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Thread: Photographing jewelry?

  1. #1
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    Photographing jewelry?

    I've just finished a pair of earrings made from sterling silver and old military-surplus subminiature vacuum tubes. (only 1 1/3" long, not including earhooks - and I was *very* careful to keep the weight down!) However, my efforts at photography didn't turn out so well - everything has a sort of orangeish tint (possibly due to the interior lighting), there's lots of glare, and I had some trouble getting my Canon point-and-shoot to focus even in macro mode. Does anyone have any tips?


  2. #2
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    Might want to see if there's a color balance setting to match the color to the light you are using.

    Also, might want to look into one of those little mini photo tents that diffuse the light.

    I'm no expert, but when I shoot small stuff, I turn the flash off, put it on a tripod, and use the self timer to pull the trigger for me...
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
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  3. #3
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    Joseph,
    My daughter shoots a fair amount of jewelry and small glass objects. I fixed her up on the cheap with a photo 'tent' made from a styrofoam ice chest as a light diffuser, a piece of light gray mat board bent into a nice curve as a background and a high color temperature (5000k or better) daylight compact flourescent bulb in a cheap aluminum clamp on reflector from lowe's. It works well at less than $20. Set your camera on a tripod, adjust the white balance for daylight and experiment with various angles shining the light through the cooler. Your orange tint might be reflected color from your background. It's better to use a neutral gray or even black for your background.
    Last edited by Ted Calver; 01-16-2010 at 05:11 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Calver View Post
    Set your camera on a tripod, adjust the white balance for daylight and experiment with various angles shining the light through the cooler.
    Through the cooler? Maybe you could give me a picture of such a setup?

  5. #5
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    Good tips so far. Diffused light 5000K, no flash, tripod, neutral gray background and self-timer are five things I use for pretty much every "product" shot.

    Joseph, there might be some useful info for you in Neil Addy's photo tutorial here.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Shaul View Post
    I've just finished a pair of earrings made from sterling silver and old military-surplus sub-miniature vacuum tubes. (only 1 1/3" long, not including ear-hooks - and I was *very* careful to keep the weight down!) However, my efforts at photography didn't turn out so well - everything has a sort of orangeish tint (possibly due to the interior lighting), there's lots of glare, and I had some trouble getting my Canon point-and-shoot to focus even in macro mode. Does anyone have any tips?
    If you are only doing one or two photos, the suggestion here are fine. If you are serious about doing it look into a Cloud Dome. My wife is a professional jewelry designer and I do all her photos using this setup. White Balance is also very important. I use an old Nikon Coolpix digital camera and the results are fantastic, I go directly from the camera to the website without any post processing.

    The person who invented the device offers courses on photographing small items when I got mine the course was included in the price. You also need an external light source, the dome does not allow you to use your cameras flash.

  7. #7
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    hope you don't mind, I dragged the photo through photoshop... for a quick fix on tihs one.

    going forward, you may want to invest in a light tent and a basic set of strobes
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails earrings light.jpg  
    -Ned

  8. #8
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    Regular incandesent bulbs give off the yellow hue and florecent lights give off a greenish hue. Flashes give a true balance of natural light back and bouncing a flash will give a more subdued light. Multiple lights will reduce the shadows and provide a more consistant light. You can get filters for the SLR style cameras that will compensate for the light variations of indoor lighting or if you are using digital a good computer programs can be played with to compensate for the differences. In black and white photography colour filters would give all kinds of different results. There are all kinds of books out there on filters and photography that are good reading on how the spectum of light can be played with. As for the focal point just pull back a bit more and do all the magnification with the digital zoom on the camera or computer if you can't get cloes enough with the regular lens. Close up photography with a point and shoot camera isn't the same as with an SLR style camera though they are getting better. I use the top of my freezer with a floresent light to set the auto focus and camera flash to render the true colours as that area acts like a light box. If not and you are going to be taking more pics of your work I would suggest in investing in buying or making a photo tent.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  9. #9
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    Joseph,
    Sorry, I didn't take any pictures of the set up. This kind of cooler:
    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...F43atAO6q-XPBw

    A light shining on the outside will make the foam glow and illuminate the inside. Lay it on its side on a table without the top and place the curved background inside. Very simple, but it works.

  10. #10
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    If your P&S has about 5 mp or above, just pull back to get good focus then enlarge the subject. A tripod is almost essential. Small table top ones can be bought on the cheap. Use the self timer to eliminate hand shake. I bought one of those small light tents somewhere on line for $7.00. Original price was almost $100.00. [they weren't hot sellers at a hundred] You can make a tent with white sheets, a couple cheap lights and neutral background material. I buy felt craft squares at Wal-Mart for under 50 cents each. They come in about a dozen colors. The beauty of digi cams is that you can take many shots at no cost. I move my lights around, take some with flash, some without and pick the best. Neat idea on the earrings.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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