BetterPhoto.com - Become a better photographer today!
EMAIL:
PASSWORD:
remember me:     
     


Photography QnA: Photographing Jewelry with Digital Camera

Browse by Category | All New Questions | All New Responses | Q&A Home

Category: All About Photography : Photographing Specific Subjects : Photographing Jewelry with Digital Camera

Here you'll learn about photographing jewelry with digital camera or film cameras. These questions address issues around photographing small objects, usually with tabletop or studio lighting.

Page 1 : 1 -5 of 5 questions

   
     
 
Photography Question 
Bobby Borukhov

member since: 10/7/2006
  1 .  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???

Thanks

10/7/2006 7:38:42 AM

Michael H. Cothran

member since: 10/21/2004
  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.

10/7/2006 4:31:48 PM

Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  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 ˝-inch PVC pipe and fittings. A pipe cutter is a nice tool to own for this application. You don’t 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 it’s 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. That’s 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, “lots of ways to skin a cat”.
Luck to you,
Alan Marcus

10/8/2006 6:36:59 AM

Bobby Borukhov

member since: 10/7/2006
  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.

Thanks

10/9/2006 7:46:03 AM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  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 http://download.yousendit.com/6E8A4BD765280B9A.

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

[IMG]http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i319/RokcetScientist/B4AfterPL32.jpg[/IMG]

10/16/2006 7:28:32 AM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
 
 
 
[IMG]http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i319/RokcetScientist/B4AfterPL32.jpg[/IMG]

10/16/2006 7:30:31 AM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

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.
Mark

10/16/2006 12:23:58 PM

Bobby Borukhov

member since: 10/7/2006
  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????

Thanks
Bobby

10/17/2006 8:34:19 AM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

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. :>)
M.

10/17/2006 9:47:10 AM

Roger Villareal
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/15/2004
  hello bobby,
check this site... http://www.pbase.com/wlhuber/light_box_light_tent

hope this will help you solve your jewelry problem.

roger

10/18/2006 1:29:39 AM

Bobby Borukhov

member since: 10/7/2006
  Thanks Roger

10/19/2006 7:25:13 AM

Bobby Borukhov

member since: 10/7/2006
  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.

Thanks

10/25/2006 8:28:36 PM

Randall Randall Jackson
BetterPhoto Member

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 (calumet.com). It comes in three sizes. This was my first time shooting jewery. I and the client were very pleased with professional looking results.

12/11/2006 11:15:57 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Barbara J. Johnson

member since: 2/11/2005
  2 .  Jewelry Photography Help
 
  Radiant w/Rounds Classic 3 Stone
Radiant w/Rounds Classic 3 Stone
This is not what we want it to look like...
© Barbara J. Johnson
Nikon D70 Digital ...
 
  Radiant and Rounds Classic Estate
Radiant and Rounds Classic Estate
This picture was taken from another website...how do we get our pics to look like these!!
© Barbara J. Johnson
 
Hello!
We sell jewelry. We recently purchased a Nikon D70 with a micro lens and ring light. We have tried a photo tent, sheets, moving the ring light around, blue lights, etc., to get the pictures perfect. We need to get the background of the pictures very white, but not have the rings/jewelry washed out. When we get the ring to look perfect, the background is blue or grey ... HELP!!!
Blessings!
Barbara

2/11/2005 10:01:02 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Have you tried a copy-stand type setup? With two incandescent light sources hitting the ring at 45-degree angles (as close to the subject as you can get without them being in the frame), the ring and background would be illuminated equally. As long as your background is white, and your white balance setting is correct, it should look like the photo you are trying to emulate.

2/11/2005 2:03:20 PM

Wilson H. Valentin

member since: 7/24/2003
  Hi Barbara,
There is no equipment that will get your background white white white or R 255 G 255 B 255 when placing the eye dropper to get the color values. Not even if you get a $30,000 Digital back. A light tent is good with light strobes and the rest is Photoshop using curves and levels and manually erasing the background to get it white. it's very hard and many photographers hate it. the ring you posted which you got from a site is ok but I see yellow on it plus the shadow is a distraction, at least for my art director. E-mail me with any other question you may have.

2/11/2005 8:27:44 PM

Barbara J. Johnson

member since: 2/11/2005
 
 
  Estate Round w/Channel Set Rounds
Estate Round w/Channel Set Rounds
This was taken yesterday in sunlight with the ring flash as well.
 
 
How would we duplicate sunlight for our pictures? We can get great pictures when we take them out in the sunlight, but we can't depend on a sunny day every time we get a new piece in. We need to be able to achieve the same lighting indoors as well.

What about those "domes"...they seem to be very pricey and I would feel more comfortable if we had someone tell us that it was worth the money to get one.

2/12/2005 6:46:09 AM

Raquel S.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/22/2003
  I know this sounds quite cheesy and cheap, but you can make your own dome with a plastic gallon milk jug. Cut out the bottom and then cut a hole in the top big enough to fit your lens. The semi-opaque plastic works quite well to diffuse and soften your light and your jewelry should easily fit underneath. It's a cheap trick and it's easily disposable/replaceable.

2/12/2005 10:15:02 AM

Barbara J. Johnson

member since: 2/11/2005
  Raquel ... you're a genius! We will surely try that out! THANK YOU for your idea!
Blessings!
Barbara

2/12/2005 10:43:59 AM

Charles Cooper

member since: 2/11/2005
  Try using the Exposure Compensation setting, add a stop, take a picture, remove the EC, take another picture and merge them. The picture with the extra stop will give you the nice white background, and the second one (without the EC) will give you a correctly exposed ring.
coop

2/12/2005 11:07:33 AM

Wilson H. Valentin

member since: 7/24/2003
 
 
 
Check out this site for jewelry photography. http://www.mkdigitaldirect.com/main.html
The following image was taken using "The Box."

2/12/2005 1:19:14 PM

DAVID PAQUIN

member since: 12/11/2004
  Hi Barbara,
Why not a black background...use a black matt board or velvet or anyting black....I have also used white but found white will sometimes reflect a tint depending on the lighting used and the color of the object...also you can use black sewing thread to hang objects and have them floating in space.
I have used black velvet for silver and gold coins and a couple of diamonds and really like the diamonds on black velvet and using a star effect filter...
so try it out and have fun...David.

2/15/2005 1:21:11 PM

Vince Warwick
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/4/2004
  I would use Photoshop elements 2 or 3 and correct the background that way. If you get the perfect shot on the item then make the background pure white. Bit of a cheat I know but you only have to worry about getting the item spot on rather than all the image.

Vince

2/15/2005 1:28:06 PM

  I have photographed hand-crafted jewelry for artists wanting to be juried into art fairs and galleries. I am on a tight budget, but for translucent items I have had excellent results with the following setup:

Two studio lights in softboxes and white foamcore as a base with a 3-panel freestanding backdrop of white foamcore set close behind the jewelry to reflect the light back into the stones. A clear glass or plastic base to set rings on or to hang earrings on works well. I've even used the base of an upside-down crystal goblet with good results, and the background stays pure white.

2/15/2005 2:05:36 PM

Joseph Rutsky

member since: 7/1/2004
  If you want a really white background, light the jewelry as you normally would, but add a light against the white background so that it is one to two stops brighter than the foreground. For underneath the item, you can use a white piece of plexiglass with a light underneath it. When you expose for the jewelry, you will really overexpose the background and it will come out really white.

2/16/2005 1:50:38 AM

Cathy P. Austin
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/26/2004
  Here's a link to an example setup that seems to work. I think that you can improvise with the lighting equipment.


http://www.webphotoschool.com/Lesson_Library/Free_Lessons/Photographing_Rings_the_Easy_Way/index.html

2/16/2005 1:33:46 PM

Barbara J. Johnson

member since: 2/11/2005
 
 
  1.00tcwt Brushed Shank Solitaire
1.00tcwt Brushed Shank Solitaire
Nikon D70 with Macro lense and the MK Photo E Box Plus...instead of taking dozens and dozens of pictures and still not being satisfied...there were only about 4 pictures taken this time!!
 
 
Hey y'all!

Well, we broke down and bought the MK Photo E Box Plus...it was not cheap, that's for sure! But, as you can see, it definately delivers the goods!

Thanks for all the help!
Blessings!
Barbara<><

3/2/2005 8:22:30 AM

Vikas Sodhani

member since: 4/22/2005
  Hi Barbara,

I recently purchased a Nikon D70 with the 60mm micro lens and am having a very difficult time getting clear pictures of my ring with both the bottom of the shank and the top of the ring in focus. My setup is as follows: I have a light tent with the ring inside the tent. The camera is angled inside the tent to get an angled birds eye view very similar to your pictures. I have tried almost everything from varying the Fstop/apperature and shutter speed in manual mode to trying different distances/angles between the camera and the ring. For some reason the top of the ring always is slightly out of focus. I am seeing better results from my Olympus 5050 w/macro lens which doesnt make much sense.

Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

-vikas-

4/22/2005 2:11:23 PM

Barbara J. Johnson

member since: 2/11/2005
  Hello!

Well...we find that we get the best results when the ring is not fully focused...we were running into the very same problem but when we started allowing for the back of the ring to be slightly out of focus...that is when we saw the stone become very clear and crisp.

Just a little hint...the photo tent just did not work for us...we tried and tried but it ended up being a waste of money. We are loving the results we are getting with the Photo EBox...well worth the money!

Now we have no use for the ring light...since the ebox has all the light you need.

Blessings!
Barbara<><

4/22/2005 2:47:04 PM

Charles Cooper

member since: 2/11/2005
  Keep in mind that the 60mm micro lens on the D70 has an effective focal length of about 90mm, so you are using a mild telephoto.

For this reason, the depth of field is quite shallow.

You might need to increase the light available.

...don't want to be rude, but how much photography experience (with a camera in manual mode) do you have?

coop

4/22/2005 3:16:28 PM

Barbara J. Johnson

member since: 2/11/2005
  If you are asking me, Coop...we have absolutely NADA, ZERO, ZILCH experience...we are learning as we go...reading the manual if you can believe that...it's really my husband who takes the shots and I look them over and tell him if I like it or not.

It sure makes it easy when you can connect the camera to the laptop and shoot the pics that way and play with the settings to get the pic just right...very nice.

We use the auto focus on ours...Blessings! Barbara<><

4/22/2005 4:03:41 PM

Vikas Sodhani

member since: 4/22/2005
  Thanks Barabara. Hmm.. well ive tried putting the back of the ring out of focus also and tried most other manual focusing options and still ended up with un-crisp pictures.

When you said the photo-tent did not work for you are you talking about it not giving you solid white backgrounds? I'm solving that by using photoshop to cut out my images and then pasting them on to a pure white background. I am having some issues with lighting in that it doesnt seem to be even at times. I figure I will first get the focusing right.

Charles could the amount of light be causing my pictures to be blurry. I am actually in the same boat as Barbara. I am learning as I go along, but I feel as if I have learned quite a bit at this point. I am using the camera in manual focus mode and adjust the speed to what the meter tells me to on the camera (i have also tried a slew of apperature settings and speeds thinking that was my problem). my ISO is set to 200 and Ive also looked at the depth of field preview which is of course dark and a bit hard to judge from.

here are some pics that I took. these are some of my better ones. im also adding a picture from my olympus camera where I used exposure adjustment to adjust for the dull pictures I was getting.

the photos are in this directory:
http://www.sunsaar.com/vikas/jewelry

4/25/2005 11:19:58 AM

Barbara J. Johnson

member since: 2/11/2005
  When we were using the tent...we were also using blue lights to help with the lighting issues...it worked okay...but we ended up with the grey/blue background in the pictures.

It was just too time consuming for my husband to cut out the picture and put it on a white background...so we ditched the tent and got the box.

The only lighting we are using now are the lights that are in the box...no flash. And that has made a real difference as well.

You're right...your Olympus picture looks really good...we went through that as well...our little point and shoot digital was giving us better results than the Nikon...but it really has taken trial and error in learing the camera(Nikon) and what it can and can't do.

Blessings!
Barbara

4/25/2005 11:39:33 AM

Charles Cooper

member since: 2/11/2005
  Hi Barbara and Vikas,

Well, here's a quickie course in photography!

There are three things to concern yourself with.

ISO (we used to call this "film speed"), shutter speed and the aperture (f stop).

They all inter-relate to deliver a good photo. The problem is that when you are dealing with "close ups", the inter-relationships become very crucial, so there is little margin for error.

The trick in close up photography is to get a large depth of field (that is, you usually want to have as much of the item to be photographed in focus).

This is done by setting the f stop to a large number. This will cut down on the light entering the lens, but it will increase the area in focus.

Using a longer shutter speed will increase the amount of light hitting the "film", so you can still get a good photo.

If you can't get a good photo, you can increase the available light or change the ISO.

This is one of the great advantages of digital. If you are using ISO 200, try setting it to 400, or even higher. This will increase the sensitivity of the camera; it's like swapping a slow film for a faster one in a traditional camera.

You need to juggle these three things until you get the image you want.

So:

ISO - lower number, less sensitivity, but higher quality image. On the D70 you should be able to go to 800 without any problems unless you are printing the image 8 x 10 or larger.
f stop - lower number, larger aperture, but smaller depth of field and therefore less of the ring will be in focus
shutter speed - simple, the length of time the shutter is open.


4/25/2005 12:32:27 PM

Charles Cooper

member since: 2/11/2005
  Another thought...

You might try adjusting the exposure compensation to "make the whites whiter".

You have a largely white background, which fools the camera into underexposing the shot.

Camera meters try to get good results by comparing the scene with a hypothetical average. This works out to an 18% grey.

Most of the time this works out fine. Shooting with a bright white background (snow, beach sand or the background of a lightbox when photographing a ring) throws the average way off. Try adjusting the Exposure Compensation to +1.0 or +1.3. You could even start at +0.3 and work your way up.

After all, digital film is free!

coop

4/26/2005 7:44:58 AM

Michael H. Cothran

member since: 10/21/2004
  May I also offer some assistance? First, the original image that you liked appears to have been shot on a sheet of white plexiglas. Coupled with a nice light tent, Plexiglas will give you the cleanest white surface. It also gives you a little bit of a reflection, as you can see in your image. Now, this is also possible to do in PS or other editing softwares, so no one really knows if this image is original or enhanced - and it doesn't really matter - the end result is all that matters.
You can also add a light underneath your jewelry. This will give you a pure white with no reflection. Be careful here not to use too much light, as it will wash out the bottom of your ring. Experiment first.
Finally, you can shoot the ring, then separate it from the original background in PS again, and then paste it to a white background.
I shoot jewelry commercially, and have just set up my first website. I have two samples posted, if you'd like to view. I use a gradient gray background that I created in Photoshop, then separate the jewelry, paste it to the new background, and add a drop shadow. You could do the same thing, only with a white background (the drop shadow would not be necessary with white). The web address is - www.mhcphoto.net>Jury Services>Image Gallery. Then select Zeke&Marty or Carolyn Conniff. Good Luck.
Michael H. Cothran

4/26/2005 11:15:42 AM

Barbara J. Johnson

member since: 2/11/2005
  Michael...fantastic pictures! I love the shading of the grey background of the pictures!

What wonderful information...I've printed everything out...I personally can't thank all of ya'll enough for the great advice!

4/26/2005 12:22:21 PM

Vikas Sodhani

member since: 4/22/2005
  Thank you all for your help. I still havent captured the photographs that ive been looking for. I know its possible.. and have figured a couple of things out.

I realized my D70 wasnt giving me clear shots with good depth of field (ie the bottom of the ring was not coming in clear) because of the micro lens I was using. I switched out the micro for the lens that comes with D70 kit and added close-up lenses (ie for maginification) to the end. I managed to get much better pictures. The bottom is now much clearer but the top part of the ring is still fuzzy. its close but still not as good as my olympus point and shoot.

im giving up on the nikon now. I was told by some that other cameras with close up lenses have produced great pictures. I may try that in the future.

does this sound logical? any suggestions are welcome.

thanks so much.
vikas

5/6/2005 11:35:36 AM

Charles Cooper

member since: 2/11/2005
  Try more light, it will allow you to get a greater depth of field...

Focus on the shiny bits (the top, that's what people look at, right?), and leave the back of the ring to go fuzzy if necessary.

Think of it as a portrait. In portitature it's important to get the eyes in focus, as that's where we look. If the eyes are not sharp, everything falls apart. I would think that the 'shiny bits' of a ring are like the eyes.

Are the "close up lenses" the type that screw on the front of the lense like a filter?

Most of those are of iffy optical quality and may not be doing you any great favours...

Honestly, I'd keep the micro/macro lens, try more light, change the ISO to a higher number and work for a greater depth of field.

Focus on the shiny bits and see how it goes.

Best of luck.

coop

5/6/2005 11:53:17 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Neelam Mughal

member since: 8/18/2004
  3 .  How to Catch the Sparkle in Jewelry?
I've recently been given a great opportunity to work with a great magazine! But first I have to prove myself. One of my tasks is to produce great photos of jewelry (highly sparkling pieces). I'm completely confused on how to catch the sparkle in my pieces. I've lit my piece with a softbox above and used a white reflector on the other side, but should I use flash or not? My soft box is fitted over a flash head that fires. But my photos look dull, and the pieces look much more sparkly in real life! I've tried no-flash, but although the gems look colourful, the black background and the metals look dull. PLEASE HELP!
Sophie

1/12/2005 12:59:25 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Light is most reflective off a shiny surface when it comes from directly behind you ... shining on the object from the same direction your lens is pointing.
I would suggest a small-product/type setup, tungsten film with incandescent lighting ... two light sources hitting the object at 45 degree angles. This will provide the primary illumination.
The background should be black felt ... or anything else that will "gobble up" stray light and won't leave hot spots.

To create the "sparkle": Shine a small high-powered flashlight on a reflective part of the jewelry. Hold the flashlight under the lens - just out of frame and shine it in the same direction your lens is pointing.
You can examine the effect through the viewfinder and adjust the flashlight distance forward or backward to make the highlight brighter or dimmer.

1/12/2005 2:24:33 PM

Derek Holyhead

member since: 12/26/2003
  Hi,
Maybe you could use a filter? Cokin makes a Star filter that may give a good effect on Gems. Look here: http://www.firstcall-photographic.co.uk/pp/Camera_Accessories/Cokin_Filters/Cokin_A057_star_4_filter.html
I may be completely off the mark here, or of my head, but I hope this helps.
Regards,
Del

1/12/2005 4:55:18 PM

Neelam Mughal

member since: 8/18/2004
  Hey thanks, guys! You've really helped ... I'll get cracking tonight. Del, your filter idea is great, but after speaking with the editors I realized that the star filters would make the jewelry look too fake, so it's more the natural "bling" they're looking for. Although I do use the filter in my fashion shots and it picks up great!

1/13/2005 5:22:55 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Those filters need a bright point of light to get the starburst effect, and they do tend to look a little fake sometimes. You can get a similar effect by stopping down your lens to a small aperture (like f-22). The starburst effect you will get off the highlight will be subtle and look more natural.

1/13/2005 2:42:49 PM

Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/27/2004
  I've found this whole thread fascinating! Thanks everyone!

1/13/2005 7:45:33 PM

Sreedevi  Kashi

member since: 6/10/2003
  I find using small mirrors to shine light selectively onto the jewelry to be very effective. You can find all kinds of cheap small mirrors at the 99 cents store even in the cosmetics section. Using compacts - powder, eyeshadow, etc.- is perfect because you can stand the mirror up really easily and have it angled however you want it, and if you get different kinds, you'll get different sizes of mirrors. Also, if you get only one with a bigger mirror, you can just use black tape to flag off the areas where you don't want it to reflect. Another reason this method is helpful is because you can keep your "reflector" close to your object and have it aimed at the exact spot where you want your shimmer without having to worry about much else being affected by the reflection nor do you have to worry about your reflector getting in the way of the shot.

1/19/2005 2:24:13 PM

Lorraine Jones
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/10/2004
  Hi, Neelam. You probably have found a solution to this already but I thought I'd pitch in. I was doing research on product photography (got hired for a product shoot beginning of December and still doing it for the same client!) and came across an online merchant that specializes in tabletop photography (got my photo box and two-light set from them). In the process I learned about jewelry photography. They have a light that they call "sparkler light" (Sparkler light is ideal for use as a third light for jewelry photography). The 15W low wattage bulb is perfect for adding sparkle without creating glare) specifically for jewelries. Check them out at http://www.tabletopstudio.com. They are great. They also offer tips on how to do this kind of photography.

1/19/2005 4:29:26 PM

Judy D. Zedalis

member since: 1/27/2006
  I found this excellent resource specifically for enhancing jewelry photography. I think it answers your question perfectly. http://www.tabletopstudio.com/documents/jewelry_photography.htm

1/27/2006 6:10:37 AM

  Hi All

Thanks for such a great ideas. this is really helpful and valuable to have a such information

Thanks and happy clicking
Vishvajit

1/31/2006 4:08:13 AM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  I went a little further and had a mirror cut into 40 4x5" pieces and I use them in concert to add sparkle. I don't use a soft box but bounce a hot light/s off the ceiling or different parts of the room - esentially making my room the soft box. I also use pieces of reflective board in gold and silver foil and pieces of tin foil smushed and flattened to give me different kinds of textures. If you are photograhing silver it has to look like silver and not pewter nor can it show the darkened parts of your studio. Large white cards are useful here. You can buy jewelry cove arrangements for photographing small shiney objects but I found I have more control if I use the room as my cove.

1/31/2006 5:53:40 AM

Alison Russell

member since: 1/30/2006
  One of the best resources I know of for photographing jewelry is a jewelry website, rather than a photography website. Try searching under "photography" at www.ganoksin.com and you will find several articles. Also, if you Google "Jewelry Photographers" you will turn up websites for people who shoot jewelry on a regular basis. Having a good idea of what things ought to look like can be a big help in figuring out what you need to do.

1/31/2006 8:23:04 AM

Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  The torch or extra light source above will work. If all else fails, why not add the "sparkles" manually in Photoshop using a Star Brush (set to desired size in white) and add twinkles wherever you want?

1/31/2006 2:57:33 PM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  It's pretty tough to add sparkles to original camera film with photoshop and if anyone goes in to add sparkles later it needs to be the art director, it's not usually the photographer.

1/31/2006 4:33:47 PM

Pete H
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/9/2005
  Hello Neelam;

Just to add a little more...

Professionals use "snoots" to focus the light. Basically just a way to pinpoint a light beam from your strobe.

Also; light tables "rock" when shooting rocks. :)
Lighting from beneath if done properly will cause the facets on a diamond to leap.

Pure color balanced light is the key, and selectivly focused.


All the Best,

Pete

1/31/2006 9:13:00 PM

Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  Per above... I am also an art director (designer) and have some freedom to add "sparkles" in Photoshop wherever necessary or to lift the image. Working/editing other people's photos is common in the industry and catch-lights sometimes have to be added using the same method.
A light table will also work wonders with careful set-up, but will create a white background (not velvet black per previous). "Snoot" lighting will also add some twinkle. Small aperture (f22 ?).
My new Canon flash has a pop-up card for catch-lights only (not illumination in the normal sense as the head is pointed directly upwards). Saves doing it in Photoshop.

1/31/2006 10:37:23 PM

Kathleen K. Parker
BetterPhoto Member
kathleenkparkerphotography.com

member since: 11/30/2000
  I have a related question - about shooting antique jewelry. I have a few rhinestone necklaces that are probably 100+ years old. The sparkle is rather gone due to years of accumulation of dust and so forth. Does anyone know how to clean pieces like this and then photograph them using some of the above techinques? Also, I need to do this on a budget. The comments above are great ideas, and I will try some to see how I can improve the appearance of these pieces. Thanks!

2/21/2007 6:17:17 AM

Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  A simple and inexpensive way to clean jewellery and gold etc is to place all your pieces in a small saucepan with a small amount of water, and add a few squirts of dishwashing liquid and let simmer/boil on stove for about 15 to 20 minutes. It really does bring them up like new.

2/21/2007 6:50:38 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Carolyn S. Swadley

member since: 7/14/2003
  4 .  How to Take a Picture for eBay
Is there a trick for taking pictures for eBay? I am trying to take some shots of cloisonne. They are difficult as it is but when you upload to eBay, lot of photos distort a little or are fuzzy. Any suggestions?
Thanks

1/21/2004 11:57:53 AM

doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  Fill the frame with the object, if possible. With a film camera, you may have to use an extension tube or a diopter-type screw-on close-up lens. Place any camera on a tripod, or solidly on a table. Position two bright lights so that the lighting shows off your craft work. An on-camera flash is often too harsh.
You can go straight from a digital camera to eBay, but that convenience costs you some control. Open your picture in Elements or whatver imaging program you have and see if it's sharp, clear, undistorted, and has no blanked out spots in the lighting. You can improve the brightness and contrast using any imaging program. Sharpen the picture slightly, but don't overdo it. (Some digital cameras let you sharpen in the camera). If what you see is not what you want, the problem is in the shooting technique.
See eBay's instructions for the pixel size they want. Try not compressing in the JPEG mode at all, or very little. eBay's program will compress it still further.

1/22/2004 5:38:05 AM

Carolyn S. Swadley

member since: 7/14/2003
  Thanks Doug, I am using a digital camera with tripod. So to resize photo it would help to have it in TIFF mode? Perhaps with the gold in the cloisonne the flash has been too harsh as it causes it to really pop out and perhaps cause some distortion also?

1/22/2004 6:47:01 AM

doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  Considering the use of the image here, TIF would not do you any good (unless you want to keep 8 x 10's of your work). Shoot in JPEG at a very high quality level, and do whatever edits you want to do to the picture. THEN, size it to a resolution of about 72, and a pixel length of, what does eBay say, 450. When you save, an imaging program will ask you how much you want to compress it. Tell it none, or maybe 10 (Photoshop's scale, of 1 to 12).

You might also try just shooting a JPEG at the minimum resolution mode, but at the best quality, if your camera offers that option. See if that works for you. If so, it'll save you a step.

Try a piece of tissue over the flash if its too harsh. Distortion comes from using a lens that's not really suited for professional close-up work. Let's hope the distortion doesn't misrepresent your work or cost you sales. I wouldn't think so.

If distortion IS a problem, back off some so that the work is not so close to the edge of the frame. Then shoot at the highest JPEG resolution, and cut around (crop) the image later in your imaging program. Size the result to 72 ppi, 450 pixels wide.

1/22/2004 8:06:13 AM

Thea Menagh
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/9/2001
  Hi, Carolyn! Because cloissone is so colourful, shiny and made up of various forms of metal and porcelain, it takes a little practice to get a good shot! I've found a very simple solution to shooting product or things such as glass and china, where the camera flash may leave a serious bright spot no matter at which angle you take your photograph! It may work well in this case! I have various pieces of material (gauze, cotton, cheesecloth, crepe, etc.) and beautiful tiny scraps of see-through fabric I picked up at thrift stores. Covering the flash unit with a piece of this beautifully difuses the light and you won't get the blotchy bright areas on your photograph. Granted, it takes a little practice, and different types of photos will require different types of fabric, but it's great fun seeing the different effects you get! Hope this helps a little.

1/28/2004 4:41:27 AM

  If it's a mobile piece I would take it outside on a nice bright day and shoot it in the shade. I have done this with several of my items and it seems to look better than with a flash...just my two cents.

1/28/2004 4:49:11 AM

Gail Cimino

member since: 2/19/2003
  I have actually had good luck with jewelry and other small objects by simply scanning the object itself! Even if it's not entirely flat, if the object fits on a flatbed scanner (usually 8.5x12 or 8.5x14) place it on the glass, and instead of closing the lid, cover it with a fabric similar to what you'd use as a backdrop for a photograph. Light to medium gray velvet or other non-shiny material is good. Then just scan as usual.

1/29/2004 12:57:28 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Lloyd Olson

member since: 12/12/2001
  5 .  Digital Lighting for Jewelry Photos
 
  Many Mistakes
Many Mistakes
different lightings but same results
© Lloyd Olson
 
I am trying to take pictures of jewelry I make to put on a Web page. I am having a devil's time trying to get it lit properly so that it shows the detail of gold and stones. My Kodak has an 8" Macro and I am at present trying 68 watt GE Photofloods.... no luck. I am desperately looking for an inexpensive solution and would welcome any suggestions. Thanks. 3's
Grampa

12/12/2001 11:35:30 PM

Terry L. Long

member since: 2/12/2004
  I've had success with this type of subject (small & shiny) by using a homemade "light tent". Basically I covered/tented my subject with a (gulp...clean) white sheet. I cut a hole in the tent for my lens to stick through. I then shone three photofloods on the tent until I got the lighting I wanted. I used a 35mm SLR therefore, the metering was pretty simple.

12/14/2001 2:02:18 AM

David 

member since: 2/8/2002
  Actually the best way is the buy a light box they make for jewelry photography. However, you can get away by using a daylight bulb they sell at the Home Depot and bouncing it to a white reflection. If you want to get a softer image, then I suggest you build a light tent just like the one on this link http://bermangraphics.com/coolpix/jewelryphoto.htm.

2/8/2002 9:44:15 PM

Marian Smit

member since: 2/22/2002
  I have made quite a lot of photographs of jewelry, and got very good results with a Sony Mavica FD7 using macroshot. I made the pictures at daytime (no artificial lighting needed - no flash) and lightfall coming from the South. With the Mavica you can come rather close to the object, so you do not get that unwanted shiny effect.

2/22/2002 7:27:53 AM

Paul 

member since: 4/23/2002
  Macro settings would be my choice with a sturdy tripod to minimize vibrition.This applies to digital photography.

4/23/2002 7:07:58 PM

Paul 

member since: 4/23/2002
 
 
 
Macro settings would be my choice with a sturdy tripod to minimize vibrition.This applies to digital photography.

4/23/2002 7:08:32 PM

Tom Darmody

member since: 6/3/2002
  I agree with all the other posters advice, soft light, macro mode, and a tripod.

I want to add one more thing, the background. Try a muted background, the red is way to bright. black or an "earthy" color (olive, tan, ect...)would work a whole lot better.

6/5/2002 4:02:39 PM

Jannette D. 

member since: 6/16/2003
  I've been playing with overcast weather and using my cheap digital camera on macro with a tri pod or the edge of the table to avoid the shakes and blurs. I display my studio jewelry on a white roll sheet of paper that is is a form of a slope. I use a tiny blob of putty to hold up rings at a 45 degree angle so it looks like the jewelry is floating. To my surprise the pictures turned out remarkable without any yellow tint in the sterling metal and any kind of shadows. I live on the coast of California and have to wake up early in the mornings to achieve a good thick overcast morning of photoshooting with all natural lighting. Any kind of holes in the clouds will result with yellow tinting in the metal.

6/16/2003 10:26:15 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
   

Copyright © 1996-2014 BetterPhoto.com, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.