Jewelry Photography with an iPhone!

www.annbrooks.net-silver Tibetan Butterfly pendant on shell mala necklace

 

 

For several years I’ve used my Canon 40D on a tripod to photograph my jewelry. Recently I’ve been getting lazy and sometimes use the camera in my pocket, my iPhone 4s! Here’s my latest necklace and the photos which I’ve used in my online shops.

Have to confess I’m thrilled with the way this necklace turned out. Loved the design challenge of how to show this gorgeous Tibetan Butterfly pendant off to it’s best. Actually, before I was out of the gem show where I found the pendant, I knew I had to find a shell mala with beads to harmonize with the beautiful old shell cabochon at the center of the butterfly.

Turns out that shell malas are getting a bit rare but I did find one. Unfortunately the one  I found had been stained and covered with a very shinny clear coat. I wanted natural shell – which happily got solved by putting the beads in a tumbler with sand for a few hours.

You can see the necklace description and all the photos I used for it at my online Zibbet shop here.

Further confessions. I still think the jewelry photos I’ve taken with the Canon 40D are better but, hey the Apple 4S works! Take a look around my Zibbet shop and see what you think – the Tibetan Butterfly has the only photographs I did with the iPhone.

For another comparison, on my website, www.annbrooks.net, all photos were taken with the 40D or one of the Canon Digital Rebel series.

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Dia de los Muertos altar exhibition at Art Works Downtown

The art center, Art Works Downtown is such a stimulating place to have a studio, especially one right down the hall from the gallery – you can see the “Ann Brooks” shingle just above my door on the right.

The communal altar above was created by students at San Rafael High School. Detail is below, left.

 This selection of Day of the Dead altars is from both groups, as in the case of the San Rafael High students and individual artists or general public who wish to honor departed friends and family members.

Several of the altars honor the people of San Rafael of the past as well as early settlers like Don Timeteo Murphy.

The exhibition was juried by Sharon Christovich, Folk Art Gallery owner, and Carol Durham, Art Works Downtown studio artist.

Above and right, an altar which invites the public to write their own wishes, prayers for people dear to them – see the detail below on the left.

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The altar directly below by Petrina W. was given the Jurors’ Award. In it she pays homage to so many friends and relatives she has lost. She writes about them with such elegance that one ends up breathless over the losses she has suffered, yet wonders at her open, friendly personality!

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To the left, Patrick Gavin Duffy has created an altar honoring one of San Rafael’s earliest founders, Don Timeteo Murphy, the legendary six foot, 300 pount, red-headed Irishman who was granted the “Rancho de las Gallinas” and most of the former mission lands by the Mexican Governor. This altar references items from the Rancho period when this western edge of the ‘world’ system was Spanish, not American.

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Fine Arts Department student at College of Marin, Novato. Isabel Hayes’ altar “Home is Where We Rest Our Bones” is a memorial dedicated to the people of San Rafael, then and now. Isabel calls San Rafael her home.

Friday, November 11th Art Walk will be the closing reception for this very stimulating show.

All photos by Ann’s iPhone 4s with post production in Photoshop.

 

Above: detail from “Home is where we rest our bones” by Isabel Hayes. 

1950s North African market influences my jewelry today

The North African souq which was to influence my travels, my photography and my jewelry for years to come. Taken with a Kodak Baby Brownie.

I was a very impressionable teenager in the 1950s, when I first set eyes on a North African souq.

My grandmother and I had been traveling independently in Europe, from Ireland and Scotland, south through England, France and Spain. It was not all that long after World War II and Europe, itself seemed very “different” to this American teenager.

But I was in no way prepared for what I would see across the Straights of Gibraltar in Morocco, in Tangiers. The French were still present there and it was not unusual to see a European woman pushing a stroller on the same sidewalk with an Arab woman, covered from head to toe, with a toddler in hand. And Coca-Cola signs in both French and Arabic — on the same sign! The snake charmer! I found it all quite amazing.

But it was the sight of the the Arabs gathered in a souq, that North African market, that sunk deeply into my psyche. That view would influence where I chose to travel in future decades and even the jewelry I make today, a half century later!

It was my first view of how other people in the world lived that seemed in no way connected to the life I had known growing up in California. It stirred my my curiosity, my passion. I knew I wanted to see, learn more about other people, far away lands.

But then, time out to marry, raise a family and I was pretty tied down for two decades. I did manage to take my own children to Europe in 1973.

The yearning did not go away. Mexico was near and satisfied some of that need. Finally, in 1989 I saw India for the first time, but it was not till 2005 that I was able to return to India and made contacts with a Muslim family in Rajasthan that I would end up doing a photo documentary about their teenage daughter the following year.

That North African souq had a major influence on my current jewelry World Peace Collection ” . . . Creating a vision . . . beads from the world’s cultures and religions coming together in harmony.”

To my surprise, I’m doing jewelry photography … some history

Jewelry copyright 1997 Ann Brooks

To see some of my history as a jeweler and why I was surprised … see this January 2010 post on my photography blog.

~ jewelry Ann Brooks, photo Hap Sakwa.