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  • Photographing Jewellery....ideas?

    Hi all,

    Since setting up my website I've had huge problems with my photographs. I spents weeks finding the perfect spot in the house to photograph Jewellery but 2 pictures never come out the same and light seems to change. I've tried all sorts of backgrounds and only one on handmade cream paper seems to work. I love the look of many site that have a white background and I wonder how you achieve this. I'm not sure if white would compliment my site but would love to know what others have tried,

    Cheers

    Carol
    www.carolshawjewellery.com
    Carol
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/CarolShawJewellery

  • #2
    Hi,

    I'm no one to comment on 'proper' photography, but i've just looked at your website and I think your photo's fit in quite well with the style of the whole website.
    It all flows nicely and you can see the pieces well.
    Sarah x

    Muddle Website
    Muddle's Facebook Page

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Carol,

      I've just had a look at your website and I think your photography is great. I really like the softer look of the cream handmade paper and it sets your jewellery off really well. I'm not sure if a white background would be too harsh for the jewellery, what you've done fits in nicely with the feel of your website!!!

      xxx
      Janice
      Teddy bears don't need hearts as they're already stuffed with love!!
      www.jigpaws.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks Janice and Sarah for the positive comments. I agree that the cream background suits the jewellery however, I'm having problems with the Bridal section, because it's mostly white pearls and crystals they don't come out so well! Aghh!!

        Love the teddies!everyone needs a teddy

        and the muddle jewellery, your pieces are gorgeous. How do you photograph onto the white, is it a big sheet of card or do you use a light box?


        Carol

        www.carolshawjewellery
        bespoke handmade jewellery
        Carol
        http://www.facebook.com/#!/CarolShawJewellery

        Comment


        • #5
          Flash Arry!

          Hi Carol,

          I shoot jewellery professionally and one of the things about jewellery is that it is not one of the world’s easiest subjects to get right.

          One thing I picked out from your images is that the images are a little underexposed and that occasionally you are using incandescent light (Ordinary light bulbs). Incandescent lighting gives a yellowy orange tint to the image which will affect the colour balance so really you don’t want to do this.

          In some ways I can see why you chose to shoot on hand made paper, it doesn’t look bad at all and would be even better if the exposure were corrected.

          Shooting on white means making a choice between having a background which may be interesting but takes something away from the jewellery, all backgrounds do this or shooting on plain white which means that the jewellery is doing all the work. Get the layout or the exposure wrong and it will look terrible, get it right and your jewellery will stand out and say buy me! If you want a good example of what white looks like when well photographed take a look at www.waterstonejewellery.co.uk. ChrisW, one of your fellow Forumers has put together a very good site and just uses the jewellery to sell its self.

          As a commercial photographer I have to shoot on white for a variety of reasons and to be honest I wouldn’t chose to shoot on anything else unless my instructions tell me to do otherwise.

          For good results get hold of some proper background paper as the reflectance is balance for this kind of work. Use flash lighting as it is very white and consistent and can be set up anywhere and you have total control over what ever you want to do, which is important.
          One thing you will realise is that you will have to use the camera in manual mode as unless you are going to spend lots of cash the camera will not be controlling the flash head (S).

          If and only if you are shooting high contrast items then you can use a light Tent with the flash heads. I think in general it is better to use flash heads with soft boxes, these you can tune to whatever you need to shoot, with a tent it isn’t so easy to do this. All this needn’t cost the earth, a couple, of hundred pounds will set you up but it will be all trial and error unless you invest in a flash meter (light meter) to measure and balance the light intensity if the flash heads.

          Once all this is set up then you can be assured of good, well exposed and consistent images which will be commercially acceptable for web or print.

          If you need more detail let me know and I will answer any questions you have in greater detail.
          Regards,

          I..
          www.flickr.com/photos/25128713@N05/?saved=1

          Comment


          • #6
            White

            Thanks for the compliment Ian, I have tried really hard with the photography.

            Carol, if you want white background photos it means taking your images into a programme like Photoshop and cleaning them up. The translucent beads such as rose quartz are difficult to portray because if you correctly expose the beads the white background is always grey and it takes ages to eliminate it.
            I have been using Photoshop for quite a few years and enjoy messing about in it so I don't mind spending the time, if you want to improve your images without doing that, you could try an image search on google, this is a good way of comparing different approaches and seeing what works best.

            If you want to know more about using Photoshop to get a white background I would be pleased to give you some tips.
            Chris W.
            x
            Gemstone Jewellery and Gifts

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Flash Arry!

              You say....
              In some ways I can see why you chose to shoot on hand made paper, it doesn’t look bad at all and would be even better if the exposure were corrected

              What a concise answer you gave and thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I agree with some of the above answers that white wouldn't really fit in with my website so reading your piece was very interesting to me. You mentioned that I haven't go the lighting right. You're right I do use ordinary light bulbs....I have no photography experience and wonder how to correct the exposure? I'm using a digital camera, I have the pieces on a flat surface near natural light and the camera is on macro and suppressed flash...what else can I do?

              That site you recommended is fab. I had seen it before and loved to way the jewellery was photographed...it shows the pieces really well. So well done Chris.

              Carol
              www.carolshawjewellery.com
              Carol
              http://www.facebook.com/#!/CarolShawJewellery

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi everyone

                I have been reading this post with interest, I to have a problem with photographing my jewellery I have only just started making jewellery so advice would be most welcome in how to display it on our web site.

                I have tried to make my jewellery in the dreamcatcher theme in keeping with what else we make.
                JULIE

                www.sacred-spirit-dreamcatchers.co.uk

                Comment


                • #9
                  To go backwards is to go forward!!

                  Hi Carol,
                  The way forward is to go backwards!! Digital cameras are ok but they don’t take great photographs, however they are good enough. To correct the exposure with out spending lots of cash is easy (ish). Take an exposure using the automatic settings on the camera and transfer these settings into the manual mode (it will tell you haw to do this in the instructions and there are some very good books around that will tell you all about this aspect of photography).

                  You should be using a tripod as the speed of the camera will be quite low when using artificial light. Take another image and look at what you have got, it should be the same as when you took one in automatic mode. Adjust the speed setting down wards to increase the brightness of the image. It is best if you can use a small aperture setting on the lens as this will improve the quality of the image and increase the amount that is in focus. With a little patience and practice you will soon get the hang of all this and really this is what photography is about, having control over what you are doing, being creative with light.

                  To correct for the colour balance look at the instructions for the camera and read up on white balance. If you want to push this a little further then invest in some daylight lamps for photography as they are more balanced for the work you want to do and like any other lighting other than flash will stay on so you can see what the effects are before taking the image. These and using the camera in manual mode will solve most of your problems and won’t cost a lot to implement. The reason why I mentioned daylight lamps in preference to flash heads is because they are easier to use if you don’t have experience.

                  The rest I am afraid is down to trial and error and a good image manipulation software package. As Chris W says Photoshop is the one to use but like any software it takes some learning as it is a very powerful program and could correct almost anything you care to get wrong with the image.

                  Hope that helps a bit more.

                  Regards,

                  I..
                  www.flickr.com/photos/25128713@N05/?saved=1

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Many thanks I,

                    A lot to take on board. So will digest and see where I go from here.

                    Thanks so much for you advice.

                    Your info would be great on a thread here on the site.

                    Cheers

                    Carol
                    Carol
                    http://www.facebook.com/#!/CarolShawJewellery

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      All things come right in the end - or so they say!

                      Hi Jcm,
                      Mmm, well, Mmmm!

                      The first thing is that all the jewellery images are under exposed; this makes them look flat and uninteresting. This is fundamental photography to get any sort of colour, texture or life the image has to be correctly exposed. All cameras when using automatic exposure will have this sort of work exposed incorrectly. If you read Carols thread and others I have written then you will see the fix for this problem.

                      I am sorry to say that the layout of the jewellery is uninteresting and messy, again look at Chris W’s site for the interesting layouts. She doesn’t get them right every time but all the images are interesting and well presented. There are other sites within the forum that also have interesting layouts and it’s worth while having a look over some of them. You could do a Google search of jewellery images and this will give you some idea of the difficulties that many people have when presenting jewellery. It is also useful to have a look at some of the big names as well as they can get it right but it is surprising how often they don’t.

                      Don’t despair, it’s only practice and looking at other peoples work, oh and some imagination. You will get there; just think about what you are trying to achieve.

                      Regards,

                      I..
                      www.flickr.com/photos/25128713@N05/?saved=1

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Practice

                        I have several threads running under jewellery and general Carol, so read on and practice, that’s important.

                        Regards,
                        I..
                        www.flickr.com/photos/25128713@N05/?saved=1

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Ian

                          I had to laugh when I read your post you are so right about the photos Ha Ha in my defense my husband did the web site.

                          Other than the jewellery he has done a good job.

                          Thank you for your advice I will think about how I can get my husband to change his photographic skills
                          JULIE

                          www.sacred-spirit-dreamcatchers.co.uk

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Jcm

                            You just know that you are going to offend someone but these things have to be said and I am pleased that you laughed, says a lot about your character!

                            I make mistakes all the time, it’s called learning – something we must all do and never stop doing.

                            I..
                            www.flickr.com/photos/25128713@N05/?saved=1

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ian
                              Im not offended in any way why get offended when you ask for advise and get it, I dont see the point.

                              Besides

                              YOU ARE SO RIGHT

                              My Jewellery is just something to add to the web site, I have found I sell them better when they are seen at the fayres we go to

                              Thanks for taking the time to reply

                              Ha Ha still laughing
                              JULIE

                              www.sacred-spirit-dreamcatchers.co.uk

                              Comment

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