Process Blog

If it's stupid but it works, it ain't stupid.

Photographing enamels is tricky, given their reflective surface and potential depth.  In particular, I was interested in taking pictures of pieces in progress so that I could create time-lapse gifs, preferable something fixed like a lightbox but smaller.  I don't have a great camera, or a lot of room for a setup, but I did manage to think of something.  Access to a bandsaw, some scrap wood and MDF, a clip light I wasn't using, glue, screws, wire, spraypaint, and a leftover Chinese takeout container later, I had my setup:

 The gray piece was a clear lid, but I sprayed it from underneath with a neutral gray spraypaint.  By using a midtone, it keeps both light and dark pieces from being drastically over/underexposed, as might happen with a white or black background.

The gray piece was a clear lid, but I sprayed it from underneath with a neutral gray spraypaint.  By using a midtone, it keeps both light and dark pieces from being drastically over/underexposed, as might happen with a white or black background.

 I line up the markings and put the piece on the outlined oval (I'm working with multiple pieces of the same size/shape) to make for consistent images and easier compiling.

I line up the markings and put the piece on the outlined oval (I'm working with multiple pieces of the same size/shape) to make for consistent images and easier compiling.

 The white plastic diffuses the light and make for softer illumination with less glare.

The white plastic diffuses the light and make for softer illumination with less glare.

 The wooden frame keeps my phone/camera in the correct position without shaking.

The wooden frame keeps my phone/camera in the correct position without shaking.

 This is the shot resulting from the setup, with no editing done.  I also clearly didn't wipe the dust off the piece.

This is the shot resulting from the setup, with no editing done.  I also clearly didn't wipe the dust off the piece.

The camera in this case is my cell phone, which is of far better quality than the actual digital camera I have, hence the rectangular frame on top of the white container.  It slots into the top, and the camera lens lines up with the hole in the container. 

It may look like a kludgy version of the Enterprise, but it works!  Pretty well, actually.  Just remember: if something is stupid, but works, it isn't stupid.