When it comes to photographing silver, white gold and platinum high-polish (mirror finish) jewelry, the first thing one has to understand about silver is the natural properties it has. Silver jewelry, in most instances, tends to be a natural mirror that reflects everything that is around it. For this reason, one has to carefully place silver jewelry and with the correct surroundings in order to create an image that can truly show the silver jewelry piece in its true and natural look.
To illustrate the idea that silver, white gold & platinum jewelry mirrors its surroundings, we have placed a silver ring in three different photographing environments, and have showed you the result of each of them. Please view the following images, and read the text along each photograph. After the photographs, you will find tips on how to photograph silver.
For this tutorial, we have used the MK Photo-eBox™ lighting system & a Canon S5IS
Note: Photos have had the brightness & contrast adjusted – then cropped. Nothing else
Tips and suggestions for photographing silver, white gold & platinum jewelry:
Try not use a white background when photographing silver jewelry: In order to get a photograph that presents silver in a much more natural and real way, you want to avoid a white background; as white will only make the silver look white, dull and unnatural. View silver rings in completely black backgrounds.
Use dark or metallic-like backgrounds: When using a dark or metallic-like background, you are allowing the silver, white gold or platinum jewelry to reflect a more natural color; because you are reflecting it against backgrounds that create a contrast between the white walls of the photography lighting system and the surface it is against. This contrast, lets the jewelry appear natural in color while creating a three-dimensional look. View a metallic background
Photograph silver jewelry inside a photography lighting system or light box: In order to provide the correct lighting and reflections in silver jewelry photographs, you need to have a diffused lighting source inside a closed environment. Such as the walls enclosed inside the Photo-eBox lighting system. Learn about diffused wrap-around natural lighting and why you need it.
Don’t expect reflection-free photographs: When it comes to the facts of nature, don’t expect the impossible. You have to completely understand the nature and fact that silver, white gold and platinum high-polish jewelry will always act as mirrors, and will always reflect its surroundings.
Don’t expect your photos to be completely reflection-free, as there is nothing you can do about this (unless you use an editing software). In some photos you will see the reflection of the camera lens, or other surroundings. It is impossible to completely avoid them. (In photo 1 & 2 above, you can see the reflection of our camera to the right of the purple stone – it’s the black spot you see). To avoid the camera’s reflection (as in photo 3) we move the ring, so that the purple stone would be directly in front of the camera lens, and thus avoiding it’s reflection in the silver of the ring.