You may already know that jewelry photography is one of the most challenging branches of product photography, whether you’re a newbie or already a pro. Slowly, as you progress through your journey of thousands of jewelry shots, you will encounter many technical questions and difficult decisions.
We will examine the product itself, the settings of the camera, and the studio setup. Find answers to questions about jewelry photography that will set you on the right path.
- Is there a recommended lighting setup for jewelry?
- What are the best settings for jewelry photography?
- Is a macro lens necessary for photographing jewelry?
- Is it possible to control reflections when photographing jewelry?
- What is the best way to prepare jewelry for photography?.
- Are there ways to remove scratches from jewelry?
- Is it possible to get a sharp image?
Before you begin, let’s discuss the differences between traditional and automated photography and how they might affect your approach to jewelry.
What’s the difference between automatic and traditional photography?
To shoot jewelry traditionally, one would build a relevant studio setup, plan the session and then engage in advanced post-production to make the product as sharp as possible and the background as white as possible.
Jewelry can be presented in an attractive, more sophisticated way if it is cut from the background. It can then be placed on colored backgrounds of your choice or used in catalog compositions. The requirements of e-commerce, such as quantity and information, suggest a pure white background. White or colored backgrounds, still life or packshot, the traditional product image production requires exact knowledge of lighting manipulation, a good understanding of the interaction between the camera settings and the studio setup. To deal with small depth of field or cutting out the background, you typically spend hours in photo editing software.
A second approach involves an automated photo studio with a streamlined workflow of shooting to publication. A rotating stage and templated lighting are available from leading manufacturers. The package also includes control software that provides all the basics of post-production. The background is automatically cut through masking, while depth of field is controlled by super-focus.
You will need to consider factors such as the volume of your needs, the time-to-market, and the price-per-photo when deciding whether to go with traditional or automated jewelry photography.
The photo session will present similar challenges in both cases. To become an expert in jewelry photography, let’s pare them down to a manageable list.
Stacking the focus works
What is the best way to get a fully sharp product?
When shooting a small object at a close distance from the lens, the resulting photograph lacks depth of field. A ring or a bracelet does not have a sharp end when fully extended.
By using the focus-stacking technique in post-production, jewelry photography can solve this major problem.
E-commerce jewelry photography requires precision, skill, and time, but ensures sharpness and informational qualities.
This workflow can be significantly improved by automated solutions. The shooting of the different focused photographs is automatically programmed (the user can control how many steps are involved) and they are then juxtaposed in the controlling software in an intelligent process that produces the final images.
Preparing products for jewelry photography
How should jewelry prepare for images?
When jewelry is photographed at a close distance, you can easily see all the flaws of the product. Scratches, fingerprints, and fuzz are clearly visible.
To combat this, it is important to prepare the product right before the photo shoot. To do so, follow these four simple tips:
- Handle jewelry with cotton gloves.
- Use the cleaning chemistry recommended in the product specifications.
- Always use a microfiber towel to apply final polish.
- Must use compressed air to dust the item.
Photographing jewelry with the right camera settings
How many f-stops should I use for jewelry photography?
A value of f-stop around the midpoint of the lens has recommended for product photography. In most cases, this is 11 or 13. You will then be able to determine the best focus parameters for the camera-lens set.
However, shutter speed remains less important since in most cases you will be using a tripod, which eliminates the risk of movement-induced blurring.
Keeping ISO speed as low as possible remains the general recommendation. Noise in photos results from this setting, which increases the ISO speed. The best ISO setting for jewelry photography would be 100 or 200.
Depending on the lens specification, you may be tempt to use f-stop values of 22 or 32 to achieve a greater depth of field. It may not deliver the desired result, however, as the distance between the camera and the object is relatively small, and the object itself typically measures just a few centimeters. In the rear of the item, you will still see blurry and out of focus parts.
Again, this is where focus stacking can help. A mid-range aperture f-stop value can trust when it has used. You can find more information about the best camera settings for product photography in our ultimate guide.
Lastly, a few thoughts
In photography, light and mind intertwine. Keeping an eye on how your camera tracks light will help you take perfect jewelry pictures.
There will be many adjustments, innumerable corrections, and lessons learned along the way. The small size of jewelry and highly reflective surfaces make jewelry photography difficult. Our tips should help you to get start. Have fun.
You will travel with studio equipment and devices that had specifically designed for capturing the perfect shot. Jewelry will remain a challenge regardless of whether you choose to work traditionally in a studio or use more cost-effective automated solutions.