photographing jewellery : LUSENET : Macro Photography : One Thread

can anyone advise me on a suitable lighting set up for photographing jewellery etc. I have a nikon 90x and a 105 2.8 macro nikon lens but as yet i have not purchased a flash or any other form of lighting because i am unsure as to what will give the best results.I would be very pleased to hear any suggestions.

-- david haywood (, January 24, 2001



Photographing jewelry is a specialty area that takes a great deal of patience and quality equipment. Because many items are extremely small and highly reflective very soft light produced by electronic flash is the simplest and safest way to go. The flash must have a modeling light (no small task finding an inexpensive flash unit with a modeling light.) so that you can see were it falls. Also, small reflectors (e.g., pieces of mirror or small aluminum cards help add light to places that would be lost in shadows. A macro lens, preferably 90-100mm is preferred to allow logical working distances and alligning reflectors and light.

Using sunlight with reflectors can be effective, but a very sturdy tripod will be needed to permit using F:16-22.

Plan to have a lot of failures, but the rewards will be worth it.

-- Manny Rubio (, February 23, 2002.

Unless your totally sold on using a flash, an easier and cheaper method to light your subject is to use small tungsten light source with some diffusion material in front of it (like tracing paper) you can then control how hard or soft the light souce is by altering the distance of the bulb from the material. For extra help and detail in your subject you can provide a shadowless background by sitting the the jewellwry on a piece of glass with some architects or drafting paper stuck to the underside. Then light from underneath, use gels for colour, and on top but remember to avoid shitty reflections on the glass, get your light sources as big as possible then you will have a much easier time of it, good luck ;)

-- Vanessa King (, April 22, 2002.

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