The polymer beads shown below are domed beads I made using some metal paint tins...I placed raw round cutouts of polymer on the convex sides (the under side of the paint tins) and textured each one with tools that I demonstrate in my Textured Tile Tessellations Class. I really love how these turned out and will be doing more experimenting. And yes, the plastic paint tins will melt in your oven as some of us had wondered about on Facebook.
What I really want to show you is a quick side by side comparison of a picture I took today;
the graduated background I used and what simple photo editing can do for an image.
Below is a black to white graduated image that I made in photoshop. Click on the image and enlarge it, then "save as" on your computer. I learned from Janice Abarbanel's Blog - Exploring the Art of Polymer Clay, that she orders her jewelry backgrounds from the printing department of an office supply store. I uploaded the graduated image and ordered mine online at Costco's photo processing site.
Next, I sandwiched the background between non-glare glass (shiny side down) and foam core (you could use cardboard or mat board) and held the 3 pieces together with thin strips of masking tape wrapped around the edges.
If you scroll back up to the collage at the top, you can see the same photo 3 different ways. The first is the original photo with no editing. The second has the exposure only auto fixed in picnik.com and the third has a complete auto fix in photoshop. After editing a few different ways, I usually print out a couple of 4x6 prints of each to see which I like better. Hope this will help you take better photos of your work!