Photographing jewelry

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by SquirrelNuts, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. SquirrelNuts

    SquirrelNuts TPF Noob!

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    I became engaged Monday night...and I even used photography to propose! The short version is that I hid a 4x6 index card with "Will you marry me?" in the middle of a mini photo album with some pictures.

    Last night I tried to photograph her engagment ring and wedding band with my Nikon 5400. I put the camera in macro mode and tried various backgrounds, angles, and lighting, but I just could not get the effect that I wanted 100%.

    My best result was taking an off white cloth napkin and pulling it through the rings, and using the rest of the material as a backdrop. I shot in black and white. The ring was at an angle so that you could see the face and the side of the center diamond, as well as four ouf of the eight other diamons on the side of the center diamond. I used a white LED flashlight at an angle to produce a reflection off the face (table) of the center diamond. That was the best I could do to capture a sparkle. I tried this under flourescent and incandescent lighting. I set the camera to ISO 50 and the smallest aperature for good DOF.

    What suggestions do you have to improve this shot? Would a different color cloth work (ring is white gold with colorless diamonds) or a different light source or mode?

    My intent was to have a very sharp (hence ISO 50), very clear (hence small aperature), sparkling shot. I got all of it but the sparkle. I even tried moving the LED light during the exposure to try and attain many reflections, but to no avail.

    -SquirrelNuts
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Photographing jewely is hard. I've tried myself, with poor results, but I did stumble upon this link. Maybe it will help.

    http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/19002-1.html

    I don't know if you want to go through all the trouble to build a light tent, but it will give good results, I'm sure.
     
  3. SquirrelNuts

    SquirrelNuts TPF Noob!

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    Looks like a trip to Home Depot and Wal Mart are in order for some lights and fabrics. Twist my arm a little harder.

    I tried doing a light tent with the napkin I used to hold the ring, but I think my problem was poor lighting (no matter how hard I tried).

    I may pick up some gray fabric as suggested.

    -Robert
     
  4. Ben

    Ben TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    I shoot a lot of digital shots of jewelry as my wife does eBay.
    I've found the best trick is a dark background, like blue or black, and use a zoom lens of 70mm so your not to close but still have a close up.Then I use the flash on the camera. Take the picture at an angle too. This creats sparkles that are not over whelming as you aren't right on top of the peice. With the zoom, you have to hold the camera pretty steady but with a few bracket shots you should get a great photo. Also, never get the jewelry wet to creat a glitter effect. This may loosen the gems of older pieces and they'll fall out!!

    Hope this helps!
    Ben

    http://blung.50megs.com
     

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