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[Again] Photographing jewelry

I have just begun using my Nikon 990 and I am wondering how I can get
as close to the piece as I need to and at the same time utilize the
light diffusing hood. Do I need to construct it to get the camera
inside the hood? What I have been using is similar to a lampshade with
an opening which I point my lens into. Up to this point I have been
using an SLR with a 105mm lens which meant I could shoot macro at a
distance. Thanks for any help,
Bill Navran

Hi Bill Try posting your question at - about the best
site for this! My two cents - you can, with the use of the Nikon 2x
teleconverter, reverse a lens onto the 990 (need a macro coupling
ring also) and thus use the camera for macro work with greater
magnification and more working distance…


   I have just begun using my Nikon 990 and I am wondering how I
can get as close to the piece 

Bill, I’m still trying to figure out how to configure my Nikon
950!(missing my ‘good ole’ manual SLR) But found that I could use
telephoto AND close-up setting at the same time…thus getting far
enough to stay out of my ‘tent’ and still get close enough for
jewelry photos. MY question is when I download to computer the pics
are HUGE…and must go thru image program to reduce to a viewable or
printable size…and cannot seem to be consistent with that process!
Any help or advise there?? Thomas Blair Island Gold Works


I’ve used both, so I understand your difficulties. You’re going to
have to have a larger opening, or put the camera right inside the
hood, so that you can get the lens closer to the work. I’ve had some
success in zooming the shot and using the same setup as the 105mm, but
it’s not quite the same.

Some of my best shots are done with no hood, but outside in natural
light, a shady spot on a bright day so that the light is plentiful but
diffuse. Use the “measure” button in white balance to get the camera
ready for the conditions and make sure there are no distinct shadow
variations across the field of view.


Will, I use a Nikon 990 as well. Yes, it’s fine to insert the camera
into the tent or diffuser. Watch out, because if you get= too close
you can get too much reflection from the camera itself on the surface
of the piece. Also, be aware that you d= on’t NEED to use Macro Mode.
You can use the Zoom mode to get fairly close…or you can set your
Quality and File sizes t= o maximum, take the picture and select just
the image out of that whole picture. You will still have adequate
resolution= for the Internet. You don’t need to fill up the frame
with the image of the piece…1/3 to 1/2 is plenty. here’s a pic done
with my 990 in my quick-easy-cheap lighting setup.

Wayne Emery

** Attachment Removed **

Hi Bill,

When I started photographing my pearls, I ran into similar problems;
primarily because the little buggers are like spherical mirrors and
reflect EVERYTHING. After much trial and error, a photography store
recommended a photo tent. It is a large cone-shaped piece of nylon
with a velcro’d slit up the side. You can open the slit and just close
it around the camera lens. The tent, which is suspended from the
ceiling, serves to diffuse the light from the photo floods that I use,
allowing for a bright, clear picture without any hotspots.

If you have further questions, just drop me a line. The tents should
be available at most photo supply stores.


JoAnna Kelleher, co-owner
Pearl Exotics Trading Company, LLC
Phoenix, AZ
Phn# 623.845.0998
Fax# 623.845.0917

Hi Thomas.

Try qimage - a very good printing programme. Google search should
find it… Don’t reduce the file size, as this is necessary for sharp
printed images. If images are for the web, use Adobe ImageReady or
similar to drop size of the file. Again, great tips at -
HUGE site.


G’day Thomas; to get decent definition one has to scan or
photograph at high resolution and untreated, they are huge, as you
say. One trick is to use your slightly sophisticated word processor
program. Having cropped, and otherwise adjusted your original, in the
graphics or ‘paint’ program, you may find the word processor won’t
accept the format. So, still in the graphics program, you should ‘save
as’ and when you get the dialogue box, look for a little pull-down
menu which lists ‘save’ formats. Choose JPEG which most processors
accept, and then click ‘options’ on the dialogue box. With the JPEG
preference format in the lower type space, use ‘options’ to select a
reasonable compression. 65% will work fine, and will allow you to
email the picture without getting howls of rage from recipients. (when
other systems take ages to download.)

If you tell the box to put it on your desktop, you can later slide it
into any file there or even create a new one. Click ‘save,’ and then
exit it. You will still have the original wherever it was originally,
unchanged and ready to be used again.

Note that JPEG actually loses pixels each time it is used! Which is
why you should keep the large original on file, in TIF, PNG, GIF, or
other ‘non lossy’ formats - I found that out the hard way too, when I
couldn’t understand why my lovely pictures never looked as good as
when first saved. But such non lossy pictures eat disc space. So
store them in Zip discs, or floppies. Take those to a suitable
computer firm who will (at a fee) put them on a CD for you.

Now open the text program and use the ‘insert’ option from the
’graphics’ menu. Using the new dialogue box, find ‘desktop’ and
double click on the picture name icon. And LO; there it is in the text
program, but don’t worry if it is A4 size! Well, give it time to load!
You can either use ‘graphics/format’ to choose your required
size, or use the little black ‘handles’ at the edge of the 'selected’
picture to pull it to the size you want, and click in the middle to
move the picture around, holding down the left mouse button.

Now, I am really the last person to give out expert computer advice,
but I found out the hard way. Couldn’t get much sense out of the
manual! And the ‘Help’ thingy never answers the questions one needs
to ask. Hoping it all works for you, – Cheers now, John Burgess;
@John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ

  MY question is when I download to computer the pics are HUGE...and
must go thru image program to reduce to a viewable or printable
size....and cannot seem to be consistent with that process! 

I use a free program called The GIMP to crop and
resize my photos. It allows you to crop to an inputted size and
position so you can resize easily. I always crop the object out of
the picture in an exact square from 800x800 to 1100x1100 so that I
can resize it to 500x500 without distorting the proportions. The
GIMP is the only program that I have found that I can do this easily.
Most don’t let you set the coordinates by hand, so you have to keep
trying to drag an exact square with the mouse.

Paul Ewing
Shining Moon Creations - Exotic and Fantasy Jewelry