Can somebody help me take better jewelry photos?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by vanguard, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. vanguard

    vanguard TPF Noob!

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    I am a total photography newbie but I've been reading and trying to take good jewelry pictures for a few weeks now. I've bought a light tent that came with dual 500 watt tungsten lights. I set my Kodak DC280 2.0 MP camera on macro, used a delay and a tripod, and this is what I got.

    It's not completely horrible but it's not as good as we need it to be. It's for my wife's ecommerce website. She would like to sell the things she makes.

    Do you think I can squeeze more performance out of this camera? If so, do you have any idea what I'm doing wrong? If this consumer camera is simply incapable of taking better pictures what should I get instead? Please keep in mind that photography is not my passion. (Off-topic: woodworking is my passion) I'd really like to keep the price as low as possible while still getting "good enough for jewelry ecommerce" photos.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. doxx

    doxx TPF Noob!

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    hi vanguard,
    a light dome produces very flat lighting, I would try to
    use an additional reflector (try white cardboard) on one side
    to get some depth, use it on the left, since the higlights seem
    to be a bit hot on the right already. To get the background
    white you'll need to open up some/expose longer. It will take
    a few tries to get a good compromise between a white background
    an hilites in the metal/gems.
    For gems a 'sparkle light' is recommended a weak additional
    light to make the stones sparkle.

    I did these last week with one light only... a softbox from the top
    (approx 1 ft away) and silver reflectors on both sides of the product.
    I did not use flash to control the hilites better and the jewellery was
    sitting flat on a white cardboard. digital ISO 50, 1 sec @f8

    I did only minor corrections in Photoshop to get the background
    really white.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][/url]
     
  3. vanguard

    vanguard TPF Noob!

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    Wow, your pictures represent a nice goal for us to strive for. I looked at my camera's manual (http://www.kodak.com/global/en/service/digCam/dc240/ownerManual/toc.shtml) and I didn't see a way to set the f/stop, the shutter speed, or the ISO. Actually, it can set them to some degree but not in a way that allows me to mimick what you've done.

    Do you think the DC280 is capable of taking pictures like yours? Is it possible to get close for $500 or less?
     
  4. doxx

    doxx TPF Noob!

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  5. Canon Fan

    Canon Fan TPF Noob!

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    You can take pics with even the cheapest of cameras. The one you have is quite a bit better than the old 1MP HP C200 Smartpix I used for the photo below. Obviously my pic is not of jewelry, and it is not a "good" pic but it does demonstrate just how much you can "trick" the built in auto-exposure modes. The key is to get the background REALLY bright and force the camera to expose for only the subject. I set this pic up in about 10min the other night using nothing more than 2 500watt work lights and a piece of white cloth. With a little bit of time I think you could reproduce pics that will be fine for you site using the equipment you already have.

    [​IMG]
     

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