Have you ever needed to shoot jewelry on location, like wedding rings during a wedding? Then you may know about the difficulties of acquiring a good image.
Unwanted reflection of the surroundings can ruin your shot. Sometimes you can even recognize a reflection of yourself in the rings. There is a solution for that. Alex Koloskov of Photigy is offering a course for shooting jewelry using a simple flash gun and cheap DIY modifiers, targeting amateur and beginners.
Since I am a wedding photographer I know about the difficulties of shooting wedding rings during the hectic wedding day. There is only little time available, and often you have to work in a situation that is far from ideal. A good effective and preferably cheap way of shooting the wedding rings is very welcome. Alex Koloskov promises a good method of retrieving studio like images with just one or two flash guns.
In this course, Alex Koloskov will show you how to start in jewelry photography with minimal equipment, and still take beautiful photos of various jewelry using inexpensive cameras and lighting. It takes about 5 hours and 30 minutes and is targeting amateurs and beginners, but you need the basics of using a camera and speedlite. It includes post-processing and bonuses, and you will receive a Photigy Certificate.
This quote from the Photigy website summarizes the course perfectly.
The course is divided in four parts in which Koloskov shows the method that will achieve good results, with a lot of demonstrations of that method. He also gives advice on the use of props, that can lift your image into a higher level. The course also covers methods on post processing techniques in Lightroom as well as Photoshop. The course ends with an assignment and a certificate.
The length of the videos differs from 5 minutes up to 30 minutes, addressing different aspects of shooting rings with his flash and modifiers. Koloskov takes a lot of time to explain everything. A lot of information is told again and again, which is very welcome for the amateur and beginners. If you are more experienced it may take too long, which makes it a bit wearisome at times.
Koloskov is working in his studio and in his dining room, with an offset white balance imitating the less ideal light situation you may encounter on location. The table he works on, and were he shoots the rings, is one big mess with props and stuff. But as you can see it does not really matter for the result. In a way it demonstrates you don’t need a lot of room for good images.
His Russian dialect can be difficult to follow at times, but after a while you get used to it. Although he follows a reasonable logic flow, it sometimes feels a bit ad hoc. The does not use difficult terms so it is ideal for the amateur and beginner.
The videos do feel amateurish at times. Sound is not consistent in the dining room area, and the editing is not always of a professional level. The thing that bothers me more is the quality of the example photos he is taking. Some of them are not sharp and depth of field is not covered. Of course this does not change anything for the lightning technique. Nevertheless it would have a better appeal if the images were sharp enough and an advice about the depth of field would be a great addition to this course.
The last part of the course we are shown how the photos from the course are treated in Lightroom and Photoshop. The two videos take about one hour each. We see different techniques of post processing. I think it would be better if a selection of shorter videos, covering different techniques would make it more accessible.
There is a way to shoot jewelry with a professional look in any environment, with just a few simple tools and technique. Koloskov demonstrates this technique extensively in this videos. We also get the opportunity to follow different post-production techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop, but I think there could be a more structured way to do this. For me as a more experienced photographer, the videos are too long for the things that are covered. But I also realize that less experienced photographer may have benefit from repeating the technique and showing it more than once.
What I Liked
- The course is simple and no difficult terms are used
- There is no need for expensive equipment
- The videos are friendly and not too serious
- You receive very good results without not much difficulties
What I Did Not Like
- When the course progresses no more information is provided
- The course is too long for the information that is given
- Information about the use of depth of field is not covered
- Sometimes videos are too long – dividing into smaller parts would be better
- The post production is missing a good structured workflow
I would like to end this review with a couple of examples I made with the techniques used and learned from this course. And I must admit, although it took Alex Koloskov of Photigy a long time to explain, his technique surely works like a charm. The pictures I will shoot of wedding rings in future wedding will be much better. I can recommend this course.
You can find the course with this link.