How to improve these stainless steel jewelry photos?

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by fotorama, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. fotorama

    fotorama TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I want to photograph stainless steel jewelry. I am a beginner. I am using a Sony Alpha 200 with a 2.8 / 100 macro lense. I have set F to 16, S to 0.4" - 2". Here is my setup:

    P1000724 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    P1000722 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    P1000721 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    P1000720 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    I have done the following pictures:

    DSC00069 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    DSC00083 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    DSC00082 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    DSC00111 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Here I took plexiglas and lighted it up from beneath:

    DSC00116 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    DSC00118 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    How can I have my pictures look like this:

    MENS 316L Silver Gold Stainless Steel Necklace Chain | eBay
    Size7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Silver CZ Stainless Steel Wedding Ring Unisex VE393 | eBay
    UNIQUE Blue Stainless Steel RING Necklace Pendant vj905 | eBay

    I suspect I am doing the lighting wrong. Mabe someone has some tips or websites(I also googled some).
    Many thanks.


     
  2. Mully

    Mully TPF Noob!

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    First you need to put a card between the 2 soft boxes overhead so that it fills more. You can stick the rings and other items that want to roll with some wax....the kind they use for floral arrangements, one brand id called stickum. You can shoot a little flat and fix it in post and won't as much trouble with your lighting.
     
  3. fotorama

    fotorama TPF Noob!

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    Many thanks for the fast reply. I am german, so my english is not the best. What do you mean by "... put a card between ..."? What material is this card made of?
     
  4. Mully

    Mully TPF Noob!

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    Use a white piece of cardboard '''illustration board. You can also drape white paper over the tops of the light boxes..... you want to "tent" the jewelry.
     
  5. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Polished metal surfaces tend to just behave like mirrors and reflect whatever colors are nearby. Don't think of this as photographing shiny metal jewelry... think of it as photographing the REFLECTIONS that appear on the jewelry. When using polished metals such as silvers or stainless steel, using white cardboard or foam-core boards let you control the color of the reflections. I noticed you are using aluminum foil -- possibly hoping to throw more light on the subject. But this is really just another colorless "mirror" to reflect more light, but it wont give it the white color you want. To give the jewelry a white color, you have to provide a white surface for the reflections.

    You can also white balance against the white cards so that you don't have to worry about them having a yellowed tone and set them as your white point.

    Watch this video: Episode 15 , Photographing Shiny Metal and Reflections - YouTube
     
  6. MLeeK

    MLeeK TPF Noob!

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    1. Get a remote. I suspect you are pressing the shutter button and because of that your images aren't as sharp as they should be.
    2. your lighting is very flat and has no direction to it. THe sample images you gave on ebay have the key light above and back. THat is set slightly brighter than the fill light(s). By having the fill either by reflector or by a lesser powered light you get more dimension in your images.
     
  7. fotorama

    fotorama TPF Noob!

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    I have now changed the setup to this:
    P1000737 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    P1000736 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    I now use white paper instead of the aluminum foil. I also watched the video that TCampbell suggested. I think the rings are bad, but the necklace is not too bad in my opinion, but still not as good as the necklaces from the ebay seller.

    I made the following pictures:
    DSC00242 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    DSC00254 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    DSC00261 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    DSC00260 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    With above, do you mean exactly over the jewelry?

    I want my pictures to look like the ones from the ebay seller. A friend of mine said that those pictures are photoshopped. But he doesn't know much more about photography than I do. Do you think that they are photoshopped?
     
  8. MLeeK

    MLeeK TPF Noob!

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    First you need to expose properly. Your ring shots are rather underexposed. Get rid of the sheets of paper and get a large sheet of poster board so you can bend it and no longer see that edge where the sheets of paper come together.
    They are probably slightly post processed to apply the curve and contrast, but overall, no. Your bracelet or necklace shot is perfectly good here.
    THis is your image with just the highlights raised on the curve, the lights, darks and shadows are brought down a little.
     

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  9. MLeeK

    MLeeK TPF Noob!

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    Your ring shot is almost a full stop under exposed. I used Adobe Camera Raw (photoshop) the same as Lightroom to fix. It's a 5 second deal, then you save as a preset and apply to all images.
    In the parametric curve I rasised the highlights +30, dropped the lights -6 and the darks -20 and the shadows I left at 0. I applied a medium contrast point curve
    Fixed the white balance. $8155619756_e2d42b739c_b4.JPG
     
  10. ron5100

    ron5100 TPF Noob!

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    Hey nice thread here just a quick one about the ring stand in this last picture where could I get one of these from?
     
  11. Sabber

    Sabber TPF Noob!

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    I like your photo. I believe that the photographer should photograph beautifully, find a profitable perspective and choose the right light, so that the shadow doesn't spoil the photo, but emphasizes the subject. I know that there are special services, for example this Photo Retouching Services - Photo Editing Services | Genius Retouch one. They professionally retouch photos, align the color gamut. If you are making a photo for a catalog, then you may need their help.
     

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