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Thread: Getting Jewelry to Sparkle in Photos?

  1. #1
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    Feb 2010
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    Getting Jewelry to Sparkle in Photos?

    Hello all. I just joined this forum, and I have to say the tutorial on the main page has to be one of the best I've ever seen. Information in such a straightforward, well-written form that even a newbie like me can learn something fast!

    That said, I've had a particular question. I shoot a lot of jewelry (mostly costume jewelry, rhinestones, etc) for work. I don't have a very extravagant setup, since I'm an amateur - I use a Samsung S1050 camera, I have a light table, some white paper to shoot on as well, some typical jewelry posing props, etc. What I'm really wondering is if anyone has tips on making jewelry sparkle?

    I ask because what I shoot tends to be rhinestones that have a great shimmer and glimmer to them in normal lighting, but my normal pictures tend to be somewhat.. flat, perhaps is the word? I've gotten a bit more sparkle on them by using the flash of my camera on shots, but if anyone else is experienced with such photos, I could use tips.

    Thank you!

  2. #2

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    Re: Getting Jewelry to Sparkle?

    Hi Gamble,

    Welcome to CiC - great to have you with us

    In essence, the problem lies with your lighting; your existing setup is probably producing soft light which is great for producing soft shadows ... unfortunately, the "sparkles" your after are direct and specular reflections, which are produced from hard light.

    Soft lighting comes from having a large light source thats close to the subject; a hard lighting is the opposite - a small light source that's further away (a flash is certainly heading in the right direction).

    The big problem is when you need to combine the two, as in the case of a model wearing jewelery; there's no way in "heck" that a model will want hard light around her face, but soft lighting isn't going to create hard reflections - so in that case you'd need to use something like a snoot or a projector to produce the hard light. In the case of jewelery, I think you'd just have to experiment with a combination of the two to jet the best results.

    Hope this helps

  3. #3
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    Feb 2010
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    Re: Getting Jewelry to Sparkle?

    Thank you! I had a feeling 'lighting' was the answer, especially since the flash seemed to produce some results, but I didn't know what direction to go with it. I'll continue to experiment with it.

    Luckily, I have no models to be concerned with - just posing props and so on. With luck I can find a decent solution now that I know what to look for.

  4. #4

    Re: Getting Jewelry to Sparkle?

    I seem to remember having a Cokin filter in my film days that gave a multiple star burst effect. It was quite subtle and could be blu tac'ed to the front of a camera like yours. Cokin obviously still make cheap gelatin filters so you may be able to pick something up. You can also cheat in PP with a supernova effect. You need to experiment with this or they can be far too 'fake'. I think I just about got away with it on the image below. If you are a purist you could try shooting outdoors with a low winter sun on a clear day (thank god for GIMP)

    Steve

    Getting Jewelry to Sparkle in Photos?

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  7. #7
    New Member
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    Feb 2010
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    Re: Getting Jewelry to Sparkle in Photos?

    Thanks for the additional tips and links!

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