Silver jewelry photography on a white background can be a challenging subject. With this quick one minute tip you can add real depth and definition to your silver jewelry photography. Check out the video after the jump.
Silver Jewelry Photography Video
Silver Jewelry Photography Kit
We shot this tutorial using a Canon DSLR, a Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro lens mounted on a tripod. We used the Modahaus Tabletop Studio Pro TS320 with the opaque white backdrop and lit from directly above using a single LED table lamp (costing around £10/$10US) from Ikea called JANSJO. This technique will work regardless of the type of camera you shoot with.
We used the Modahaus TS320 Smartcase as a light diffusing and reflection control enclosure. Controlling reflections and the softness of your lighting is essential for any jewelry photography.
In this first image above we shot the pendant and had to adjust the exposure manually so we achieved a pure white background with a soft shadow beneath the pendant. Whilst this shot is OK, you can see we are loosing highlight detail in the silver and more importantly we are loosing edge definition in the pendant. This is not good for communicating the form and shape of your silver jewelry. The problem is we have white metal against a white background – too much white! We need to prevent our jewelry from fading into the background.
Silver Jewelry Photography Technique
Thankfully this is really easy to do. Simply add a few strips of black or dark grey card or material around your piece. We took care not to encroach on our nice soft shadow beneath the pendant.
You can also add some strips of black insulating tape or gaffer tape to the inside of the Smartcase and position them exactly where you need them.
Immediately you can see the pendant has now picked up some useful reflections which are now giving enhanced depth and edge definition to the pendant and we still have that nice soft shadow beneath. There’s an important added benefit to introducing the black surround to your image frame. The exposure reading on your camera is now much closer to the perfect exposure setting and within the +/- 2 stops exposure compensation limit on many cameras. In this shot we used + 2/3 of a stop. This saves time when shooting with a DSLR and if you’re shooting with a Compact Camera or Smartphone it ensures you can easily get into the right exposure zone. This is also useful if you don’t have the benefit of a macro lens on your DSLR as you’ll not be metering on a vast area of white background.
Silver Jewelry Photography Technique – Result
A quick crop in image editing software takes away the black surround and we have the final shot. The pendant has good depth and edge definition and the soft shadow beneath helps ground piece.
Reflection are not all bad! Only the ones you don’t want! Controlling your reflections and making them work for you is the secret.
Thanks to Victoria and her readers for requesting tips on silver jewelry photography.
You can visit our other Guides and Blog posts for more tips on product photography and the versatile Modahaus system. You may connect with us via Email signup, Twitter, YouTube or Facebook to keep fully up to date.
Checkout Steady Stand/Tabletop Studio bundles and save 15% on individual product prices. And remember we also offer Free Shipping Worldwide!