Battle between the light and the dark.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I contend that a picture is worth a thousand emotions. A good photo of ones work can be hard to get, after all we are blacksmith's not photographers. This is a modern necessity for smith's. Our predecessors never really needed to photo graph their wares to bring in the business. That was left for the adornment of shop walls and general store shelves. These days we have virtual store fronts with catchy imagery to invoke desire, amazement, and primal connections to fire and steel. As good as a smiths work might be, a poor photograph will always serve them ill. So after a lengthy discussion with a good photographer friend of mine, I have these points to share that have helped me.
#1 - Try to shoot on low light or overcast days, this allows you to bring in light only where you want it. The suns intensity tends to "wash out" the image.
#2 - Tonality between the background and the piece are very important, make sure you have contrast between the two. However, they should not clash. Use dark and lights of similar colour pallets to bring out the intensity of your work.
#3 - The rule of 3's means to break up your image frame into thirds. Items and images should fall into these 3rd's.
#4 - Images should always lead the eye to the center of the image not out to the edge. You want to draw the viewer into your photo, not lead them away.
#5 - Lastly sometimes you have to throw the rule book out and go with instinct and opportunity but if you can remember these pointers you should have great success with capturing the raw essence of your work.