1. Helen123

    Helen123

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    Name:
    Helen
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    Hello. I am using a light box to photograph some jewellery. I was getting a grey background so I increased the EV to the recommended 1.7 ( this is what it suggests on the light box) but it is still dark and murky. I have tried increasing to 2.0 but it just over exposes the whole photo. I am using the 'P' function on a D50 as I am not very good with the manual function. Does anyone out there know the best settings to use for this type of photography? And how I can achieve a crisp white background?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. dreaddan

    dreaddan

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    Name:
    Dan
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    I've not done this type of photography but I would use either manual mode changing the speed until I get the effect I want otherwise us the apature mode to let the camera pick the speed
     
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  3. kjrice88

    kjrice88

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    Kirsty
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    What sort of jewellery are you photographing? Is it reflective?
    What kind of lights do you have?
     
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  4. Helen123

    Helen123

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    Helen
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    @kjrice88 - it varies from reflective to non- reflective and I am using a little tube type light.
     
  5. ancient_mariner

    ancient_mariner

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    8,654
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    Toni
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    If adjusting exposure from +1.7 to +2EV has resulted in a big change then I suspect operator error.

    Try aiming the camera lens at the lightbox ONLY with +2EV selected and making a note of the aperture & shutter speed. Then switch to fully manual and set those on the camera before taking pictures of the jewellery. Check the images at first, using the rear screen (if images aren't automatically dispayed then use the button showing a solid > to view, press again for off). If they are too dark then use a longer exposure, or if too light then use a shorter one.
     
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  6. chrism8

    chrism8

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    To achieve a white bg, you ideally need to light the bg separately to the subject and set it to be overexposed by at least 1 stop, so if your shooting at f8, set the bg lighting to f11
     
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  7. kjrice88

    kjrice88

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    34
    Name:
    Kirsty
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    Just one? I used to photograph clay jewellery and I used 2 or 3 daylight bulbs and turned the big light off, so I was basically working in the dark with all the light going onto the piece, through the light box. I would say try a brighter light, or multiple lights (all the same)
     
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  8. juggler

    juggler

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    4,110
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    Simon
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    This. It can be done with one light but that means you have much less control of the overall exposure. It's made even harder by shooting in an automatic mode. You need to exposure to be spot on. Use manual mode and use the histogram in live view to work out when the white is actually white. There should be a large spike at the far right edge of the chart.

    It's worth noting that to get a pure white background as well as a crisp, flare-free subject nearly always takes some work in photoshop (or whatever) - especially if you are using just one light.

    One way to get a white background is to light it from behind. Buy a sheet of frosted white perspex, or fix some very stiff tracing paper on to a frame.
    Then light the subject separately.

    I started with a home made light box but they're actually really restrictive. It'd be better to learn how to use studio lights & diffusers properly but I'm guessing that's beyond the scope of what you want to achieve? It all depends on how expensive the jewellery is. A light box would be fine for high throughput cheap stuff once you've worked out how to get the exposure you want but it's unlikely to give high-end results.
     
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  9. jondc

    jondc

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    Jonothan
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    When I did product photography I did buy a photography light box cube. It was a white polycarbonate cube with 4 daylight tubes in, two at the top and two at the bottom, and an infinity curve cover. Even after weeks of messing about I was still not happy with the results. I ended up getting a light tent, much larger, and I added some line to suspends items from.

    I illuminated the light tent with 3 strobe lights and soft boxes, two at 45 degrees from the front and one directly behind. The light behind was set to prove a greater light output at the target area than the two front strobes. I then set the camera in manual mode with a custom white balance (so white is white under strobe light), using a low ISO (minimum sensor noise), f8 aperture (for depth of field) and I then used to play with the shutter speed (below flash sync) and strobe light output strength, to get an image exposed as best as possible, with the background highlights blown out.

    One you find the base settings you have to tweak between product items.

    To control reflections I used a polarising filter and product/camera positioning. I did tape up the white writing on the front of my camera, with black tape, so the camera was a constant colour and reflected as little light as possible back on to the product.

    Even after that, sometimes post processing was required depending on the product.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  10. Teflon-Mike

    Teflon-Mike

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    Mike
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    The Camera's meter is a bit 'dumb'. It works on the principle that 'on average' a scene is gong to be 'about' 18% grey; so if you take a picture of a black cat in a coal hole, it will try and brighten that predominantly 'black' scene to something mid-grey, or wicky-worky, try take a picture of a white rabbit on a ski-slope, it will try and dim that very bright scene down to something similarly mid-grey.

    You have a subject on a light-box. It would be usual then to assume that the cameras metering would likely try and 'dim' that scene,like white rabbit on a ski-slope, as overall its pretty bright.

    However, the subject itself is infront of the light... that's the bit you really want properly exposed... but how well lit is it?

    Turn the light-box 'off'. Try taking a photo, what do you get? Without any other light source, it's probably pretty dark, and the subject probably isn't 'lit' at all. Camera would likely try and up the exposure HUGELY to get that subject in acceptable detail. Turn the light-box on, and the back-ground is much better lit, but the subject itself, probably isn't unless some of the back-ground light is being bounced back onto the subject by the ceiling or something.

    Ie you have two problems. First, basic metering principles, second strong back-lighting.

    This is NOT a matter of 'settings'.

    First up, you need to much better get to grips with manual mode,and making your own aperture/shutter settings. The strong back-lighting is 'fooling' in camera metering, it cannot be relied on.

    You will probably want an aperture that will give you enough DoF to get the subject in focus, which at such short camera to subject ranges could be pretty shallow.

    Shutter-speed, can probably be stretched to whatever you like / need, if you use a tripod and remote release, as I wouldn't expect your broach (or whatever) to be moving.

    NOW, you need to light the subject.. that, ultimately is the important bit to expose 'right', and you will probably want to light that from above, to get the detail in the actual artifact... and to some degree IGNORE the back-lighting from the light-box.

    This then is a lighting exercise, and using strong back-light, you will likely just have to 'mess' to get it right.

    My first port of call, would be to turn off the light-box & light the subject without it; and just 'expose' for that subject.

    When I had an acceptable exposure of that; then I would fix those settings, turn on the light-box and re-shoot, letting the light-box wash-out the back-ground.

    THEN, evaluate what I got. Good chance that the light-box will bounce more light onto the subject, off walls or ceiling etc, over-exposing the subject... so I may need to pull the exposure down a tad shortening the shutter speed some.... and see what I get.

    But, now the back-ground may be too bright or too grey, so 'some-how' I would need to adjust the lighting balence between suject and back-light, and then tweek the shutter speed to suit, again.

    To get more light on the subject, I might use reflectors, even improvised ones like bits of white paper, or scrunched up tin-foil, to bounce more back-light onto it. Or I may move spot-lamps closer to the subject, or use more spot-lights or some mix and match... and more evaluation of results....

    The 'angle' of lighting, here will likely be as important as the amount of light, to 'rake' light and get shaddow in texture to reveal detail...

    So could take a LOT of messing, to get the most pleasant 'modeling' of the subject... and how brght or dim the back-groud, would become but a minor detail.

    BUT, I'd expect lots of trial and error, to get both that flattering subject modeling, more to get the for-ground/back-ground lighting balance, and as much again to tweek exposure to suit with EVERY change I made to subject lighting.

    Once I had discovered the 'recipe', t would probably work for pretty much any subject I wanted to drop on the light-box, and might only need a little exposure adjustment one way or another... BUT finding that recipe would NOT be a two second deal, and the camera wont do it all for you.

    This IS essentially, a pretty elevated exercise in studio lighting techniques, NOT camera settings or modes. BUT you need to get to grips with both... which is down to practice practice practice.
     
  11. AloeToday

    AloeToday

    Messages:
    25
    Name:
    Duncan
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    I've been using a light tent to take some jewellery shots, just an eBay multi-led light to wave around.

    These are pretty much out of camera, should I be setting the EV higher to alter how the camera treats the background or leave as-is?

    2.JPG 11.JPG 20.JPG
     
  12. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    22,010
    Name:
    Richard
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    Studio subjects often fool in-camera metering and auto white balance, with large areas of plain tone - black, white or coloured. They're often quite unlike a 'normal' daylight scene.

    Time for some manual intervention, either by shooting in manual that will lock the exposure regardless of subject and will remain correct unless you change/move the lights, or by applying exposure compensation (+/- Ev) on a shot-by-shot basis. Same difference, though manual is almost always the preferred option for studio work.

    White balance can go all over the place too, for the same reasons. Options include, setting the in-camera WB adjustment to match the light source, doing a custom white balance (see handbook), or by shooting Raw and adjusting WB in post-processing.
     
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