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Jim Divitale shows how to shoot jewelry and how to deal with the reflection.
Tags:How to Photograph Jewelry,how to shoot jewelry,how to shoot shiny objects,jim divitale,software cinema
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Working close up with jewelry is a part of every photography studio. We’re going to work with tungsten and straw with a couple different set ups and see how the forming of a jewelry will make this stuff jump right off the page.
I like to now take a look at shooting some very close up jewelry type shots where we have the reflective nature of the product but we’re going to do like a black on dark gray and we had a lot of factors to take care of because they are, again, like golf clubs, there are multiple angles here.
So, let’s take a look at the shot that we have. We’re going to use again the MK3, we’re tethered through the USB2 and we’re using the 90mm lens. Now, I’m going to go ahead and first take a look and I’m going to adjust a little bit by turning it back and forth and I can look on the screen over here. I can see the live focus, I can see just where my plane of focus is going and I can adjust this, if I needed to, I can make one part of the watch sharpen, another part, more out of focus or I could use that tilt to help create more depth of field.
In this case, I want it fairly sharp and if I need to, I can always do a selective focus as a Photoshop two layer approach later. I find that if I shoot it out of focus, I only have that but if I shoot it sharp, I can always create the out of focus part later if there’s supposed to be two different options available for the client.
We’re going to go ahead and first of all, we have two different lights going; the first light is going to be our side light which is going to give us our main shape. The power is two or three times more in sort of watt seconds coming off the power pack then this big fill light behind us.
Now with that, I put up grid on the light, that’s going to help sort of narrow the beam of light so I’m not spreading that big raw light allover the set reflecting. I’ve hang some black felt over the mono stand so that we don’t have any extra chrome or anything reflecting back into the set. We don’t want to see those things so we’d have to retouch them on the watch, it’s going to—like this watch is almost like a mirror going around in a circle. Even though it’s black, it’s very reflective.
I’m going to go ahead and use this very, very tiny Macbeth card, we’ll put that inside there so we can see some great patterns and we’ll make sure that we back up or doing a custom white balance with also shooting the card so we have that shot and put away for us.
Even though I have the grid on that light, I still have to get rid of some of the flare from that so Hugo, let’s go ahead and bring a flag in and we’ll just block some of that lights so it’s not coming back in at me and reflecting because we don’t want it reflect off my shirt of reflect off anything around the set, so that’s good, we’re getting rid of that.
As I noticed through the camera, I noticed a little bit of a flare caught by the side light and I’d be able to see a little bit more what the side light is doing if I take this light out so you go if you would, go behind the set and just pull this out a little bit. Let me just see the side light by itself and I’d be able to take a small piece of black paper and a tape and I’m going to tape it over my broken shower glass which is breaking up the light. I could move that shower glass, first of all, I’m going to position a little bit by moving it around and I can see exactly on the screen, on my live focus. I could see just what’s happening, get that right in the correct spot and then I could come in here and look at the screen. I’ve got a big in front of me instead of trying to peak to the camera, I can see exactly on the screen as I move this card in and out, I can see that I’m actually blocking the area that’s giving me the slight flare.
So, I think we’re ready to bring all the parts back in. This is giving us our directional light in our main shadow it’s the more powerful of a light. The box is coming in and just giving me some nice specular highlights across the back of the band of the watch.
So Hugo, let’s go ahead and roll that back in again, we’ll take out our Macbeth card and we’ll get that out of the shot.
We’ve gone through and we’ll do a last minute clean-up. I’ll do a little bit of a dust off here and we’ll spray. Get all the last little dust off. I’ve sort off polished it real good. I always keep a little polishing cloth when I get all those finger prints off the product so we don’t have to retouch them later.
When we’re doing this stuff, don’t leave fingerprints on there and say, “I’m going to get them off later in Photoshop,” get them off now so it act like we’re going to do the minimal amount of work possible while we’re in Photoshop to do this.
I’ve got a sheet of paper here and I’m going to go ahead and look to the camera while I’m watching. And one of the photographs I’m going to do is I want to get a little more chrome or actually gold into the golden part of the brass part of the hands of the clock. I’ve got the watch set at 10:10, that’s pretty much the standard time that you set for watches that the watch people prefer that way they can—it doesn’t interfere with the Rado brand name.
If we can see, as I come across here, I’m looking at the screen and I’m going to start bringing this card in and I want to, I know it’s going to wash out the black but at the same time, it’s putting the chrome in there so we’ve got a way to drop that in there without actually showing the washed out part so I’m really looking at what it’s doing to the chromes. I’ve tried it with the white card and I also tried it with a small diffusion screen that I’ve come in and I’ve tried playing around with that and I’ll shoot a few shots like that as well so we’re going pop one like that. I can see right in the screen that it looks good.
And then we’re also going to shoot a couple with the white paper, it’s a little bit different, look. When I look on the screen, I can see exactly what’s going on and as I shoot the camera goes out of its live video mode right into shooting and then pops right back in the video for me so I can kind of continuously look and the client could be sitting at the set, looking at the different pieces as we are shooting.