I am aware I still have not finished my mini series on photographing jewellery (parts one, two and three are here if you fancy a look so far). It will be done. But I guess I've had some issues with it, including a couple of pretty unfulfilling spells both before Christmas, and now again this last couple of weeks, when I've been creating new work that needs photographing.
It's been like any advances I had made crumbled away a little and, apart from blaming my camera (which, admittedly, is literally beginning to fall apart slightly, as some of the plastic casing has broken off), and the light (although a poor excuse when ambient light is bouncing off snow), I was getting a little frustrated.
This feeling was only compounded by the fact I got a rather swish camera tripod for Christmas. Now, I'm the first to admit my increasingly basic point and shoot camera looks a little silly on top of this so, for now, it's not something you'll see me out and about with, pretending I'm a photographer. And I discovered quite rapidly that a large tripod isn't really the thing for small, intricate shots of jewellery, especially when you're working in quite limited space, with not great light. The portability I had when using my camera in my (occasionally shaky) hand was something that was greatly lacking with a tall, slightly ungainly tripod.
Then I saw this thread on the Folksy forums the other week, and followed a link in it to this product. A week later I was perusing the aisles of a well-known budget supermarket chain and discovered a similar item on sale. I didn't buy it. It would be silly, extravagant. I already had a tripod. Ignore the fact I couldn't make it do the job I wanted it to.
But I went back to same supermarket last week, and they had a few mini tripods left. So I bought one.
It was smaller than I'd imagined it would be when I got it out of the packaging (which, surprisingly for plastic sealed, did not involve a sharp pair of scissors or any swearing at all), and when I set it up with my camera on, I feared it was not only too small, but the weight of the camera would destroy its balance.
But, lo, it worked. I could get the camera in just the place I wanted, and, wiggling the extremely wiggleable yet very tough and stiff legs, I could get the balance just right. The camera held in place and did not crash down on the jewellery below it.
Well, I hope so. I've not taken many shots yet, waiting for the grey days to pass, and perhaps a bit of sunlight emerge. Let's face it, I'd take just not-grey at the moment.
Of course, I can't show you a photo of the tripod in action, because I need my camera to take the photos of the tripod... but here it is, without the camera, anyway. Hopefully, my saviour. Or at least, a contributor towards photography salvation.
I'll let you know how it goes...