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Silver Mist Studios
Got tons of tips and do "ok" photographing beads. But NOT JEWELRY! How do I capture the "sparkle".
My pics in the tent (I have the whole phototent setup) look drab, off color, I can't get a crisp... white light with a little reflection.
I tried all the photo settings and tutorials on the phototent website.
I have done allll kinds of photo editing too.
I read on GA.org that for jewelry you need the photo "dome". I saw some reflector thing... would that help?
Even though I have what are supposed to be the "right lights" (I have the tabletop daylight lamps) but it's like they don't seem bright enough.
These are some pics that are actually OUT of the tent with the lights to the sides of the jewelry. The ones IN the tent were actually WORSE.
The ones on the stand the light is pretty harsh. Try lighting them from the front or from above, using something to diffuse the light. I don't know what size your light box is, but if you can, put the lights towards the front of the box on the sides and move the stand towards the back. The bottom one will be hard to photograph no matter what just because you are photographing white on white. I bet if you put it on a grey or black stand it will really pop.
When you get ready to take the photos, try lengthening your exposure. Try "bracketing" your photos. How that's done is like this...
Take a photo at standard exposure. Then, shorten the exposure and take the photo, then lengthen the exposure and take the photo again. Compare all three on your monitor (not on the camera screen). See which one looks best. If you need to, lengthen your exposure a little more. Eventually you will find the "sweet spot" for your camera and lighting setup, and you will know where to start next time. I always take bracketed photos of everything I photograph. Sure, I end up deleting 66% of the photos I take, but it's digital, so it's not like I'm wasting film.
Grey background and play with the distance of the lights from the pieces.
Lighting is too much "behind" the objects ... Either move lights forward some or move stand and jewelry back some in relationship to lighting... Lighting needs to be more "in front"..
Funny thing is you have got good nice whites!... That is the hardest thing to accomplish.... Also for sparkle try less diffusion so the jewelry will pick up some glare off bulbs...
You might also consider "star" filter in front of lense but that may be to much "effect" for sparkle...
Silver Mist Studios
Well I normally take them really close with the camera. The lights are kinda beside the bust but pointed directly on it.
So basically maybe try further away? Like how much? (I tried a black bust and I kept getting camera shake no matter what the settings. Unless I turned on flash. I use a tripod too. Maybe I was getting camera shake on the black just cause I was so close.
I'll try to get the lights more in front.
Dale by less diffusion do you mean maybe not to use the tent?
Maybe some material that allows more light through maybe even a bit of the glare off bulbs... Maybe something plastic ... I found some lexan sheeting in Home Depot (lighting dept) that diffused the light but allow the light to have different "character" for lack of better word... It is something like frosted glass in shower door or privacy glass in bathroom window... Diffuses light but still allows "sparkle"..
I would use the timer setting on your camera to eliminate the shaking.
I use rip-stop nylon to diffuse my light. Cheap, and works well. You should be able to get it at any fabric store.
I tried to find the web link to the article - and failed :( - so this is my recollection of what someone else "Discovered" (I guess you could say)
The eye needs a clue that the surface is reflective - and what can happen in the light tents/Domes whatevers - is that the light becomes too diffuse and there is no "Clue" for the eye to realise there is shine present.
What this person had done was to take a piece of black card that would just fit in one side of the light tent - and they cut a rectangle in it to make a window. The idea being that the window makes an "edge" at some point on the bead which is what the eye picks up on to see the shine.
Perhaps someone else - with a better memory (or the smarts to have bookmarked the page) will post the link - it was a well written article - and the tip works.
Silver Mist Studios
I tried that... didn't work well enough for me. Its the tabletopstudio.com site, its where I got my photo setup and he has tried to help me by email and on the phone. But, the advice he has given isn't working for the jewelry... but works well for just glass beads.
Corinne - GOC
Try a small light (like a LED Booklight) INSIDE the tent ... then you can controll where your highlights are, but there are definite high lights ...
For me, I just took the whole tent down and was much much happier ...
Here is a pendent in the tent
and now out of the tent ... more direct lighting, left high front, right low back
and now less direct lighting same left light, right light bounced off of wall (ie turned away from object, but still lighting it)
Another one ...
In the tent
Out of the tent
My brother invested in some AMAZING lights for me (300 each!) and I must say it makes a huge difference ... these are designed for digital small product shots and specifically names jewellry
Hope this helps some
How is this???
note the grey background on corinnes photos, big key there. then she just played with the lighting distance. :p the background should usually contrast the subject, for macro photography of jewelry anyhow. grey contrasts very well for most applicaitons, unless the subject was also grey.
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