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December 2011

Panic over Google+ Learn and Sync with Facebook and Twitter.

Have you noticed that Google+ is coming up at the top of the GOOGLE search results?

Really? Yes, really.  I just began to realize it last week. The Google+ at the top of search results for my name is completely disproportionate to the infrequent activity on my Google+ account (which I hardly ever use). 

Well now I have a explanation from Ariane in the comments on this post (below). The
skewed search result only happens when you search for yourself when you're logged into Google. This is very good to know! Now I wonder what happens when people do a search and they are logged into Google+?

Either way, this has forced me to take action. My Google+ profile has to be better if people might click there before my web site....YIKES!!!!!!!!

So this is what I recommend to get a handle on this new social networking platform.

LYNDA picture120x60-lynda2Use the 7 day free trial on to learn all the features of your Google + profile including how to sync Google+ to Facebook and Twitter. has a 30 minute Google+ tutorial that was amazingly helpful for understanding the features of Google+. also has training about:

  • Flickr,
  • Social Media Marketing with Facebook and Twitter
  • Facebook Essential Training
  • Up and Running with Photoshop Elements 10
  • Creating an HTML Email Newsletter
  • WordPress 3 Essential Training
  • Effective Email Marketing Strategies

So if you feel a bit like a dinosaur and wonder how you will ever catch up to the social media platforms, has quick and easy tutorial video clips.  Keep in mind that each one of these social media platforms links to your web site which is important to attract "link juice" to your web site and improve SEO. Evaluation of your web site even includes how many times your web site is "mentioned" and Like-ed on social media platforms.(More on this aspect soon.)


Let me know if you want me to explain more about how to link your Google+ to Facebook and Twitter. Otherwise, find me on Facebook.

ASK HarrieteBlueRedYellow.grGuess what! There are several ways that we can talk about art business development for artists and makers.

Please join me in conversation, questions and answers on Jay Whaley Blog Talk radio. If you "register" you can participate in the live chat room. Or phone up and ask Harriete your questions.  Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 3:00pm (Pacific time). This interview can respond directly to your questions and is relevant to artists and makers working in all media.

April 28-29 workshop at Revere Academy
APRIL 28-29

Prepare for Success: A two day course for Developing Your Business Skills can be designed to meet your needs.

Submit your questions in advance and the workshop can be directed by your interests.

Bring images of your work. Let's look at your web site.

Is your work consistent with your professional goals?

Recommended Resources for SEO and Website Information

To keep current, I follow several newsletters and blogs to learn more about SEO and Internet issues.

Spice_frontBHow else can I learn the secrets to traveling on the Internet at light speed in my studio? These resources (listed below) are a great way to build your Internet marketing and business savvy. No one has to read them all, just pick and choose depending on your time and energy, or save the link for a later date.

Go ahead, sign up for their newsletters, none of them costs a penny. 

UPDATE as of 2017: SEO has changed dramatically in the last 6 years. The best SEO practices of 2017 are based on quality, authentic content, and website that works for your customers/readers.

Many of the web sites and newsletters I recommended in 2011 are outdated or obsolete so I have updated this post.

Your primary guide should be Google Webmasters and Bing Webmasters. Register with both sites and look around. This doesn't cost you anything except some time.

10 Tips for Artists and Makers for Attract Web Traffic to Your Site  includes links to simple and effective ideas you can implement for your site that work. By work, I mean generate traffic for your site. No need to be a SEO guru to create an effective website for your art or craft.


Search Engine Land
Search Engine Land has a variety of authors, I recommend Jill Whalen. There is also has a super post called: The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period! A quick tutorial worth reading. 

Outspoken Media 

Wolf-Howl    -  Michael Gray Graywolf's SEO Blog is interesting but more advanced information.

SEObook (This is advanced information so skip it if you are new to SEO and web.)

Copyright issues, copying images and content are now important issues. These two poast offers background information about DMCA and Copyright. There are many more posts about DMCA on ASK Harriete.

The Ultimate DMCA Guide for Students

The Ultimate Guide to Copyright for Students

Harriete Estel Berman teaching at a workshopWORKSHOPE-mail me your questions about SEO. 

Let's talk!


Spice_frontB This is one page from a book "And There was Light" constructed from post consumer spice tins and tin cans. View the entire book on my website.









Does Your HOME Page Load Quickly?

Have you ever tested how long it takes to upload your web site or blog? The HOME page of your web site should upload quickly to satisfy viewers.  How long does it take your web site to load? Watch the clock. If it takes too long, readers may not wait!

A super simple, easy test for upload speed is (no registration required, thank goodness).

Factors that can influence load time are the size of images, number of images, podcasts, and videos. Advertisements and widgets that require contact with another site also delay the upload speed. 

Sure, different pages of your web site may load at different speeds. Viewers may consider waiting for a video or slide presentation to upload AFTER they have discovered that your web site has something worth waiting.  But your HOME page is their first introduction.  It needs to make a quick impression without being burdened with heavy content. 

Use your HOME page for initial introduction only and let the viewer click through on the content that they wish to pursue.

Time how long it takes for your home page to load.  Alarm cllockredThis is a consideration for ongoing improvements. It was brought to mind because I've noticed that ASK Harriete is taking longer to load.   I've been including a lot more images that are much larger as an experiment, and this is influencing how long it takes to upload. In the future, I need to make the images smaller and compress them a little more for a speedier upload.

Check your web site and blog to see how long it takes to upload.  Maybe people are leaving your web site before they have a chance to view your work.


Simple, Sensible, Sensational, SEO Improvements.

Harriete cheering on SEO for artists and makersLook for the easy ways to boost SEO for your web site and blog. I don't know about you, but who has the time or patience to make Excel lists of keywords.  Just can't do it. I prefer to find SEO plans that are simple, sensible, and easy to implement.

Today's suggestion:
Use image descriptions or ALT Image tags that match content in your post.

Why didn't I think of this before?
I always try to label my images on my web site with ALT Image Tags to create Internet visibility for the images. On blogs and 2.0 social networking sites, upload the image and create an image description so the images will be found by search engines.

The methods are different, the end result is the same. And it makes the images searchable.  What I hadn't realized was that if images descriptions match the title for each page or blog post with the same words, it can increase the SEO ranking for your web site, blog or image search!

Megaphone cheering on the importance of SEO titles.


Engage in the conversation.
Leave a comment.(Comments require approval so give me a few minutes to post it live.)



Image labels generate Internet visibility.

Search Engines Have No Vision! So Help SEO "SEE" Your Images

Finding The Orange Lifeboat - Will Your Images Be Lost at Sea? by Brigitte Martin


TYPEPAD BLOG Performs SEO Seasonal Miracles

NOTE: No need to read this post unless you are familiar with HTML and XHTML.

Every year I spend the quiet week between Christmas and New Years in a marathon of Web site corrections and updates.
December 2011

The problem is that I work on my web site myself.  Mostly self taught, I am only marginally functional in HTML and Dreamweaver. I never really have time to study properly.

Harriete Berman websitehome Do you have a similar problem?

Yet, every web site needs to be maintained or updated from time to time.  My web site was designed in 2003. It continues to function, even though newer versions and new capabilities have come along.   Some of the old HTML has since been revised (e.g. obsolete HTML code).

Search engines, however, are constantly updated with the latest in code and actually profile web sites regarding use of updated or correct code.   Correct code improves the SEO.

If your web site is filled with incorrect code, search engines rank your web site as "amateur", dumb, stupid, or incompetent.  Ultimately, your web site doesn't get ranked very highly. I know this is true, and it makes a lot of sense -- which is why I work to update my web site every year.

My biggest problem is that I don't always know how to fix all the code errors that Dreamweaver shows and I have no budget for professional assistance.

Many of the code errors are small changes such as a slash or a few letters, but I have to know what is the updated version. Most of the information about code on the Internet is too complex for my amateur brain.

CHANUKAH menorah fifth DAYToday I discovered a solution, a SEO seasonal miracle.  This method appears to correct small errors....use the HTML "edit" feature.   This may work for you also.

EUREKA  -- a fix for incorrect code !!!!!!!!!!!
This is an amazing discovery.  Whenever Dreamweaver says a portion of code is incorrect, copy that section and paste it into the TYPEPAD HTML editor.
Click into the Rich Text page;
Click back into the HTML window;
the updated formatting is there.
This updates my code problems to the current standard.

This idea of using the power of the TYPEPAD HTML editing feature to find and fix old code to the updated version of HTML code is so exciting.

website home links bottom
Here is a example of bad HTML:

There were links at the bottom of each page with a <br> in the code. I knew it was a problem but didn't know how to fix it. The <br> is old code for a "line break".

I copy and paste the incorrect code into the HTML editor of my blog.
Click into the RICH TEXT window.
Click back into the HTML edit window, and there it is fixed.
The answer is this. <br />

I copied the correct code back into my Dreamweaver HTML.
It works! And now I know the correct updated version for outdated code.

I have tested this with several sections of HTML code that I knew were wrong. Over and over, it works. Please keep in mind that you still must paste the correct version back into the Dreamweaver HTML code.  And it is a comfort to know the correct version (even so much as a dot or slash in the wrong place and it won't work).

Here is ANOTHER  example of bad HTML:

The code for BOLD font used to be <b>bold font</b>.
The currently correct code for BOLD is <strong>bold font</strong>.

I did my test.  I pasted a sentence with the old code into the TYPEPAD HTML window.<b>This should be bold font.</b>
Clicked into the Rich Text window.
Clicked back into HTML window.

The old code is fixed into the more current version.
<strong>This should be bold font.</strong>

Thank you TYPEPAD HTML editor. I never loved you so much as now!

What is your miracle discovery of the season?


Happy Chanukah or "Eating Chinese Food on Christmas"

Chanukah already started and I forgot to tell you about my favorite books and resources for contemporary Judaica. The selection is small, in my opinion, but the potential audience for this genre has room for growth.

500 JudaicaLast year Lark Books published 500 Judaica: Innovative Contemporary Ritual Art. (Affiliate link) I  am very pleased to say that I have have several pieces in this book.    

A Collector's Guide to Judaica

 A Collectors' Guide to Judaica(Affiliate link) has an interesting selection of historical pieces with informative text. (It only has a few 20th century peices of Judaica.) 




Are you looking for images of contemporary Judaica that is not the generic gift store item?

L'ChaimThe Contemporary Jewish Museum still has a selection of catalogs from their Invitational Exhibitions. (The Museum Store ships domestically and internationally. Place an order by email,, or phone, 415.655.7888.)

In the order listed here (right):
L'Chaim!: A Kiddush Cup Invitational


Making ChangeMaking Change: 100 Artists Interpret the Tzedakah Box.







ScentsofPurposeScents of Purpose: Artists Interpret the Spice Box






New WorksOldStories 

New Works, Old Stories

These catalogs are not listed online, but they are all beautifully executed with images of Judaica within traditional forms and beyond the expected.

Email me, I will make a recommendation for a catalog based on your interest.


Participation in the exhibitions at the Contemporary Jewish Museum has offered me the opportunity to create museum quality Judaica.

Many of the pieces that I made for these exhibitions have been purchased for the permanent collections of museums.


Shown to the left is "And there is Light" a spice book that holds a Havdalah box. 

If you are interested, all of my Judaica is shown on my web site.

Book with Havadalah Spice Box by Harriete Estel Berman
"And There was Light"                  2004

Seven hinged panels to create an accordion style book with removable Spice Box. This contemporary Judaica is constructed from recycled tin cans, spice tins, vintage steel dollhouses, 10 k. gold rivets, aluminum rivets, stainless steel screws. Available for purchase or exhibition.

Each panel    14.25” height x 9” width
Length of book completely open is 54".


Menorah by Harriete Estel Berman
Facets of Light        1999

Menorah constructed from pre-printed steel from recycled tin containers, "Pushke" Boxes used for the Jewish National Fund, and pre-printed steel from vintage doll houses. Aluminum rivets. One-half inch acrylic cubes function as feet under the menorah. Available for purchase or exhibition.

3" height x 21" width x 25.5" length

Menorah Jewish Star by Harriete Estel Berman from recycled materials.

M2L_YellowFlowerScroll72. askH

Yellow Flower Scroll Doorpost Mezuzah
Dimensions: 7.25” Inventory number M2L.220
Retail Price $220. (Scroll not included)

Finding The Orange Lifeboat - Will Your Images Be Lost at Sea? by Brigitte Martin

Today's post about tagging your images is by Brigitte Martin, curator, book author and administrator of Crafthaus.  Martin begins by taking us on a rescue mission to stress the importance of tagging your images on the Internet.  Will your images be lost on the Internet? Are they drowning in an ocean of information?

Note: The opinions expressed by the author, Brigitte Marin, in this post are hers and hers alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASKHarriete or Harriete Estel Berman. No endorsement or refutation is implied.

BMartin1WilliamPilotImagine you are a military helicopter pilot charged with a rescue mission in the choppy seas off of Wales. (Prince William of England generously offered to be our model for this edifying story. Thanks, Will.)

BMartin2screenSomeone fell off a fishing boat and is now missing at sea. Prince Willilam must find this person within minutes. (If he does this right, he can keep gallivanting around England a bit longer with the new wife. If he fails, he’ll need to return to London and sit in the rain for 3 dreadfully long parades with grandma.)

So Will decides he doesn’t enjoy parades all that much after all, waves bye-bye to Kate and takes off to find the lost sailor.

And this is what he sees: Water.


A great big sea of water. Lots of it and then some more. The minutes are ticking by and he just can’t find the person he needs to save.

Then finally, after 29 minutes, Will sees something. A bright orange spot in the wide open sea! Brilliant. The sailor can now be rescued by our hero!


Martin5WilliamWithQueenWill goes home and tells his grandmother that she’ll have to ask someone else to sit through the parades.


The End. Well, almost....
Now, what on earth is the point of this story?

BrigitteMartinprofileCHAIRImagine: Instead of royal Will on a rescue mission, there’s a charming, good looking and very smart editor/curator out there (theoretically speaking, it’s no one we would know personally) who absolutely urgently needs to find a photo of one of your pieces on the Internet for a groundbreaking story she wants to write about you and your work! But the photo our editor is looking for is - literally - lost at sea.

Oh no! Why, you ask? Well, because YOU FORGOT TO TAG YOUR IMAGES. That’s why!

See, the thing is, the Internet is kind of like the huge, blue ocean. Without tags on your photo, the image is just LOST AT SEA, it is invisible. BMartinHAND

HANDI found this image of a hand  on Crafthaus. It has no tags. This image is lost. No one can find it. In a minute it will be drowned.

Lifeboat with tagsHowever, with tags on your photos, your tags become the orange lifeboat, the one thing the editor can now see against the blue waters. That’s how it works!

So, will you start tagging your images now? You can easily tag images on crafthaus, flickr, and other image sharing sites.

Start with the photos you have uploaded already and continue tagging as you go along.

Suggested tags are:

  • your name
  • title of piece
  • material
  • what object it is (ring, necklace, vase, etc.)
  • location
  • descriptions or keywords that would help someone find your work
  • name of website

If you tag your photos, others can find them. It’s that easy. You are doing this for yourself!

Your charming, good looking and very smart editor thanks you sincerely.

Brigitte Martin


Ring by Aline Battengay

Appropriate tags for this photo might be:
Aline Battengay (artist name), ring, hand, doll, jewelry, found object, plastic,






POSTS on ASK Harriete about Image Tags.

Search Engines Have No Vision - Play TAG, Your IT - Create Tags for better SEO from 2.0 sites


Mail without an address? Titles, tags and descriptions for Search Engine Optimization.

Images on your web site, Are they lost or found?

Titles RULE - Title EVERY ONE of Your Website Pages Differently

Every page of your web site should have a DIFFERENT title. This is called the "title tag" and looks like this <title> in the HTML of your web site. On a template site, it may be a line you need to fill out.

The title of every page is basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and very important to the success of your web site.


Title tags are also the easiest SEO feature
to understand and do effectively. No one knows your web site, your work and your audience better than you do!

Unfortunately, all the time I see web sites for artists and makers where the title for every page says exactly the same thing...the person's name. I used my name in the example below to protect the innocent (or guilty):

<title>Harriete Estel Berman</title>

<title>Harriete Estel Berman</title>

<title>Harriete Estel Berman</title>

<title>Welcome</title> (another bad example)

Titles that are the same make it look like every page of your web site is the same which isn't true. Right? Search engines think every page is exactly the same.  That's right! Every page looks exactly the same because the titles is the same. Welcome is no better. It says nothing about your site. 

Sometimes it isn't even the whole name or identity of the artist. Here is a super bad example especially since my last name is so common.

<title>Berman Jewelry</title>

<title>Berman Jewelry</title>

<title>Berman Jewelry</title>

On a practical level this means if a person bookmarks a page of my web site (because they want to come back) every page says the same thing....they can't tell which page has earrings or rings, paintings or prints, sculpture or jewelry.

What is worse?
Search engines currently use titles for finding your web site pages. If you don't title the pages on your website with accurate and useful information the chances of people or search engines finding you work is less likely.

Jill Whalen says: Title tags are also what appear in the click-able link on the search engine results page (SERP), changing them may result in more click throughs.


If you are using a template site, change the title of every page. If you are using a web site editing software look at the very top of the HTML code for the <title> tag.

Here are some guidelines for the <title> of your web site.

  • A UNIQUE TITLE for each page of your site.
  • The first 59-60 characters will show in search results including spaces. (Updated March 2014.) You can add extra words if you want, but make sure the most important words are in the beginning of the title. Jill Whalen says,"I'm a firm believer in longer titles, rather than exact matches with just one keyword phrase. Title tags are given so much weight, in my opinion, that it's critical to have 2 or 3 keyword phrases contained within them, not just one."
  • DO NOT repeat words. (Example: TIN, TIN CANS)
  • Consider geographic location IF this is important to your business.
  • Think like a person, not a search engine. (HINT:Search engines don't think.)
    Optimize your page for people with interesting and informative phrases. So if the page of your web site is about gold rings if might be better to use the terms "gold rings" in the title instead of the name of the series.
    EXAMPLE:  <title>Gold Rings by Harriete Estel Berman</title> instead of <title>Orbit Series by Harriete Estel Berman</title>
  • Your company name, or artist name is important to build name recognition, but irrelevant if people don't know it.  A compromise would be including your name after important keyword phrases that would be used to look for your art or craft.

I am spending the entire day checking (or rewriting) the titles for every page on my web site. As I learn more about SEO I try to improve my web site, one feature at a time.

P.S. Read more about title tags from Jill Whalen's article All About Title Tages by Jill Whalen. Her information is helpful and easy to understand.


PREVIOUS POSTS in this SEO series:

Your Website HOME page is Like The Front Door of Your House

Find the entire series of Search Engine Optimization for Artists and Craftspeople

Your Website HOME page is Like The Front Door of Your House


Your web site starts with your HOME page. Its like walking through the front door of your house.  This is where you want your guests to enter your home, neat and tidy with a positive impression.


First impressions are important.  The HOME page ideally establishes a signature identity or impression that should align with the style of your art or craft.


Does your web site do this?

PatternsToo many web sites (and blogs) look like a flea market with clutter, and advertising. It really bothers me. When the HOME page of your web site is the first thing people see, I think this clutter is costing far more than the potential revenue from affiliate advertising.

Looking beyond or behind the appearance of a web site, on a practical level, the  HOME page of your web site is given the most weight by search engines because it has the most links. So even search engines enter your web site through the front door of your web site, the HOME page. I wonder if filling your HOME page with clutter is the most effective message to send for SEO (search engine optimization).

Tomorrow...HOME page navigation...a map for your web site.



Digital Skills - A Necessity for Success

Digital skills with your camera and a working knowledge of Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements) is a "no excuses" necessity for today's artists and makers.  Quality photographic images are a must for every artist and maker. There is a lot of information  to help you on the Internet. At the same time, the Internet offers tremendous opportunity for visibility. It seems to me there is no room for excuses either way.

Amercan Craft Article about Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin a sculpture of pencils about the impact of standardized testing on education.Even if you have your work professionally photographed, there are always occasions when shooting your own photos is still a necessity.

For example, the recent article in American Craft came about (at least in part) because I photographed my work while fabrication was in progress.  

LYNDA picture120x60-lynda2Every year, I spend a week to 10 days at the end of the year, learning new digital skills and working on my web site. I practice new skills in Photoshop, Dreamweaver and SEO using You can try video tutorials with a 7 day free trial.  You can also watch video tutorials on Flickr, Google+ and more.

Another web site with lots of free online digital tutorials is You will find links to information about:

  • How Your Camera Works
  • Qualities of Digital Photos
  • Camera Types & Accessories
  • Digital Camera Sensor Cleaning: Tools & Techniques
  • How to Make Archival Digital Photo Backups
  • How to Protect Online Photos: Copying, Watermarks & Copyrights;
  • Image Resizing
  • Sharpening & Detail
  •   and a ton more......

Stay tuned... as I start my annual digital learning marathon for the next two weeks, I will offer quick tips that readers of ASK Harriete can use to improve their images and web site.

Start the new year with renewed visibility. 


The assembly of the pencil sculpture Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin by Harriete Estel Berman
Prepare for Success: A Crash Course for Developing Your Business Skills can be designed to meet your needs.

Submit your questions in advance.

Bring images of your work. Let's look at your web site.

Is your work consistent with your professional goals?

Brush Out Glare in Photoshop to Improve Photographic Images - by Philip Cohen

Photographing shiny or reflective objects and paintings often results in glare and highlights that may wash out detail or color. This is a frequent problem for metals, ceramics and glass, even paintings with glossy paint.

The previous post on ASK Harriete
used Photoshop's Mask tool and the Brush tool to remove glare. If you didn't know how to use these tools (like me), this post will help you learn a new Photoshop skill.

In today's post, professional photographer Philip Cohen will show us how to use Photoshop to remedy this problem. I have added many details for step by step instructions after practicing the skill for myself. 

ality photo of art and craft

Image 1.
In the photographic image above a square plate by Malcolm Nicoll shows a glare spot regardless of where Philip Cohen places the light.

Look closely at the glare in the lower left corner. While the glass plate looks shiny, this is not a good photo!

ality photo of art and craft

Image 2.
The first step in eliminating the excessive glare problem is shooting two images; first one image with the light in one location, and the second image after moving the light to get the spot of glare in a different location.

Since you want both of these images to match perfectly, do not move the camera or the object/artwork being photographed.  Move only the light.
Plate_Demo_C-1 Plate_Demo_C-2 Side by Side Comparison of Images 1. and 2.

Notice that the spot of glare changes location from lower left to upper right.

Now that you have two identical images with the glare in different locations:
OPEN Photoshop

ality photo of art and craft

CLICK on Window Menu

OPEN the LAYERS Palette

ality photo of art and craft

OPEN both images in Photoshop.

COPY Image 2. (SELECT>All; EDIT> Copy)

ality photo of art and craft

CLICK  on Image 1.
Paste Image 2.
(EDIT> Paste)

This will automatically create a new layer.

Both images are layered in one image in Photoshop.

ality photo of art and craft

Select both layers
by holding the SHIFT button down and clicking on both layers in the Layer Palette.

Align both images in the Edit Menu
EDIT MENU>CLICK on Auto-Align Layers. (If you have an old Photoshop like me, Auto-Align doesn't exist. This is why it is so important to make sure that both of your images are identical except for the glare spot. I understand that Photoshop Elements is a lot less expensive and the updated version has Auto_Align.)  


ality photo of art and craft


Both Images are layered. Click in the Layers Palette on the top layer.






Click the Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. (You can see this in the above image. The Mask icon looks like a square with a circle in the center.)

Before I started this tutorial I had never used a Mask in Photoshop. (That shows you that I am still learning.) Since I was very confused, I found a great free tutorial about using a Mask in Layers. 

Perhaps the most important tip is to "replace the word "mask" in your mind with "transparency", because that's exactly what a layer mask does. It allows you to control a layer's level of transparency. That's it!

Learning how to use a Mask is a super trick.  Before learning about Masks, I used the eraser tool. Now I realize that the Eraser tool is more primitive, less exact and fraught with problems. Using Masks is much better. I recommend you learn about Masks from or (try the 7-day free trial).

With the top layer highlighted:






ForegroundBACKGROUND Practice with the brush.

The black foreground square (left) allows you to delete the top layer.     



ForegroundwhiteFLIPPING BETWEEN WHITE AND BLACK SQUARE, foreground &  background changes the brush.

 The White square allows you to restore the layer.

Once you experiment you will see the differences.      

You can also use the Opacity option with the brush for a subtle control.
Photoshop tutorial for quality photo of art and craftde
Keep brushing until it’s perfect. (You can un-brush by switching the brush color to white.)  

Voila!! No glare!

Thank you Philip Cohen for sharing your professional expertise.

I am glad that I learned how to do this. Learning this new Photoshop skill will help me improve my photos. Learning new skills like this is great brain exercise too!

This new skill with Layers and using a Mask requires practice. I spent more that an hour fooling around with the images in this post. Learning Photoshop or Photoshop Elements is a skill for success for all artists and makers.

Thank you to Philip Cohen and  Malcolm Nicoll for allowing ASK Harriete to use these images. If you would like to submit your images for review, please contact ASK Harriete.

Eliminate Glare in Photographic Images with Digital Magic - A Photographic Tutorial by Philip Cohen

Philip Cohen, my photographer (for the past 23 years), has prepared a tutorial for photographing objects with highly reflective surfaces. Reflective surfaces often have a problem because the lighting source is reflected back as a white highlight which obscures color and details.  Shooting glass objects is particularly problematic for exactly this reason.

Image. 1
In this photograph of a plate by Malcolm Nicoll, a glare spot appears regardless of where the photographer places the source light. 

Plate Demo_A_2
Image 2.
So  a clever photographer shoots two images -- one with the reflected light in one position, then moving the light to get the highlight in a different location in the second photo.

Plate_Demo_A_1 Plate Demo_A_2Image 1 and Image 2
Side by side comparison of the two photos. Notice how the highlight is in a different location.

When using this technique, do not move the camera or the object.

Move ONLY the lights.

Image 3.
This is a close up view of the reflected highlight.

In Photoshop, both shots can be merged as layers. Then mask the top image so that a good area from the bottom layer fills in the glare spot.

Image 4.
Use Photoshop to make digital magic. This technique was simply not available in the film era.

Image 5.

Close-up view as the highlight disappears.

Image 6.
The perfect photographic image. No highlights obscure the details or colors. This technique could work for any highly reflective surface.

Thank you Philip Cohen for providing this step by step example for eliminating glare in photographic images with using Photoshop. This is the 3rd tutorial on ASK Harriete by Philip Cohen.

Previous photographic tutorials by Philip Cohen on ASK Harriete:

Lighting Shiny Surfaces for Quality Photographic Images” by Philip Cohen

Photographing Your Artwork? Bounce Cards Add Light and Fill in Deep Shadows

Contact: Philip Cohen to ask about quality photographic images of your art or craft.

Special thanks to Malcolm Nicoll who allowed his work to be featured in this post on ASK Harriete. 

How This Article in "American Craft" Came to Be.

Amercan Craft  Article  about Harriete Estel Berman sculpture from pencils about the impact of standardized tests on education

When I see something amazing happen for a fellow artist or maker, I wonder how it happened or what they did to make that happen.  Do you wonder the same thing?

Recently, my work was featured in American Craft Magazine -- two pages in the Craft in Action section about Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin. While there was an increment of good fortune, it was actually years of making, along with taking every day actions that readers of ASK Harriete could implement for greater visibility for their work.

In this case, a quote of Louis Pasteur comes to mind, "Chance favors only the prepared mind."

Since I knew that this project was going to take several years, I started a page on my web site very early in the project to document each stage.

Harriete Estel Berman web site about Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin

The web site was updated frequently with pictures of work in progress.

Harriete Estel Berman drilling pencils for pencil sculpturecril Harrietedrilling

I also posted a link to this page on the home page of my web site (shown below). The link was an eye catching yellow of #2 pencils.

Harriete Estel Berman web site

While there are no guarantees for anything in life, the article in American Craft came about in part because of the ongoing four years of communicating each milestone of the project.  I took the time to give the project visibility on my web site.

It seems Julie K. Hanus, Senior Editor of American Craft Magazine, is like many editors who "troll" the web for ideas, information and new work whenever they have a chance. I heard the same comment from Marthe Le Van, Editor at Lark Books in the presentation she gave during the Professional Development Seminar.

The lesson learned here is that your web site is a window to the world for people to see your work. While I use many other social networking platforms....your web site is paramount.  Even though I would wonder how many people were looking at my web site, all the work that I put into my web site did matter after all!

Pencil  Point in pencil sculpture by Harriete Estel Berman

The article in American Craft happened because of hard work and my web site!

Harriete sharpening pencils  for sculpture about educationr

My words of wisdom to everyone is that YOUR WEB SITE IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE TOOL to promote your work.

Learn how to update and maintain your own web site.

Update your web site on a regular basis.


April28-29BROWNgrnWould you like two days of tips and information to improve your art/craft business practice?

I am teaching a workshop at Revere Academy. 

"Prepare for Success" in an Art & Craft Business

[Shameless self promotion -- take a workshop with Harriete on business development and ASK Harriete your questions in person.

We all want to improve our tools for success.  In a two day workshop, gain a wealth of information on ways to accelerate your art/craft business skills.

April 28-29
Prepare for Success:
Crash course in running an arts and crafts business

I will be teaching this workshop at Revere Academy, San Francisco, April 28 and 29, 2012.  The hours for the class are 9 am to 5 pm.


This class is not just for jewelers! While Revere Academy usually appeals to the hands on metalworking skills, in reality, all media have similar issues in running and managing an art and craft of business.



Harriete Estel Berman organizing the installation of Pick Up Your Pencils, BegininstSaysSTOP72.800Professional practices are the day to day skills that lead to long term success.

Align your business activities to the style of your work.  The fundamentals of an art/craft business can be rewarding.

Learn how to use social networking, blogs, and your web site to develop visibility.

What are your one year goals? Five year goals?

Is your resume organized and updated? Learn some simple ideas for your business "housekeeping". Is that an oxymoron?

 How is your inventory management?

Are you maintaining proper records for the IRS? 

Pencil Point from Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin

Are your photographic images good enough?
Let’s take a look.

BrownbagSubmit specific questions in advance or plan to be spontaneous in the workshop.  The workshop is expected to be responsive to and directed by the participants. There is time for dedicated attention for each person.  

Bring your lunch if you want to spend the lunch hour discussing your work and marketing.

How do you define Success?
Is your work and business approach consistent with your goals and objectives?  
Is your definition for success a goal or a wish?

Raise your standards or at least redefine them.
Invest two days in your future.

Amercan Craft Article about Harriete Estel BermanRecent article in American Craft  Dec/Jan 2012 about my work. 

HARRIETE Estel Berman standing in front of my work at the Minneapolis Institute of Artsminneapolis
Harriete Estel Berman standing in front of her Seder plate at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.