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How to retouch jewelry pic from bad file?

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Old 08-19-2009, 08:13 AM
matabaeater matabaeater is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bangkok
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How to retouch jewelry pic from bad file?

Hi Everyone,
I have just register to be a new comer in here. Also I am just a freshy for retouching picture.

I have a problem on retouch picture of my jewelry from not-too-good file from my compact camera. My company is very small and I have to do everything by myself.

I don't know if it is possible to have a good retouched jewelry picture if I have taken this from my compact camera.

Please help me.

Also I have attached the picture files which I have try to retouch but it's not good enough. the diamond still too dark and not shiny and also white gold metal is too grey...

Thank you in advance for any help from you guys.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ring.jpg (53.3 KB, 144 views)
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:00 PM
W.Smith's Avatar
W.Smith W.Smith is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 127
Re: How to retouch jewelry pic from bad file?

That attached file is 56KB, matabaeater. Far too small = too low resolution to work on. Also, it is not the original file. It has already been edited and resaved. A number of times. That means a lot of the original image data has been irreversibly lost already. Can't bring that back from a 56KB file, man.

So if you want people to be able to have a meaningful go at retouching your photo then post a link to the original high resolution file.
How? Send that file, or a whole batch, through e.g. (FREE) to your own email address, open that mail message, copy the link that's in it, and post that link here.

That photo, however, seems to also suffer from overexposure and wide angle distortion. And if the point is to show off the sparkly translucency of the stone, and the whiteness of the gold, then a featureless blown-out absolutely white background is not productive.
You need to off set the stone and the gold against its ambiance to show them off. Juxtapose to emphasize. Contrast. Just about any shade of grey would already be a better background than blown-out white. But I'd want to lose the cold featurelessness character and stick the ring on a classical touchy-feely luscious velvety background.

And you can't do all that without a dSLR system with appropriate lenses, lighting, gear, props, and most of all: knowledge!

So my best advice is to have that photo retaken by a pro, matabaeater, and then come back here to post the link to the original high-res file for appraisal and suggestions.

Last edited by W.Smith; 08-19-2009 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:24 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,580
Re: How to retouch jewelry pic from bad file?

Originally Posted by matabaeater View Post
I have a problem on retouch picture of my jewelry from not-too-good file from my compact camera.
Welcome to RetouchPRO Hope you enjoy your stay here and make lots of friends. Poke around, ask questions, have fun!

I am sure you are aware that, after clicking the search button above .. you type "Jewelry" into the search box you will glean a wealth of information!

Jewelry starts with the Photography! Sooo, To sort of nudge you in the right direction I offer the following:

Shooting it right the first time saves a lot of work later... So concentrate on getting it right in camera first and foremost!

To bring out specular highlights use a point-shaped light sources with your light box like LEDs close to the camera lens.

Many different reflectors of various sizes, curvature, and colors which are strategically placed inside the box/tent are necessary also.

This site ( might help you with the photography.

(Click Here) for the retouching page


These resources should help get you started in the right direction... Good Luck!!

This post by SteveB2005 from a different thread may help you also:
Originally Posted by SteveB2005 View Post
Regarding photographing and retouching jewelry/bead products in Photoshop, I can offer some advice in this area, as I have been involved in the workflow for several years. I have worked with various clients who needed quality photos of their jewelry and always tried to provide them with the best output possible, for print and web.

Retouching jewelry is a very challenging craft and photographing it at a pro level is something that takes some time to learn and apply. Many pro retouchers won't even take on jewelry clients because of the time it takes to work on the products. All the retouching in this area will not provide miracles or results expected from clients unless the source image is photographed properly with the right lighting, setup and layout. If you want to be a good jewelry photographer, you need the skills, DSLRs, fine macro lenses like a Canon 100 m F2.8 or similar. You need to invest in good lighting, strobes or continuous, soft/octo boxes, LED focus lights, full spectrum or daylight bulbs, many props, mirrors, reflectors, light table, various fabrics and gradient papers for backgrounds and a lot of patience to be good in the field.

Each piece of jewelry is unique and has its own individual challenges to get a great image out of the camera and then pull the image together by retouching and enhancement in Photoshop. The camera picks up every smudge, hair, dust, stray lights, many things that have to be cleaned up in PS. I recommend a Wacom Tablet and a fast desktop or laptop, I have a fast MacBook with an external DELL monitor for jewelry work. I also recommend wearing white gloves to handle each piece, cans of spray air, jewelers wax and or glue gun for setting up the products, invisible magicians thread, clamps, possibly a little vice. You will need to adjust exposure and learn how to focus stack an image.

The next thing is to get the high end fashion mags like Vanity Fair, Harper's, Vogue and jewelers catalogs to look how fine jewelry is photographed. Also I recommend this site in Los Angeles which does very high quality jewelry images: I also like another site, These 2 sites will give you an idea of what quality jewelry photography is all about. There are others, Tiffany, and Avi Roth's jewelry photography site
I have learned many things about producing decent jewelry photography from studying these great sites. Avi also has a jewelry photography school and teaches the craft. Another site I like is:

Besides being a good product or tabletop photographer, being able to develop pro Photoshop retouching techniques is a must. Master the pen tool because there will be a lot of precise selections, cutouts to put a product on a 255 white background if requested by the client, layer masking, blending modes, paint brushes/airbrush, custom color swatches (gold, silver, etc) the gradient tool, proper sharpening, etc. These are very important PS tools to master for jewelry retouching.

I am always learning new tricks from other fine product photographers who specialize in jewelry and try to figure out the lighting and how the image was enhanced/retouched. If you are interested in this branch of jewelry photography, do your research and start shooting jewelry. Ask people you know, relatives if you could borrow their jewelry to learn how to shoot it. It doesn't have to be diamonds and rubies. There are beads, semi-precious stones, costume jewelry, Indian jewelry, the list is endless.

That about wraps it up, so dive in and give it a shot. Photographing and being able to retouch a jewelry product is a real passion and will offer much satisfaction in getting the shot. Good luck. SteveB2005
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