National Rarities’ Tips for Jewelry Photography
By: Ryan Johnson-Moyneur
Here at National Rarities, the majority of our high-end jewelry items are photographed with the intent to create a clean, crisp image on a white background. Here are a few tips to ensure your jewelry will catch the eye of your clientele.
Clean Your Items
First and foremost, to save time in the editing process, it is imperative that you clean your jewelry items before placing them in the staging area to be photographed. Tiny pieces of lint, fingerprints, and other blemishes on a piece will be magnified under the macro lens. Many times a piece of jewelry can simply be wiped down with a microfiber cloth or gently scrubbed using a toothbrush dipped in soap and water.
Use a LightBox
To achieve the best results, we use an LED photography lightbox with a white acrylic or glass tray insert. The reflective tray will help brighten the inside of the box, which will help during the editing process to achieve that white background.
Invest in a DSLR Camera
The type of camera and settings used can help create a crisp image and reveal a bit of depth to the item. A DSLR camera allows for greater flexibility not only in adjusting camera settings but having the ability to swap out different lenses as needed.
Adjust Your Camera Settings
Here are a few simple camera setting adjustments that will allow you to produce high-quality images from a lightbox setup. First, adjust your ISO setting to 100. Higher ISO settings are suitable for low-light situations. However, well-lit areas such as the inside of the lightbox will allow for the lowest ISO setting available, which is 100 on most DSLR cameras.
Next, the aperture (or F-stop) can be adjusted to control the camera’s depth of field. A smaller aperture will allow both the foreground and background to remain in focus. We set the F-stop to F-16, which will allow us to capture more of the detail in a piece of jewelry and avoid certain areas appearing blurred.
This aperture adjustment will require a longer shutter speed (we use the setting 1/15 for our kit lens and adjust to 1/10 when using our macro lens) and also the use of a tripod to stabilize the camera when capturing the image.
To further ensure the camera is still when capturing the image, we set the camera timer to 2 seconds. This will avoid any camera shake and result in a crisp and in-focus image.
Having the right equipment and setup, along with a clean piece of jewelry to start with, will give you a solid foundation to build upon. There will still be work to be done in terms of taking your raw images and fine-tuning them to produce photographs that will attract the attention of potential customers. Interested in learning more about photographing jewelry? Contact National Rarities today!