About 20 years ago I made my first camera setup for shooting
jewelry. It consisted of a copy stand with a Pentax 35 mm camera &
Macro lenses. I used “domes” made from translucent plastic lighting
fixtures… They generally cost less than $5.00 at lighting stores.
Ten years later I setup a shadow box similar to Charles
Lewton-Brain’s directions in “Small Scale Photography.” I still use
both the copy stand and the shadow box every day. Each has it’s
My wife teaches Photoshop, Illustrator, Publisher and many other
programs at our local college. I’ve talked her into doing a small
scale digital camera workshop for jewelers with an intro to basic
Photoshop techniques early next year.
The recent thread on using the Rubbermaid cake server as a diffusing
dome had me thinking about other possibilities for half a dozen or
more students. I’ve since noticed everything from trash cans to
boxes made of suitable translucent plastics – but today I came
across by far the best!
I had to go to Radio Shack for a component I needed to fix a wax
pen, and next door was a brand new “Dollar Tree” store. I had a few
minutes to kill while I waited for the salesman to see if they could
find me the part I needed, so I wandered in. There was a stack of
mixing bowls that are the perfect size, shape and material for
diffusing domes – and as it is throughout this store everything is
$1… I bought a handful.
Then went by Home Depot and picked up “L” brackets in the lumber
dept. to mount the cameras. These were $1.69 each – including 2
mounting screws and a serrated thumb screw for the camera. Each
complete dome ready to mount a digital camera costs $2.69 + tax! It
took me twenty minutes to cut the access hole for the camera lens
with a hole saw and drill the holes to mount the “L” bracket on 6 of
Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts