Since I like to carve "small", I'd always have difficulty photographing my carvings. The photos would generally be "lost" in the background, and/or out of focus. I next started using a piece of fabric to sit the carving on to photograph it. That too, had it's short comings. I could seldom find the piece of fabric, and then I still had to find a flat surface. To solve this problem, a friend suggested I make and use one of these "stages". The use of this stage eliminates the background, and out of focus photos. The background is flat black in this "stage", but if you painted the "stage" in 13% gray there would be no background in your photos. I choose black, because it tends to highlight color better. You would not want black if you intended to print out hard copies of the photos. By placing the object to be photographed at the marked spot on the "stage", and screwing the camera down with the tripod screw it prevents the camera from moving and shaking. And it also ensures the same distance between the camera and the objects to be photographed.