Jewelry photography - difficult, not impossible

Posted : 12/20/2009 01:05PM

Jewelry photography is a serious challenge to photography enthusiasts and professional photographers alike.
Jewelry photography should capture all the little and subtle details in the jewelry, the color of the stone should be deep and real as possible while, of course, preserving the design, shine and glitter of the jewel.
The main problem in jewelry photography, is the fact that most jewelries are reflecting surfaces, and most of them will reflect anything in the room (including the photographer and the camera).
Another, potentially frustrating, problem is the stone – tend to come out black, or milky-white.
Here are some suggestions for amateurs, for getting better results:

  1. Do not point the flash to the jewel itself. The Jewel will return it, and you'll get the flash  reflections.
    If you are using a flash, just make sure that it points away from your subject
  2. I recommend against using flash at all and using ambient (natural) light if possible. However, if you decide to use flash after all, you should soften the flash, it will decrease the reflection from the subject, and return deeper and more vivid color from the stone. To soften your flash, you can use a plain white, or creamy fabric (best results – using a shirt, or a bed sheet) , it will filter the light, and spread it better.
  3. Use a macro lens (or use macro function in your digital camera). Shoot from as far as possible with a big zoom, and crop the image thereafter, using image processing software. The contrast between the background and the piece will flatter the small details.
  4. Use a solid color background. You can use white, or any other color, your subject will "interact" with that background, so use your imagination. However, avoid of using a green background with a silver subject, as it will look like gold.

Good luck!