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A Ring Makeover

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  #1  
Old 12-23-2005, 10:04 PM
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SteveB2005 SteveB2005 is offline
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A Ring Makeover

Happy Holidays! Here is a ring that I photographed which definitely needed a makeover. I cleaned the org as best as I could, but the camera picks up what the eye doesn't see. On the retouch, I started selecting and airbrushing the band which I think must be silver. I followed some good magazine jewelry ads as models. The rings in the better magazines are retouched where some of them look better than real. I am constantly experiementing with different lighting setups for my jewelry shots as well. I've seen some jewelry right out of the camera, shot by some very good photographers and they all need enhancement, especially if going to print. This is the goal I'm going for, to emulate those flashy ads. Not sure what kind of stone but I think it is amethyst. I wanted it to pop, so I selected it, put it on its own layer and then appled various blend modes. Overlay was good as was linear burn to give the stone some life and to punch the light to bring out the colors. I applied a starburst to help the sparkle a bit. I tried various approaches to the band, but I'm still not sure where to go to make it more realistic or reflective. I tried some gradients, but didn't like the look for this shot. Rendering metals is a whole study in itself. I cloned some of the colors in the stone because the org was a bit muted and dull. Need some help to take it to another level and advice. regards steveb
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File Type: jpg rngorg.jpg (19.3 KB, 120 views)
File Type: jpg rngret2.jpg (33.9 KB, 132 views)
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2005, 11:33 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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ah steve, you're back with more

ok, i notice several things here. your cutout is uneven on the band.

the band needs some highlights. generally metal in light is quite multi-toned, especially polished metal. also,

there is something about the lighting of the gem that makes it look skewed in the setting, as if it were turned a bit from left to right. put both attachments up at the same time and turn them on and off and i think you'll see what i mean; the stone appears to move in the setting.

also, the head of the band almost looks like crystal, not metal.

and, the band head/setting seems to have some gold in it, though that may just be the lighting it was shot in.

when you shoot an item like this i'd recommend some better lighting and a better backdrop, preferably darker and with a matte finish such that the light gets absorbed more in the background and not reflected. and because amethyst is such a transparent gem, i'd go for some very angular lighting that doesnt show this transparency so much (which is another good reason for a darker background).

sorry to be such a fuss-budget, but i know you're pretty particular on this stuff. if i over-step let me know. i do like the coloration of the gem and the starburst, however.

craig
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Old 12-24-2005, 12:06 AM
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The Ring

Ah, yes Craig, another jewelry fanatic like I am. Your're not be a fuss-budget at all as you put it. That's why I put these things up, to get other eyes to see what they think. I shot the ring in several angles and perspective for otther views. The stone I tweaked, I'm ok about, but I had more trouble with that band than you can imagine. I cut it out several times, used quick mask, cleaned it up and then decided to put it up and see if someone can perfect it some more. I see so many great tutorials retouching people here and I have applied many of the techniques to my own work. But with the jewelry, I feel I'm alone like a surgeon trying to operate without a trained doctor beside me. I can't find any reference material or step by step tutorial to help me get a handle on it the way I want. I am always working, chipping away at it and of course, others have mastered it. I learn by seeing what you guys come up with. Go ahead, if you have the time and make a go at it. I'll give you some honest feedback. regards steveb
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Old 12-24-2005, 09:27 AM
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steve,

ok, i did have a go at it. and yes, making a decent selection on that band was rough. i had the same problem. the best way i could do it was to make a pretty good selection on one layer, and then, with the selection still in place, i added a new raster layer and filled with black on the new layer. this actually worked better than trying to fill on the same layer. and even with that there was still some touch-up to do.

on the gem, i added a new raster layer and did some airbrushing in one of the purples to get rid of some of the noise and add more color where it was showing too transparent. i also did some minor cloning in that same area. and to touch it off i added one small starburst in the gem center.

globally, i did a color balance adjustment layer and a curves. the curves was to try to bring a little more contrast and color overall.

this took a fair amount of work. there are more undo's than do's in my workflow. a better starting image would help.

craig

edit: added another image. after posting the first i wasnt happy with the band so i changed it a tiny bit.
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File Type: jpg rngorg-1-k-1.jpg (77.7 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg rngorg-1-k-1a.jpg (77.6 KB, 98 views)

Last edited by Craig Walters; 12-24-2005 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 12-24-2005, 11:26 AM
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The Ring

Hey Craig. I think overall, you did a fine job on the ring makeover. Because we don't always have the best org available, we the retouchers have to take the impossible and turn it into the possible and printable. After seeing some of the restorations I've seen before and after of damaged old photographs, I believe anything is possible. Your band came out ok, especially the selection has a better curve. I might have lightened it a bit, but that is only my look. The ring was so grimy, that it looks like the band has 2 types of unknown metal. You let some of the "gold" shine through which I am going back and add myself. I can see you spent some time and so did I. You added life to the stone which is really the focal point, although I went for a little brighter curve, but again both approaches are ok. Photographing jewelry well is a real challenge as we know. We can only hope for the best result directly from the camera and then use our retouching skills to take it to the max. I'm attaching another view of the ring so you can see an alternate. I'm working on this one and will post when ready. Go ahead and try this one if you want. regards steveb
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File Type: jpg rngorg2.jpg (28.8 KB, 59 views)
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  #6  
Old 12-24-2005, 03:44 PM
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Steve, I started playing with the shadows and am having a tough time determining how it should fall. The strong rim light at the bottom of the band I found problematic. Suggestions?

Cheers

Dave
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File Type: jpg D-rngorg2 copy.jpg (96.1 KB, 64 views)

Last edited by Duv; 12-24-2005 at 04:12 PM.
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  #7  
Old 12-24-2005, 09:29 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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steve,

thank you. i appreciate your comments.

i find my greatest temptation with this jewelry is that i want to make it all VERY shiny. i dont know if you run across this urge or not, but i find myself holding myself back a bit.

i also borrowed some advertising from my mother. she keeps all these store mags around her place. so, i'm studying a bit also. oddly, she had very little watch advertising, which i was hoping to pick up after our last play with that watch face.

i made comment on the photography of the original, but i'll bet it's a bit tricky, all those shiny surfaces of metal and lens faces in gems. the smal size doesnt help much either. at least it's mostly not animate

craig
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Old 12-24-2005, 11:46 PM
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Is the ring silver or gold?
~Nancy~
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  #9  
Old 12-25-2005, 09:09 AM
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philbach philbach is offline
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The Ring

Well I brightened the stone and tried to smooth out the top of the stone that seemed to be mottled. On the metal part I metallized the metal some by using a zig zag pattern in the lightness channel of lab.
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  #10  
Old 12-25-2005, 10:35 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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phil,

i love your band. good sharpness and metal look. the gem is a bit dull, however; at least on my monitor.

craig
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