Adding Layers and Texture to Jewellery Photography

I enjoy being creative with Product and Jewellery photography. Adding layers, textures and colours into the image really gets my artistic thought processes revving into overdrive.

I like shooting products on a pure white, black or any other coloured background and lighting the product to reveal the qualities, texture and form; but I find that for personal projects, I also like to compose a scene that the product inhabits.  

This could be something that could tell a story, shows off the product against a complementary or contrasting scene, (something simple like putting a necklace in a treasure chest) and adds some interesting, light hearted symbolism, (the Lemonade shot).

In the image of a Vintage brooch I wanted to use colours and textures that would compliment the jewel. A purple cotton sheet was used for the background which was creased up to add some visual interest. There are a number of purple highlights in the brooch which almost match the colour of the sheet.  I couldn't have had the jewellery straight on top of the sheet as the purple highlights would have gotten lost in the purple folds of the fabric, so I used a circular yellow box which works beautifully with purple as they are complimentary colours. I felt that the smoothness of the box also really helps the jagged shape and colours of the brooch to stand out.  I also like how the oval shape of the box contrasts the folds and waviness of the fabric.  

The positioning of the jewel was deliberate.  I wanted the brooch to approximately sit on an intersection of the Rule of Thirds, so that the placement would look more natural and  the image would look more balanced (as the theory states) and the viewer’s eye would be drawn to the brooch whilst perusing in the rest of the scene too.  The positioning of the jewel on the box almost makes them looks like an eye, which I find interesting. I like this level of creativity in Jewellery photography, which gives depth and context to the product.

I used Topaz Clean to create the silky smoothness of the fabric, which contrasts the sharpness of the brooch.  I also used Topaz Clarity to make minute adjustments to the contrast of the jewel that made the edges well defined and I increased Vibrance to make the colours ‘pop’.

Besides elegant, professional lighting that makes Jewellery photography the art that I believe it is, adding texture, layers, which can be fabric, wood, or anything else that works, can make a beautifully crafted, creative advertising style, Product shots and it is lots of fun to create too.


Studio Photography - Why Am I Not Outside In The Sunshine?

I love to work in the Studio.  It is immensely satisfying having complete control of the photographic process, from pre-planning to post processing.

Styling the scene to my own taste, by positioning the product or Still Life item exactly where I want and utilising the plethora of props that I have at my disposal, using Compositional rules such as The Rule of Thirds and Leading Lines, in order to create an organic composition, gives me full control of my studio photography.

Thinking about how I will light the product or scene, how I will make the mundane, everyday object, look stylish and beautiful, is like revisiting Art classes at school (without punitive teachers and irritating classmates).  I can let my creative imagination run wild.  

When it finally comes to actually lighting the Still Life, positioning the lights, choosing the correct power output, picking the right diffusion for the job, I feel like I am a music composer, picking the necessary instruments, creating the perfect harmonies and finally giving birth to a beautiful musical composition.

I use Lightroom and Photoshop to create the final mood and feeling.  The ultimate vision, that initially, lay in the right portion of my brain, is brought to fruition with the power of post processing, adding the final tone and sheen.

If the lighting and photographic process gives the Still Life the beauty, it’s the post processing that adds the emotion.  

The awesomeness of working in Studio Photography is that I can make snap second reflections on my shooting process and choose a different prop, a Grid Spot instead of a Strip Box, a Gradient instead of a coloured background. I can spent time making a perfect composition, completely of my own creation.

I can patiently make changes whilst viewing the shot on the Monitor with Live View; the modelling lights on the strobes give me an idea of where the light will fall and where the shadows come into play. I can work with the set in real time.  

Each shot taken will be reviewed and analysed.  The set and Exposure can be readjusted if needed, and then re-shot until I get the final result.

It is having that complete control of the photographic environment, being the Master Puppeteer of the artistic vision, that I or somebody brings to me, is what makes Studio Photography so worthwhile.

As a Still Life & Product Photographer, I can be my own complete film crew, set designer, cameraman, director and editor and it is the Product that is the star.

And I get to listen to my own music ;)