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Beth Myers
09-28-2004, 01:00 PM
We have a request for an anonymous critique.
This Flameworker has be working since November, 2003. And uses a minor torch.
All glass is Moretti and foils.
Any comments for improvement are welcome.
Artist is thinking of using these photos in post cards to be sent to Galleries, etc.
Thank you all so much for giving your ideas and time to this!
Beth


Guidelines:
By posting in this thread, you are asking for a serious, structured critique of your work. By posting your work, you are agreeing to receive both positive and negative advice on your work. Some you may agree with, some you may not. No complaining or falling apart if you don’t hear what you would like to hear.
Guidelines For Critiquers:
All critiques should include some form of instructional feedback. What was done well and why, what needs improvement and why, how to make those improvements. All post should be well thought out, and in keeping with our helpful attitude. NO trashing of another’s work.
And NO KUDOS! Such as “great job, beautiful, “that’s so nice”.
Kudos post will be removed.


For Poster of Glass Art Works to be critiqued:
No links, just the photo.
Please include a description of your work, size, techinique, etc.
Keep to the facts, (we aren't here to showcase new Ebay listings, or to promote sales )


If you want to post your work anonymously pm or email a photo to me.

There are two sets, let's call them #1 and #2, :D

koregon
09-28-2004, 01:16 PM
sorry...I don't see a thing to critic about them, they are great...ooops thats a kudo...darn...well, I see no negatives except the photography of them in groups....
I wouldn't photo them all together like that, each is their own individual look.
so that would be the only thing....group shots don't do each of them justice

Laura Brito
09-28-2004, 01:22 PM
Set 2 - The dotted beads pop really well, they look very precise. My one comment is, it is hard to tell by looking at the picture, but I think some of the dots (small raised ones) have an innie at the base, those tend to pop off once in jewelry and in use. Think of a half of an orange sitting on a flat surface, cut side down, that is how the dots should be, the orange does not curve in on the side that is sitting on the table. Those are the kind of dots we all want to see and what you want to strive for. I think the dotted beads are very nice. The very front bead is also out of focus, I would prefer to see one in the background out of focus, instead of the front one which the eyes seem to go to first.

Set 1 - Set one are just not my cup of tea in general. They look a tad sloppy to me because they are not all the same in general. The one of the bottom left side is more of what I think looks more finished and asthetically pleasing. I do not like the ones with the half raised lines on them. I do like abstract beads in general but these look less professional to me, unlike your dotted beads which I find very asthetically pleasing to the eye. For the picture and postcard I would prefer to see all the beads being the exact same shape, size and the exact same style (being a postcard). It would have more impact visually in this respect. The bead in the very front is not in focus either. It would be ok to have a bead or two out of focus but in the background.

I hope I did this right! I hope it helps alot.

Good Luck! :)

Beth Myers
09-28-2004, 01:23 PM
I hope I did this right! I hope it helps alot.

Good Luck! :)

(You did it just perfect Laura, thank you!
B~ :wave: )

MistyCherie
09-28-2004, 01:33 PM
Laura pretty much stole my brain wave thoughts for both sets! I'd also change the background to a light gray and more flat than lumpy (seems too dark and the ridges/bumps in the cloth distract the eye) and not photograph them in the groups like that where some are partially hidden. I'd like to see a bunch of images of different single beads on a postcard, rather than a groupings as shown above.

(Now only if I could come anywhere close to doing dots like that!)

:D

-M

Set 2 - The dotted beads pop really well, they look very precise. My one comment is, it is hard to tell by looking at the picture, but I think some of the dots (small raised ones) have an innie at the base, those tend to pop off once in jewelry and in use. Think of a half of an orange sitting on a flat surface, cut side down, that is how the dots should be, the orange does not curve in on the side that is sitting on the table. Those are the kind of dots we all want to see and what you want to strive for. I think the dotted beads are very nice. The very front bead is also out of focus, I would prefer to see one in the background out of focus, instead of the front one which the eyes seem to go to first.

Set 1 - Set one are just not my cup of tea in general. They look a tad sloppy to me because they are not all the same in general. The one of the bottom left side is more of what I think looks more finished and asthetically pleasing. I do not like the ones with the half raised lines on them. I do like abstract beads in general but these look less professional to me, unlike your dotted beads which I find very asthetically pleasing to the eye. For the picture and postcard I would prefer to see all the beads being the exact same shape, size and the exact same style (being a postcard). It would have more impact visually in this respect. The bead in the very front is not in focus either. It would be ok to have a bead or two out of focus but in the background.

I hope I did this right! I hope it helps alot.

Good Luck! :)

GinnyHampton
09-28-2004, 01:37 PM
Since these pictures are for gallery post cards, I would make sure the pix are top notch, so the only suggestions I have are about the pix themselves because I think the beads are great!

Pic #1 - I'd take out the lime green bead because (to me) it doesn't look like it belongs in there. The dark/denim background is not appealing to me either. I think those beads would pop alot more on a lighter background since they are primaily dark colors.

Pic #2 - I love these beads, and I like the group photo, but I feel like there's something missing that doesn't showcase them properly. I can't nail down what that something is . .... maybe just like #1, the background color and fabric-looking texture throws everything off. Those beads are all about precision and I think they need a cleaner, more contemporary background.

Hopefully someone else has the same feeling as me but can articulate it better.

Jennifer Geldard
09-28-2004, 01:43 PM
Set 1: I agree with Laura as far as these looking less professional, but as I look at them more closely, I think it's the green one that throws me off.
I would simplify the image and use perhaps only 3 or 4 of the blue/silver toned ones in a group.

Set 2: These are lovely, and I also agree about the smaller dots. They need to be melted in just a touch more. Again, I would limit the number of beads a bit... perhaps 4 or so.

Both images need a new background. It looks like a t-shirt to me, and a bit slap-dash. If you can't find a flat background, even sand or something organic with a simple texture would be nice. I use a rubber pad made for standing a hot glue gun as my background... it absorbs the light, and doesn't detract from the beads.
Here's a picture:

Roxy
09-28-2004, 01:49 PM
I buy alot of lampwork beads so I will comment on the pictures as a consumer. Ifound myself looking at the background too much...hmm is that denim? Are those beads on an incline? I figure if a person spends that much time looking at the background then it is getting in the way.

I found both pictures too busy which is always a turn off for me as a buyer. I rather like group shots of beads but, in my opinion, these beads need coordinating spacers to break up the business of the photos. I routinely look past photos like these as a rule.

The beads themselves look good as far as I am concerned. However to use them in jewelry is something I would have to think about. I especially like the dot beads but it looks as if I could not use bead caps on them. Buying 4 or five would not matter since I could always use them in one bracelet. However buying a dozen would limit my use of them.

I do not necesarily think that photos of beads made into jewelry is the best kind of photo but with tube shapes it helps.

Both photos bet a bit fuzzy at the edges. In the first photo the fuzzy touches the edge of the beads.

Ok I have used all my daily quota of opinion..hah! :p

Roxy

Cindy D.
09-28-2004, 01:59 PM
Bear with me - new to critiquing -

My preference are the beads in Pic #2 - I think that they demonstrate more skill. Although I love 'organic' beads (and is much more my personal style) I don't think Pic #1 has fully captured this and is not likely indicative of the 'true' strength of the artist being highlighted.

My assumption in developing a 'postcard' that could be forwarded to galleries is that you are trying to highlight both your skill and 'style' as an artist. Ensure that you select those beads that are most representative of your work.

I agree with the other comments about the photography (re: background, layout, focus etc.) Could perhaps look to create a layout somewhat along the lines of the 1000 beads cover - which would allow you to 'mix' styles, balance the 'colour' of the different beads esthetically, and offer a little variety in shapes as well - highlighting some of your versatility.

SuzyQ
09-28-2004, 02:16 PM
The beads look beautiful. But, some advice from a Photographer and someone who sells work in galleries and sends out postcards regularly -- get the bead professionally shot. These look funny because the shot is tilted. I found myself cocking my head. And the depth of field make the front and back of the texture blurry which distracts from the lovely beads.
Grouping of items can work but people want to see each bead entirely and are bothered by parts being covered by others. There was an artist on justbeads a while back that did a fantastic job with groupings. (the name escapes me! ?four letter name with a z in it and I think someone who also posts here because I remember seeing their beads in the s&t) They stood the beads up on their holes and lined them up, sometimes they had little groups surrounding a focal. The pictures reminded me of people. They were great. Interesting and different will catch someones eye.

Vaverska
09-28-2004, 02:28 PM
I'm not even going to pretend I could seriously critique the beads themselves! Anything better than my work looks awesome to me.
NOW!...about the photography. Overall it is too dark ( DEEP shadows on the rear 3rd of some beads). I would choose 1 or maybe as many as 3 very closely color related beads for a photo of this nature, tops. Displaying so many beads can be very visually distracting! I also agree with the suggestion to display them on a very organic and neutral backdrop. Some suggestiond are : Sand, etched PLAIN beads, etched glass pebbles or beach glass,wood or wood chips, even some basket weave. I would choose something with texture, but a texture which has less visual "weight" ( probably by being a softer/lighter/much darker color) and did not compete with the shiny surface of the beads.Finally, these are show just too tightly clustered for my taste. I find it hard to define the details of any one bead, and the "tight" cluster of super busy image in the center seems a tad aesthetically off to me. I think spreading some background texture on ( again, careful it doesn't "fight"the beads themselves) would create a more balanced look in the compostion. Think of a portrait, while the face in the center is the focus, no photographer uses a flat, plain, single color background. Even Walmart's PhotoCenter has textured backgrounds, too plain a backdrop gives a piece of art that "cut off" effect. Hope this input on my view of your photos helps! :)

fay
09-28-2004, 02:36 PM
Pictures are so hard....great advice above...I would take out the 8th bead in the second picture...the one stacked on another one...there are two white ones so that negatively affects the picture. Your eyes do not know where to go...they bounce back and forth between the two similar beads. If they were all the same it would not be a problem or if they were all different. Try it and see if that makes a difference.

I would go with the group #2 for a postcard. People love dot beads and yours look super.

Set #1...my favorite bead is in the lower left hand corner with red on it....I would not use this grouping...the beads are fun however technically they are so easy to create...set 2 shows more technical mastery.

fay
09-28-2004, 02:42 PM
Oh....also, please clean your beads again...maybe coat the holes with clear nail polish to keep the hole looking black....and last tip from me, use just the beads in group 2 with the black core base, the gold one has dots that are different sizes where they should be the same size(I love the color combo.) So, you may want to eliminate that one then when I looked back there would only be one blue core one so take that one out and you will have a more matched group.

That's it for me. Please show us pics...even not the final one...just to see how the different tips worked would be cool for us photo-challenged. :D

Suz01
09-28-2004, 10:14 PM
I dont have anything new to say - but will comment anyway, as several people agreeing probably gives 'weight' to those comments? anyway, as a photographer, it is the photos rather than the beads i will comment on mainly.

Depth of field has already been mentioned - but just to clarify - depth of field exists behind the point of focus, so you should always focus on the object closest to you (if it is a main object) and then more of the picture will be in focus. Also, when using macro settings, you have very shallow depth of field. I like the group shots, but you need to arrange the beads on the same focal plane (ie same distance from lens) rather than with lots of depth, otherwise you will not be able to get the majority of the image in focus.

I agree that the tilt, and the bumpy distracting backgound need to change, and that the one green bead in the first shot looks out of place - keep to a similar colour pallette (or make it totally random - one looks out of place)

I do think you can get a nice gorup shot of those dots, even with some partially covered, as long as the background is plain and you maximise your depth of field. See if you can find some of Brad Pearsons groups shots - they always look great.

Good Luck , lovely beads,
Suzanne

Mr.Smiley
09-28-2004, 10:25 PM
I took the liberty of using the smudge tool on the back ground. I did a quicky job, but I think it shows how to accent the beads with the current color by modifying it. Now more of the focus is on the beads... because they are the only thing in focus ;)

The color may still be wrong, but that can be fixed in photoshop too. Somebody with greater skills than I can do a knock out job with the pictures you have.

collectiblesbyrose
09-28-2004, 11:17 PM
That looks better!
LOL I'd keep the lime green bead the other people said remove. I think the front bead, brown with the little green dots needs to go. Just seems like that little guy doesn't belong with the others. (You can always send him to me!). I'd move the beads around, I think the green bead needs to be off to the side with one of the white beads as a neighbor. Gosh, I sure like those beads with the dots! :)

thatgirl
09-29-2004, 02:37 AM
I'm no expert at photography (my auctions are proof of that LOL) but the only thing that really bugged me was the green bead in set #1 - whilst I don't mind the bead in and of itself, it's far too distracting arranged with others - I could barely concentrate on the other beads.

Cheers,
Sue :cat:

collectiblesbyrose
09-29-2004, 10:06 AM
Oh, gosh, people were talking about the lime green bead in set #1. Sorry, thought they didn't like the pretty green one in set #2.

Norma623
09-29-2004, 10:43 AM
Had to put my two cents worth in....I agree with everything said so far, EXCEPT one comment regarding depth of field in photography. Unless I'm terribly mistaken - the depth of field is calculated both in front of - and behind the point of focus. That explains why the front beads are a blurry and the back beads are a little blurry - you have a narrow depth of field and you focused in the middle. Widening (or deepening) the depth of field by adjusting your camera will allow you to have all beads in focus. Depending on what type of camera you have - this adjustment can be made several different ways, you should probably check your manual and....since it's digital experiment! You can always delete!

tulips
09-29-2004, 12:39 PM
Ok, I have to say I'm certainly no expert, working on this photography thing like just about everybody else here! I agree, change the backround. What I disagree about (and keep in mind I haven't done a postcard yet) is that I LIKE group shots! As a consumer I like to see more than one bead at a time, unless it's somebody I already know by name and then if they have just one bead in an ad it's sort of like "oh, gee, that's pretty" and my mind and eye move on because in my mind they have already left an imprint. With somebody new a picture of several beads gets my attention and makes me slow down a little to actually LOOK at the beads. Does that make any sense? Maybe they could be arranged by color block? Grey to blue to green, something along those lines. That way the eye would follow the color progression taking your view across the entire photograph. Another question to all you makers of postcards out there- where are you getting your photos "professionally done"?

!ngridh
09-29-2004, 04:07 PM
What Laura said...and everyone else...the photo's don't do it for me and I think they detract from your work. Not only the photos but the way the beads are arranged. I think maybe 5 of the dot beads maybe 3...so many dot beads sort of makes the eye want to wander away rather than look at the image harder...different background and more light...I would go look at some auctions and see what you like about not only the beads but the presentation in the photograph as well as background and lighting.

nice beads!

Trishki
09-29-2004, 07:00 PM
I agree with most of the things said previously. I prefer the dot beads as a showcase of skill. My advice would be to re-photograph them grouped a bit differently. I would remove the front most (tan/black/green) bead and the lime green one, and the cobalt one. The other 5 I would re-group. I see a light aqua/green one way in the back whose colors go with the white and blues/greys.
If you want to showcase more beads/colors, you could split the postcard up and showcase more than one picture to showcase breadth of skill/style.

Stick to an odd number of beads 3 or 5 - somehow that is visually more pleasing. And although I appreciate the "random grouping" look, and I like it - I would re-arrange it a bit.

I think a very smooth light grey or a soft tan/white background would look nice - maybe that graduated photo paper that changes from light to dark.

For the bicone picture, i would select one bead, the prettiest, most perfect one, and stand it on edge (like Jennifer showed with her bead.) It would showcase the bead better. Don't care for the multitude of colors/hues. If you want to showcase more than one, I would remove the green one, and the one with the turquoise lines/dots- then re-arrange the remaining ones.

Technically I think the dot-beads are well executed -except for maybe an undecut or two, and some bead-release showing.

Beth Myers
10-04-2004, 10:22 PM
Ignore me, I'm having a moment. :D