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09-11-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
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Tips on a jewelry photoshoot?

A friend's jewelry is being featured in a local mag and she's asked me to shoot it.. I've got a Pentax K5 with a new (used) Tarmon SP 90mm macro (1:2.5) and some extension tubes and a 2x teleconverter (7 elements) which I think some combo of would be nice for it...

Advice on how to do this? Where do do it? Lighting?

I'm a rookie enthusiast...

Thanks!

Ken

09-11-2012, 04:35 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Javaslinger Quote
A friend's jewelry is being featured in a local mag and she's asked me to shoot it.. I've got a Pentax K5 with a new (used) Tarmon SP 90mm macro (1:2.5) and some extension tubes and a 2x teleconverter (7 elements) which I think some combo of would be nice for it...

Advice on how to do this? Where do do it? Lighting?

I'm a rookie enthusiast...

Thanks!

Ken
This is always a bit of fun..

Personally I prefer to shoot things like jewelry on white or black backgrounds to give added contrast to the object I just used an A3-A2 sheet of paper and curve it up behind to create that infinity wall look. Camera settings; I tend to use either my Tamron SP AF 90mm F2.8 Di or my Sigma EX 105mm F2.8 Macro @ 1/125 ISO 100 and F5.6-11 depending on needed depth of field. I use 1/125 instead of 1/180 due to my wireless triggers (2X Yongnuo RF602's) having a bit of lag in them and catch the shutter closing at shutter speeds above that. As for lighting I use 2 off camera strobes (Yongnuo 560 + Metz 58AF-2) with diffusers to get a more even light, ie at a 45 degree angle either side of the camera.

Here is the type of results you can achieve with that sort of set up:






Edit: most of the lighting stuff I got off ebay:
Yongnuo flash: $70 (My metz was from B&H @ $300 but I use it as hotshoe flash most of the time for events as the yongnuo lacks features for that stuff)
Radio Trigger: $30
Umbrellas 33": $4each
Light stands: $6-10 each

Edit #2:
You could also try firing a strobe from underneath to reduce the shadows cast, but this requires a 3rd strobe to ensure even lighting.

Last edited by Chaos_Realm; 09-11-2012 at 04:45 PM.
09-11-2012, 05:28 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Photographing jewelry is something I do on a regular basis with one of my long standing customers. Lighting is key, as is just the right amount of depth of field. Unfortunately, when shooting close with jewelry, you'll often have a very shallow depth of field. This can be overcome two different ways. You can use the focus stacking method to make a composite of multiple images at slight different focus points or you can use a tilt (tilt shift lens) to manipulate the plane of focus. Unfortunately, Pentax doesn't produce a tilt shift lens, and there isn't really an alternative. Your 90mm macro will probably be sufficient if you're careful about placement of your focus and stop down considerably.

My lighting set-up is quite simple, but very effective in my opinion. I will often use a light tent (can be found on eBay) for light diffusion. The lights consist of 4 Home Depot work lights and daytime bulbs, with one or two flashes triggered off camera. My particular client requires a perfectly white background, so I frequently fire one of the flashes through a piece of acrylic to light the jewelry from below or behind. I will still typically have to adjust the white point (not white balance) after the fact in Photoshop to get the 'true' white background.

Here is a recent example shot with 5DII and 90mm TS-E.


BTW - definitely use a custom white balance on these shots. A gray card can make this very reliable and easy. Any questions, just ask!
09-11-2012, 05:52 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by joeyc Quote
I will still typically have to adjust the white point (not white balance) after the fact in Photoshop to get the 'true' white background.
Hmm this is a nice tip... I might have to look into it to fix that grey(ish) background I have

...Always Learning

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