Laser Art - Aspidochelone (what?)

Aspidochelone is the mythical name for a turtle or a whale that carries a city on it’s back. It inspired my latest work of “laser-cut” art. I finished this piece on the weekend. I’m proud of it and I want to show it off a bit.

You can see more details of it on my blog at:

I’m not very good at taking pictures of my art pieces yet. There was a lot of glare from the overhead lights. Any tips on taking better pictures?


Diffused natural daylight works the best for us - use a sheet of tracing paper, vellum or even white plastic to spread out the light and remove most of the glare.

Do you know Photoshop or some other photo editing software? Pretty easy to adjust the perspective, correct the exposure, saturation and color balance there…

Very nice work, polarbrainfreeze.

If you want ultra low budget solutions: White sheets. Put some behind your work for a nice backdrop, and drape some over any lights to reduce glare. Turning off the overhead lights and using some desk lamps pointed at the ceiling (and thus illuminating after the bounce) is also pretty effective.

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Really lovely work and an interesting subject matter

This is my DIY copy-stand solution for taking photos of fine art and other small items. It is a converted photo enlarger.

The lamps are on bendy arms. The upper bracket has a captured bolt to mount a camera at 90 degrees to the work surface. The surface itself is frosted/translucent, for under-lighting if desired.
The bulbs are photographer’s daylight fluorescents. They are quite old, these days you should be able to find equivalent led bulbs that would last longer and cost less to run.

Angle the two arms at 45* to the art to cancel shadows, or vary the light angles to highlight shadows and create contrast.

For the makers, look at a photography supplier for ideas… or to spend the monies:slight_smile:


Fortunately, you don’t have to worry too much about color balancing with special bulbs like the old film days, so any white light can work well. Your projects seem to be too large for a copy stand, though - you may need to get them up on a wall to eliminate perspective.

If you have a lot of your own art that you need to document, it’s a good idea to pick up a simple photo-editing package to adjust exposures, color balance, etc.

Wow, really great job @polarbrainfreeze! 3’ x 4.5’? It must be amazing seeing it in-person :slight_smile:

awesome. if you haven’t already, read the Discworld series :smile: i think it will resonate with you.


Thanks. I’ve read a few of the Discworld series. My wife is a big fan and has read them all.


I was just wondering where the four (and fifth!) elephants were…
(yeah, I have read everything the Sir Terry wrote)

If using natural daylight make sure the light is diffused through something like a white curtain, then use white board/paper as a reflector to light the piece from the opposite side. This can also be done with light bulbs. I always use daylight bulbs but color casts can be removed in Photoshop using a curve or levels filter. It’s easier to take a good photo than to fix a bad one.

Use a tripod.

Use the lowest ISO setting you can.

Keep the f-stop low.

Understand the relationship between iso, f-stop and shutter speed.

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Maybe I need a better camera too. I’m using the camera off my Nexus 7. I’m not sure if I can adjust the ISO and f-stop and all that.

If you have any interest in getting professional results you need a camera that can be set manually. That being said, if your camera is fully automatic you can still control it by increasing the light which should help lower the iso and get you less noise. Also, if your camera allows any optical zoom, not digital, you can zoom in as far as it will allow and stand further away, this will reduce the f-stop and allow you to keep the entire piece in sharp focus. Anyway, you have some beautiful work so its worth improving your ability to document it.

Get a very cheap used DSLR. Makes a huge difference vs. a phone camera.


Even a point-and-shoot with some setting controls… shoot, I might have an extra camera or two laying around to send your way, let me try to find where I put that box. Might be in storage. It’s painful for me to think about such a talented artist/craftsperson documenting original work with a telephone.


Agree 10000% on this one. Ya just get so much better control.
Also, if you really get into it, pick up a liteigloo. Many different brands and sizes to pick from.

Thanks everyone for the tips on taking better photos. I’ll see if I can find a better camera somewhere.

Perhaps I’ll design a laser-cut light-igloo type thing using white sheets :smile:


That’s gorgeous Polarbrainfreeze! You should be proud!

I’m glad this thread popped up again because I missed it the first time. Great work!! Add yet another shining example to the list of why I’m jealous of your skills!

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