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Archive 2013 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?
  
 
andylaiphoto
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p.1 #1 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?


I'm shooting some footwear for a woman who takes clients heels and adds swarovski crystals to them. A lot like what the person this site does.
http://shop.sophieandava.com/product_p/strass-120mm-pumps.htm

I noticed that in some of the shots the crystals are very muted and some of them have a lot of sparkle to them. What makes them sparkle? Is it a less diffused source of light? Is it shot outside with natural lighting? That only thing that I can gather from the images on that link is that there is definitely a lighting difference between the ones that sparkle and the ones that don't.

Any insight is appreciated. Thanks.



Jun 19, 2013 at 06:28 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #2 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?


They all look to be shot in the same place and with the same lighting to me. I think the main differences are in the shoes themselves: the color, the size of the crystals, the exact angle of the crystal's facets, etc.

One way to add "sparkle" to shots like these is to do it in the computer, using software like Photoshop.



Jun 19, 2013 at 09:30 PM
andylaiphoto
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p.1 #3 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?


Well you can tell the lighting is different with the shots that have sparkle because of the much more defined shadow lines.

Any suggestions on how to do this in photoshop. I'll search on the web but anything you have would be great too!



Jun 19, 2013 at 09:31 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?


Look at the shadows being cast from the shoes. They are essentially all being shot with very similar diffuse lighting, with 2 or 3 appearing to have a bit more specular shadow. Now, how much of that is lighting vs. post ...

If you want sparkle, take a look at how a jewelry store does it's lighting. If you want to evaluate a diamond for its ability to sparkle, you must take it outside of the store. In the store, the overall ambient level is illuminated by the diffuse lighting. The multitude of little track lights are there for the sole reason to add specularity from a multitude of angles to play off the multiple facets of the stone. (I once had an account with Stuller, under the dba of "Make Her Sparkle".)

Understanding this, if you can add additional points of light (even little ones ... not sufficient for overall illumination purposes), you can generate more sparkle via specular return. Light is always about AI=AR ... the return from the crystals facets will be based on this. Adding more point light sources (look at the track lighting in the jewelry store) will generate add more point returns.

@ what you might want for multiple point light sources ... maybe 3 or 4 (or a dozen ) cheap led flashlights, maybe @ hmmm. Also, wondering if maybe a really tight grid could emulate multiple point light sources where you could shoot two frames, one @ specular, one @ diffuse and blend/mask.




Jun 19, 2013 at 10:11 PM
24Peter
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p.1 #5 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?


andylaiphoto wrote:
Well you can tell the lighting is different with the shots that have sparkle because of the much more defined shadow lines.


Hard undiffused lighting, small light source creates sparkle and hard shadows. Could be flash or LED lights if you use continuous lighting.

Any suggestions on how to do this in photoshop. I'll search on the web but anything you have would be great too!

Star filters and brushes are available for free download. Google 'em.



Jun 19, 2013 at 10:44 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #6 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?


When light hits a faceted stone from many different directions the reflections become a muddle. So the ideal lighting is a single point source not many.

What you might try is a layering approach combining one shot with normal lighting with another shot with a single point source to bring out the sparkle in the crystals, masking it in over the base shot.

Another PP trick you might try is making a duplicate layer and over-sharpening it and blending in selectively with a mask. The USM halos will resemble sparkle. I often use that technique to add sparkle in fur, feathers and water.



Jun 19, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Ronny Mills
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p.1 #7 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?


http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=b%2Bw+cross+screen&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ma

Use a layer mask to add sparkles as desired.



Jun 20, 2013 at 01:01 AM
 

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RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?


cgardner wrote:
When light hits a faceted stone from many different directions the reflections become a muddle.


Which is likely why you'll see the track lighting pointed in such different angles, so that they aren't hitting the same stones simultaneously, but rather can hit from "wherever" you are holding it and/or when you move it out of one, it gets covered by another.

Similar could apply by pointing a point source toward the heel of the shoe, one at the toe, one at the side, etc (think non-overlapping snoot). No individual crystal would be receiving the muddle effect from multiple point sources simultaneously, but more crystals would be "sparkly" from one of the different sources.

+1 @ multi-shot and mask/layer with different lighting or different filter, etc.



Jun 20, 2013 at 02:36 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #9 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?


RustyBug wrote:
Which is likely why you'll see the track lighting pointed in such different angles, so that they aren't hitting the same stones simultaneously, but rather can hit from "wherever" you are holding it and/or when you move it out of one, it gets covered by another.

Similar could apply by pointing a point source toward the heel of the shoe, one at the toe, one at the side, etc (think non-overlapping snoot). No individual crystal would be receiving the muddle effect from multiple point sources simultaneously, but more crystals would be "sparkly" from one of the different sources.

+1 @ multi-shot
...Show more


I've observed that many high end jewelry stores will have a specific area for selling engagement rings with a single strong halogen point source directly above the counter with a black velvet placed below the stone to create maximum contrast. It's the light entering the flat table of the stone which creates the sparkle off the facets below. The proportions of the stone and angle of the facets created by the cut need to match the refractive index of the stone. A well cut stone will sparkle more than a poorly cut one. A clever way to "up sell" a customer to show them two stones of equal weight and clarity, one with a poor cut and another cut perfectly which costs 30% more. If the woman is there looking at them there's no way the guy will be leaving with the cheaper rock.

A tip for all the guys who are still single. When you pop the question and give her the ring do it on a clear sunny day or some romantic spot at night under a single street light; the stone will look far more impressive that way



Jun 20, 2013 at 11:29 AM
andylaiphoto
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p.1 #10 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?


Ronny Mills wrote:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=b%2Bw+cross+screen&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ma

Use a layer mask to add sparkles as desired.


You have firsthand experience with these filters?

Thanks for the input everybody.



Jun 20, 2013 at 01:58 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #11 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?


cgardner wrote:
A well cut stone will sparkle more than a poorly cut one.


That depends ... a well cut stone can be cut to return more light through the table so that it appears more brilliant, or a well cut stone can be cut to return more light through the crown to create more sparkle.

That becomes a design choice for the cutter @ how to style/balance the light return between brilliance and sparkle (fire).

But in both cases, a well cut stone will return the (near) maximum amount it can through one, or both of these two areas ... minimizing the amount of light loss through the other exiting light paths. Light still follows AI=AR @ reflection, refraction and absorption.

Some excellent step cuts can look like a piece of glass with very little sparkle (i.e. emerald cut, etc.). Part of the reason that an emerald cut is considered a mark of a quality stone is that the emerald cut is very easy to see the stones flaws, so those stones with fewer flaws make better candidates for step cuts. Personally, I don't care much for step cuts as they have little character, only to be somewhat pretentious @ "Look at me, I don't have (m)any flaws." But for some folks, they love them.

Diamond cutting is much like lens design in our craft, in that there is always a series of compromises involved in the optical design at how it renders/returns/transmits the light. Our lenses can be optically ideal, full of character or simply poor. Most worthy lenses fall somewhere between optically ideal and some degree of character ... with poor to be avoided. Imo, same goes for gemstones @ how much brilliance vs. fire one will aspire for as a preference ... avoiding the poorly cut or detracting flaws.

While DEF grades (diamonds) are "colorless" and GHI grades are "white", I find the FG (occasional H if cut for maximum fire) to be good targets @ color/brilliance. And for clarity, most folks don't need flawless, but most stones that are SI1 (slightly included) are too small to see in daily wear. SI2 and SI3 (which is really an I) are noticeable and should be avoided. VVS or better are into pixel peeping range and only visible by the most scrutinizing eyes, typically requiring a loupe to detect.

So, for me ... F-G and SI1 or better provide good quality that can be brilliant, with the amount of fire dependent on the cutter's styling.

NOTE: There are many different grading organizations and some dealers/stores make up their own grading criteria (impressive little cards to emulate GIA reports, but aren't). GIA is the most trusted. I've seen stores grade a stone @ F, which compared to a GIA graded stone were more like a J or K ... Caveat Emptor.

As we digress ...



Jun 20, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #12 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?


andylaiphoto wrote:
You have firsthand experience with these filters?

Thanks for the input everybody.


They still make cross star filters the 80s live!!!



Jun 21, 2013 at 04:10 PM
rico
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p.1 #13 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?


Check out the B+W catalog: they still make star filters (the physical kind). I can already hear Abba playing in the background.


Jun 21, 2013 at 07:38 PM
shutterbug guy
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p.1 #14 · How do I get sparkles from the crystals?


I am no lighting expert but have toyed around with some gem stones that I've sold on ebay in the past. I've found that constant lighting seems to work best for me, adding a dazzler or sparkler light for the sparkles. Basically a spot led light.

More information here, which I found useful, hope this helps.

http://www.tabletopstudio.com/jewelry_photography.html

Roger



Jun 23, 2013 at 03:03 AM





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