When photographing jewellery, like a diamond ring, which is very small yet has an intricate design, it requires a different approach. The images really need to be able to showcase the fine detail and quality of the product, regardless of how tiny the size is. For this shoot, I worked with a diamond-encrusted, gold ring.
The client, Mikus Diamonds, is a local, high-end jewellery manufacturer based in Slovakia. For this project, they wanted to showcase their luxury range of diamond rings for an upcoming Spring campaign. Their requirements asked that the photographs include a floral feature that suggested the beginning of the season when the flowers come out.
Both myself and the client were impressed with the results, and after sharing it on social media, the images received positive accolades from the photography community. Below I shall provide a brief summary behind the lighting, composition and editing used in order to achieve the final results.
The flower surrounding
Firstly, I headed out to find a florist and purchased a bunch of colourful flowers. I didn’t know yet which colours or types would work best for the shoot, so I made sure to pick a few different varieties. After a bit of experimenting I decided that the dark orange-yellow flowers, I think they are Dahlia or Chrysanthemums. I started by cutting the stems off the flower and just using the heads to form a background. They were arranged in a tight, circular pattern along a whiteboard, just wide enough for the ring to sit inside.
One thing I noticed was that the light source was far too big for this little setup. In order to focus more precisely on the centre, I created a black paper cone. This narrowed the focal point and resulted in more interesting shadows being cast on the petals. It is so important to understand how shadows are made, and how to manipulate them on a small scale. We wanted the shadows to be only millimetres wide.
Working with the ring
The next obstacle I faced was that the ring was just not getting enough attention in the centre. It seemed the exposure and surrounding scene was swallowing the detail up. I wanted the shine and polish of the gold to protrude more. For this I assembled a different shoot, where I placed white cards around the ring, to reflect the pureness of the tones.
By working with the ring separately, I created the perfecting lighting, and the result was multiple images of the ring at different angles. I later composited all of the separate images together, which resulted in an extremely crisp and detailed subject.
I cut out the ring in Photoshop and placed onto the floral background. This focus-stacking technique is popular in macro photography. I tried Helicon Focus first but found Photoshop to achieve the desired result better.
I trust that you have enjoyed learning about the process behind this shoot. What are your thoughts on shooting small subjects like jewellery? Leave your comments below.