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Taking images of small reflective objects like beads

Updated on October 21, 2014

A small tutorial on taking images of small objects, like beads and!

Taking images of very small objects, such as beads or coins, can be a bit of a challenge. A little finesse is required, patience and time, but money really isn't. In this tutorial, I am hoping to help with all of this a bit. Yes, you heard be correctly, this can be fairly cheap too! I am not a photographer and do not claim to be, but over time have figured out that taking images of beads really isn't all that complicated. This is an article is for the frugal (prefer that over cheap), small time photographer, that just needs some images for their website, blogs or squid pages. And, again, I'm not a photographer, nor do I claim to be,it took a little tweaking and figuring this all out, so I thought I'd share from my experience.

Currently, we use a very old camera, Sony Mavica, that if it breaks, I may cry, a lot, okay, let's be honest, I'll be lost. It still uses those old black discs called floppy drives, often an "A" drive on the computer. ( comments please on, what are those?!? Yes, I could upgrade, I suppose, but this camera does exactly what I need and understand how it works. I have seen our camera on Ebay for as little as $5! This only proves that good images don't take a huge pocket book! You see, the web can only take up to so many pixels and that is it. You can certainly upload larger to download for printable, but the image one sees on their computer, can only have so many pixels...the rest are a waste and slow down the website they are posted on.

Here are some setting tips for your camera:

1. Always get a camera that can go as low as possible in pixels, pictures for websites, such as ours, don't need 10 megapixel graphics, in fact, that will slow down the websites down, if not crash your server and your site. Our setting is 640 X 480 and there isn't mega in that.

2. Get some goose neck style lamps and some really bright, preferably sunlight style light bulbs (this may take a couple of tries to get the right ones)

3. Make a photo box out of white foam board, put a bottom and 3 sides on the box. You can also buy photo boxes, but this is what I did. Then put a thin layer of white cloth, where the light can come through if you want a more dampened affect.

4. Aim the lights into the box and set the white balance, it's usually a button on the camera or in the settings. This will tell it that the background is white.

5. Set the macro button, usually looks like a tulip flower, a button on the camera or in the settings. What this does is allow the camera to focus in better on the tiny objects, such as beads and capture the detail without being blurred.

6. Get a photo editing program, we use one from 2000, so it doesn't have to be fancy. And, frankly, I'm not going to take a class on how to use my photo editing program, but that's me, again, not a photographer. There are also many online places like photobucket that you can use to edit and even store your photos.

7. Crop your photos in the editor, adjust the contrast and brightness as needed to get the background white and the images to be clear (If your going for a white background.)

A viola! This should get you started on creating clear, defined pictures for your bead or coin collection. To add even more dimension, you can add a black shiny plastic on the bottom, which will give a reflection and have the beads or coins really pop!

As you can see we use a white background, making it a bit easier.

There are a varsity of image editors out there, many are even free to use, so picking a white background just seemed easy, it allows the images to "pop" and the website isn't to busy or distracting.

from the article
from the article

Thank you for my Angel Blessing!!

I was angel blessed by squid angel, angels have a very important spot in my heart. I'll have to write on that too! But, thank you jwncoexist! And, she has an awesome article regarding plastic that everyone needs to read! Here's a link to it it:

As a former Plastic's Engineer, gone entrepreneur, I was BLOWN away! Glad I got out of that! Think I'll stick with beads!

This is daria369's image
This is daria369's image

Angel Blessing #2

Thank you!

I'm very new to squidoo, still trying to figure it all out! And, angels hold a very special part of my heart. Thank you Daria369 for blessing my lens. Obviously, it needs a little work, but I'm working on figuring it all out. Be sure to check out her lenses, they are amazing!

Squidangel Blessing #3

Wow! I'm so new and still figuring things out, but I've been blessed by 3 angels!

skiesgreen squidblessed

our lens! She wrote a wonderful article, that is close to my heart, on child abuse.

Be sure to check it out! It's a horrible thing but something that is rampid in

this country and needs to be ended!

Click here to find it! The image was used from her article, I hope she doesn't

mind. Thank you and God Bless to all the survivors and victims of this horrible


Squidangel came by again!

Thank you Terriann-bead at home

Thank you so much for linking us into some of your beading pages, how wonderful! Terri has a fine article called beading for beginners, which has some great videos and technique ideas, that I think would be a great benefit to our followers out there! She also has some other great lenses on beading such as basic beading and so many more. Be sure to check Terri's lenses out! There's alot of learning that can be done and some great basic techniques in the beading world! I'll put up a link on our facebook to your squidoo articles!

The website where our pictures are displayed offers a wide selection of fold over magnetic clasps, slider beads and watch faces for jewelry makers. Our images are all taken in house and not done by a professional photographer, however, we think they aren't that bad.

Should you have any questions regarding taking pictures of beads

Leave a comment and we'll be happy to answer, if we can.

Did you learn something?

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    • bead at home mom profile image

      Teri Hansen 6 years ago

      I really liked this simple explanation on taking pics of small items. This is one of many challenges for me is getting good clear close up shots of my beads and beadwork. Great job and welcome to Squidoo you're off to a great start.

    • RCGraphicsDesign profile image

      RCGraphicsDesign 6 years ago

      Lighting is so important. The best lighting of a poor subject is so much better than poor lighting of a great subject. Thanks for the lens.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      I've always found that having good lighting really helps with the product photography! Great job on your product photos.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Good ideas here for photographers. Blessed and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012. Hugs

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      Great tips, SO useful and simple - thank you!! :)

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 6 years ago

      I like these handy bead ideas

    • teamunited12 profile image

      teamunited12 6 years ago

      Nice lens....looks like you do know what you're doing...ah

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 6 years ago from Valencia, California

      Nice starter

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 6 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Good information ---thanks

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 6 years ago

      great work

    • damoiselle profile image

      damoiselle 6 years ago

      Useful things to know, thanks.

    • mobileboutique lm profile image

      mobileboutique lm 6 years ago

      @Scarlettohairy: I struggled too and refused to take a photo class. My images aren't always perfect, but better than they were! Just takes a little tweaking :)

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I love your method; it sounds like something I could do! I struggle with taking good close up photos of crafts and beads and jewelry. I need to try your tips!

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 6 years ago

      This is really nice of you to share this technique, I have many times tried to took some picture of some jewelry that I have but they all look so unnatural and look deem. I am going to try this method. Thank you so much!

    • MissionBoundCre profile image

      MissionBoundCre 6 years ago

      So needed this information. Thank you

    • MissionBoundCre profile image

      MissionBoundCre 6 years ago

      So needed this information. Thank you

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 6 years ago

      Thank you for publishing these excellent techniques for taking photos of small things.

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 6 years ago

      Excellent information, thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great photos and tips! Welcome to Squidoo!

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 6 years ago

      wow, those photos are brilliant - I'm so impressed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You've been pinned! Thanks for the helpful photo tips!

    • CherryTriggerCola profile image

      CherryTriggerCola 6 years ago

      Awesome lens! Those are great pictures!

    • profile image

      flipflopju 6 years ago

      These are some great tips that photographers and small business owners could really use to promote their products.

    • Blkeeslar profile image

      Billie Keeslar 6 years ago from Mississippi

      Great tutorial. Thanks

    • LewesDE profile image

      LewesDE 6 years ago

      This is a well put together lens!

    • LewesDE profile image

      LewesDE 6 years ago

      This is an awesome lens!

    • PaulWinter profile image

      PaulWinter 6 years ago

      Great advice for taking photos of small items. Your photos look very professional

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 6 years ago from Maryland

      It's hard to take good photos...I didn't know about some of the things you talk about here. I definitely learned something...I didn't even know what the macro button was for! Great tutorial, short and to the point! Thanks!

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 6 years ago

      Very nice indeed!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Beautiful, and great instructions!

    • mobileboutique lm profile image

      mobileboutique lm 6 years ago

      Thanks everyone! I'm very new at this and hearing what I have to say is helpful!

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 6 years ago

      very nice explanation of how to get a clean white background.

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 6 years ago from California

      This is good information. Your bead photos are great!


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