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Photography backgrounds

Hi Ella. There are many in this group that are well advanced in the
art of photography, at least when it comes to photographing there
jewellery. I came to that conclusion during some of the previous
posts on this subject. There must be heaps of good advice in the

Some of the answers you have received so far assume you have a
camera that gives you control over speed and aperture, and this is
necessary if you are to use a grey card effectively. However that was
not your question, you just wanted to know what to use as a

Some have suggested materials, velvet is good, you can use it flat
or push it into interesting shapes. But have a look at some jewellery
books and the magazines that the major jewellery stores advertise in,
you can pick up some good ideas there. Backgrounds can be almost
anything. There are heaps of commercially made plastic background
sheets that shade from one colour to another, there are 99
variations in my sample swatches and they come in a variety of sizes.
I have one that is about 6 feet long but they have a very delicate
matt surface that is designed not to reflect light, putting your work
directly onto the background can easily damage it. So you build a
little platform above the background sheet and lay a sheet of glass
above it. Now you need polarising filters to eliminate reflection
from the glass and you are well on your way to becoming a
photographer as well as a jeweller. Stones, rock, leaves, bark,
fruit etc. can all be used as

The ring I finished last week was a large black pearl set in 18ct
white gold, two horns or maybe tentacles, it depends on your
imagination rose from a wide shank and slightly curled around the
pearl. Each shoulder, horn, (whatever) was set with 24 diamonds. I
decided to carry on the theme of the sea into the photograph. For the
background I chose a 10 x 8 photograph of waves crashing onto a
beach at sunset. I propped this up on the table and spread some sand
with a lot of yellow quartz in it in front of the photo, a couple of
tiny sea shells made up the set. By using a shallow depth of field I
kept the photo of the waves out of focus making sure the ring was the
subject. The most important thing in photography however is
mastering light, and to understand that I suggest a trip to the
photographic section at the library.

Enjoy your jewellery and
Enjoy your photographs .
Bruce from New Zealand