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How to manage reflections when photographing jewellery

If you’ve ever tried photographing jewellery at home, you know the struggle of capturing the intricate details and true sparkle of each piece. Professional setups are often costly and complex, but what if I told you that you could dramatically improve your home photography with just one simple tool? Enter foam boards—a game-changer for DIY jewellery photographers.

Why Foam Boards?

Foam boards are inexpensive and readily available at most craft shops. They are lightweight, easy to handle, and most importantly, they are brilliant at manipulating light. Foam boards act as reflectors, bouncing light back onto your subject, which can help fill in shadows and highlight the details in your jewellery.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using Foam Boards

Here’s a simple guide on how to use foam boards to enhance your jewellery photos:

  1. Setup Your Space Choose a well-lit area near a window where natural light is abundant. Avoid direct sunlight as it can create harsh shadows. Set up your jewellery piece on a clean, neutral background.

  2. Position Your Foam Boards Place foam boards around the jewellery, focusing on areas where shadows are most prominent. Typically, positioning them opposite your light source (e.g., opposite the window) will reflect light back onto the darker side of the object.

  3. Adjust the Angles Experiment with the angles of the foam boards. Slight adjustments can make a significant difference in how light is reflected. Your goal is to achieve a balanced light where the details of the jewellery are visible, and reflections are managed well, especially on more reflective surfaces like metals and gems.

  4. Manage Reflections For highly reflective jewellery, adjust your foam boards to soften the light that hits the jewellery. This can prevent glare and ensure that the camera captures the colours and cuts of the gems accurately. Sometimes, using an additional piece of foam board as a makeshift 'roof' over the setup can diffuse the light evenly, reducing glare.

  5. Take Multiple Shots With each adjustment of your foam boards, take a few shots from different angles to find the best representation of your jewellery. Reviewing these images on a larger screen can help you decide if you need more or less reflection and light.

Benefits of Using Foam Boards

  • Cost-effective: Foam boards are a budget-friendly alternative to professional lighting kits.

  • Improves photo quality: They help evenly distribute light and reduce shadows, making your jewellery photos look more polished and professional.

  • Versatile: You can cut foam boards into various sizes to suit different types of jewellery or setups.

Foam boards can significantly elevate the quality of your jewellery photography, making it easier to capture stunning, detailed images that showcase Your jewellery in its best light. Whether you're a hobbyist or a professional photographer, this simple tool can enhance your photography, improving the appeal of your jewellery whether for business or personal sharing.


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