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Friday, 11 November 2011


I know, I know more jewellery…

This is an an aspect of photography that I find quite rewarding and challenging to do well so this time last year I did quite a lot of jewellery photography jobs; as this section is about light, the jewellery photography is still worth mentioning for the learning blog.

For this shoot a tiara designer wanted a set of images to be used on a website and for promotional material. The job was a little different that 2 other previous jobs in that some of the tiaras would be modelled.

The first few shots were shot in a similar way to my previous jewellery work, using a light tent, (essentially a large box that diffuses the light) with 2 flashguns fired manually on each side of the tent for lighting. The available ambient light was effectively killed off with using a high shutter speed 1/250 sec and small aperture f/11 (ISO 100 85mm) on a I wanted the only light source to be the flash. White balance was set to flash then corrected post production using a grey card.

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The next 2 I framed the tiaras off centre and at an angle that would show the curved line and shape of the tiara to help the eye travel around product.

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I’ve converted the following images to mono, to emphasize the strong contrast, not the way they were intended to be seen as the client wanted the bright colours to be seen in the images. I just really liked the way the shadows add depth to the image giving it an ‘noir’ feel to them, that kind of reminded me of the 1920’s and 30’s.

The shots were taken with a single flashgun against a black material background, the light was to the models right at a rough 45’ degree angle, (both side and height). I used a shoot through umbrella in front of the flash to diffuse the light but had it as close to the models face as I could to retain the contrast. Although I’m still happy with the outcome, this method did lead to some extra post production on the background to darken it as with the umbrella light was thrown or ‘spilt’ on to the background also (which is what I didn’t want to happen). However I learnt a lesson and have since gone on to other shoots using more directed light using a soft box that gave more control over the direction of the light and thereby shielding to light from spilling behind.

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Photography Blog

Again sorry to use jewellery as another example shoot, however it is a great subject to test lighting skills on because of the reflections and shiny surfaces to contend with. It is very specialized form of photography and as such I’ve found shooting it under pressure for a client has really brought my photography to a different level in aspects of my photography… beside I really enjoy still-life!

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