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| Wednesday, 07 December 2016 |

10 Tips & Tricks for professional Jewel Photos

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Jewels are very difficult to photograph, if you don't know how to do it. Here following you can understand a few tricks that will help you a lot.

1. PHOTOGRAPH JEWELS AS ON THE BODY

This is the #1 rule of commercial photos. When shooting a ring, usually persons try to stand it up with support or wax. This is because it reminds the position that the jewel has on your finger. If the position in the picture is the same as on the body, the photo will look clear, simple, familiar and... beauty.

If you decide to follow this suggestion, avoid supports and wax, as they need additional photo-editing time to be removed. We suggest to use our beloved "trick" of lights and rotations (see a video here), so you can place the jewel horizontally and then rotate just the finished photo.

Masi Ring2
Rotate the photo of 90° or 125° to stand up ring. It's easy if there are no shadows under the jewel.

 

2. CHOOSE THE RIGHT CAMERA FOR YOUR NEEDS

Depending on the quality you need, there are different solutions for photography. To publish online in a resolution of 500x500 pixels, even a smartphone is enough. For high-resolution photos it's needed at least a 15-Mpixels camera. If you need to be as fast as possible, we suggest to use cameras that can be controlled by the computer while shooting, for examples all models of EOS Canon.

 

3. CHOOSE LENS DEPENDING ON THE SIZE OF JEWELS

The main choice is between using a macro lens or a zoom lens with a special lens.

- Fixed Macro lens: the photo looks sharp and detailed. You can stay nearer the subject and make focus in little distance. In order to change size of the photographed jewellery, you need to move camera far away or closer to the subject. Fixed Macro Lens are usually much more expensive than the second solution, with zoom and ALPAMO Lens.

- Zoom lens + ALPAMO Lens: we have developed a special lens, called ALPAMO (Additional Low Profile Achromatic Macro Optics), to transform an ordinary zoom lens in a macro-zoom lens. It acts on the zoom lens like a loupe does on your eyes, focussing closer. In this way you can use both the advantages of the zoom (changing easily angle of view) and the macro. This solution is suitable for all sizes of jewellery.

 

4. COVER THE ENVIRONMENT (MOSTLY FOR GOLD, SILVER AND PEARL JEWELLERY)

Jewels are very, very, reflective. If you stay too close to a jewel during the shoot, even your face will appear in the photo! For this reason it is essential to control the environment around the jewel. Not just a background or a 3-side open cube. Bear in mind that the only space you cannot cover is the camera lens, everything else is better to be covered and correctly diffused with lights.

When using a light-box or a light-tent be aware that Jewels reflects the texture of it, as well as the colour. If you use a matt light-tent like a textile tent, the jewel will look matt. While, if you use a glossy material (ex. aluminium foil) you will have a glossy effect.

 

5. INSERT REFLECTIONS... SOMETIMES

Black reflections on jewels can be a good or a bad thing. There are divergent opinions about that. Sometimes, it is important to have some reflections, as they help to contrast colours and to show up textures, materials, diamond cuts, shapes. For examples, we suggest to insert reflection for multi-texture metal, for diamond jewellery and for curved surfaces.

orecchini riflessi 1920x600 min
In the first photo the earrings' texture is not clear, while in the second photo, that add some reflections, the texture is deep and defined.

 

6. REMOVE UNWANTED ELEMENTS

Take off labels, protecting films, dust and any other elements that may appear in the photo, it always take longer to remove them with photo-editing. If possible, don't insert any other items such as supports, glue, wax, boxes. Let's keep it simple.

 

7. CHOOSE THE BEST JEWELRY LIGHT, DON'T SAVE MONEY ON IT

Photography is "drawing with lights". Any photo, with a bad light, will appear terrible. The best light for jewellery, in our opinion, is the sunlight. The sun is not always available in a comfortable way, so, to have a light that doesn't change colors, you need to choose the right lamps: look for lamps with great color rendering (CRI>95%) and a color temperature of 5.500°K.

 

8. CHOOSE A STANDARD, AND KEEP IT

If you need photos for an e-commerce or a catalogue, photos will be displayed in rows and columns. At a glance, your visitor will notice if photos are standardised or not. It is confusing to show photos of many products in different positions, rotations, distances and backgrounds. Choose a standard and keep it, absolutely.

 

9. FOR E-COMMERCE AND CATALOGUE PHOTOS, TRY TO HAVE A WHITE BACKGROUND

Another good reason to shoot in white background? Amazon only accept white-backgrounded photosAlways use white background for catalogues and website photos. When a customer visit your website and has to look through hundreds of products, all photos has to be simple and easy to scan.
Don't try to have a transparent background for all your photos, it's seldomly useful. Moreover white backgrounded photos in JPG weight much less than a transparent PNG.

 

10. BE CREATIVE!

There are some "rules" to keep in mind, but sometimes it's good to be creative. Not in the catalogue or e-commerce page, where everything has to be clear and simple (white background is king), but for banners, posters, magazine advertising or website cover. Those are spaces in which you can express your style or create a theme about a period of the year (Christmas items near the jewel, rose petal for St. Valentine's Day, etc.).
If you have some interesting ideas on different photo environment, position, composition and so on, use them for this creative purposes.

 

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