Staged Jewelry pics, C&C and advice please

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by TKEik683, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. TKEik683 macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2007

    I was just recently asked to go over the pictures / website for my parents jewelry business. Since this has always been a hobby for me its nice to actually have a project to work on :) I first started taking staged pictures that would be used to showcase their work and not a specific piece of jewelry. For selling a specific piece I will use no props.

    I dont have access to any macro glass (could rent i suppose) so I used my 50mm 1.8. The lens is sharp however I needed to crop quite a bit to get as close as I wanted.

    Would it help to purchase a set of extension tubes to shorten the focal distance or should I just look at purchasing something like the Nikon 105mm 2.8 macro? For the price, the Kenko extension tubes (~170$) look like they might help. Should I look at purchasing the set of three for the above price, or would one for 80$ be all I need? How do I decide which length to purchase?

    All shots were with my D90 (very happy with, nice upgrade from my D40) and the Nikon 50mm 1.8. They were taken in RAW and JPEG. Once Aperture get D90 support Ill start using just RAW.

    I know this is a long post but I would greatly appreciate some C&C and advice from everyone.




  2. slipper macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2003
    All three photos... I have a hard time focusing on the jewelry.

    1. My eyes are never drawn to the bracelet. Its too subtle compared to the large purple flower in the background.

    2. The large prop is taking up way too much space in the shot and the necklace is too far at the bottom. Since the the background prop is taking a lot of space in the photo my eyes are hunting around the blurry shot for a few seconds before my eyes are drawn to the purple jewels. I think the DOF is a little too shallow.

    3. My eyes are drawn directly to the bracelet at first glance but they keep hunting back to the mug.

    Overall... I like the creativity and the lighting. The shots are pleasing to the eyes. You dont always need a prop for jewelery. If you do have a prop for say a necklace for the chain to go to, set it in the far distance with it not dominating the make up of the shot.
  3. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    The first picture needs the flower to be darker so the eye will be drawn to the jewelery. The last one is too busy, the middle one is in the middle.

    You can do macro with extension tubes, a lens, or diopters. If you're going for the Web, then it's really a matter of ease and the results you want. I'd probably start with a good diopter if I were you (B+W is expensive, but worth it) but you'll have to figure out what magnification you want- the tubes will give you the most options for magnification and working distance, at the pain of being more difficult to use.
  4. TKEik683 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2007
    Thanks for the suggestions and C&C, it is greatly appreciated.

    I believe that these pics are somewhat busy, though I did want the jewelry to stand out I didnt want it to be the only thing in the frame. I think I will try again this weekend by moving the props further out of view, maybe bump up to a f4/5.6 to get more DOF on the jewelry but the same bokeh on the props. Ill probably take a few of the jewelry on a stand, just to get a feeling of how it will shoot.

    I think ill order some extension tubes, I dont need a macro for what im doing. They will give me enough room to get more out of the set up. Wont know till I receive it though...

    Anyone else have any overall lightbox/macro photography tips?

  5. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    I would find completely different props, ones that are more neutral and less interesting in and of themselves. The props you have here compete with the jewelry, especially the vase with the intricate carving.

    What you're trying to do is very difficult. If you must use props, you might try some dramatic lighting to push back the props and pick out the jewelry.

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