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How to shoot jewellery using iPhone 4 and Modahaus

And is it good enough?

As a regular product photographer my usual weapon of choice is a Canon 5D MkII and being a recent convert to the iPhone 4 I was curious to find out just how good or bad the iPhone’s camera was as I’d read a lot of reviews rubbishing the camera. So what better test than to put it through its paces by shooting some Bling.

What is the answer to the ultimate question? ‘Is it good enough to present and sell jewellery online’. Let’s find out. As with any product photography a camera is only one part of the mix required to take product photos good enough to sell so, firstly let’s take you through the compact kit list.

KIT AND KABOODLE

  • iPhone 4 camera
  • Camera+ App from taptaptap.com
  • Glif iPhone 4 tripod mount from theglif.com
  • Gorillapod mini flexible tripod from local photo store.
  • 2 x Angle poise lamps from local Swedish flat pack store (lamp was called  ‘Tertial’)
  • 2 x Daylight CFL screwmount bulbs from local photo kit store
  • 2 x LED light panels from Korea Studio on ebay
  • Modahaus Desktop Studio 216 (the baby in the range) from modahaus.com

how to shoot jewellery with iphone 4 and modahaus table top studio

If you find this blog post helpful or know some folks who would, please feel free to share with your network using the share panel on the left hand side or the extended share panel at the end. If English is not your first language there is also a translate button at the end. Much appreciated.

TIPS

  • Set phone to ‘Airplane mode’ to avoid pesky interruptions.
  • Set Auto-lock to ‘never’ to stop phone switching to standby.
  • Connect phone to mains power or ideally a laptop or desktop PC
  • Don’t get too close to the iPhone with the CFL bulbs as this interferes with the camera display and the images captured.
  • You’re best shooting with halogen or LED lights.
  • With camera in landscape format swivel round 180º so lens is bottom right if you want to shoot from a lower level.

I’ve chosen to shoot all the jewellery on a white background as this is the most common method used to present jewellery photos online.

TEST 1a

Here we shot an amethyst bracelet (designed by the talented Nathalie Hambro) illuminated from below and above with LED light panels and selected the Modahaus translucent white backdrop.

The iPhone 4’s camera lens is quite wide angle so you need to get in quite close or you can use Camera+ to zoom in although this is digital zoom and will degrade the image. I chose to go in as tight as possible to avoid this and let the camera have its best shot although this meant compromising the composition a bit.

camera+ app on iphone 4

Camera+ also allows you to select a focus point by tapping the screen and an exposure point by tapping the screen with a second finger. Your second tap on the screen, it would seem, also allows you to lock the white balance. I can’t be 100% certain that’s the correct sequence to set the white balance as, like most apps Camera+ lacks detailed instructions. Another handy feature with the app is a timer that can be set to 5 secs to help avoid the shakes.

So almost ready to shoot the Bling – crank up Puff Daddy on the sound system and we’re off.

As I was already hooked up to the Macbook pro I decided to use Aperture 3 and Photoshop for post processing rather than Camera+ post process tools as this is more about the cameras latent quality. I’ll review the apps tools in my next blog with iPad 2.

amethyst bracelet lit from below

As expected the finished result 1a is a clean white background with no shadows and by illuminating from below we’ve also demonstrated the translucence of the amethysts. The stones at the front are a bit cloudier than those behind in real life.

I also did a three part focus stack on this image as I would typically do with jewellery photos. I’ll go into focus stacking another time. The only other post processing was increasing exposure and saturation a tad and a medium contrast curve and no image sharpening.

TEST 1b

Here we shot the same bracelet but this time we used the opaque white backdrop that also comes with the Modahaus kit whilst using the translucent white backdrop to form a diffusing light tunnel (see TEST 2 image) with one CFL light from above.

Again, I was pleased to see the results I had hoped for. Good translucence in the front stones with pleasant soft edged shadows below and the light tunnel adding nice graduated reflections helping to show the organic shape of the stones.

amethyst bracelet on opaque white backdrop

Post processing – increasing exposure and saturation a tad and a medium contrast curve and no image sharpening. No focus stacking used as I felt the depth of field was good although I have to say I don’t know why or what determined this with Camera+ as it was a bit hit or miss.

In both 1a and 1b the image was cropped to about 50% of the total frame so I’d love to see what results the iPhone 4 camera could achieve with a macro or tele lens attachment, if such a thing exists.

TEST 2

desktop studio 216 workflow

This gold ring with cultivated mother of pearl, by another talented designer Hagit Goralli, was shot using the exact same set up as 1b above the only difference being I removed any trace of shadows in Photoshop as the exposure setting on Camera+ couldn’t quite handle the more subtle difference between the background and the stone itself. Or perhaps it’s just me not knowing how to adjust for this. Any pointers most welcome.

gold ring by hagit goralli

However with a bit of additional Photoshop work the background was gone. I’d often add a subtle shadow in Photoshop if I want to ‘ground’ the piece. In terms of the finished result, considering we are only using about 25% of the cameras frame, (due to the lenses closest focusing distance) you can almost read the gold hallmark inside the ring which I think is quite impressive.

As the camera is so close you can see its black reflection in the upper front edge of the ring. Whilst this helps show the modeling of the ring I’d prefer to add these reflections with some black card or tape pieces and position them where best. Perhaps I should have just used Camera+ digital zoom feature but I’m unsure if that would have a greater degradation of image quality rather than cropping in post processing.

TEST 3a

Here we’ve turned things on their head a bit for the dangly bits.

The Modahaus kit is great for shooting pendants, earrings and the like.

modahaus 216 upright workflow

modahaus 216 desktop studio upright

Simply re-orientate the backdrop support to the upright position and use the translucent white backdrop and light from behind and front – using angle poise CFL lamps in this instance. Image 3a required almost no post processing and has been cropped down to show the image larger although the thin chain was well exposed and sharp over the full frame.

silver heart pendant

TEST 3b

Image 3b shows the reverse side of the pendant with pave set diamonds (not real unfortunately) this time shot from above on opaque white backdrop with translucent white backdrop forming a light tunnel. Camera+ did OK with this difficult exposure task although I’d like to have seen a bit more contrast in the original image and the white balance went askew for some reason. After a bit of Photoshop adjusting exposure, saturation, mid-tone contrast, colour balance and sharpening I think it is a passable result for a smaller reproduction size.

CONCLUSION

As I mentioned earlier, the majority of online images featuring jewellery are shot against a white background which has its advantages and normally a certain level of experience is required to achieve this, however Camera+ is a simple to use app albeit unpredictable on occasions – perhaps that’s down to lack of fuller instructions with the app.

On this occasion I felt the app allowed me to get a lot more out of the standard iPhone 4 camera which is what the iPhone concept is all about. A well built, well designed camera and phone that can be enabled to perform a multitude of tasks by ulilising easy to use third party apps.

The answer to the ultimate question ‘Is it good enough to present and sell jewellery online’ I have to say, yes it is. There is no issue in lack of resolution for the majority of instances where jewellery is displayed online.

Essential elements in the mix are:

  • A good iPhone photo app with focus, exposure and white balance control and delayed shutter release.
  • A flexible tripod and iPhone mount.
  • A set of easily positioned lights, each with the same colour temperature.
  • A compact versatile Table Top Studio such as the Modahaus Desktop Studio 216.

The flat pack Desktop Studio 216 and a mini tripod will easily fit in a briefcase or day backpack alongside a laptop and coupled with an iPhone 4 you have a complete highly portable product photography system and workflow.

The Modahaus range is currently available with a FREE bonus pack of 2 translucent coloured backdrops for a limited period in addition to the standard translucent white and opaque white backdrops. We’ll demonstrate some coloured translucent backdrop lighting techniques with jewellery soon so watch this space and look out for Modahaus on Facebook and Twitter.

modahaus desktop studio 216 with red backdrop

I’m pretty new to the iPhone 4 so would welcome any suggestions for apps to try out and lens attachments. Any features of Camera+ I’ve missed out please let me know.

We’re onFaceBookTwitter and Flickr as well if that’s your preferred channel. We’ve many more product photography posts in the near pipeline and you can subscribe by RSS feed to receive alerts.

BUY A MODAHAUS STUDIO SET TO USE WITH YOUR IPHONE4
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  • http://www.mackerelmedia.co.uk Nick Craig

    Nice work Lex – just goes to show what you can do with a decent camera in the right hands

  • http://mostlylisa.com Lisa Bettany

    Excellent post. The iPhone 4 & Camera+ make a stellar combo if I do say so myself :P I’m a 5DMKII shooter as well and more and more I find myself relying on my iPhone as my main camera. It’s gone beyond just a snap shot camera to a creative tool for expressing myself. I love the fact that the accessibility of iPhones has allowed more people to explore photography. I honestly believe that the iPhone 5 & iOS 5 will revolutionize things even more and I, for one, can’t wait! 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Lisa, I really appreciate that coming from a fellow 5D MkII shooter. I suppose I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to using my new iPhone as a camera but the results I achieved surprised me. I think that goes to show, the intuitive interface of the iPhone’s camera and the excellent apps available to customise its operation and features is the way forward. As you say it makes photography more accessible to much more people and can reward them with encouraging results from day 1. And yes, it won’t half revolutionise things to come. Imagine a 5D MkIV with third party created apps! Time for some mindsets to change. Bring it on!

      • Modahaus

        Thanks Lisa, I really appreciate that coming from a fellow 5D MkII shooter. I suppose I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to using my new iPhone as a camera but the results I achieved surprised me. I think that goes to show, the intuitive interface of the iPhone’s camera and the excellent apps available to customise its operation and features is the way forward. As you say it makes photography more accessible to much more people and can reward them with encouraging results from day 1. And yes, it won’t half revolutionise things to come. Imagine a 5D MkIV with third party created apps! Time for some mindsets to change. Bring it on!

  • Michael Richmond

    Observation for test 2… The black reflection of the phone in the ring might be largely avoided if using a white iPhone. Alternatively, a piece of white card taped to the back of the phone with a cut-out for the lens+flash would probably give enough light bounce to address the unwanted black reflection.

    Thank you for putting together this excellent post. It demonstrates very well the near-macro abilities of the iPhone 4 camera.

    • Modahaus

      Good point Michael, Thanks

    • Anonymous

      Good point Michael, Thanks

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  • Modahaus

    Thanks Maggie, I’ve just had a look at iTunes and Filterstorm seems just what I need. I’m looking to capture images on the iPhone 4 and post process on the iPad 2. I’ll dive straight in with the Filterstorm Pro version. I just got Snapseed by Nik Software but haven’t had a chance to check it out yet. Let us know how you get on.

  • Maggie Bergman

    I love Filterstorm for image adjustment and manipulation.
    Great post, I like using my iPhone for quick & dirty shots:) Might set up with some of the equipment you show here, I like the compact setup.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Maggie, I’ve just had a look at iTunes and Filterstorm seems just what I need. I’m looking to capture images on the iPhone 4 and post process on the iPad 2. I’ll dive straight in with the Filterstorm Pro version. I just got Snapseed by Nik Software but haven’t had a chance to check it out yet. Let us know how you get on.

  • James Battersby

    Thanks for an interesting article.
    http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/cell-phone-lenses/   Check here for a couple of lens attachments that can be used on the iPhone – I have their marco/wide angle and fish eye lenses. The macro lens is great for really close subjects, with a narrow depth of focus. The fish eye is just plain fun, but as you might expect for $40 the optical quality isn’t perfect. These lenses are magnetized, and attach to a washer with double sided tape that you apply to the back of your phone. Unfortunately this doesn’t stick too well to the glass on an iPhone 4 so you need a case, which makes using the glif a challenge. A thin, hard plastic case trimmed around the glif works.
    They also sell a telephoto attachment, again the small optics suffer, leaving only a small portion of the image without chromatic and focus aberrations. Check out their sample pics.

  • James Battersby

    Thanks for an interesting article.
    http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/cell-phone-lenses/   Check here for a couple of lens attachments that can be used on the iPhone – I have their marco/wide angle and fish eye lenses. The macro lens is great for really close subjects, with a narrow depth of focus. The fish eye is just plain fun, but as you might expect for $40 the optical quality isn’t perfect. These lenses are magnetized, and attach to a washer with double sided tape that you apply to the back of your phone. Unfortunately this doesn’t stick too well to the glass on an iPhone 4 so you need a case, which makes using the glif a challenge. A thin, hard plastic case trimmed around the glif works.
    They also sell a telephoto attachment, again the small optics suffer, leaving only a small portion of the image without chromatic and focus aberrations. Check out their sample pics.

  • Modahaus

    Many thanks James. I checked out the lenses at  Photojojo. I’t could be an alternaitve for me but as you pointed out the focus is poor  and CA is bad. I suspect I’d be  cropping  in to the image. I’ll maybe get the lenses for  some fun shots

  • Anonymous

    Many thanks James. I checked out the lenses at  Photojojo. I’t could be an alternaitve for me but as you pointed out the focus is poor  and CA is bad. I suspect I’d be  cropping  in to the image. I’ll maybe get the lenses for  some fun shots

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  • matshageeikemo

    This looks great! But more than anything, I think this article proves the importance of good lighting and lighting specifically for what you’re shooting.

    Also, do you think you could supply the original photos directly from the iPhone? So it’s possible to see them before cropping and editing. 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for that, Sorry I’ve deleted them – force of habit keeping my archives clean. I’ll remember to save originals for the next post using IPhone.

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  • http://twitter.com/schidakov Мурат Шидаков

    wow!

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  • Thomas

    What is the tripod (not gorilla) in the photos below the first one?

    • http://modahausblog.wordpress.com modahaus

      It is just a small tripod from Jessops in the UK

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  • Brett

    Hi,

    Great post, I think this is what my girlfriend is wanting to do for her online jewelry shop. Excuse my ignorance as I have no idea about photography or photographing jewelry, but where do the LED light panels go as mentioned at the start of the post “2 x LED light panels from Korea Studio on ebay”. Can you explain a bit about the setup of the lightbox and lights?

    Thanks,
    Brett

    • http://modahausblog.wordpress.com modahaus

      Hi Brett, The first photo shown in the post shows the Desktop Studio 216 sitting on a small sheet of glass which has one of the LED light panels underneath which is the technique you would use if you were looking to achieve a pure white background with no shadows as shown in photo 1b. The second LED panel was used to light from above right.
      With digital photography and your ability to set custom white balance on most cameras you can use almost any light source to substitute the LED panels we used. The important thing is if you are using 2 or more light sources, make sure they are the same colour temperature. (same bulbs/lamps).
      If your girlfriend is just starting out in photography I’d suggest following the TEST 1B route to begin with. As jewellery pieces are often reflective, by using the 216 set up with the light tunnel as shown at the start of TEST 2, you can eliminate unsightly reflections. The lighting used for photo 1b was one angle poise lamp above right from Ikea which cost £8 or 12 USD. I used a CFL daylight bulb available from local photo store but again with custom white balance you could use any kind of bulb/lamp. The light tunnel also serves to soften the light source and gives you an effective soft shadow beneath your subject. With the Studio Pro 400 and 600 you can also create a light tunnel or light cone with the included translucent white backdrop. I’ll demonstrate the 400 and 600 using this technique in a future post. I’ve read so many comments on blogs where people who need to take photos of their products are frustrated with the results they are getting and ask the question ‘do I need a better camera?’ The best advice I can give is, first learn how to set custom white balance on your camera. It is usually very simple to do and will be in the manual. And secondly, buy Modahaus Studio kit available exclusively on this website with a very attractive introductory offer (for a limited period). But I would say that, wouldn’t I. Sorry for the commercial outburst at the end. Best of luck and any other queries just ask. M

      • Brett

        Thanks for the quick reply. I understand a little about white balance, we can adjust this quite easily on our camera and my girlfriend knows how to use the camera quite well. I want to purchase one the Studio Kits (probably PRO 400) as a suprise present for her so I can’t ask her about any of this. I was just worried because the LED panels where very expensive but judging from the pictures I think she can get a great shot using the light tunnel and an ikea light as you suggest.

        Thanks again,
        Brett

      • Brett

        Just purchased the PRO 400 kit, thanks for the blog and the advice.

        Cheers,
        Brett

        • http://modahausblog.wordpress.com modahaus

          Your welcome Brett and thanks for your custom. We’ll have it on it’s way to you in a few hours. Hope you or your girlfriend will keep in touch and let us see some of her jewellery shots. We’ll be setting up a customers gallery soon so we’re on the lookout for any new photos. Have a good day.

  • http://www.outlinekiller.com/ Mauro

    Hi, excuse the stupid question, but how do you see what you’re shooting on Mac with the iPhone?
    Thanks!

    • http://modahausblog.wordpress.com modahaus

      Not a stupid question Mauro. I was shooting on iPhone whilst tethered to Mac via USB. Once I shot a frame on iPhone 4 using Camera+ (set ‘save to camera’ roll in settings)
      I immediately imported image in to Aperture 3 on the Macbook for full screen evaluation. I then made slight adjustments in Aperture. This was a very quick and effective workflow for what I was looking to demonstrate. I’ve since explored some of Camera+ great image adjustment tools which are well worth trying out and saving some alternative versions for closer evaluation on your laptop/desktop. M

      • http://www.outlinekiller.com/ Mauro

        As hypothesized me, thank you, very kind ;)
        K.

      • http://www.diamondsettings.co.za/ Vasco

        Is there a way to view trough the lens on the monitor before the shot? I am not a photographer but a jeweller and this topic really interests me. It is slow and annoying to first shoot then import and eventually see the shortcomings on the monitor if you can see them and make the adjustments before the shot.

        • http://modahausblog.wordpress.com modahaus

          Thanks for your question Vasco. What you describe is called tethered shooting with a live view of the image prior to capture. The technique I used in this instance was not live view although I now know that you can perform this function between an Iphone and an iPad by using the App Camera-A and Camera-B. These Apps are 99c on iTunes but buying an iPad would be an expensive solution. Another App that does the same is Camera for iPad.
          There are a few Apps that give you wireless live view if you search for ‘wireless camera’ in iTunes but I can’t vouch for the image quality. I’ll keep searching.

  • Marsha ingebretson

    Getting a iPhone in a couple months and think this would be great to try!

  • debbie

    I am very interested in this! Will definitely check it out further.

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/elementspottery elementspottery

    Great article, thanks for the post. I just got my Modahaus kit yesterday and was anxious to give it a try. I make raku pendants and beads so I stuck to the translucent background as I was concerned that the color panels would reflect in the metallic glaze and distort the colors. I am very pleased with the results, I think they are smashing! I look forward to your next post using color panels to see how you deal with the color reflections. Thanks again!

  • http://www.diamondsettings.co.za/ Vasco

    Hi, and thank you for the prompt reply. It is highly appreciated
    Regards
    Vasco

  • Jeffrey

    You should offer an additional package with the LED fixtures, CFL fixtures and the bulbs. Coming from outside the shutterbug world, I really have no idea to what to get as far as lighting is concerned and has made me reluctant to start. I understand that to all of that are involved in photography, that it may be simple, but for a first timer, it would be simplest and thoughtless to get it all as a package that first time – a much faster sale for the vendor too.

    • http://modahausblog.wordpress.com modahaus

      Thanks for your suggestion Jeffery and you have highlighted a point we have wrestled with ourselves in the past. Quality, service and value for money are at the top of our list at Modahaus and we would only undertake to provide our customers with products that meet this criteria. In my recent Product Photography Shootout post I touch on the variety of lighting options available for product photography and lighting options are something I will expand on in future posts in the pipeline. A complete package including lights, like a few on the market, may seem like a turnkey solution but are often not. My best advice is to first, work with the lights you have (including daylight) and learn how to set custom white balance on your camera and progress from there. You’ll soon have a clear idea if you need more lights to suit the type of products you are shooting. I’m more than happy to advise on lights in more detail if you could let me know what type of products/subjects you plan to shoot and what camera you have. You can reply here if you wish or if you’d prefer send us an Email or contact us through Facebook or Twitter. Thanks again for raising a valid point.

      • Heidi

        Hi there!  I am so happy that I stumbled upon this post!  I am just starting a artisan jewelry website and it would be great to be able to shoot pieces myself.  I am interested in buy all that you mention/suggest in the post, but am wondering if you ship to the US?  If not, can you make any suggestions?

  • Jeffrey

    That would be nice, thanks. I just placed an order. Perhaps you can email a link to a couple of low cost LED light panels in the USA. Also, I ordered a couple of clip on lights from Amazon (like used on a bed post). They come with 25 Watt bulbs. I don’t know if that is a good strength, because the article didn’t discuss it. Maybe you can see my email address in the order or from what I used to validate this post.

    Thanks,

    Jeffrey

    • http://modahausblog.wordpress.com modahaus

      Thanks for your order Jeffrey. Much appreciated. I’ll email you shortly and we can discuss the subjects you’ll be shooting and I can make some suggestions for lighting stateside.

  • http://www.caitlingracedesigns.com Caitlin

    Great information! I am brand new to photography but need to learn quickly for my online jewelry shop. I have the Camera+ app and am making a lightbox. I am a student – so no funds for this! While I feel I have several questions, I will stick to one that is really bugging me! With the Camera app or regular camera, I cannot find how to adjust the white balance on the photos!

    • http://modahausblog.wordpress.com modahaus

      Hi Caitlin, Thanks for your question. With Camera+ App, first compose your image, tap and hold screen with one finger and the focus symbol appears. Whilst holding first finger on focus symbol, tap screen with second finger to now reveal the exposure symbol. This second tap also reveals a white balance symbol (WB). You can now move the exposure symbol to the position of where you want to lock the WB. Now tap the WB symbol to lock the white balance at the point where the exposure symbol is. This point should be a white area or neutral gray area.
      Regular cameras vary on how to set custom white balance but most simply involve taking a snap filling the frame with a white or neutral gray area and setting the white balance to this. If you don’t have a suitable white or neutral area in your shot just introduce a white piece of card in to fill the frame making sure it is illuminated with your main light source. Switch to manual focus if you have it. If not, draw a thin black cross on your sheet of paper so your camera can lock focus on it. Hope that helps. Nice jewelry BTW. Good luck with your lightbox and your photos. I’m sure you’ll appreciate how a Modahaus kit could help you in the future.

      • http://www.caitlingracedesigns.com Caitlin

        Thank you for the quick reply! I still have so much to learn just to photograph the jewelry! Tons of helpful info. I actually looked at the kit, and love the simplicity of it, and I would probably spend about that much on making one anyway. There is one thing I worried about though. In other light boxes they have full cover, and sides – allowing for the light to show through a white fabric or paper rather than directly on the jewelry which seems better. Also in my case this allows for a place to tape wire to for shooting earrings hanging in the center of the box. Any thoughts? I am so new to this I really just don’t know whats best and need to get it right the first time to save money (im a student!). Also for lighting instead of expensive work lamps could I buy a couple bendable desk lamps and just use different bulbs? Thank you for any ideas!

        • http://modahausblog.wordpress.com modahaus

          Modahaus 216 with light tunnel
          Hi Caitlin, Very good questions. Years ago, when I started shooting jewelry and diamonds for clients all over the country I was frustrated with the fabric light tents you described and that’s how I came to create what is now Modahaus. This image above shows the 216 using the translucent white backdrop as a light tunnel which provides an even diffused light in this case using regular household lights with matching halogen bulbs. You can also use the opaque white backdrop instead of the red backdrop shown (all included). The light tunnel arrangement also provides a clean, wrinkle free surface providing smooth reflections in shiny subjects like jewelry. The close proximity of the light tunnel to the subject allows you to add in a black reflection (for example a piece of black tape or card) wherever you want if desired. I found with light tents this is very difficult as there is no convenient surface in close proximity. The Modahaus system is very versatile and the image below showing a paper clip suspended from a piece of cotton thread is just to illustrate how to suspend earrings using a thin wire or clear fishing nylon. I used coloured thread just for visibility and sorry I didn’t have any earrings to hand but I’m sure you can see the method. Hope that has helped a bit. Have a look at my Shootout Post which also has a bit on shooting jewelry and please keep any questions coming. Many thanks.
          Suspension for earrings photography

  • http://www.caitlingracedesigns.com Caitlin

    Oh thanks! Great idea about the clamps on the side, that solves that problem! So if I use the kit and desk lamps, does it matter which halogen bulbs I use? Also, you mention adding in a black reflection – how and why is that beneficial in the photo, I just can’t picture exactly what you mean. Also I think I have the white balance down. I had thought it would be a sliding scale, but now I see the exposure ring and am moving it over the lightest area in the photo. Thanks so much for all this info and the kit is really growing on me!

    • http://modahausblog.wordpress.com modahaus

      Hi Caitlin, you can use any type of bulb but avoid CFL bulbs if using an iPhone as these send out bad vibes to the image. Important thing is not to mix light sources and set your custom white balance to a white or neutral area when using Camera+ App with the iPhone. Once WB is set you can move the the exposure symbol over the piece you are shooting to finally set the exposure.
      Adding a black reflector often helps define the shape and modelling present in a piece of jewelry especially silver and gold. A black (or gray) reflector can just be a piece of card positioned where the jewelry picks it up as a reflection as shown in the images below. The silver bangle on the left has no reflector used and the one on the right has a black card reflector used which helps define more shape and detail in the leaf. Below each bangle is a photo showing the Modahaus 216 set up used for the bangle photo above it. These examples are intentionally exaggerated to emphasise the difference this can make. Hope that’s all relevant to your work.
      black reflector example

  • Mightec

    This is all very interesting but I cannot see the images, just the script.  What can I do to see the images.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Lex
    have been able to view images by copy and pasting part of script into IE9 browser

  • Anonymous

    Hi Heidi, Sure, we ship to our US customers every day and we have a very efficient secure service. We’ve a few comments from our US customers under the ‘Testimonials’ tab at the top. Wishing you every success with your artisan jewelry website. Please keep in touch. p.s. Have you read our latest post on ‘ Product Photography Tips for Crafters and Jewelry Artisans’ 

    • Heidi

      Hello!  Just read other post on Jewelry Artisans!  Very helpful.  I just ordered the studio.  You mention in the post that you ordered two LED panels from Korea Studio on Ebay?  I cannot find anything like this.  Could you possibly suggest an alternative?  I am just not sure what to look for.  Have been looking on B & H, but they all seem very high tech and expensive.  Also – the CFL screw mount bulb.  I am finding all sorts of things.  Could you suggest one?  Just not sure what I am looking for…

      Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Many thanks for your order Heidi -It’s on its way! Here is a link to the Ebay shop I mentioned. http://bit.ly/tAM2LR  – And here is a link to the CFL bulbs at B+H http://bhpho.to/uVU5kU Hope that helps. Please keep in touch, Lex

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  • Ben

    Hello, I see that the package you offer comes with 4 translucent colors which is great but I need to take jewelry pictures using a black background. Do you have a suggestion on how I can achieve taking pictures with a black background using the Modahaus Studio? Thanks so much.

    • modahaus

      Hi Ben, the Modahaus Tabletop Studio range has moved on since we posted this article back in June 2011. We now ship each Tabletop Studio with opaque white, translucent white, translucent red and translucent blue backdrops. All models in the range now also come in a Smartcase which doubles up as a light diffusing and reflection control enclosure. We have recently added two free Hybrid backdrops for a limited time as part of our product development research. There is a Jet black and an Asteroid Silver hybrid backdrop. There are only a few left with the Hybrid backdrops so please Email us to check before placing an order if this is important to you. You can check out the Hybrids at the link below. http://www.modahaus.com/free-hybrid-product-photography-backgrounds/

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