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Jewelry Retouching/Photography Resource Share

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Old 01-31-2011, 04:02 AM
lncognito lncognito is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Jewelry Retouching/Photography Resource Share

Hey guys, my first thread here. My intention of creating this thread is to share all of the Jewelry photography/retouching resources I have found on the net. I started photography and working with Photoshop because my mom needed help with her business and wanted to save money.

A couple years down the line and here are two images I took a couple days ago

I would really appreciate any feedback and help improving my images, I really need help creating more authentic and professional looking shadows. I saw someone with average ring photos but stunning shadows he said his "professional retoucher" friend gave him. I wish I could get my hands on some of those shadows.

Anyway, here are some of my bookmarks, I hope you guys have some to share too. Although, I found the best thing I have watched, that improved my photos the most, was the Retouch Pro 2 videos with Steve K. Those were so awesome! You hear that Steve? Please don't make us wait too long for another one! (Shooting Diamonds on Black Backgrounds and they have awesome light set-up diagrams) (Focus Stacking) (Dealing with reflective objects) (Jewelery photography blog)

I am looking for more of my retouching links, hopefully everyone will share and we can all learn more.

Last edited by lncognito; 01-31-2011 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:47 PM
vchiline vchiline is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 20
Wink Re: Jewelry Retouching/Photography Resource Share

Hi there Incognito,

Well, I could probably help you out somewhat (btw, thanks for posting a referring link to our blog). =)

Your first image of the diamond band, the white gold/metal is too dark. Brighten it up a little more, otherwise it looks like "steel/tungsten" with diamonds. Also, I recommend you dodge the bottom row of diamonds a little. Jewelry must sell, and we need to defy physics a little sometimes (shooting on a opaque background will give you a darker set of diamonds if they are facing no light source).

Regarding "professional" shadows, yes, there are some people offering cookie cutter ones, but nothing really beats knowing how to make them from scratch. Like this it will fit seamlessly with each piece of jewelry you shoot. At our studio, our retouchers use exclusively Wacom Intuos tablets. One of our retouchers is an artist/painter, and so this is a very beneficial method of editing images. I highly recommend you pick one up some day.

Stay tuned to our blog and we'll explain shadows on a future entry. Good luck!

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Old 02-02-2011, 11:53 AM
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ray12 ray12 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 313
Re: Jewelry Retouching/Photography Resource Share

Hi lncognito,

Nice initial photography! Very nicely done.

Because your pieces are on a white background it becomes somewhat easy to make a selection of the pieces of jewelery. With this selection made...and with the marching ants showing your selection... you can now do the following to get an infinitely adjustable shadow:

Do a copy and paste (Control/Command C and V) from that selected layer with the marching ants showing. When you paste will place a copy of your jewelery on a new transparent layer above the original. Do this again so you have 2 layers with copies of your jewelery. Turn off the visibility icon of your original background layer will not need it any longer.

On this new middle layer...we are going to do two things. We are going to add a mask to it...and then we are going to turn the thumbnail image black or gray.

To make a mask on that transparent layer first Command /Control click the image on that layer...that will now re-select your jewelery and put some marching ants around them again. Then go to the bottom of the layers pallet and click the "make mask" icon. You will now see a mask on the middle layer with a hole cut out that is the same shape as your jewelery.

To turn the thumbnail layer black make sure you select it by clicking the thumbnail will now see the white selection around the thumbnail. Now hit Control or Alt Backspace to fill the thumbnail with your foreground or background color of choice. Your jewelery will now turn black or white or whatever colors were your foreground or background. You can also fill it if you want as another way. This will be the shadow and its color. It will be a perfect replica of your jewelery but will now be a color.

With this layer selected... hit the Command T key and you will get a free transform box around this black masked off object. Drag your transform box to the side...and will now be a perfect shadow under your jewelery!!! You can now scale this shadow in size, move its position, rotate it some, change its color, and especially change its layer opacity to a very faint gray color that you think looks realistic. If you wanted to you could gaussian blur the mask or the shadow and get a soft edge to the shadow too. You also could copy that shadow and flip it around to make it a reflection shadow underneath the original shadow with some blending and gradation to make it look realistic. You can also lightly paint on the mask with a soft, very low opacity 8% brush and shade the shadow to give it some subtle depth or contouring.

You can put a shadow like this under a person, or a car, as well...and have absolute complete control if its position, size, angle, opacity and softness. Hope this was what you were looking for.

Welcome to retouch pro!


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Old 02-07-2011, 12:20 AM
lncognito lncognito is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Re: Jewelry Retouching/Photography Resource Share

Thanks for taking the time to help me out guys!

vchiline I am really loving your blog and can't wait for your next couple posts. I have been waiting for a site like yours for so long. Totally unique and dedicated to making great pictures of diamonds and jewelry.

Ray I am going to try out that technique as soon as I get home from surfing in Taiwan.

Any other tips, please help guys!
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