Photographing Jewellery (playing with the light tent)

Photographing my work is something that I really struggle with. When you work in such a visual medium it’s very easy to be let down by poor photographs – and I’m always paranoid that mine don’t do the details my work justice.

In the past I’ve taken my own (which I can never get a perfect white background on) and paid for photography (some of which I love, others of which I was horribly disappointed with). So, it’s a very tricky thing – made more difficult by the highly reflective nature of silver.

Then I spotted this blog by the lovely Eileen Moylan  , an Irish Silversmith, who’s been using a light tent to photograph her work  . It looked like the ideal solution so I headed on over to eBay sharpish and bought myself one for the princely sum of nine pounds ninety-nine.

It looks like this:

 

Cute no?

Images of it in use on Amazon seemed to suggest that you needed high power photographers light too – but I just shone my daylight lamp through the top of it and the effect seems remarkably similar:

 

It came with lining sheets – presumably to provide a nice smooth white background but I struggled to iron the creases out of them and instead opted for lying a good old fashioned sheet of card inside the tent:

 

and, after a little photoshopping the images came out a lot whiter than I’ve achieved before:

 

it’s by no means perfect but I reckon that a little more work on Corel (and maybe just snipping the item out of the background too) would get these magazine ready.

What I really like about the tent is the little ‘door’ for the front with the slit in. It cuts down on the chance of the work reflecting your surroundings (and, in my case, reflacted my bright green camera too) and gets the tone nice and even across the object.

Photographing my necklaces was a little more challenging – in hindsight I probably should have turned the tent on it’s side and photographed them from above – but contructing a necklace hanging trapeze type structure was bags more fun:

 

though I’ll try the other angle soon to improve the results:

 

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2 thoughts on “Photographing Jewellery (playing with the light tent)

  1. Hi Becca, Coincidentally I have been experimenting with a light tent this week, trying to photograph all my work for my new e-commerce site. I’ve been meaning to make one for years having seen various online DIY demos. I had the brainwave during h.Art to make one using a Guild plinth! (Managed to make it without wrecking it too.) I’ve now got backache leaning over my tripod and peering in through the hole. Like yours though my pics need Photoshopping. Can’t seem to get the background white enough….. Hope Gorgeous is a success for you. Sarah x

  2. I know … white backgrounds are impossible! I think sometimes it would be easier to just cut the item out and paste it onto a plain white screen – but then they seem to lose all context!

    Let me know if you figure it out … xx

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