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New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-03-2016

Need Help With Jewelry Photography! Canon Rebel t5

Hey Everyone,

I own the Canon Rebel t5 and I have the standard 58mm lens and a 60mm macro lens. I shoot my jewelry photographs in a Foldio light box.

 

I am a super beginner with my Canon and so far have found the most success shooting in the Manual Exposure setting. I typically use a shutter speed between 1/500, 1/640 or 1/800, it seems to give me the brightest results. My aperture was always around F5 and ISO1600. Here is what i'm hoping to achieve and unable to:

 

*A jewelry shot that is completely in focus

 

*As white a background as possible (I currently shoot in the lightbox on top of white computer paper)

 

I have tried changing the aperture but it still seems that I still can't get the entire ring, necklace, or earring in focus and this is critical so that I can then edit in photoshop. I've also tried the macro setting but photos come out too dark when I can't change the shutter speed.

 

I'm very open to everyones suggestions and expertise. My jewelry website is www.metalribbonstudio.com I hired a photographer for a some photos but the backgrounds she gave me were gray so I have to redo a lot of my photos and a ton of the ones I have taken are blurry in the background, in focus in the foreground.

 

Cheers,

Corkie

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Reputable Contributor
Posts: 977
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Need Help With Jewelry Photography! Canon Rebel t5

[ Edited ]

LED and no flashes? Then try Av mode, f16. iso 100 or 200 and the shutter speed will be whatever the camera chooses. If the image will be too dark, exposure compensate with +1 or +2.

You will need a tripod and 2 seconds shutter release.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,119
Registered: ‎02-06-2013

Re: Need Help With Jewelry Photography! Canon Rebel t5

I think you can improve your result with a few things, based on what you have described.

 

1.  If you haven't already, set your camera on a steady tripod.  This is a must for some of the subsequent points.

2. Set your ISO to 100

3. Set your aperture to f/11 or f/16 (larger value may give you diffraction error - less sharp, depending on lens)

4. Adjust the speed as appropriate...this might be several seconds but that's OK,the camera is on a tripod.

5. You need to set the proper white balance.  This will help greatly in making your white background to look white.

5.1  Take a picture of just your white background for use in a custom white balance. You may need to switch your lens to manual focus so you can take a picture and it doesn't have to be in focus.  Use this picture to set your manual white balance (consult your manual for how to do it).    OR

5.2 For this kind of photography, I use  daylight (5500 degrees K) light bulbs to illuminate the objects and it looks great with auto white balance. OR

5.3 Set manual white balance in degrees K using liveview until everything looks right, especially the background.

6. Since the lens has to be close to the jewelry to fill the frame, as you've discovered, the depth of field is shallow.  A larger aperture value as in step 3 will help but may not be enough.  If you require everything to be in sharp focus, you need to do focus stacking - a procedure where you take a series of photos (up to 30), each with a different focus point (you manually focus) and use post processing (photoshop can do this with ease) to combine them together to make one photo with everything in focus.  You can google on how to do this easy enough.  This is a must for macro photography so there are thousands of instructions, including youtube videos.

 

Let me know how you fare if you decide to try my suggestions... Smiley Happy

 

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Diverhank's photos on Flickr
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Posts: 10,378
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Need Help With Jewelry Photography! Canon Rebel t5

[ Edited ]

"I have tried changing the aperture but it still seems that I still can't get the entire ring, necklace, or earring in focus and this is critical so that I can then edit in photoshop. I've also tried the macro setting but photos come out too dark when I can't change the shutter speed."

 

What you need is software that performs "focus stacking."  There are some free packages out there, and some that cost money. 

 

The_Quarter.jpg

 

The image of the quarter was created from six separate shots, with each shot focusing in on a different part of the quarter's face.  Imagine that the quarter was sliced, horizontally, into six pieces.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Need Help With Jewelry Photography! Canon Rebel t5

The whole thing is an exercise of getting enough light into the camera to give you a proper exposure. Rather than memorize the very good suggestions offered by the two contributors above, watch a couple of free 5-10 minute videos on Google explaining the "exposure triangle".  

 

The he jewelry isn't moving, so you don't have to use a fast shutter speed like 1/640th, etc.  use a tripod to eliminate hand shake and you can take as long an exposure as you need. 

 

Do do not use high ISO. It destroys your image quality. ISO 100 is the best. As you will be on a tripod you can again just use a long slow shutter and you don't need to dial up a high ugly ISO. 

 

You you also want a high f/number which is a small aperture opening because it gives a deep depth of field in focus so the whole piece of jewelry will be sharp. Again, the tripod lets you pinch down the opening by letting you make up that lost light with a longer exposure. 

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
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Re: Need Help With Jewelry Photography! Canon Rebel t5

"*As white a background as possible (I currently shoot in the lightbox on top of white computer paper)." 

 

If you want an absolute white background, then you will need to perform some post-processing on the images.  Adobe's Photoshop Elements can probably do all that you need, ... so can some freeware, like Paint_Dot_Net. 

 

If you want perfect backgrounds, then take a beauty shot of a perfect background.  Then, take a beauty shot of your item, and use the software to cut out the jewelry from the image, so that you can layer it onto your perfect background.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Posts: 10,378
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Need Help With Jewelry Photography! Canon Rebel t5

"The jewelry isn't moving, so you don't have to use a fast shutter speed like 1/640th, etc.  use a tripod to eliminate hand shake and you can take as long an exposure as you need. " 

 

Long exposure, which is exactly how the quarter was photographed.  I used ambient light, a rather robust tripod, and the camera's two second timer to take the shots.  I think my exposures were around 1/4 second each.  I used a 35mm lens, and a 14mm extension tube.  Yup, I cheated.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-03-2016

Re: Need Help With Jewelry Photography! Canon Rebel t5

Thank you so much for the suggestions thus far. The first thing I need to do is get a tripod. I haven't been using one. I will order one today which will allow for me to begin to experiment with some of the suggestions below.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Need Help With Jewelry Photography! Canon Rebel t5

Don't go cheap on the tripod. Get an unsteady one and you will end up having to buy another one.

 

If you shop online go with a big enough store that they let you search by the weight the tripod can support, and then go a lot heavier than your camera and lens to be sure it is a steady one. I'd say get one that is rated to hold at least 17+ pounds.  

 

You need a ball head too. Some pods come with a head, most of the better ones come separately.

 

Getting a ball head that is "Arca-Swiss compatible" is smart. It lets you use a wide range of connector plates from many different manufacturers.  No need to be stuck with some company's proprietary connector stuff. 

 

Don't waste money on carbon fiber; for your use you don't care about an extra few ounces because you are not hiking with it. Aluminum is fine. 

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
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Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,551
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Need Help With Jewelry Photography! Canon Rebel t5


@Waddizzle wrote:

"I have tried changing the aperture but it still seems that I still can't get the entire ring, necklace, or earring in focus and this is critical so that I can then edit in photoshop. I've also tried the macro setting but photos come out too dark when I can't change the shutter speed."

 

What you need is software that performs "focus stacking."  There are some free packages out there, and some that cost money. 

 

The_Quarter.jpg

 

The image of the quarter was created from six separate shots, with each shot focusing in on a different part of the quarter's face.  Imagine that the quarter was sliced, horizontally, into six pieces.


This picture, which Waddizzle has shown us several times, is a striking display of masterly, but time consuming, technique. The reason that technique was necessary is that the coin is positioned at a shallow angle to the axis of the lens, greatly increasing the required depth of field. If your requirements allow the jewelry to be photographed from directly overhead, you shouldn't need to consider such heroic measures.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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