I have found something that’s harder to take pictures of than black velvet dragons in a house with white cats: chrome vinyl.
I ran across this awhile back and picked up a yard of it, and decided to see how it stitched up. Verdict: pretty well. It’s a soft backing with a stuff surface – much heavier than, say, Duro-Last’s reflective vinyl, or the adhesive-backed stuff that you’re much more likely to find mirror finishes in. Stitching tends to cause it to bubble but that actually works well for “burnout”/debossing effects. Getting a good photograph of that is hard, though: either you get a nice reflection of the backdrop and can’t tell that there’s dimension there:
Or you get dark reflections that blend right into the stitching:
The work light doesn’t fit inside the light tent, so if I use that I end up with lovely diffuse lighting that makes the chrome look matte. Also, the light tent is just too small.
I have a handful of 1/2″ styrofoam insulation sheets because the gas fireplace in the family-room-turned-workroom blows a cold draft all winter long so it’s wrapped in plastic and has a shelf full of nice insulating fabric in front of it. So I built a comical foam-sheet fort around my photography area, and that’s how I got the top picture. It needs some tweaking, but I think I’ll get passable product shots out of it.
I’ll probably be adding the vinyl itself to the Etsy shop soon, because it’s fun stuff.