View Full Version : Tips for Photographing Jewelry & Beads, put em here!

03-21-2004, 09:22 PM
On another thread I saw a few tips for photos (aka phoots if you speak typonese), and thought it might be a good idea to start a thread for it.

Here are some topics:

What kind of camera do use? Digital, Film, etc?

Do you use a flatbed scanner?

What kind of set-up do you use to shoot phoots?

What phoot editing software do use?

What are your best tips for clear, crisp, color correct (phoots properly represent the color of your piece) photos on the web?

...And anything else you can think of!

03-22-2004, 01:43 AM
My photo set up is simple.

I have a round tupperware canister that is clear, but frosty. It is about 11 inches high and 9 inches in diameter. I cut the bottom completely out of it.

I set down a piece of medium gray felt in the sunshine that comes through my south east window. I like that the felt is not comletely flat and void of texture, but it has no reflective quality to it at all and does not affect the lighting. It also makes shadows appear more subtle.

I set the beads or jewelry that I want to photograph into the center of the felt, then put the canister over it, bottom up. I use a Sony Mavica FD91. The lens is really long, and when I rest the case of the camera on the lip of the canister, the lens is only about 5 inches from the item I am shooting.

The canister diffuses the sunlight, eliminating hot spots and glare on the shiny items I photograph, but it doesn't dimish the light at all. It is still nice and bright.

After the pictures are taken, I edit them with Microsoft Picture It. Usually all I have to do is crop and resize them, but on rainy days, I can adjust the brightness/ contrast and tint to make the image more lifelike.

Then I use a program called xat.com's image optimizer. This takes my pictures and reduces their file size so that I can keep my images appearing large in my web applications, but they load faster. It is a free program available for download online in a trial version from xat.com.

As far as tips on how to get bright shiny items to look correct in your photos, natural light is your best friend. The only problem with my set up is that it is useless at night or whenever light is at a minimum. :rolleyes: I have a couple flood lamps that I use in a pinch, but the picture quality is far inferior when I do that.

Here is a picture of one of my beads taken in the manner I described above.


Here is a picture of one of my pieces of jewelry taken with the above methods.

I think that most of the people I have talked with about photographing beads and jewelry all use some sort of adaptation of this same method, but I hope that perhaps I put something here that will help someone who is having problems getting good shots of their beads and jewelry items.

Take care!

03-22-2004, 03:22 AM

Thank you *so* much for taking the time for this mini-tutorial!! It was exactly the kind of reply I was hoping to get. I'm definitely going to try this out!!

Off to Michaels I go for grey felt!!!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

03-22-2004, 03:27 AM

LOL I hit the reply button before I meant to... those are EXCELLENT pictures! I hope I have that kind of luck!!!

If not, LOL will you take pictures for me. ha ha ha.