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Thread: Diamond earrings shots - pls advise

  1. #1
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    Default Diamond earrings shots - pls advise

    >>> Earring1

    >>> Earring2

    >>> Earring3

    >>> Earring4



    Hi all,
    I'm a newbie at jewellery photography and this is the first 'decent' shots I took of some diamond earrings after lots of experimentation, reading up. I'm using Canon 550D with 60mm macro with F22 and ISO 100.
    Images on the left are unprocessed (only reduce saturation in PS) and finished images on the right.
    Studio lights-wise I'm using 2 large softboxes which I bought for larger product photog practice (I know i should be using strobes but no $$ to invest yet...)

    My questions to those experienced:
    1. Can i also achieve good lighting shots by using those cheaper light tents? (I feel my using of softbox a bit exaggerated
    2. Or must I really invest in strobes?
    3. How to capture those smaller diamond cuts sharply like the bigger diamond 4? (tried my best but still a bit blurry)
    4. Any other comments are welcomed. Thanks very much!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Diamond earrings shots - pls advise

    At f/22, you are suffering from diffraction. This softens your images. Try f/11 instead.

    Yes, you can achieve good shots using cheaper light tents, but your processed shots look way over-processed.

    There are many guides online on how to shoot jewelry. Have you read them?

    FYI, a simple white backdrop, and a tiny speck of blu-tack behind the jewelry to hold the jewelry in place will mean you don't need the strings and can post-process less.
    Alpha

  3. #3

    Default Re: Diamond earrings shots - pls advise

    Diamonds also need hard light to sparkle.
    You say you are using softboxes but don't have strobes... What is in the softboxes?
    Tyrov
    Flickr

  4. #4

    Default Re: Diamond earrings shots - pls advise

    you probably need a macro lens for such close up shots.
    Coolthought - 冷静思考 - クールだ http://xaa.xanga.com/0aba0666d143253.../t35917343.gif

  5. #5
    Member weiteck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diamond earrings shots - pls advise

    i use light tent, when at home i use 2 table lamps to shine on it. play with the angle of the 2 table lamps to minimise shadow of the product in the light tent.
    Glossy or shiny items like your Diamond earrings is a bit of a challenge. also i realised that Neon colour item when shoot in light tent appear a bit "flat" hence need to adjust the item at an angle.

    last wk end, expriment with frenz.
    Using:
    1x flash trigger
    2x external flash

    Camera trigger one external flash, this flash should be "master".
    will be use to "slave" then 2nd external flash.

    This might be a more versatile option for u than strobes. u can still the external flash for other things.
    take note not all external flash model can "slave" another flash.
    I using canon 580ex2, then slave a cheaper 3rd party flash.
    u can mount the 2 flash on tripods, and ajust angle.

    This is good, when u do not have access to power point.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Diamond earrings shots - pls advise

    You did quite well on this attempt. It's important first of all what quality are you benchmarking your photos against. Forget about advertising quality. Diamond facets are added in post production from a library and I can assure you that even a Canon 5D MKII body can just about resolve them. My ex-boss shoots advertisement jewellery with use of his Phase One P30+ digital back, that's the kind of quality we're talking about and it is way way way beyond the budget of the average photographer. I have done DI from both sets of files, so seriously, a top of the line DSLR is still some distance in the dust.

    We do need a hard light to bring out the sparkles, but if the camera can't handle the detail, you'll likely end up with a big blob of highlight.

    The usage of a light tent has its uses. You should first understand the purpose of a light tent. Having white all around the subject gives a certain quality of light. If one uses it normally, quality of light is rather low-contrast. Nice overall soft light has its purposes, depending on the subject. Light tents gives a lot of help to photographers who did not practise good lighting. Almost all professional photographers I know do not use light tents, not even for simple product shoots. We can usually make do with 2 lights with softboxes and a couple of bounce cards for acceptable quality. Personally I also do not like to have my movements around the subject restricted.

    I have not used any other light than professional strobe lighting but I presume it's also possible with continuous product lighting.
    Play around with small pieces of black cards/strips and mirrors. Remember, contrast is required to have defined edges.
    Go Art Friend and get a light grey vanguard sheet, use that as background instead. You can also try black velvet but that fabric sucks a lot of light.
    Then go into any fishing store and buy a roll of fishing line, why use thread which will have fibres intruding into the subject.

    Good luck and have fun!

  7. #7

    Thumbs up Re: Diamond earrings shots - pls advise

    Quote Originally Posted by foxtwo View Post
    You did quite well on this attempt. It's important first of all what quality are you benchmarking your photos against. Forget about advertising quality. Diamond facets are added in post production from a library and I can assure you that even a Canon 5D MKII body can just about resolve them. My ex-boss shoots advertisement jewellery with use of his Phase One P30+ digital back, that's the kind of quality we're talking about and it is way way way beyond the budget of the average photographer. I have done DI from both sets of files, so seriously, a top of the line DSLR is still some distance in the dust.

    We do need a hard light to bring out the sparkles, but if the camera can't handle the detail, you'll likely end up with a big blob of highlight.

    The usage of a light tent has its uses. You should first understand the purpose of a light tent. Having white all around the subject gives a certain quality of light. If one uses it normally, quality of light is rather low-contrast. Nice overall soft light has its purposes, depending on the subject. Light tents gives a lot of help to photographers who did not practise good lighting. Almost all professional photographers I know do not use light tents, not even for simple product shoots. We can usually make do with 2 lights with softboxes and a couple of bounce cards for acceptable quality. Personally I also do not like to have my movements around the subject restricted.

    I have not used any other light than professional strobe lighting but I presume it's also possible with continuous product lighting.
    Play around with small pieces of black cards/strips and mirrors. Remember, contrast is required to have defined edges.
    Go Art Friend and get a light grey vanguard sheet, use that as background instead. You can also try black velvet but that fabric sucks a lot of light.
    Then go into any fishing store and buy a roll of fishing line, why use thread which will have fibres intruding into the subject.

    Good luck and have fun!
    The kind of advise that CS needs alot more off.

  8. #8
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    Default

    If you'll like to see what kind of quality I'm talking about, you can go down to Taka jewelry section. Most of the pillar mounted tranparencies are his, top of my head are the Chomel series. A lot more others but can't remember their names.

    If you scale back expectations accordingly, I have been honest to say you've did well so far. Just a bit more refinement in method, technique and exploration. Commercial photographers make do with what we have on hand, that's our skill. Haha.

    I'll do what I can to nudge you in the right direction, you've done alright in your own.

    sorry, forgot to add that all the diamond facets on the photographs are real. Not cut & paste. Those are usually for posters or billboards, can tell when they look absolutely perfect.
    Last edited by foxtwo; 5th September 2011 at 04:32 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Diamond earrings shots - pls advise

    Foxtwo and others who commented:

    Your comments have been very encouraging... thanks very much!

    I know I have over processed the photos... (I wish to cut and paste those diamond facets also haha)
    I really want to learn to achieve the best results without doing too much pp and
    avoid using the light tent as well. It's been a very tough but rewarding experience doing trial and error..
    I will continue to do so with more setups and continue to modify my settings.
    Like you say, I need lots of good luck and definitely wanna have FUN doing it!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Diamond earrings shots - pls advise

    You're welcome moondancer.

    Earlier I've mostly been looking at your pp images and not the raw files, because as amazing P30+ raw files look, we still do a fair amount of DI to make it fantastic.
    Sometimes it's not possible to do in 1 photograph, so we take several with different lighting arrangements and do composites as well. I believe most youtube vids would not
    do to this extreme.

    I have a few more tips to share, because they'll help you in the setup.

    Examine your subject(s), silver is silver or chrome-ish. It's not really white, not really grey. Some black is good to make it visibly 3D.
    Take earring1(pp) as reference, if you compare it to the others, it is better as there are some parts which look closer to the actual material which is silver. So study your subject well.

    Regarding the use of a light tent, as long as you understand the principles of light and what the tent is giving you, one is free to use or not use it.
    In effect, when I use 2 softboxes and bounce cards, I am also in a way making a 'tent'. Just more 'modular' where I am free to adjust my lighting ratios.

    You need to join those 2 tips above to get your final image. Most things are actually common sense or general knowledge, it's how our minds can think and apply.
    Hope it has been useful.

    Post your next creation in Critique Corner next time! Cheers~

  11. #11
    Senior Member shierwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diamond earrings shots - pls advise

    To TS

    Are the diamond rings yours? :envy

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