Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lights, Camera, Action! #2 - Making your Jewelry Behave and Adjusting the Light

In my last blog I discussed the basic setup of light, camera, white balance, and camera stand. What’s next? Sometimes the area around the table where you are taking photos can be a drain on the lighting or cause shadows. Here is what can be done to give a more even light on your jewelry. Use three number-4 USPS boxes taped shut and placed in a "U" shape on top of the cutting board. Then put a white piece of mat board against the back box.

By putting these boxes around three sides, and with them being white, they reflect the light back to the center area. If you want, cover the blue label with white paper. The white mat board acts as a backdrop when taking photos of earrings or anything vertical.

Photo Problem 1
The first problem piece of jewelry is a pendant with a hidden bail. It won’t lay flat and tends to fall to the left or the right.

My fix for this problem is a simple foam earplug. No, it’s not used! I cut it in half and, if needed, take that half and cut into two pieces. Wedge the two pieces under the pendant. Problem solved.

Problem 2
I want to take a photo of a ring standing up, but I don’t want to have it propped against anything. Glue dots are your friend! Use the extra strong dots found at Hobby Lobby.

There are two sizes, 2mm and larger. I use both depending on what I am trying to hold. In this case, I want to hold a simple ring on its end. I use a small dot. If its a heavy ring I use the large one.

Next time, I’ll discuss some other tips for photographing "trouble" jewelry.

Until next time, have fun claying around! [Edit. look here for post #3]

by Janet Alexander 
Technical Adviser


Your Daily Jewels - Norah Downey said...

I love your setup! So simple! I will try it today. I use the glue dots, but the foam earplugs! Very versatile. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Loved your article Janet! While I am a big believer in purchasing the right tool for the job I also believe in creative solutions rather than expensive, over-priced gadgets! These are get creative solutions! Thank you! Julie Cannariato - ArtZcat Creations

Janet Alexander said...

Doug Baldwin who taught me about the boxes, had this to add.

"I think drafting film or frosted mylar is better. Most papers tend to turn yellow when you put light through them and drafting film stays neutral. Also, drafting film is much more resistant to heat than paper, especially if someone is still using the old style incandescent bulbs as opposed to a current CFL bulb. "

Janet Alexander said...

Thank you Norah and Julie!