BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Bobby Borukhov

Jewelry Photography

Hi Guys,
I'm looking to take pictures of jewelry for my website and would like to know if the MK Photo eBox Plus is a good choice. I called the company and asked for there opinion on different boxes and they suggested to go with eBox Plus. When I called back to order the box they suggest I should add on LED Light. Is that a must???


To love this question, log in above
10/7/2006 7:38:42 AM

Michael H. Cothran   Bobby,
I shoot jury slides of arts and crafts. I shoot more jewelry than anything. The proliferation of "magic" boxes like the MK's have become popular due to Ebay sellers, since they're basically "catchalls" for reflective subjects. However, the MK's are quite expensive, and they and other brands are somewhat limited in what you can use them for. For much, much less, you can purchase a few sheets of white frosted plexiglas, in a size you can use, and have your own system. This is what I use. Consider it.

To love this comment, log in above
10/7/2006 4:31:48 PM

Alan N. Marcus   Hi Bobby,
Jewelry, flatware, glass, and the like are all shiny objects. All are challenging to photograph. Think about ways to dull down. Old-time photographers built a tent of white translucent material and placed the subject material inside. Lighting is applied to the outside of the tent. The camera peeks inside through a hole in the tent material. The idea is to create a totally diffused environment. There is lots of variation on this theme. Consider that you can make, using PVC pipe, a rectangular box-like framework. Buy Ĺ-inch PVC pipe and fittings. A pipe cutter is a nice tool to own for this application. You donít need to glue as the pipe and fittings hold together nicely by friction alone.
Once you have constructed a framework box, cover with white fiberglass material - fiberglass because itís fireproof. Now get several pin-up (clamp-on) light fixtures. You know, the kind with metal reflectors. With a little creativity, you can make poles or pipe lamp stands.
Now load the fixtures with compact fluorescent bulbs. Use the ones from the hardware store or buy full-spectrum models available on the Web. You can use photo flood lamps too. These get quite hot, and there is a fire danger. Thatís why you use fiberglass cloth. You can illuminate with strobe lamps too.
Other ideas to dull down shiny metals and glass: Use hair spray. Once upon a time, I used a mixture of talcum powder and water and applied with an old insect spryer. As they say, ďlots of ways to skin a catĒ.
Luck to you,
Alan Marcus

To love this comment, log in above
10/8/2006 6:36:59 AM

Bobby Borukhov   Hi Guys,

Don't I have to buy light fixtures as well and adjust them. How much would that run me?????

The reason I was thinking about Mk eBox Plus was that it come all set up already.


To love this comment, log in above
10/9/2006 7:46:03 AM

W.    Dunno "Mk eBox Plus", but it sounds like it'll cost you.
However, except for a camera and a tripod you need not buy anything. You can D-I-Y everything you need (light tent, reflector(s)), and light it with common light bulbs (tungsten).
Be sure to set your WB correctly.
(Download 3.5MB PDF file about WB setting from

Don't worry about 'specular highlights' (sparkles). You can add those in seconds in Post Production. Like so:


To love this comment, log in above
10/16/2006 7:28:32 AM


To love this comment, log in above
10/16/2006 7:30:31 AM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  You ARE shooting digitally, right Bobby and not using film? If you're using film, the lighting suggestions pretty much go out the window or you're likely going to spend a lot of time trying to correct for color shifting.

And, speaking of lenses (was I?) what type of lenses are you planning to use for this deal and what, exactly, are you going to be shooting (because that may make a huge difference in your set-up(s).

BTW, I'm one of those "old-time photographers" Alan mentioned. I still shoot this work using a lite cone (kind of like a tent) and set strobes on the outside with various kinds of modifiers along with a view camera pointed through the top so it doesn't reflect in the pieces. Shooting this stuff well is a real art in itself, as you may already know. ;>)
Take it light.

To love this comment, log in above
10/16/2006 12:23:58 PM

Bobby Borukhov   Hi Mark,

I'm going to shoot diamond jewelry and shooting with digital camera (sony dsc p200). How should I display lights, on the sides or from the top????


To love this comment, log in above
10/17/2006 8:34:19 AM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  That depends on what effects you're trying to get with your lighting, shadow areas, highlights, mid-range, etc., and on what parts of the product. It also depends on how large the products are, like bracelets vs. rings, etc. :>)

To love this comment, log in above
10/17/2006 9:47:10 AM

Roger Villareal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/15/2004
  hello bobby,
check this site...

hope this will help you solve your jewelry problem.


To love this comment, log in above
10/18/2006 1:29:39 AM

Bobby Borukhov   Thanks Roger

To love this comment, log in above
10/19/2006 7:25:13 AM

Bobby Borukhov   My camera (sony dsc p200) doesn't seam to do a good close up job. Whats a good digital camera to purchase for shooting jewelry. I was looking at Canon 350 or 400D.


To love this comment, log in above
10/25/2006 8:28:36 PM

Randall Randall Jackson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/13/2004
  I just started shooting jewery art for a friend. I read up on the subject. I found a tent called the Cacoon sold by calumet ( It comes in three sizes. This was my first time shooting jewery. I and the client were very pleased with professional looking results.

To love this comment, log in above
12/11/2006 11:15:57 PM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.