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Thread: please help me to capture emerald's vivid green color

  1. #1

    please help me to capture emerald's vivid green color

    hello all,

    I have tried 7 cameras to get true color of emerald gem stone, but never succeeded. I'm accurate at other types of gem stones, i.e. sapphire, ruby, same vivid green tsavorite, etc. there must be some kind of filters that should be used? Can anybody help please? It's better not to retouch or enhance in photo applications as the color won't come out real.

    Below are some gem stone pictures of mine, they are very accurate to their colors (I use an iPhone charger base as gray board)

    blue sapphire
    http://s984.beta.photobucket.com/use...tml?sort=3&o=3

    ruby
    http://s984.beta.photobucket.com/use...tml?sort=3&o=1

    tsavorite
    http://s984.beta.photobucket.com/use...tml?sort=3&o=2


    emerald, (its real color is with very high saturation, a lot more vivid, intense and purer than tsavorite above)
    http://s984.beta.photobucket.com/use...tml?sort=3&o=0

    Thank you!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by ningeve; 13th November 2012 at 08:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: please help me to capture emerald's vivid green color

    Have you tried lighting from below and using different surfaces such as a black mylar? Also, a diffuser panel off to one side could help control how much light hits the stones. And speaking of color, what is your white balance setting,and what type of lighting are you using?

  3. #3

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    Re: please help me to capture emerald's vivid green color

    You may need to work in the Adobe RGB color space, which would also dictate having a monitor that can display colors in the Adobe RGB color space. This may not help you, though, because it means that anyone else viewing the image must have color management properly configured, and must also have a monitor that can display Adobe RGB colors in order to see the intense greens.

    I have a monitor that can display Adobe RGB greens and there is a good bit of difference between the most intense sRGB green and the most intense Adobe RGB green. I also performed an experiment on capturing those greens with the camera set to sRGB vs Adobe RGB.

    On my monitor I displayed a large rectangle set to the most intense Adobe RGB green, and a second rectangle set to the most intense sRGB green. Using my Nikon D90, I then captured my monitor in an sRGB JPEG and an Adobe RGB JPEG. The result was that in the sRGB JPEG the two green boxes looked the same and had the same RGB values...on the Adobe RGB JPEG, however, the two boxes were different. This proved to me that the monitor was, in fact, displaying greens that were beyond the sRGB color space (and also that my camera can capture such greens.)

    So I would say that if you want to see more intense greens, you need a system that can actually show more intense greens. That means using Adobe RGB along with a high-end monitor. But as I said...most people won't be able to see, on their monitors, what you will be able to see with such a system.

  4. #4
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: please help me to capture emerald's vivid green color

    A few thoughts for you:

    1. Your background is not doing you any favours. The light iPhone background is going to give you a quasi-high key appearance. If you want richness, shoot on a rich, dark background like velvet.

    2. Diffuse lighting – part of the beauty of gemstones are their reflection, so a photo is going to produce specular highlights where the light reflects. These will show up as white, which will take away from the deep saturated colour you are looking for. Photographing reflective surfaces can be quite tricky.

    3. Post-production – play with the saturation and exposure as necessary to get the effect you want.

  5. #5
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: please help me to capture emerald's vivid green color

    Your examples show variation in exposure, White Balance and lighting. For really accurate colour you will need to control these variables.

    Many transparent or semi-transparent objects including crystals, thin sliced minerals, and gems can have a polarizing effect on the light passing through them. Experiment using a polarizing filter on the camera and rotating it and seeing if it improves the look.

  6. #6

    Re: please help me to capture emerald's vivid green color

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Have you tried lighting from below and using different surfaces such as a black mylar? Also, a diffuser panel off to one side could help control how much light hits the stones. And speaking of color, what is your white balance setting,and what type of lighting are you using?
    Hi, thank you for mentioning black background! I've tried everything but black background, I think it's a good idea.

    you won't believe what camera I use to take these pictures -- a 10 year old Canon PowerShot A640, auto white balance, no any artificial lighting (took pictures by the window with natural daylight.)
    I tried Nikon D90, Canon rebel xs, Sony cyber shot wx150, Panasonic Lumix FZ200, video camcorder and cell phone, no one is accurate as A640.

  7. #7

    Re: please help me to capture emerald's vivid green color

    Quote Originally Posted by Graystar View Post
    You may need to work in the Adobe RGB color space, which would also dictate having a monitor that can display colors in the Adobe RGB color space. This may not help you, though, because it means that anyone else viewing the image must have color management properly configured, and must also have a monitor that can display Adobe RGB colors in order to see the intense greens.

    I have a monitor that can display Adobe RGB greens and there is a good bit of difference between the most intense sRGB green and the most intense Adobe RGB green. I also performed an experiment on capturing those greens with the camera set to sRGB vs Adobe RGB.

    On my monitor I displayed a large rectangle set to the most intense Adobe RGB green, and a second rectangle set to the most intense sRGB green. Using my Nikon D90, I then captured my monitor in an sRGB JPEG and an Adobe RGB JPEG. The result was that in the sRGB JPEG the two green boxes looked the same and had the same RGB values...on the Adobe RGB JPEG, however, the two boxes were different. This proved to me that the monitor was, in fact, displaying greens that were beyond the sRGB color space (and also that my camera can capture such greens.)

    So I would say that if you want to see more intense greens, you need a system that can actually show more intense greens. That means using Adobe RGB along with a high-end monitor. But as I said...most people won't be able to see, on their monitors, what you will be able to see with such a system.
    Hi, thank you for reply. the pictures are for others to see. I'm a gemstone dealer, I'd like to have accurate product pictures to show to my clients. I'm actually doing good at all stones (including other green color ones) but emerald...there must be some kind of different elements inside emerald that effect camera lens?..

  8. #8

    Re: please help me to capture emerald's vivid green color

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    A few thoughts for you:

    1. Your background is not doing you any favours. The light iPhone background is going to give you a quasi-high key appearance. If you want richness, shoot on a rich, dark background like velvet.

    2. Diffuse lighting – part of the beauty of gemstones are their reflection, so a photo is going to produce specular highlights where the light reflects. These will show up as white, which will take away from the deep saturated colour you are looking for. Photographing reflective surfaces can be quite tricky.

    3. Post-production – play with the saturation and exposure as necessary to get the effect you want.
    Hi thank you for reply.
    I agree the gray iPhone base is not helping here, I'm going to try black background.
    I have tried to increase saturation with PS, it didn't work, too much gray tone, the stone looks grayish green...

  9. #9

    Re: please help me to capture emerald's vivid green color

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    Your examples show variation in exposure, White Balance and lighting. For really accurate colour you will need to control these variables.

    Many transparent or semi-transparent objects including crystals, thin sliced minerals, and gems can have a polarizing effect on the light passing through them. Experiment using a polarizing filter on the camera and rotating it and seeing if it improves the look.

    Hi thank you for reply.
    I'm using an old digital camera with auto WB, set ISO 100... I found that DSLRs are not doing good as the old point & shot...I did hold some filters including polarizing in front of my A640, but that didn't change much...

  10. #10
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: please help me to capture emerald's vivid green color

    The one thing that is noticeable with the emerald shots, and less so in the others is that you have a lot more reflections from those particular stones. These manifest themselves as white or light colours where the reflected light passes through parts of the stone. These light spots seem to be taking away from the deep green colours you would normally expect to see. When the stone is worn, you want this effect as it is what gives it the beauty, but photographically, this is a pain.

    Shooting at a window using natural light is going to be rather hit and miss. I suspect the reason that the cheap camera worked was pure luck, and I would go at this with a DSLR with a lens that allows a close focus distance. A custom setup that provides even all round lighting would be the direction I would start with. There are commercial light boxes available, but an appropriate light source and materials that are kicking around should work as well. Any shots would be taken in a darkened room.

    While these shots are not of jewellery, they are of a lead crystal decanter with sharp cut edges to reflect the light which have the same problem.

    please help me to capture emerald's vivid green color

    please help me to capture emerald's vivid green color

    In both of the images I had a light coming from directly overhead using draped seamless paper. For the shot on the light background I surrounded the object with four pieces of a black card material just out of range of what you see in the image. For the dark background, same idea, except that I used white cards .

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