Photography of stones

Does anyone have a sure fire method for photographing individual
unset stones?

I have been urged to start selling some of the stones I have been
collecting and put them on my web site. I saw several shots in
Colored Stone magazine that I would like to duplicate, but have tried
various setups and cannot seem to capture the ‘sparkle’ I see when
not looking through the lens. I have tried backlighting, front
lighting, putting them in cutouts, and nothing satisfies me.

Robert Lowe was here and let me photograph some of his high quality
stones. With all my gear and all my experience, I could not
duplicate the beauty of some of his imperial topaz and aquamarine and
kunzite. I took the pictures and will post them on my web later in
the week, but the shots don’t do the stones justice.

Love and God Bless

Hi Randy: Taking photos of products is always going to be a tricky
one. Make sure you look through the viewfinder or LCD panel of your
camera very carefully and see how it looks. Then you can use
reflectors (which can range from white paper boards to any ready made
ones you can find in the store. See the effect of reflectors. If you
are using strobes or flash it can be even more challenging. It is
better to have an incident and reflective light meter. Any color
around the object can be reflected in your stone so be careful about
what you place next to it or even what color clothing you have on
(especially when you are close to the object you are shooting).
Bracket your exposures in 1/3 to 1/2 stops. Make technical note of
each shot. Try in many settings. There is not one technique that is
perfect. Hope this helps a little.


howdee Randy! have you tried something I used to use many years
ago…its called a “Star-Filter” they come in 4 star or 6
"star-bursts"…any bright reflective beam of light from the stone
will enhance the stones image, experiment and look through the camera
stores in your area. gerry!

Hi Randy,

I went through a similar process several months ago for photos for
my website. I have a Cloud Dome, and with some suggestions from the
inventor (Cindy Litchfield) the photos came out great. A small cutout
in your selected paper, on goes the dome, shine a concentrated light
(like a pen light) through the dome to the stone, and that’s it. I
know it can be done without a Cloud Dome, but this is so easy and
quick, it was a no-brainer. Now, I’m not going to say the images are
as professional looking as those in the trade mags, but then we’d be
putting those talented photographers out of business!

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