How to Shoot and Edit Rings for Jewelry Photography

Glue guns and poster board. Who would have thought these basic craft items would be useful for photographing jewelry? This in depth tutorial by New Amsterdam Photo Video covers the entire gamut of shooting rings from set up and lighting, to focus stacking and retouching, and everything in between.To be honest, I cant say I’ve thought about the process of photographing jewelry all that often. It isn’t something I photograph in detail so maybe it is a little bit of an out of sight, out of mind sort of situation. That being said, it may be why I found this tutorial so interesting. I had no idea the amount of patience and detail that went into the process and like most things in life, I have a new found appreciation for it.

New Amsterdam Photo Video does a great job breaking down each step of the process. The video kicks off with his set up and the tools he uses for photographing rings. He uses a simple one light set up, and explains the way he shoots each angle of the rings. Next he explains focus stacking, which is how he gets the entire ring in focus and takes it into Photoshop to merge them. Finally he shows us his retouching techniques. This section includes cleanup, color correction, sharpening, and even compositing when needed.

There are definitely a few take-aways that I can apply to my own work. Most notably some of the retouching techniques as well as using a glue gun to secure jewelry in place without causing damage. Who knew?

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17 Comments

It always bugs me when people use "gambit" when it should be "gamut". Besides this, the video has some useful info :)

Entire gangbang of shooting rings

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Glue is over rated and not flexible for this type of jewelry shot on white.

Ale Vidal's picture

What would you use instead? I am trying now different methods and I find quite effective keeping everything in suspension with wires but of course it's tricky!

Kelly Lane's picture

Yes, I am curious too!

Benoit Pigeon's picture

All I'll reveal is that it involves the use of standard elastics.

Ale Vidal's picture

What's the purpose of your comment then?

Benoit Pigeon's picture

I realize I shouldn't have posted anything. Sorry about that.

Spy Black's picture

Scotch Mounting Putty is standard operational procedure in the studios I work in. One package will last you a lifetime, as the putty is reusable unless it's gets dirty, which it rarely does on a jewelry set. At least, if you shoot jewelry right! :-D
https://www.staples.com/3m-Scotch-Adhesive-Putty-Removable-White-2-oz-86...

Parker Lee's picture

I've been using a PVC rig I made with some fishing line. It allows me to suspend my ring and make it float for a Hero type shot. Then it's just simply retouching the clear fishing line out. And with some strategic placing, its really quite easy. This rig also works for watches, I just run the line from one side to the other instead of in a > shape.

Parker Lee's picture

Also, this is when I was doing a proof of concept for the rig. I dont have any shots of it being used but next time I do a shoot I'll be sure to grab a shot of it.

Wax. I also don't like the look the white tube gives, it is too even no shape in the metal. I put the ring on an elevated glass surface and put small strips of black under it to give some shape to the metal and diffusion panels with a flash head and reflector, this gives you a gradated highlight that is reflected in the metal which also gives it shape.

Absence of gloves kind of lowers credibility...

Spy Black's picture

Considering the length and depth of detail he's put into this video, I'm going to cut him slack on this.

barry cash's picture

try a bent paperclip on a third hand with an alligator clip easy on off no clean up!

Tony Clark's picture

Very timely, I was contacted today about doing a similar project. Unfortunately, they had half the budget that I quoted. I’m guessing an intern did their previous shoots.