Jewellery is very difficult to photograph as it reflects maximum light that it receives due to its shiny high-finish glossy surfaces, gemstones and diamonds. Taking good quality pictures of jewelry for most is an unsolved mystery. The key elements of table top jewellery photography consist of sharpness, lighting, maintaining white balance, elimination of unnecessary shadows and creating some sparkle in case of gemstones. There are some simple techniques used by the professional photographers to obtain dramatic results with minimal effort.
The set-up: The solution to Jewellery photography is the use of an enclosed lighting system. The enclosed system wraps even and balanced light around the entire product you’re photographing. The advantages include an even distribution of light, consistent natural lighting, elimination of glare, and illumination of hard to reach spots. Accessories such as true color daylight balanced compact fluorescent bulbs, a special diamond dazzler LED bulb to light up the diamonds and faceted stones, a tripod, Mx- Photo Box are key to sharp images.
Diffused Lighting: When illuminating jewelry, you have to make sure never to expose it to light directly, as direct light will be reflected on the jewelry, and will create hot spots and shadows. You have probably already discovered that an on-camera flash does not lead to good jewelry photos. Not only is the camera's flash too bright at such a close distance, but it is probably in the wrong position to actually light up the jewelry properly. On camera flash will also create harsh and distracting shadows. Rather than flash, we like to use continuous lighting for product photography. Using continuous lights makes it easier to visualize what the final image will be like.
Continuous natural daylight lighting: The key is to use continuous natural light which has the ability to evenly and accurately reproduce all the spectacular colors found in the different elements of jewelry. Therefore, for photographing jewelry use fluorescent daylight light. Fluorescent compact bulbs provide nice, natural-colored light and they produce very little heat so they can be left on for long photo sessions without over heating the photographer.
White Balance: Maintaining white balance can be a much of a task but a definite way out to successful product photography. You need to be able to program the white balance setting on your camera. Although many cameras will come with pre-program options or presets you need at least one custom white balance option. This means that the camera can "read" and self-adjust itself to be able to take pictures under many light conditions. If your camera cannot perform this custom adjustment, it’s very likely that you’ll end up with badly colored product pictures, especially if you are trying to take pictures of products against a white background. You’ll likely end up with all kinds of color variations: yellow, blue, magenta, green etc.
Avoiding unnecessary shadows and reflections: When photographing jewelry, there are certain shadows and reflections that might be necessary to create a three-dimensional look. Yet, there are other reflections and shadows that are unnecessary and that you want to avoid in order to have a photograph that presents your jewelry in the best way possible. The first thing you need to understand about reflections and shadows is how they are produced and why they appear or exist and then work on lighting to have the desired effect.
Positioning your jewelry - using different jewelry accessories: There are many accessories you can use to hold jewelry items while photographing. Jewelry accessories will help you position rings, earrings, pendants, loose stones, diamonds and other pieces in various positions and angles in order to get a photograph from the perspective you desire.