TUTORIAL – 5 EASY STEPS TO IMPROVE PICTURES OF YOUR WORKS

Taking good jewelry photos is not as difficult as you may think. With this basic tutorial you can improve pictures of your works and make sure they get deserved appreciation. Check out five simple steps below and immediately improve your jewelry photography.

– no difficult terminology

– no special equipment

– 5 easy steps

1. FOCUS

Even the most beautiful work will not be appreciated if the picture is out of focus. Look at the shots below and think if you can really appreciate all the details of the pendant on the left side. Yes, focus is one of the most important factors to consider if you want to improve pictures of your works.

Do not try to take picture too close to the object if your camera does not catch the focus from such distance. It is better that the object is sharp but a little further away, than close and out of focus. After you press the shutter-release button wait a moment and allow your camera to catch the focus before you move it to check the picture. In some models this function is a bit slower and if you move your camera too fast the photo will be blurred.

Maybe the picture below is a little exaggerated, but I’ve seen many photos of beautiful works, where I couldn’t see all the amazing details because of out-of-focus shot.

2. Think about the BACKGROUND

I know that it is your work that is most important in the picture, but do not underestimate the significance of the right background. The colorful overwhelming tablecloth, the interior of your room, your hand or a creased material are not ideal background ideas. The most important function of the background is to bring out your object and by no means to overwhelm it.

Too overwhelming background.
Too overwhelming background.            
Tablecloth and hand takes attention from the bracelet.
Tablecloth and hand takes attention from the bracelet.
Picture with correct neutral background.
Picture with correct neutral background.
Neutral does not necessarily mean white :)
Neutral does not necessarily mean white 🙂

3. ARRANGEMENT

Think how to arrange the object, so that it looks interesting and its best features are exposed.

Picture on the left, although it is technically correct, is rather boring. Picture on the right shows the same bracelet, but in much more interesting arrangement. Try to arrange your item in few different ways, take pictures and choose the one you like the most. Maybe you can put it in a circle instead of laying it flat. The picture of the lariat above is also nice example of creative arrangement of the object.

Example how to arrange the object, so it is more interesting.
Example how to arrange the object, so it is more interesting.

4. USE MIRRORS

You do not really need expensive photographers tools to improve pictures of your jewelry. Use the mirror either as a background or as a surface to reflect the light towards your object.

You can use the mirror alone, but it works really well as an addition to the lightbox. Try placing the mirror under different angles to see when the object is perfectly lightened. I used two mirrors to take a picture of the blue Christmas star. While staying at my parents house for a weekend I did not have a lightbox or any other photography tool at hand. I had to find other solution to take the photos. I took them without any additional lighting (just under ceiling lamp) using one mirror as a background and the other one to direct the light towards my object. It is good to ask someone to help you and keep the mirror while you handle the camera. As you can see the effect of my co-operation with my Mom is pretty cool 🙂

Using two mirrors to improve the photos.
Using two mirrors to improve the photos.

5. WHITE BALANCE

OK, this is a term from photography, but everyone knows that there is more than one shade of white, right? Look at the clouds or snow if you do not believe me. In order to catch true colors on our pictures (including white), we need to inform our camera what kind of light surrounds us.

Even the simplest camera has few settings of white balance. You can usually find this option under WB button on the camera on in the settings. This parameter is very important to obtain realistic colors of your object. You can use the automatic white balance, when your camera sets the best option itself, but it’s not always the best solution. Sometimes you may want to depict your object in warmer light, or on the contrary you want to bring out the cold blue spark. Please check the pictures below to see various effects that I obtained just by changing the white balance (all other functions of my camera were unchanged).

How to make things simple?

The best way to check for various effects is to place your object against the white or other neutral background, place your camera, so it does not move to much and take few exactly the same pictures, just changing the white balance. Check all the pictures and choose the one, on which the object is the most similar to reality. When you make your choice you can use this setting to take photos of other sides of the object. Remember, that when the light conditions change (e.g. from daylight to lamp), you will most likely want to change your white balance settings too.

Different White Balance settings result in various color effects.
Different White Balance settings result in various color effects (from left: auto, daylight, cloudy).

 

* Additional tip – use a lightbox to disperse the light around your object and get rid of deep shadows. Learn how to easily make a lightbox from what you have at home.

 

Be patient.. do not feel discouraged after one, two or ten pictures that you do not like. Photography, as every art or craft require practice and patience. Try to have fun and play with your camera. I am sure that after a while you will be rewarded with great effects.

I hope this tutorial will help you improve pictures quickly and easily. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.

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7 thoughts on “TUTORIAL – 5 EASY STEPS TO IMPROVE PICTURES OF YOUR WORKS”

  1. Your steps are easy to follow and would be very valuable in taking photographs of any kind, not just jewelries. Using 2 mirrors is a great technique.

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