James Dawes liked the jewellery photographs I had taken for another client and asked me to shoot all of the photographs for his new website. I have now shot over 500 pieces of jewellery to sell to the trade on his jewellery website – also designed and produced by WaltonCreative.
Reflective items are particularly difficult to shoot, so the project was a challenge!
Using a super-heavy camera stand, I could use longer exposures achieving a super-sharp f-stop of f32-45, vital for such close-up macro photography. Instead of my usual hot and bulky flash heads, I used a continuous LED light source and a series of reflectors to create a solid white environment. Slivers of black card were then used to create the impression of low-lights in the reflections.
For jewellery with precious stones, I used a series of tiny mirrors to back-light them making them sparkle.
For each piece a clipping path is then created, this is used to generate soft shadows. Using identical Photoshop settings each time, gives shadow consistency across all of the photos.
By far the toughest challenge though are the large, ultra-shiny earrings. For these there is no hiding – the camera is visible wherever it is. So each of these take up to an hour of Photoshop work to rebuild. Completed by adding fake reflections and highlights.