Any photographer will agree, jewelry photography is the toughest of all as it involves capturing character of its small parts. The metals & precious stones that form any fine or fashion jewelry, have reflective qualities which will simply show reflections, shadows and spots in images if the proper camera, lens, lighting are not used.
Therefore, producing top quality jewelry images is not what an ameteur photographer who has attended few sessions of photography school online can achoeve. If you need a professional photography for jewlery make sure you do better than a freelance photographer. In our opinion, here are the six most significant aspects of jewelry photography.
This is a beginners guide to fashion jewelry photography.
1. NATURAL DAYLIGHT
Jewelry photography is incredibly difficult as the shiny polished surface of jewelry is reflective.
With flash photography, you’ll typically find yourself with images that have glares and dark spots. The secret’s to avoid these, is to use continuous natural light that will evenly and accurately reproduce all the spectacular colors found in the jewelry.
2. SUBTLE LIGHTENING
Direct light on the jewelry can produce dark spots or shadows. It is important that the pieces are exposed through subtle lighting. You can achieve this by using a diffuser. The diffuser equally spreads the sunshine, and eliminate all dark spots, shadows and reflections. You would find various options to pick the right diffuser for your needs.
3. WHITE BALANCE
White balance means the camera must alter itself to the surrounding light conditions so that the correct and true colors of the product being photographed are prevalent. This is a key part of photography. This can be programmed in most high quality cameras. Several models have pre-programmed choices or presets for white balance . This means that the camera will “read” and self-adjust itself to be able to take footage underneath several surrounding light conditions. This feature is incredibly vital.
4. DEPTH OF FIELD & FOCUS
Setting the Depth-of-field(DOF) is an important aspect in photography. It is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appear acceptably sharp in an image. In jewelry photography, it is desirable to have the entire image sharp, and hence a large DOF is required.
The second factor is the focus of the lens. This helps to take a clear picture. Most digital cameras have associate auto-focus choice which makes it easy to get focus on the object to get crystal clear sharp pictures.
5. SHUTTER SPEED / EXPOSURE TIME
Shutter speed or exposure time is the length of time a camera’s shutter is open when clicking a photograph. The amount of light that reaches the film or image sensor is directly proportional to the exposure time. This helps to ensure that the light reaching the film or sensor is just appropriate and it is based on the surrounding light. The shutter speed controls the light so that the pictures taken are neither too bright (over exposed) or too dark (under exposed).
6. STABLE CAMERA MOUNTING
When photographing jewelry, it is advisable to mount your camera to a stable surface so that you attain the sharpest images. If you hold the camera together with your hands, it’s possible that you just can slightly move the camera resulting in slight blurring of images that makes the small jewelry parts not appear sharp.
Jewelry Photography Tips
1. A Smaller Room.
For jewelry photography it is important to control the light and illuminate the pieces. This can be best done in a small space. A light tent helps to restrict the light in a smaller area. It softens and diffuses the light to provide consistent results. A light tent with a large opening works best as it will help position the camera and lens easily.
2. Keep jewelry dust free.
The jewelry photography involves zooming in and that brings out the finer details of the piece. Make sure the jewelry is dust and debris fre. It should not have any fingerprints. Any imperfections in jewelry would show up immediately when you take a close up picture. Use a lint-free microfiber cloth to clean the jewelry and then blast some air to make it absolutely clean. Check each image post production and see if that needs a photoshop edit for the final production.
3. Speedlights position is key.
How you position speedlights is important. It involves lot of experimentation before you can determine whether to use one or two spotlights. It could be top or side light. Using two lights wull increase dimentionality of the piece and affect how the shadows fall away from the shape. Doing some test shots will guide you as to what you need to change for that perfect shot.
4. Camera and Lens Position.
5. Arrange jewelry.
Keep the jewelry in its place, if you are using a light tent find a good spot for the jewelry. Focus the lens and lock the camera position. Not will tweezers move the jewlery inside the tent for that perfect shot. Make sure you arrange the jewelry so that you can capture it at a good angle and highlight the jewelry.
6. Keep It Simple.
At least when you are a beginner photographer, keep things simple. Usage of a lot of props would complicate the jewelry. You can use wood or metak or glass to make the picture better, but that adds to the complexity and takes the focus away from the centerpiece. Plus with props you will have to adjust the lights and take care of shaodows more than just the jewelry piece.
These are the basics while photographing fashion jewelry. With the growth in online costume jewelry stores, need for jewelry photography has increased. If you are one of those aspiring photographers, you could make a profession out of this. Let us know what your thoughts are. Would love to hear your experiences or tips on fashion photography.