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Posing Rings for Photography

I finally decided on the camera; Canon SD850 IS. It takes very nice
macro images.

My next problem is how to get rings and bracelets to “stand up” so I
can get a good shot. An internet search found a reference to “clear
photo laminating wax” for this, but failed to find a source for
same. I do have a clear museum putty, but that always shows in the

Recommendations, please.
Bev Ludlow
Renaissance Jewelry


I use a very small piece of beeswax ( the same wax used for picking
up gemstones during setting )

Greg DeMark

Here’s a source at Calumet for photographer’s prop wax.

If this is the same stuff I bought 20 years ago it will last your
entire life. You have to be very judicious with the amount and
pressure or, like the museum putty you mention, it will show up as an
unsightly blob at the bottom of your ring. Works best on hard or
shiny surfaces and not so well if you’re using heat producing lamps
for lighting.

With digital you should never work under hot lights again. Go out to
Lowes and purchase their screw-in daylight fluorescent bulb (about
$7.00) and use the custom white balance feature on your camera to set
it. These are, of course, available on line at any number of sites. I
buy $10 “drafting” lamps at staples to put these bulbs in. Great
table top studio lighting.

Les Brown
L.F.Brown Goldwork

Bud, I have found a small piece of sticky wax (the kind used to
stick wax models together) on the shank will work wonders. It can
usually be positioned not to show or else cleaned up in the computer
with a photo shop type software. I use a piece of white or colored
card stock for a base to photo on.

Frank Goss

Hi Bev,

In my CD book “Jewelry Photography Made Simple”, I describe some
different approaches to the “posing” problem.

In the case where there will be little or no post-processing of the
image, one good way is to use an inexpensive glue gun. A small dab
placed on the bottom of the shank will allow the ring to be attached
at almost any angle to a piece of glass or ceramic tile. The glue
will not leave a mark, and when you are done it can be easily
flicked off with a fingernail; it does no damage to the piece.

You need to be careful to use only a small dot of glue and work
quickly before it cools. Too much glue and it will be visible.
Experimentation will reveal a number of other adhesives, but I
prefer the glue.

If the piece is not too heavy, or the angle excessive, sticky wax
works pretty well, but it leaves a greasy mark on many surfaces and
on the piece.

Frei & Borel ( make small attractive ring supports
that do not really detract too much from the image. They are
triangular, less than one-half inch in size and available in black
or white. The triangle lays flat and the ring is held at an angle by
a small pin-shaped spring. Inexpensive, effective and fast…but
they are part of the image.

The third option is to use anything you wish and remove its presence
using Photoshop or some other image manipulation software. With the
newer softwares, it’s easy and fun, although if time is of the
essence or you have many images to complete, you may find it time
consuming. Most folks will opt for the cheap glue gun, available at
any hardware or art supply outlet. Have fun!

Wayne Emery

use glue that can make a small flat clump


I use a putty like product that is sold to hang light weight objects
on the wall. You should be able to find it at a framing or hardware
store. I use a tiny bit of it positioned so it won’t show up in the
photograph. I photograph on a piece of non-glare glass. Other
surfaces may require a larger piece of putty. If the putty shows in
the image, I edit it out with image editing software, not possible if
you are shooting with film.

Steve Brixner

Here's a source at Calumet for photographer's prop wax. 

Thanks for the source. This was one of those areas where you had to
know what something was actually called before it would come up in
a search.

Thank you to all for the hints. I’ll try them all to see which works
best for me. I’m looking forward to seeing the CD, Wayne.

Bev Ludlow
Renaissance Jewelry

the best way i have found is to mix half and half sticky wax with a
clean kneaded eraser. and after you remove the ring from position you
use the ball of it to clean up the residue left on your ground. only
use a bit & clean up easily with photoshop.

april karavani
CADesigner & jewelry photographer

My next problem is how to get rings and bracelets to "stand up" so
I can get a good shot. 

I use a digital to shoot my jewelry. Rather than buying all sorts of
fancy equipment, I just use a piece of black velvet cloth, put my
hand up underneath it, let it wrinkle up artistically and hold the
ring between my thumb and finger. You can’t see my hand, and I can
adjust the angle on the fly.


we used (i still do) fun tac in college its like gum that comes off
of things you can reuse it as well, you should be able to find it at
your local office or hardware store


I use a slight modification of Doc’s technique: Under the black
velvet I hold the ring in a small fold of the material with my
cross-locking pliers or a hemostat. That way you can change angles,
etc., and have your hands free.

Gary Strickland, GJG

For positioning stuff for photography, I like Silicone Ear Plugs. I
get them at the drugstore. They are translucent, don’t melt under the
lamps. A little bit is all you need, it is easy to hide, and it works

Don’t forget to have a few extras on hand, to make your photos read
well: a piece of black or grey card; a piece of white card; a small
positionable mirror or two; clamps of all sorts; clothes pins; non
glare glass. Position a card or a mirror- outside of the frame, play
around with the angle of the card, and use it to redirect light and
create shadows.

A really talented photographer that I worked with, Jeffrey Apollian,
showed me an awesome trick for photographing jewels (and yup! I like
photoshop too, but this is different, and can be so much better). He
made a pin hole in the background paper; projected a beam of light
from a small flashlight through the pin hole; the beam of light came
right up through the back of the stone. Really made the stones come
to life. He did this for stones on rings, earrings and more.

Check the archives for more input on this subject.

Have a great day all!

Kate Wolf,
in Portland, Maine hosting wicked good workshops by the bay.

Hi All;

My next problem is how to get rings and bracelets to "stand up" so
I can get a good shot. 

My favorite trick to pose rings is to use a hot glue gun. Just a
tiny drop on a piece of low-glare glass and quickly, before it cools,
stick the bottom of the ring shank into it. If you use the minimum of
glue and position it right, the glue is invisible, and the low-glare
glass can be put over any material. In fact, if the glass is proped
up by the edges over flat black paper, and the lights are adjusted
righ, the ring will appear to float in space.

David L. Huffman

The problem with using a black background under polished objects is
that the background is reflected into parts of the object and can
look REALLY amateurish in the finished product.


A small tip for posing your rings would be to use double sided tape
from and engraver. I use this all of the time. You put a small piece
of tape on a nice background and press the ring to it. The ring hides
the tape from the camera and you can use it over and over again.

Have A Great Day!
Bill Meyer

The way professional jewelry photographers have done this is to
solder a pin on the back of the shank. Place your background cloth or
paper on a piece of plastic foam board and stick the ring into
position. As this involves consideable work and cleanup, I have found
a quicker way, as long as the shank is not too thin. Solder a small
piece of brass or silver sheet (about 2 x 10 mm. or wider depending
on the ring) onto a brass pin to make a T shape. Bend the sheet
slightly to conform to the ring. A drop of crazy glue and after a
couple minutes you are ready to stick it in your background. If the
ring is wider and it will hide the mount, you can use two sided tape
instead of glue. I use a little thicker tape, made for mounting trim
to auto bodies. I have about a dozen of these T mounts in various

David Anderson

The problem with using a black background under polished objects
is that the background is reflected into parts of the object and
can look REALLY amateurish in the finished product. 

You can use whichever color you like.

The problem with using a black background under polished objects is
that the background is reflected into parts of the object and can
look REALLY amateurish in the finished product. 

The trick is to have the background out of focus. Macro lense close
up of the item with a black background for contrast is really
spectacular if done right.


What a fount of A big thank you for all the hints. In
the next week or so, I’ll be taking more pictures. I now have a
Canon SD850 so I can get better close-ups and the camera now mounts
on my desktop (as opposed to the much older Kodak 4800 which did
not). I’ll try several of the posing ring ideas, and will later post
what worked best for me.

Bev Ludlow
Renaissance Jewelry