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Jewlery Photography Help Needed
  
 
talexander
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Jewlery Photography Help Needed


My girlfriend asked me to take some pictures of her jewelry she wants to eBay, about 100 pieces in total. (yes she has an addiction, thankfully all but a few she bought herself and are cheap.)

I'm not sure the best way to light jewelry and photograph it. Shiny reflective metal seems to hate ring flash like normal macro would enjoy so I'm thinking use my light tent but anyone have any suggestions on lightning and overall setup?

In terms of gear I've got access to (I'm willing to spend a few dollars on something small if it's going to help but won't be buying a $1000 light table for example)

Light Tent
2 SB-700
A couple of pop-up diffusion panels gold/silver/opaque white

Was planing on shooting with 100mm Macro for most stuff stopped down to around F8-F16 on my tripod.

Thanks,

Tim



May 24, 2014 at 06:02 PM
PhotoDes
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Jewlery Photography Help Needed


I've done quite a bit of jewelry photography for the web and I advise against a light-tent. I have found that different pieces of jewelry need different lighting. I use speedlights aimed into 2 white umbrellas which I can move around to vary the lighting to suit me. I do everything in manual mode -- my lights are adjustable down to 1/16 max, and they were very inexpensive speedlights. Since umbrellas on stands with a speedlight adapter can be had for about $75 each, the additional cost to you shouldn't be too much with your available strobes. My backgrounds are typically white, gray, or black -- sometimes poster board, sometimes cloth.

Here's an example of my results.








May 24, 2014 at 07:42 PM
BigIronCruiser
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Jewlery Photography Help Needed


Some pieces of jewelry may show better on black, but eliminating all of the dust is rather challenging. I would avoid placing jewelry on a mirror because you can get double reflections. Some folks use light tents, and others don't. If you decide to try a light tent, it's pretty easy to fabricate one with white rip-stop fabric and PVC pipe. Any modifier, including rip-stop, can cause a color cast, so use a grey card or Color Checker Passport (or similar) to nail the colors.

If you already have diffusion panels, the white ones can be used. Your pair of SB-700's will be adequate, and you'll obviously need a way to trigger them off-camera. As already suggested, manual mode for the camera and lights is the only way to go.

Here's a sample shot with a 105VR Macro that demonstrates the difference between black & white backgrounds.
















May 25, 2014 at 04:13 AM
Herb
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Jewlery Photography Help Needed


I have a light table that you are welcome to borrow......I live over near Sandusky, not that far away. My light table is at least 24" square and maybe 30" square. The company I work for used to have a photo department and in the process of cleaning everything up and out, this was put in an auction that benefited United Way. I dont think I paid more than $3 for it.....let me know if I can help.....


May 29, 2014 at 02:49 AM
2613pch
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Jewlery Photography Help Needed


shoot thru perspex only way to go...forget tent, light each piece individually fill in shadows with reflector cards.


Jun 07, 2014 at 06:52 PM
diamondsdr47
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Jewlery Photography Help Needed


...or you can use soft box with reflectors, just mind distance of reflectors from the object and as mentioned above each piece need individual adjustments.


Jun 07, 2014 at 07:52 PM
 

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diamondsdr47
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Jewlery Photography Help Needed


I think westcott makes soft box to use with speed light or there are adapters for it, but the one from westcott will help to avoid the hot spot more or less,also you can make your own diffusers out of vellum or parchment paper that's for cheap ...oh and don't rush pay attention to the details, most of the time what see is what you get. Hope it helps.


Jun 07, 2014 at 08:02 PM
Tom In Arizona
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Jewlery Photography Help Needed


Hi Tim...

Here's a site with pretty extensive explanations of lighting jewelry. It has a lot of different links on how to photograph various types of jewelry and lighting techniques.

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

Hope that helps.
Tom



Jun 07, 2014 at 08:20 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Jewlery Photography Help Needed


Don't forget that since jewelry is small and the lighting modifiers are built for larger things the effect of the soft box or umbrella will be lost. With tiny things I use a main light fixture and a bunch of silver, white, black and grey cards maybe a couple cooler or warmer cards to kick in a little color.


Jun 11, 2014 at 06:02 AM
Savas K
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Jewlery Photography Help Needed


The light tent products tend to make all pieces look the same and some jewelry will fare worse than others. Some jewelry needs a range of tones to reinforce its dimensionality, hardness, reflectivity and contrast.


Jun 22, 2014 at 10:19 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Jewlery Photography Help Needed


Micky Bill wrote:
Don't forget that since jewelry is small and the lighting modifiers are built for larger things the effect of the soft box or umbrella will be lost.


How would the effect be lost? Since the point of a soft box or umbrella is to make the light source larger relative to the subject, and since they are already larger than the small jewelry, I'd say the effect would be amplified, not lost; amplified to the extent that the light could be too soft and non-directional. (One usually wants some small catchlights and shadows to define the shape and reflectivity of the materials.)



Jun 22, 2014 at 05:57 PM





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