Beautiful! I (and I am sure others) would like to know about your
setup for taking those great pictures!
Thank you for the kind words John.
I think the cabochon images may be adequate but I certainly wouldn’t
call them “great”. I’m happy to share if it might help you or anyone
This forum has very qualified photographers who may add to this
discussion as well. Don’t forget to read the archives for the many
discussions on this subject and check out some of the websites
recommended there. Charles Lewton Brain’s "Small Scale Photography"
is an excellent resource for booth set-up and photography.
What I’m doing is really low-tech but quickly and easily set up and
put away. I know that the images could be much improved by using many
of the techniques often discussed on this forum as well as on
numerous helpful websites devoted to this type of photography. For my
purposes with the cabs, I’ve chosen not to go into a more elaborate
I shoot at my kitchen table using a white paper background and two
Ott lights to get colors as true as possible. But you see that I’m
getting that distracting double shadow! (Note to self: try putting
both at upper left instead, next time! Duh!) Although I turn off any
other artificial light in the room, I do allow any daylight in from
the window nearby.
My camera is a Nikon CoolPix 990 that I’ve had for years. It has a
good macro lens and I can focus on the setup and set the white
balance so colors are true (as much as can be easily managed) and
consistent from session to session.
I can set a 3 second delay on the shutter and use that feature to
eliminate camera movement when the button is pressed. Although I have
a tripod, I confess that I’m not using it for the cabochons. (I want
to be able to set up and put away quickly) So I rest my elbows on the
table and hold the camera by hand. As much as I’ve done this, focus
isn’t usually a problem.
I will lighten the images as necessary before sizing them (5x7
ratio) for the website - I’m now making one standard-sized image for
the thumbnail and an enlargement of a size adequate to see the stones
As I said, the technique isn’t as tight and well-controlled as I
would use for jewelry images or something intended for publication,
but it suits my purpose in this situation. Your mileage may vary.
In cool, rain-greened Mesa, AZ