Photographing jewelry can be quite a tricky affair as the shiny pieces of jewelry reflect the maximum portion of the light that they receive. Moreover, most of them contain colored stones or diamonds that make the task even more difficult. The key to any good photograph, including jewelry photographs, are sharpness, lighting, and exposure of the subject.
Guidelines on Photographing Jewelry
Natural daylight creates the best photographs with the colors and the various elements of the jewelry being lighted to perfection. You can create sharp or smooth lines with natural daylight lighting based on the angle of the sun. Around noon, when the sun is high, you would get photographs with sharp lines.
However, for those who prefer smooth lines, the ideal shooting time is either in the morning or after 4 pm. To create the smooth lines and to reduce glare and control shadows for jewelry photography, you can also use diffusers such as thermoplastic boxes or even a small, white plastic card on the flash.
Other lighting sources used for jewelry photography are LED lighting, rotating platforms, and halogen lighting.
Ideally, two lights places either side of the jewelry in the light tent will look beautiful. If you are photographing diamonds and gemstones, then make sure that the faceted light or the sparkler is placed next to the camera. Adjust it so that the gem is lighted up.
Now, position the jewelry using different positioning accessories or use holding wax to position your jewelry in an upright vertical position or at various angles. To use the holding wax, you can grab the wax from the corner and take a very small piece.
While a high aperture setting like f/22 or f/11, allows you to focus on the parts that are close to camera, a low aperture setting allows you to focus on certain parts. Since, jewelry are static objects, you might want to adjust the focus to auto focus mode which works just as the manual focus.
Exposure or shutter speed of the camera is used to define the measure of time camera will be taking the light. For jewelry photography, you might want to consider the exposure based on the background used.
Before taking photographs, set the white balance to adjust itself to the ambiance light you are using, so that you get accurate and true colors. Once you know the tricks of photographing jewelry, you can also try photographing the jewelry on models which is an art by itself, with the lighting and the settings having to be adjusted to showcase the jewels.