The issues surrounding professional photographic images have become increasingly more complex and diverse in recent years. From the accelerating evolution of digital images to the ethics of image manipulation, the world of photography is changing rapidly.
In 2010 I was discussing these issues extensively with Andy Cooperman and Brigitte Martin as we plan the Professional Development Seminar.
In 2022 I am witness to the success of a great image. Good or bad, the background can make a huge difference to the overall impression of your work.
In the spirit of exploration and experimentation, this post will compare examples of jewelry on white and graduated grey-to-dark backgrounds. The photographs are side by side. Some pairs of images are by the same photographer. Other pairs are by two different photographers.
I will show you the images without commentary or photo credit to avoid any bias in your evaluation of the images. Please add your comments below.
Commentary on the images will be discussed. You're welcome to comment about the photos so that your opinion can be included in the final post.
Disclaimer: The images in this post may have been cropped or re-sized in an attempt to make the objects in the photos a similar size for side by side comparison. The merit or demerit of leaving more background space around the object will be discussed in another post as a separate issue.
Here is the first pair:
Image 1a. Image 1b.
The brooch in the above photos is “Sleeper Cell” © 2009 Andy Cooperman. Burlwood, sterling, gold leaf, stain.
Image 2a. Image 2b.
The brooch in the above photos is “Potter” ©2009 Andy Cooperman. Burlwood, sterling, 18k, stain.
Image 3a. Image 3b.
Pendant in the above photos: Black Heart ©2009 Jennifer Hall Sterling silver, silk ribbon
Image 4a. Image 4b.
Ring (above) ©2009 Andy Cooperman. Sterling, gold, copper, copal amber
The next photos compare similar but not identical jewelry on different backgrounds.
Image 6a. Image 6b.
Octagonal Bracelet ©2009 by Harriete Estel Berman (left image)
Oreo "Unlock the Magic © 2009 by Harriete Estel Berman (right image)
In the images below, this is not the same but very similar necklace "Orbit Black and White Identity Necklace" © by Harriete Estel Berman. I did my best to make the images the same size, but obviously, each of the photographers chose different angles for capturing this necklace. Which approach do you like better?
Image 7a. Image 7b.
As a result of a comment about the use of "colored backgrounds" in photographic images, I have added the images below.
Image 8a. Image 8b.
Patchwork Quilt, Small Pieces of Time ©1989 by Harriete Estel Berman (left and right images)
In the next post, Tuesday (next week), I will reveal the photographers' names for the images (along with links to their websites).
In the third post in this series on Thursday, I will discuss comments from the readers including the differences in backgrounds, angles, and lighting. There are many issues potentially to consider in these comparisons.
These issues and more will be discussed at the Professional Development Seminar titled: Photography in Flux: Technical Issues, Media and Style.
This post was updated on February 5, 2022.