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I just took a roll of film of some new pieces. I have a Cannon
AE-1 (I’m still in the stone age) with a 38mm macro lens and a 4X
magnifier filter. I shot the jewelry outside on an overcast day
using oiled slate as a background. I’m doing this because I’m
getting a website and need to transfer them to a photo disc and
can’t afford to pay a pro $40 for each piece I have for sale.
Can anyone recommend a good software where I can crop these
images and maybe correct the color a little bit? I don’t want
to get into a whole lot of money with this. I asked my graphics
girl about scanning the jewelry like y’all were talking about
awhile back and she didn’t like that idea at all, much to my
dismay. I’d appreciate any feedback on using this archaic

Wendy Newman

Your graphics girl doesn’t know much. Check out <>
all the pieces were scanned at 4000 DPI, and saved as a tif and
sent to the web master who is blown away by the high quality of
the images I am sending him. Pat

Hi Wendy, I’ve been scanning jewelry with pretty good success. It
only works for flat items though. My scanner came with Adobe
photo deluxe, I use it for cropping and adjusting color. It works
quite well. You can export from the program in gif format also. I
have seen it for about $20 at various places on sale. It also has
a conveinient gallery setup in the program which makes it easy
to view all my pics quickly.



I have been using Paint Shop Pro 5.0 to edit images. It is very
intuitive and some reviews call it the poor man’s Photo Shop.
You can get a demo version from which is
good for 30 days. Cost is about $99 afterwards. There are very
vocal discussions going on now on both Artmetal and about digital cameras and scanning of
jewelry. While I’m currently stuck with scans, most everyone
agrees with your graphics girl.

Nancy <@nbwidmer >
ICQ# 9472643
Bacliff, Texas US on the Gulf Coast just blocks from Galveston Bay

I'd appreciate any feedback on using this archaic system. 

The most obvious thing I notice is your 38 mm macro. wrong
lens. The 38 mm gets you physically too close, giving you
distortion, which is then only magnified by those unfortunate add
on lenses. This system, once you’re close enough, will not give
you as good a shot, or enough depth of field. You want to be as
far away as possible in order to maximize depth of field, as
well as reduce reflections of the camera in the metal. And, a
longer working distance from the jewelry makes it a lot easier to
work with in general too. You want at least a “normal” lens or a
moderate telephoto lens with macro capability. the longer lenses
also have less distortion. I like a 100 mm macro. vivitar
makes a very nice one (their series 1 lenses) Been around
forever, and not too expensive. manual focus lenses, of course,
which is good for this stuff, so you can control what’s in focus.
If you can’t afford a new lens, but have your old standard 50 mm
lens, then use it with extension tubes. Or a lens reversing
ring (mounts the lens backwards on the camera, turning it into a
low distortion macro.) can do surprisingly well.

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe

Hello Wendy,

Seems to me the most archaic part of your system is your
graphics girl. I am a proponent of scanning jewellery having been
frustrated with the vagaries of conventional photography for
years. Of the many cameras I have used and owned the Canon was
one of my favourites, unfortunately the closer you get with a
camera, macro, magnifying lens the greater the spherical
aberration, loss of depth of field and other annoying effects.

This can be overcome by using a large format camera like a
Rolleiflex but a full size camera such as a Mamiya press is a
better choice. Yes I am that old. If you are not processing and
enlarging your own pictures you are losing about 90% of your
creative opportunity The only advantages that cameras have are
portability and artistic expression. A scanner of course
precludes the use of a model and most other display enhancements
which may not be to your liking. You will never be able to match
the incredible art of Harold and Erica van Pelt with a scanner.

If you wish to continue making photographs I would suggest a pin
hole modification as used by model railroad photographers. A
light box with multiple bulbs of known colour temperature is also
required even when you use daylight as your main light source. In
fact if you want to avoid reflections of your camera in the
highly polished jewellery surfaces you need to shoot with a light
box that allows you to place the camera in complete darkness
which may be difficult in daylight.

With that said I charge my customers $2.00 Cdn for a scanned
image prepared for a web site from the actual piece of jewellery
and they have complete control over the appearance. I also scan
and prepare from a photograph but I would mention that one
customer that had ‘professionally taken’ pictures that cost in
excess of $100 each abandoned them in favour of the superior
images I obtained by scanning. Not everyone likes my results
however, I have also had my pictures described as cold and
sterile? Judge for yourself at

You were asking opinions of software for enhancing and
correcting your pictures and I wish I could recommend some. I use
Adobe photoshop and Paint Shop Pro and find them both rather
crude. PSP at $100 US is many hundreds of $$s cheaper than Adobe
and is a superior product in versatility, try the free download

There is no software that will automatically correct the more
common photographic problems that I mentioned but you do have the
ability to build your own filters etc that will clean things up a
lot. Individual pixel manipulation takes forever but if you
insist on doing it install the keyboard mouse from your
accessibility options on the windows control panel, this will
allow you to move around a picture one pixel at a time.

good luck.
\ () || |/
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web site:

Vancouver, B.C. CANADA.

wendy, I’m going through the same thing myself. Are you saying
that you don’t have a scanner, so you can’t do your own scans?

If you are sticking to the web stuff, and are not producing a
catalogue, when you get your items scanned, you do not need to
use a drum scanner. A photographer friend of mine said you MUST
use one, but they cost anywhere from $40-$60 per picture to get
them scanned. Other friends, more on the graphics/computer side,
showed me the difference between a drum scan and a high end
flatbed scan on the web. Essentially, there is none, unless, you
are producing a print catalogue with pictures…

Unfortunately, I don’t know where you should go, or how much you
should pay to have your pictures scanned. Maybe you know someone
with a scanner, or with a contact. Or, maybe someone else on this
list could help you out with that. (I’m going to scan my
pictures in at work, we have a really high resolution flatbed

As far as software goes, we have Photoshop on our computer at
home which is great fun. You can touch up your pictures, and
even change the background! I would hightly recommend it.

have fun!!

Amery Carriere,
Assistant to the Director
Annenberg School for Communication
School of Communication
3502 Watt Way ASC304 F
LA, CA 90089-0281

phone: 213.740.0934
fax: 213.740.3913

Hi Wendy,

Microsoft Office 97 comes with a program called Photo Editor. It
does a great job for essentially being a “freebie” with the
suite. Adjustable levels of compression for JPEGs, which is
important for quality images, adjust DPI, scale images, fix
brightness, etc… all the features you would hope for in a
mid-range photo editing package.

If you have it, or can get it, and need help, don’t hesitate to
ask! (That goes for all you other folks, too!) :slight_smile:


Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)

There are jewelry photography systems on the market that allow
you to photograph your jewelry and the picture feeds right into
your PC - no scanner needed.

We sell the Gesswein Picture.Perfect Computer Imaging System for
this purpose and there are competitive units on the market now
too. When you look at systems though, be sure to ask for sample
pictures so that you can see the quality of the image. For
example our system is specifically for top quality imaging only
although it includes a catalog format for those who want to use
it. But you can take our images and put them into Microsoft
Word or Photoshop or any other program to make your own catalogs,
sell sheets or presentations.

I can email you some sample pics if you’re interested.

Elaine Corwin
VP Tech Services

If you really just want a small program to crop and adjust color
there are many that are cheap or free. try these freeware sites
and see if there is anything that might meet your needs.

I haven’t checked a couple of these out in a while so I
apologize if there are any bad links. Of all of these I like
nonags the best, they have a mix of freeware and shareware that
is not crippled, timed or full of annoying nag screens.

The next step up the cheap ladder are some really good shareware

Of course the more you spend the more you get…most of the
time. For just cropping and simple image tweaking most any
program will work but for posting of the web you will want to
reduce the file size for fast downloading without significantly
reducing image quality. I think there are some shareware and
freeware programs that will do that but it can be a hassle
switching between programs to do this. There are many commercial
programs in the $50 - $100 range that will do a fine job and add
a few extras that can make your graphics stand out. I use several
including Corel Photo Paint
8/i ndex.htm

Ulead Photo Impact (they have a free
trial download) Adobe Photo deluxe It was
free with the scanner I bought, not a great program but is very
good for fast image processing.

This should serve to confuse you completely :^) If you want any
more info you can e-mail me directly at

Kinko’s (on the West Coast), Krishna Copy (in the Bay Area) and
other copy/computer centers will usually scan for a fee.

Whether they will be willing to scan jewelry, I don’t know.

It seems to me that scanning jewelry over a long period would
potentially scratch the glass of the scanner.

At the current level of display technology, you do not need more
than 72dpi (dots per inch) resolution. (In contrast, to do
print-work, you’d need 300 dpi at minimum).

The scanners you can find in home offices should be capable of

I think Kinko’s charges $9/image to scan. If you’re planning on
scanning more than a few dozen (over the course of a year?) I’d
recommend a good digital camera instead. If all you are doing is
web-publishing, you won’t need “professional” quality. (again,
see the image at to see a
sample of an image created with a digital camera)

Hope that helps…


  Your graphics girl doesn't know much.  Check out
<> all the pieces were scanned at 4000 DPI, and
saved as a tif and sent to the web master who is blown away by
the high quality of the images I am sending him.  Pat  

OK. I did. Certainly, the dpi resolution is fine. So is the
color. You’re doing, of course, brightly colored and not highly
reflective (like metal) surfaces, so the difference between your
objects and actual flat art is not very much, from the scanners
perspective. And yet, the limits of the scanner still show quite
a bit, once you think what to look for. Consider your low bowls
page. The top one is a beatuful image. Is it of a flat tile?
Could be. The fact that it is a bowl must be taken on trust, as
it doesn’t leave any clue to this fact in the scan. The second
one down says it’s 4 inches high. There is absolutely NO visual
clue to this in the very pretty image. You say it’s a bowl, I’m
sorry. It’s a tile, from your scan. The third one down does
have some weird shadows, that make it appear either as a
depressed bowl or a raised top hat shape. Can’t tell. Not even
sure it’s a 3D object, but something at least is happening…
The last one comes closes, with that unfortunate bright
reflection giving it’s 3D nature finally some identity for the
viewer. But it’s too bad it has to do it with such a bright
highlight instead of some more sublte depth and shadow that one
gets with a well lit slide. And even then, my eye at least,
reads it as a raised circular area in the center with the outer
square edges slumped away from the raised center. Is that what
you made? Your scatter pins worked better, but then they are all
essentially flat, aren’t they. The top one has an unfortunate
highlight lower right, and some of the others have similar
artifacts of the process, but all in all, they’re OK. Not
great, but acceptable. Now then. scan a finger ring for me,
will you? See how well THAT works out…

I’m not trying to cut you down, here. Frankly, for your glass
objects, given the nature of your work, the scanner actually does
a pretty decent job, and the images are attractive. but when you
step back a moment and look at them, they still have problems
that are easily solved when actually composing a shot with
movable lights and a camera lens. These are pretty good. But
they could be, with the correct equipment doing the photography,
fantastic. Now, they’re not. And of course your webmaster, not
being a photographer or a craftsperson, probably would never
notice the problems with the image. He/she sees the sharp
resolution and nice colors, and doesn’t realize there’s more to
see that isn’t there. Ask an experienced crafts photographer
about your images, not a webmaster, if you want an informed

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe

HI! Well I went through the same thing. Cost me a fortune for
photos and scanning. I have a Dell 133 pentium, with 128 mgs of
Ram so I can make any corrections I need to in Photo Paint, a
flat bed scanner which is a Scan Ace III made by Pacific Image,
($900). I now scan jewelery and glass work direct on the bed of
the scanner at 4000 DPI. Much better than any 35 mm or digital
camera. Check out the photos on my web page at: Anyway, my web master is mucho
impressed with what I am sending him. Any other questions and I
am glad to help. Pat

    The most obvious thing I notice is your 38 mm macro. 
wrong lens.  The 38 mm gets you physically too close, giving
you distortion, which is then only magnified by those
unfortunate add on lenses.  This system, once you're close
enough, will not give you as good a shot, or enough depth of

It depends on what you’re shooting of course. I found that my
35 mm macro is great for shooting earings, but terrible for
necklaces. You’ve got about 2 inches of clear space to work
with. I usually shoot in daylight, using an Olympus OM10, a
tripod and a patch release, setting the f-stop to f11-f22. The
pictures come out great. I’ve gotten into the habit of taking
three shots of each piece at different f-stops. One usually
will come out better than the other two. I also usually use ISO
200 film which gets shot and developed at ISO 400. In other
words, I deliberately overexpose the film. If you take the film
to a specialty photo developer (not Black’s or chain photo
processor) you can ask them to develop the film at the higher

 Or a lens reversing ring (mounts the lens backwards on the
camera, turning it into a low distortion macro.) can do
surprisingly well. 

This was recommended to me as well. If you have really steady
hands you can hold the telephoto turned backwards up to your
camera. It’s important to note that if you use a reversing ring,
the electronic sensors that set your auto shutter speed etc.,
will not work properly, so you’ll have to take the photos

I have access to a photo scanner, which does photos, slides and
negatives. Best quality comes from scanning the negatives. The
software I use is Micrographix Picture Publisher.


Dianne Karg, B.A.A.I.D.
WRAPTURE wire jewellery
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Wendy, I tried to send you a scan of jewelry, but for some
reason it was returned as “undeliverable.” Anyway, I just wanted
to say, I’ve yet to have a problem scanning jewelry. What is
important is the RESOLUTION . . . optical 600x1200 for an
inexpensive scanner is good. You can go much higher and pay a
premium price.

I’ve not found many “graphic artists” to be savy with computers
. . .they are great people though!

Check with local photo shops. Many of them will scan pictures &
give you a 3 1/4" diskette with the images on it. Most of them
use an automated unit mfgd by Kodak to complete the task. The
store in our neighborhood charges$1.00 per picture.


Pat and everyone else: I’m a graphics professional of 25 years
and some of your info isn’t quite going to work for everyone.
First of all ALL web images are 72dpi. Frequently I see amateurs
building their own web pages with images of 150 dpi and up. All
this does is make anyone trying to look at your page very angry
for the LOOOONG wait while the images download. Virtually ALL
computer monitors are only capable of displaying at 72 dpi except
for high-end monitors that we graphics pros use and even then
they only go to 90 dpi maybe. Secondly, your work lends itself to
flatbed scanning because you have no mirror surfaces and deep
dimensions in your glass work. As soon as you introduce shiny
metal or reflective gemstones into a flatbed scanner you get crap
images. The reason being is that the light source moves along
your piece to give you the scan. This gives you really weird
lighting effects and can make your piece look really bad. If you
have pieces that are of some depth then you get parts that won’t
be in focus on the scan. I had the first jewelry artist website
ever on the internet and this is exactly how I originally scanned
my jewelry for the web. I constantly got queries on “what does
this work look like in real life, I can’t tell what your
jewelry really looks like.” Well, I decided to get serious after
that and did my own photography (having also photographic
experience) and guess whatmy sales skyrocketed! What I did
was used my Nikon slidescanner which unfotunately costs abut
$2000 and which I use in my graphics work. However, Wendy is
correct in sending her shots to be put on PhotoCD which is
extremely economical and gives you really “near pro” scans.
PhotoCD images tend to be a little bluish tinted which can easily
be corrected.

Thirdly, another way to go would be to have prints made and use
color negative film and use a flatbed scanner to scan the prints,
I’ve done this before also and it works pretty well and might
even be cheaper in the long run against PhotoCD which costs about
a buck an image, at least last time I researched it. You can buy
a faltbed scanner for $100 which will do just a dandy job for
this kind of use, and we have one like that also. Its prudent to
scan at say 150 or 200 dpi and then resized the image down to 72
dpi for web images; this seems to hold more detail by scanning
at a higher resolution. 4000 dpi is major overkill. For example,
a simple 2x2 inch image at 4000 dpi is 183 megabytes! A Zip
cartridge only holds 100 megabytes. Maybe you meant 400 dpi? :slight_smile:

Kickass Websites for the Corporate World
Crystalguy Jewelry
Recumbent Cyclist’s Advocacy Group

Thanks for your hints! The pictures came out O.K., but
definately not publication quality. I couldn’t get them to fill
the frame. I was also using f-5.6 and a cable release. The
opals and fire agates looked pretty good (but not as good as my
photographers made them look in Lapidary Journal). Next time
I’ll try that overexposing trick and maybe it’s time for a new
lens. This one doesn’t owe me a dime! Thanks again! Wendy Newman

Hello there,

Sorry, I do not know your name. My name is Dmitry, location NYC.
I’m jewelry designer on computer, use software “Jewel Cad” My web
site is:

I have scanner “Mustek”, cost $100 First you do preScan on 100
DPI resolution, then Scan from150-250 DPI it’s enough to make good
picture in .JPEG format. Later you can transform .JPEG to .GIF
format, .GIF smaller in kb If you have any questions, do not
hesitate to call me, or write email. at: @Dmitry_Goldfeld

my tel: (718)457-8408



 The pictures came out O.K., but definately not publication
quality.  I couldn't get them to fill the frame. 

Most 35 mm reflex cameras have innaccurate viewfinders, showing
you an image that not got the same borders as your slide will
have. You need to take some test shots to figure out just how
much to correct. Once you know you need to move in or out by
such and such an amount over what looks framed right thrugh the
camera, then it’s easy to adjust in future.

   I was also using f-5.6 and a cable release.  The opals and
fire agates looked pretty good (but not as good as my
photographers made them look in Lapidary Journal). 

Opals, fire agats, and stones with optical interference effects
and the like are going to be among the most difficult to
photograph objects you can find. You’re already bracketing the
exposures, but you might also try bracketing the F-stop. 5.6 is
generally a bit too wide open for most jewelry shots, where
depth of field is important. Most of my shots are at no wider
than f-16, and often f-22. At these apertures, exposure times are
long. A good solid tripod and a solid vibration free place to
work is essential. I lived in one place, once, where during the
day truck traffic outside would cause vibrations that ruined
shots. So all my photography went on after midnight… While
most of my metal work is shot in a light tent, with no direct
lighting outside of what filters through the tent, when doing
opals and the like, I add a small spotlight that shines directly
on the stone, positioning it so the fire or other effect I want
is most visible in the viewfinder. The trick is doing that
without then generating objectionable hot spots on the metal.
You have to play with it… If you can’t see it clearly through
the viewfinder, then it won’t be in the shot either. And preview
the shots as well, with the lens stopped down to where the shot
will actully be taken. Just looking through the lens before
taking the shot is usually through a wide open aperture, and will
look different. With very small apertures, you will have trouble
seeing through the viewfinder what’s gonna happen, but it’s still
a good idea to check it, maybe stopped halfway to the stop you’re
actually set at, just to see what’s going to happen on the
film… You can verify depth of field, and with phenominal stones
like opal, often the stone will appear differently as well. More
playing around to get the perfect shot, if need be. It’s not
really that time consuming. You just have to be as critical a
viewer through the camera as you were when being the designer
and artist making the work in the first place.

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe

Next time