Nice jewellery lighting help.

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by GarethB, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. GarethB

    GarethB Mu-43 Regular

    38
    Jul 21, 2016
    Hey all,

    I'm wondering if anybody can give me some advice on jewellery photography? I've tried my best to figure things out for myself, but I feel like I've exhausted my skill limits so I'm hoping you could hopefully pass on some wisdom to me. Unfortunately anything I've found online to do with jewellery photography (tutorial and information) produces terrible results.

    I'm looking to get some really nice looking jewellery shots along the lines of this type of thing:
    lilly-ring-angle2. sel-702-handcrafted. Chap_Half_Set-306x400.


    The tones are very smooth, with obvious highlights and black in the reflects - but nothing is harsh looking.

    I understand there is probably some photoshop work involved, but where would I even begin to light something like this?
    At the moment a lightbox (terrible results) and experimenting with paper/card reflectors is the limit of my ideas.

    Any help would be absolutely fantastic - I'm a complete lighting novice!

    Best regards,

    Gareth
     
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

  3. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    511
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    Those example images are also extensively retouched
     
  4. GarethB

    GarethB Mu-43 Regular

    38
    Jul 21, 2016
    Oh yeah, absolutely. I get that it's been super worked on, but I'm not really sure where to start to get an image worth taking to the retouching stage (one that's as close as the examples out of camera and then needs the least amount of retouching).
     
  5. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    Worked on a lot, but it also looks like something sneaky to get the source photos like taking a bunch of photos with different flash positions / different cross polarised flash extinguishment positions and then combining the flattest lit pieces together.
     
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  6. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    511
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    Definitely!

    @GarethB@GarethB
    With something like this, I work in a similar manner to watches. Several images with the lights and reflectors manipulated in different angles to reduce highlights where not wanted, and create the smooth highlights (without camera or fat photographer visible!) in other.
    I then stack the images in their own layers and blend the sections to a final image. Very similar to light painting a vehicle I suppose.
    The final image is then cleaned up.

    The main issue that a lot of photographers fall down on is using a softbox or difuser sheet that isn't big enough, so the highlight doesn't cover the whole of a reflective surface, and black objects appear. Look at the inside of the band on the middle ring at the bottom. The edge of the softbox has left a very distracting squiggle which hasn't been cleaned up effectively.
     
  7. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    I saw a pair (photographer + voice activated light stand) doing that to a car recently and have been wondering how the stacking is done...

    Any recommended tutorials, preferably non-Adobe specific?

    Can this practically be combined with focus stacking for small items?

    Thanks,
    Barry
     
  8. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    511
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    @barry13@barry13
    If you focus stack, you will have to go through the routine of doing each lighting setup.
    Another words, say it takes six different light setups to get all facets lit correctly.
    Also, you have decided you need to focus stack to a depth of, oh I don't know. Let's say ten images.

    at each focal depth, you will need to do six frames. One of each lighting set up.
    That's a total of sixty images.

    Now, in post, you will edit each of the separate light setups per focal frame, and brush through the desired lit areas and flatten (or save as a separate jpeg) the finished image for that focal point.

    Repeat the above edit sequence for each focal frame, eventually giving you ten finished edited shots. These ten images are then focus stacked to give you your final image with greater depth of field.

    Not only would you have a very interesting final composite, but I think I would set aside the time to fly over the pond and shake you by the hand, because that kind of patience is to be admired ;)

    Short answer, yes, it can be done.

    Incidentally Barry, this bridal image used a light painting technique.

    I'll see if I can find you a tutorial regarding the post processing. Most of it is down to stacking the images on their own layers, setting the blend mode to Lighten which allows the lighter areas to show. I then use a mask to ensure only the area I'm interested in is allowed to blend.
     
  9. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    511
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    @barry13@barry13
    This is nicely explained tutorial.


    It applies to any graphic software that has layers, masks and blending modes

    So Gimp is good to go
     
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