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Thread: Need some tips for photographing jewellery

  1. #1
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    Need some tips for photographing jewellery

    I bought myself a light tent the other day and have been playing around trying to photograph jewellery and other items.

    I'm after any advice I can get on how to mount items for shooting. Is it a mater of what works for each item?

    Also what's the best way to capture diamonds and cut stones?

    I'm severely limited light wise at present and ended up with my two SB-800's as sources. I'm still awaiting some other gear to arrive.




    No blutac so I mounted the ring in a black box.
    What's the best angle to use?

    DM
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  2. #2
    Ausphotography Regular
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    I've never shot jewellery but can say that almost always it is shot with a white background in a light box/tent. I would suggest that the greater amount of ambient light would increase the diffracted light through the stones and improve their appearance.

    Larger images would be appropriate to invite more critiques.
    "Nature photography is about choosing a location, crawling through dirt, being bitten by insects and occasionally taking a great image". - Wayne Eddy.

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  3. #3
    Ausphotography Veteran rwg717's Avatar
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    I am a bit with ENDURO....probably the dark background doesn't work unless you had a special reason to use it, Its rare to see jewelery catalogues using anything but white backgrounds!
    Also, it is specialised macro photography and a tripod is essential along with a remote cable release (or use the camera's 10 sec timer)...difficult stuff
    Richard
    I've been wrong before!! Happy to have constructive criticism though.Gear used Canon 50D, 7D & 5DMkII plus expensive things hanging off their fronts and of course a "nifty fifty".

  4. #4
    From someone who use to be in the direct selling game with jewellery, your best friends are

    rolled up hand towel & upside down bowl.
    Place these under a very large piece of valvete type material.

    These were taken a fair while ago, but gives you some idea. (light is crap)



    Last edited by Charmed; 09-01-2010 at 9:30pm.
    Simone

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charmed View Post
    (light is crap)
    You are right, they look terrible.

    Have you got any inspirational ones to post?

  6. #6
    Ausphotography Regular bobt's Avatar
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    Not sure that I agree entirely with the other posters as far as the black is concerned. I made and sold bridal headwear for a while and did my own images - and I often used black. Black can be quite striking and focus attention on the shining jewellery. I also used royal blue effectively.

    The lighting can be pretty simple really as you should always use a tripod and you can adjust the white balance afterward s if needs be. I used a 50 mm lens effectively, but sometimes used others as well. DOF is very useful as you can uses it to effect to highlight a specific part of the item.

    One alternative for some things can be using a scanner instread of a camera - it's very useful for coins in particular.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by enduro View Post
    You are right, they look terrible.

    Have you got any inspirational ones to post?
    LOL nope these were taken when I got out of the game YEARS ago, & to get rid of the stock quick.
    People just wanted to see what pieces I had left & saw a bargin. Didnt care on the quaility of the shot.
    Had to go diggin in photobucket to reserect these gems

  8. #8
    Ausphotography Regular bobt's Avatar
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    Here's a sample of the stuff I used to make and photograph - it shows up nicely on the black background I think.


  9. #9
    Antipod jev's Avatar
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    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the advice.

    Jev - thanks for the link, I have been searching for something like that but hadn't come up with as good a site.

  11. #11
    Great link, Joost. Straight into my favourites.
    Osprey Photography

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  12. #12
    Member patriciaann's Avatar
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    I was asked by a friend just starting out with costume jewellry to help with the catalogue for her website, I had never done jewellry before and heard it is hard to try to get sharp images.

    We had a light tent with a bust for the necklaces, and a dummy with a full torso for the longer pieces, we tried tabletop stuff, and used different fabrics and colour according to the colours of the jewellry, high neck t shirts (skivvies) is good no reflection at all, we did a lot of experimenting and found you had to be super careful with black it shows every spec of dust etc...one thing another photographer told me when doing gold and silver was to use a polariser, but i did not find this effective...
    Pat from down on the Bay at Rosebud
    Canon 30d , EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM,EF 17-40mm f/4L USM, EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, and a Speedlite, plus and Canon Power Shot pro which has been converted to Infrared...and am considering getting some extension tubes..

  13. #13
    Antipod jev's Avatar
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    Don't use a polarizer on jewelry (at least not on metalics and stones!), the product should sparkle and shine, not dulled! The one exception is on watches where the glass reflects too much (see this video frompro photo life).

    It helps if you know a bit about how the jewelry is supposed to work. For example, rings often have stones set in a way that light is reflected through the stones. As a photographer, you can use that information by adding light from the back so that it nicely shines through.

    It is not easy to bring jewelry to life and there's really no standard recepy for all, just trial and error I' afraid...

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