Monday, May 23, 2011

Photographing Jewelry ~ We can all use a brush up!

A few years back I purchased an awesome camera ~ A Nikon D60 ~ DSLR....I have to say it really does make a difference in my pictures.  After reading this blog post from one of my favorite Blogs ~ over at
I have changed a few settings and I'm seeing a huge difference...
Below is a bit of the post and link to the entire well covered article 
and has info for every camera type... even point & shoot!

New jewelry on my Etsy site..Click here

Jewelry Photography Set-Up Tips from The Beading Gem...

The very best cameras today are the digital SLRs but they are also more expensive especially when you add on the cost of a good macro lens.  They do take excellent pictures provided you know what you are doing.

Jewelry artisans can get away with cheaper point and shoot cameras which still take great pictures. (See my past post, A Look at My New Camera and Jewelry Photography Accessories). Some of the compact cameras like my new camera have automatic point and shoot functions as well as manual settings for SLR like controls if preferred. 

Point and Shoot Cameras 
Even with point and shoots, you still have to set it up correctly. It pays to read the manual! 
  • Macro (little flower symbol) - for close ups
  • White Balance - to get  true colors under the lighting conditions you have. If you don't switch this camera setting to Cloudy (or Indoors in other cameras) for the by-the-window shots, the pictures will look bluish.
  • Tripod - This really helps avoid blurry pictures - it's hard to hold the camera steady when taking close-ups
  • Focus - Remember to press down the shutter button half way and allow the camera time to focus before taking the picture. Also make sure you're focusing on the main part of the jewelry piece - I've lost count of the number of times when I accidentally focused on less important areas like the ear wires!
  • Self- timer - (Optional) Using it will avoid the slight camera shake when pressing the shoot button.
Digital SLR Cameras 
If there are manual options for a point and shoot camera or if you have a dSLR camera, then the following additional settings are crucial if you want to improve on photographs  :
  • Aperture Priority- This controls the depth of field. Basically choose a small aperture (big number like f/22) if you want all of the jewelry in focus or a large aperture (small number like f/2) if you want only part of of the piece in focus and the rest artistically blurry. Many cameras have aperture priority - so use it! It will automatically select the matching shutter speed for the right exposure.
  • Shutter Speed - This controls the exposure time or amount of light reaching the image sensor. If you are not using aperture priority, you will have to set this as well as the aperture settings. We don't need very fast shutter speeds because nothing is moving in jewelry photography. Experienced photographers recommend using the camera's histograms to get a correctly exposed picture. Check here and here for more about histograms.
  • ISO - This controls the sensitivity of image sensor to light. Try 100 for shady spots on a sunny day or 200 in cloudy/indoor situations. The less light, the higher the number has to be. Going too high though will result in "noisy" pictures.
The Beading Gem's link to complete article ~ Click here 

1 comment:

Holly said...

Thank you for the link! I love photography, but am such an amateur. Any tips at all helps immensely!


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