Color Casting Experiment

by anna on June 15, 2013

in Anna's Blog

CandleWell, as you can tell by that picture on the left, I have been to IKEA. However, today’s post will not be about IKEA, it will be about color casting experiment that I performed.

I am sure most of you who make your own jewelry at least once came a across a piece which had too subtle of a color to be photographed successfully. When placed on a light background, such as white, color in such piece seems to disappear entirely or starts looking dirty. I had our Pink Opal Modern Geometric Necklace, which I needed to photograph for our online stores on pure white (R255G255B255) background. I tried a few of my regular tricks, but none of them seemed to work. Then I decided to try something new.

Pink Opal Modern Geometric Necklace - compilation

Last week we talked with my Facebook friend Aniko Kolesnikova who is a talented designer based in the UK. She was showing how she used reflectors to shine some light on darker parts of an artwork, which looks really great on solid surfaces. However, natural pink opal is a translucent stone, and shining light on it would do it no good, as light would just go through it. Instead, I decided to do a trick called color casting.  The principal is simple – transparent or translucent object placed on top of a solid color background is going to reflect this background throughout the object. I don’t know if others are doing that same thing; I came up with it myself while photographing various jewelry :).

I picked a piece of paper in the shade of pink close to the one of the opal but more intense, and started experimenting!

3This is how the necklace would come out being placed on a regular white background on which I photograph most of my pieces. As you can tell, this is pretty bad! 🙂

2Then I placed it on my pink paper, shiny side up. You can already see an improvement in the color. But I still was not satisfied with the result.

5Then I tried photographing it suspended (just from my work table lamp 🙂 ) while casting color on it with the shiny side of my pink paper. While I loved marvelous glowing color, translucent pink opal started looking rather flat, as shadows and light play were removed in this position.

4aAfter that, I combined these two methods: I placed opal on the pink paper flat to have the shadows, while holding another piece of pink paper next to it to cast color on it. And I loved the result! Finally, both, color and texture were present.

Pink Opal Modern Geometric Necklace - front 4Of course now I had to remove all this pink background in my graphic program (I work in Corel PhotoPaint most of the time) and add a fake reflection to the piece.

1When photographing the clasp, however, I decided to use a traditional reflector, in my case – just a piece of reflective gold paper. With metal clasp reflector produced wonderful results! As you can see, on the left clasp looks much darker and less vivid than on the right, even though they both were photographed using the same exposure.

Pink Opal Modern Geometric Necklace - claspPink Opal Modern Geometric Necklace - clasp 2

Removed the background and added a fake shadow to the clasp. On the left – without shadow, on the right – with it :).

Pink Opal Modern Geometric Necklace - clasp 3

Those of you who are fans of gradient backgrounds – it can be done, too! 🙂 Replace white background with desired gradient and adjust shadow transparency to be a bit darker. I have also applied Feather effect to the clasp before using the shadow – just to erase edge pixels and have it be integrated into the background more organically.

Pink Opal Modern Geometric Necklace - model 2That’s it, folks, now go edit your own marvelous creations! Enjoy!

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