BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Charles Carlin
 

How to Shoot Silver Jewelrey


I'm using a Canon XTi SRL 10 meg. shooting silver jewelry. The silver always turns out with a gold cast. All the other colors of the jewelry (including a Kodak color chart) comes out right on. I've shot it in a "white box", have shot it outside on a cloudy day, sunny day, indoors under "white" fluorecent bulbs with color rendering index of 97, 94, with flash and without. I've tried f/stops from 5.6 to 22. The only way I know of removing it is with CS2 using a saturation brush but that is way too slow and tedious. Anyone have any ideas??? Please Help!!


To love this question, log in above
3/4/2007 6:05:23 PM

 
Stephanie M. Stevens   Have you tried different white balance settings? That affects color cast.


To love this comment, log in above
3/4/2007 6:09:50 PM

 
Charles Carlin   Yes, first thing I tried. But as I mentioned, the white balance is dead on. A shot of a Kodak color chart will come out with the white and every other color dead on. Changing white balance settings only changes the hue of the "gold" cast of the silver and offsets the other colors in the jewelry (as well as the color chart). Only the silver does it. Strange enough, chrome does not and stays silver colored! Thanks for the response though.


To love this comment, log in above
3/4/2007 7:10:00 PM

 
John Rhodes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2005
  Charles, I'm no expert on shooting silver, but I read Somewhere (???) that you should place black paper as reflectors (out of the image) that will help the color of the object. Perhaps others have used this method and will help both of us learn.

John


To love this comment, log in above
3/5/2007 5:58:28 AM

 
John Rhodes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2005
  Hi again, I just googled "photographing silver" and found several articles including

http://www.mkdigitaldirect.com/tips/new-tips/jewelry_photography_tips.html#nutshell


To love this comment, log in above
3/5/2007 6:03:44 AM

 
Charles Carlin   Thanks John! Looks like I've got some good reading to do today! I'll be looking for some black paper and trying that as well. Thanks for the help and the great info. I sure appreciate.

Charles


To love this comment, log in above
3/5/2007 7:01:51 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Charles,
I use the ColorChecker from GretagMacbeth to do my color balance. I started with the Kodak Grey card, but the color balance of the card was off. The Kodak Grey card wasnít grey. I havenít checked the Kodak color chart, but at this point, I would be suspicious. Also, how are you checking the color chart?
One other consideration: Some sensors have color balance problems that are pronounced at different densities. My camera has some of these problems. This means that your balance may be perfect at 18% grey but not so hot at a brighter grey. I assume that you are not having trouble with the color of the white box, but you should never trust fluorescent light sources for accurate color. They do not have a continuous spectrum, and this causes problems. And if your shutter speed is over 1/30 of a second you get problems from the cycling of the lamps. I did a couple of Instructors Insights blogs on BetterPhoto in the last few months that you might want to check. They explain why fluorescent lights are unreliable. I would try strobes or tungsten bulbs.
Thanks, John Siskin


To love this comment, log in above
3/5/2007 10:24:10 AM

 
Charles Carlin   Thanks John. I just ordered the GretagMacbeth and will keep you posted. I use ambient light from all the windows open and all lights off most of the time with a 22 f stop which gives a pretty slow shutter speed. When I use the fluoresents, they are not just shop lights but have a color rendering index of 97/100 and are made for photography. Strange how a chrome plated piece of metal doesn't do it. I realize chromium is a different color but there is not a hint of the gold discoloration on it. My wife has an 18K white gold piece of jewelry I'll try shooting tonight whith and without lights. So far, haveing the lights on or off or shooting outside seems to make no difference. Thanks for the help guys.


To love this comment, log in above
3/5/2007 1:30:32 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  I haven't had this problem with silver. There are a lot of things that might be invoved. What camera are you using? Have you check the color of the silver in Photoshop. Are ther stones or other colored things associated with the jewelry? Let me know if the ColorChecker is any help. I would balance the camera on the light grey, that may help. Thanks, John Siskin


To love this comment, log in above
3/5/2007 2:01:26 PM

 
Ashley K. Manfrin   Hi, My name is Ashley, I subscribed to this site and I think I may have the answer you may be looking for.

Im pretty sure that all cameras have the parameters feature, they are very very very useful for the many different pics one may take.

Here is how to get that setting on your camera...I hope you kept your manual, it's a photographers best and I mean best friend, unless of course you refer to your dog lol. Manual...What each parameter does for your picture:image settings, which is in the table of contents... then selecting the processing parameters. Once your here you can determine with the parameters if you want a natural look in the pic, a vivid or sharp look, or set the parameters for yourself for ex. color tone, sharpness,saturation and contrast. I reco. you either go with the sharp and vivid look or set your own parameters specifically for ex. the jewellery you are taking pics of, if you want to sell it or just get a really good picture.

It continues... ISO speed is also very important for shiny object as they reflect the light as jewellery often does...unless it's plastic.

Another thing to keep in mind in adjusting the color is the White Balance... Custom balance is the best if you have it, because you are able to take a pic and use the pic info to correct the levels of color. This is the greatest tool possible because if you want to maintain the same spectrum of light in your picture, it does it for you.

hope this helps, Ashley


To love this comment, log in above
3/6/2007 7:18:02 PM

 
Ashley K. Manfrin   Hi, My name is Ashley, I subscribed to this site and I think I may have the answer you may be looking for.

Im pretty sure that all cameras have the parameters feature, they are very very very useful for the many different pics one may take.

Here is how to get that setting on your camera...I hope you kept your manual, it's a photographers best and I mean best friend, unless of course you refer to your dog lol. Manual...What each parameter does for your picture:image settings, which is in the table of contents... then selecting the processing parameters. Once your here you can determine with the parameters if you want a natural look in the pic, a vivid or sharp look, or set the parameters for yourself for ex. color tone, sharpness,saturation and contrast. I reco. you either go with the sharp and vivid look or set your own parameters specifically for ex. the jewellery you are taking pics of, if you want to sell it or just get a really good picture.

It continues... ISO speed is also very important for shiny object as they reflect the light as jewellery often does...unless it's plastic.

Another thing to keep in mind in adjusting the color is the White Balance... Custom balance is the best if you have it, because you are able to take a pic and use the pic info to correct the levels of color. This is the greatest tool possible because if you want to maintain the same spectrum of light in your picture, it does it for you.

hope this helps, Ashley


To love this comment, log in above
3/6/2007 7:18:47 PM

 
John Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
  Contact John Reed, c/o Tonto, Scout and Silver.

Hi-Yo


To love this comment, log in above
3/7/2007 10:19:28 AM

 
Charlotte K. Lowrie
ImagesByCharlotte.com
Charlotte's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Learning the Canon Digital Rebel Camera
4-Week Short Course: Learning the Canon EOS 50D
4-Week Short Course: Learning the Canon EOS 60D
4-Week Short Course: Learning the Canon EOS 7D
  Hi Charles,
Let me ask a couple of questions:
Are you setting the XTi to one of the Picture Styles such as Landscape? If you have the camera set to a style such as Landscape, it will emphasize and saturate the blues and greens. Other Picture Styles do similar things. I have found Neutral and Faithful to be just what the names describe, especially Faithful. But I shoot in Standard Picture Style, and either set a Custom WB or shoot a white card, and then balance to the white card in Camera Raw, and then paste the adjustments to the series of images in Bridge. But that technique works only as long as the light doesnít change.

Also, I take it from the previous discussion that you are shooting RAW capture. Am I correct in thinking that?

Iíve found that the XTi delivers really accurate color. Do you have any pictures with the problems that you describe that you can post? Iíd like to see what you are describing.

Best wishes,

Charlotte


To love this comment, log in above
3/8/2007 12:07:44 AM

 
Charles Carlin   Hello Charlotte,

I shoot only in RAW and get the best shots with an f stop of 22. I likewise use the white card and pretty much shoot just how you've described but with the WB on auto or custom. Best colors I get are with a combination of a set of 97 CRI floresents about 6 ft or more above the table behind a diffuser that provides just about the same amount as the daylight coming in the large open windows nearby; all whalls are stark white. I bought a cluster of white LED's on a flex neck and will try that later today but, the type of light I use seems to matter little. All the colors on the gretagmacbeth come out great with the silver still showing a brass or gold cast. I shot about 50 shots of jewlery yesterday using a light box but got only pure white for the silver which looks terrible. I'll be gone all day but will upload some shots this afternoon or this evening. Thanks so very much for the help!!!!!! As to the "Bridge", though I have it with the CS2 I have no idea what it's for. Can you suggest any good books that deal with it?


To love this comment, log in above
3/8/2007 6:30:51 AM

 
Charlotte K. Lowrie
ImagesByCharlotte.com
Charlotte's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Learning the Canon Digital Rebel Camera
4-Week Short Course: Learning the Canon EOS 50D
4-Week Short Course: Learning the Canon EOS 60D
4-Week Short Course: Learning the Canon EOS 7D
  Charles, are you saying that you're using combination light--the fluorescents plus daylight? But if you're balancing against a white card or the Gretag Color Checker, the mixed lighting shouldn't matter. Now occasionally, I've found color variances at slow shutter speeds with the XTi. I don't know how slow your shutter speeds are though.

Bridge is the file brower/organizer that comes with PS CS2. You can start Bridge by clicking its icon in PS CS2 on the top toolbar toward the right side. In Bridge, you can apply standard metadata templates (saves a ton of time), add keywords, sort and organize images, etc. I have an article on my Web site with some tips on using Bridge, though the article is certainly not comprehensive of all that can be done in Bridge.

Here is a link to the article:
http://wordsandphotos.org/Commentary/ThreeTipsToOptimizeRawWorkflow.htm

A good book that talks about Bridge is Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS2 by Bruce Fraser. Of course, you know that if you buy the existing book, there will be a new version to cover the next rev of PS, right? ;) And in Lightroom, you can do some of the same things that you do in Bridge, but not all. The landscape for Adobe products has become much more complicated just lately.

I would still like to see a sample image of your jewlery shoots.

Wishing you well,

Charlotte


To love this comment, log in above
3/8/2007 4:08:53 PM

 
Charles Carlin  
 
 
Charlotte,

Attached are a few shots before and corresponding shots after being gone over with the "saturation" brush on CS2.


To love this comment, log in above
3/10/2007 3:42:59 PM

 
Charles Carlin  
 
  Photo number 1
Photo number 1
© Charles Carlin
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
  Photo number 2
Photo number 2
© Charles Carlin
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
Hopefully I can get these four pictures uploaded.


To love this comment, log in above
3/10/2007 8:33:10 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  I hate to disagree but mixed light will mater. Some digital cameras have more trouble with mixed light than film. Fluorescent lights do not have a continuous spectrum. That means there are specific colors of light where the fluorescent is brighter or darker than the colors near it. This evens out enough to see by, and even take non critical pictures. But it doesnít matter if you do a color balance mixing daylight with fluorescent is likely to cause problems especially with neutrals. I did a blog here a couple of weeks ago with pictures of the spectra of various light sources. If you can find it things may get more clear.
Sorry to disagree. Thanks, John Siskin


To love this comment, log in above
3/10/2007 8:51:06 PM

 
Charles Carlin   John,

I'm aware of light mixing and the sometimes unpredictable results when using various sources but let me remind you that I get the same problems whether I shoot with or without any daylight mixing in or if I'm using incandescent, flouresent with a high color rendering index, all LED lights or metal halide or all sunlight. Nevertheless, I very much appreciate your help. Charles


To love this comment, log in above
3/10/2007 9:16:25 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Charles,
The reason I stopped posting here is that I had little to contribute. I donít know what causes your problems in all these situations. However I read the earlier posting as saying that mixed lighting, fluorescent and daylight wouldnít cause problems. I knew that to be at best highly optimistic. Perhaps I misread the post. I wish I had more to contribute to the success of your venture. Have you tried borrowing another camera; perhaps it is something to do with the sensor.
Thanks, John Siskin


To love this comment, log in above
3/10/2007 9:27:34 PM

 
Charlotte K. Lowrie
ImagesByCharlotte.com
Charlotte's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Learning the Canon Digital Rebel Camera
4-Week Short Course: Learning the Canon EOS 50D
4-Week Short Course: Learning the Canon EOS 60D
4-Week Short Course: Learning the Canon EOS 7D
  I agree with John when he says that I was being highly optimistic. In a perfect world, balancing against a white card "should" neutralize colors. But in the real world, I've also had situations in mixed lighting where balancing against a white card did not neutralize colors. In my earlier posting, I was speaking from a theoretical point of view rather than from practical experience.

Thank you for posting the images. In the first image, it looks like you have a gold reflector on the set. Notice the change in shadow tint from top to bottom on the sides of the casings and from left to right under the bracelet. If you are sure that you aren't getting reflection from something on the set, e.g., the ceiling, then I'm at a loss on what is causing this. I wish that I could be more help.

Borrowing another XTi, as John suggests, would give you a point of comparison to help resolve the problem.

Best,

Charlotte


To love this comment, log in above
3/11/2007 12:20:59 AM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.