Jasper & Love

I owe you an update - here's a few new items from the backlog, with many more to come. Stay turned for more later this summer!


Agate gold dangle earrings


Carnelian dangle earrings

14kt gold earrings.jpg


Glass dangle earrings


Quartz gold dangle earrings

When you convert (from point-and-shoot to SLR)


You've spent a lot of time with your old camera, but everything was auto. Now you have a dSLR in your hands, and the options are overwhelming. You want to use M (Manual), but isn't there a way to baby step into it? Yes.  


1. Aperture

You can start your transition with A (Aperture priority) or S (Shutter priority). Aperture controls how big the hole is that lets light into your camera. Bigger number, smaller hole (think of it as a fraction, and the number you see is the denominator). So an aperture of 5.6 is letting in lots of light, and an aperture of 36 is letting in only a tiny bit of light. Bonus - aperture also controls your depth of field. Do you want ALL THE THINGS to be in focus, #anseladams? You need a bigger number. Do you want only one thing in focus, #portraits? Get a smaller number and prep for pretty bokeh in the background. 


2. Shutter

Maybe you don't care about depth of field. What you care about is capturing motion, and shutter speed is your tool of choice. Cool. Larger numbers mean faster shutter speed - 500 means 1/500th of a second. Are you looking to purposefully blur your images, #aftermyownheart? Slow your shutter to 1/10 or slower. I've used 10 second exposures on the highway (I wasn't driving, promise), 1/3 second for koi splashing around, and 1 second for walking texture images. Play! 


3. ISO

High ISOs mean noise in your image, so I aim for super low ISOs (400 or less). If you've set your ISO to auto, check your images every so often to see what you're getting. If your ISO is over 400, give your images more light to get that number lower. 


With me so far? Good. A few more:


4. Focus

I use auto-focus as much as possible. What if your camera wants to focus on the center of your viewfinder, and you want to focus on something in the corner? Move your corner subject to the center, press the shutter halfway to focus, then move the subject back where you want it and press the rest of the way. That should keep the object of your desire focused. Want to focus on something super close, and your camera is just obsessing about the background? Try manual focus. If that doesn't work, you might just be closer than your lens is capable of focusing. Move your feet to fix that. 


5. Watch Your Borders

Borders can separate a decent image from a good image. If you've found something worth shooting, check the image after you shoot, and let your eye circle the border edges. Is there anything distracting? A bright spot, a dark spot, a smudge - anything that distracts from your subject? If so, reshoot the image to remove that. (Or worst case, remove in post-processing.)


6. Light

Where is your light source? In front of you, giving you a backlit subject? Behind you, giving you a front-lit (#boring) subject? Straight to the side? You can do a lot with light - do it on purpose. 


7. Composition. 

Remember the rule of thirds, then remember that rules are meant to be broken. (But don't think you can break a rule you never learned as well as someone who learned the rule then broke it.) Look for triangles, patterns, and don't decapitate. 


What's most helpful to you? 

Jasper & Love

A few of you have asked how I name my pieces. Just kidding - no one has asked, but I think it's pretty interesting. So let's go!

Lila I have to start my saying I've been pining after these stones for weeks before I found and purchased them. Wouldn't mind if they were a bit more saturated, but in this case, it works really well to let the garnet be saturated and let the glass just chill in the background. To name these, I typed "purple" into google translate and did my normal strategy - clicked to a random language translation. Who knew? "Lila" means "purple" in Filipino.

Viola You guessed it - "viola" means "violet" in Italian :) I love the tropical colors in this pair, including my favorite shade of chartreusy green. Can you smell the summer breeze yet? 

Kima I'll be honest, I don't write down my methods, so I'm literally piecing together memories as I write this post. I remember starting with "goldfish" on this one, because the large glass bead looks like a fishbowl with an ornate goldfish inside. And yes - when you translate "goldfish" into Amharic, you get ወርቅማ ዓሣ which sounds like werik'ima asa. And I liked the "kima" part :)

Pilar No translation story for these guys - it's more the matching color palette and personality of these hoops and the name "Pilar" (which I love). Excited to find more homes for this set of recycled glass stones.

Jasper & Love

Well, hello then. It's been awhile. I feel like an elf, busy working away in preparation for the holidays! 

These lovely asymmetrical earrings are jasper from head to toe - three different kinds.


My very first lapis lazuli earrings! They seem like going-out earrings, but actually pair well with laidback sweatshirt weekends, too. 


Never bored of playing with this shape.


You'll have to let me know if the concept is coming through on these. Do you see a flower at all? Is it working? 


Jasper & Love

Let's call this a "Making Of" or "Behind the Scenes" story. You know me, I don't like stuff. I like multi-purpose objects that store nicely, not bulky one-use-only things like studio lighting or elaborate photography props. 

So how do I shoot my product photos for Jasper & Love, like this one? 


Simple! First, use natural light ALWAYS. This is more difficult half the year when I'm only home during daylight on weekends.

Second, white reflects light. I keep a light source on one side and a piece of white paper on the other, to keep the shadow from getting too dark. As below, white paper below the set is also helpful.

Third, glass! I love glass backdrops, because the surface abstracts whatever is actually there. This will become more interesting in following images.

Once more with feeling! This time I'm shooting toward the window, instead of straight back into the white.

I adore this shot. The warm tones in the earrings pop because the background is so blue. It would be better if the background were more blurred - I'm working on that. 

Using a low fstop blurs the background window, and using a glass vase abstracts it further while being visually less distracting than the black earring holder.

Here's the final shot. Now that you know it's there, you can see the window frame, right? 

Similar setup, as seen from above. Instead of shooting into the window, this time I'm shooting perpendicular to the window, with glass-in-front-of-white-paper as the backdrop.

Here's the final shot. While I love the abstracted nature of the previous, you can see that a white backdrop is less distracting. And adding the glass makes it less boring and impersonal than a simple white sheet backdrop. (I tried that, it looked robotic.

Happy shooting! 


Cheers :)