest, and really am impressed
with your pictures.  Would you be willing to describe your photo
setup? 

It’s pretty primitive! If I felt like spending the money, I’d
probably replace it with a Light Dome setup. Anyway, I use pieces of
white foam core to create a box that’s open on one side. Since I have
a bad neck, I like to shoot straight on instead of looking down, so I
place the box on a table with the open side facing me, and I elevate
it to a comfortable height. (You could, of course, modify this to be
able to shoot on a horizontal surface, instead of a vertical one.)

I then prop up my piece of cardboard (containing the taped-on
background image with the jewelry on it) inside the box. As I said
above, I keep the earrings in place by poking holes for the posts.
For pins, etc., I use Quake Hold (it’s a putty-like, reusable
substance).

I use two hardware store-bought floodlights on tripods (bought at a
yard sale) with tungsten bulbs. Each spot has a light diffuser (12"
round, bought at a camera store) rigged up in front of it. (I don’t
remember why I started using the tungsten bulbs originally, but I
had to use a filter on the camera to compensate. That’s only
necessary with film; I won’t need it now for the digital camera.) So
when I’m standing in front of the camera (which is attached to a
tripod), I have one light to my left, one to my right and the foam
core box directly in front of me.

The biggest disadvantage to this setup is that I have to break it
down after every session. I don’t have the space to keep it set up
permanently.

HTH, Beth


#6

Thank you Beth, that is really so inspiring. Altho I love the photos
taken by the guy I use, it’s not the least bit convenient to get to
him and often I have to let great pieces go to the people who are
paying for them without getting a picture of them. I’m going to try
to set up to take some of my own. It’s been a very long time since I
last tried…

Yours,
Janet


#7

Hi Beth,

You have been so generous sharing your incredible photos, thank you,
but I have one more question. You said you removed the background and
superimposed the image onto another background. Can you explain how
you did that?

Betty Belmonte


#8

Hi Betty,

You said you removed the background and superimposed the image
onto another background. Can you explain how you did that? 

Laboriously! Seriously, that’s the tricky part. I’m told that if I
had photoshop it would be a lot easier but…

ArcSoft’s Photo Studio has a tool called the magic wand. If you use
it to click on any color in your image in this case, the background
color it will select all contiguous and/or non-contiguous (depending
on how you set it) occurrences of that same color. Then you hit
delete.

So if you shoot on a perfectly plain background and avoid creating
any shadows, you should be able to eliminate the background in one
"pass" of the magic wand. Achieving that is not as easy in practice
and there can be shadows or other color variations which have to be
deleted additionally by a combination of the magic wand and the
eraser tool.

Hope this helps.
Beth