How to shoot all silver jewelry

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by jxspece, Jun 18, 2010.

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  1. jxspece

    jxspece TPF Noob!

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    I am shooting jewelry that my wife makes for her website. I use a light tent and two diffuse lights and then whatever background material she wants for a more creative layout that she is looking for (different colors of fabrics, different props like driftwood and rocks etc...)

    The problem that i am having is when i try to shoot some of her pieces that are primarily just plain silver beads and incredibly reflective. The jewelry is setup like all of the other pieces but i cant seem to get an image where the lighting is not too hot and blowing out the jewelry. Any suggestions on how to shoot something like this?
     
  2. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Try adding black reflectors on the sides and aim the lights at the reflectors rather than the product. (Say the length of the box and five or six inches high)

    If the lights are "too hot" move them back and/or shoot in aperture mode.

    Cheers, Don
     
  3. jxspece

    jxspece TPF Noob!

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    i will give some black reflectors a try (have not used them before). is there a best practice placement for the reflectors in a square"ish" light tent environment?

    I have been messing with moving the lights to compensate and always shoot her jewelry in apeture mode but have not found a decent look on these pieces yet.

    thanks for the advice!
     
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well... adding some black boards is a good idea. Their reflection in the product will follow the curves and help communicate shape.

    Reducing the light will not help.

    How about some dulling spray?

    -Pete
     
  5. jxspece

    jxspece TPF Noob!

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    Pete, that dulling spray looks pretty interesting do you have much experience with it? I am mainly wondering how easy it is to clean off as most of what i am shooting are products that my wife will be selling as well.
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've used a bunch of it. It wipes off easily, but I imagine you might have some tiny crevices that will be hard to get into with a cloth.

    I don't like it so much on highly polished metal surfaces as it can appear blothcy if applied too heavily.
     
  7. jxspece

    jxspece TPF Noob!

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    i will keep it in mind in case i need to tame these pieces of jewelry a bit more. Thanks!
     
  8. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Start with the reflectors at about a thirty degree angle on each side and the lights from each side at the height of the top of the box and angled at the reflectors.

    What are the lights mounted in ? Additional diffusers on the lights shouldn't be necessary but I have left my softboxes on my strobes when using a light tent.

    Cheers, Don
     
  9. jxspece

    jxspece TPF Noob!

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    Don, the lights are two Smith Vector florescent units mounted on short stands. I put the additional diffusers on the lights as to try and help my issue, though it hasnt done much.

    Should the reflectors be the full height of the tent? I dont currently own any reflectors and will need to purchase something so just wondering what size i should look for roughly.
     
  10. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Are you talking about the multi CF bulb set ups ? As in four bulbs in a 16" reflector ?

    No, full height is going to block the light :)

    Reflectors don't need to be anything fancy, black paper works fine. As I said, size them to the depth of the box and about five inches high. The point is the light will be reflected off the paper and the objects will pick up the color of the reflector.

    In a 28" tent make the reflectors ~24" x 5".

    If you want to try something quick and dirty, put some tin foil on cardboard. That will demonstrate the effect.

    Cheers, Don
     
  11. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Now, remember... these aren't "reflectors." They're just some black board. I use black mat board, but that's what I have on hand.

    Just hold one in place and observe the results as you move it around. Once you find a position that works, figure a way to get the board to stay.

    -Pete
     
  12. jxspece

    jxspece TPF Noob!

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    no these are not the multi bulb units. These are the single (cant remember the wattage off the top of my head) units with 10" reflectors.

    after reading back over your post i was wondering how i came up with the reflectors being full height, was very confused as to how that was going to work :lol:

    i will cut down some think black paper that i have and give this a go this evening. Thanks for the help! will try to post some before and after shots when i get a chance.
     
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