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How To Photograph Jewellery with a DSLR in Natural Light

Capturing the intricate details of jewellery can be quite a challenge, especially for those new to using a DSLR camera. However, with the right settings and a bit of practice, you can achieve stunning, professional-looking results. Today, I’m excited to share my tried-and-tested formula for getting perfect camera settings when photographing jewellery using natural light.




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Essential Camera Equipment

Before diving into the settings, ensure you have the right equipment. I recommend using a 100mm lens for its ability to closely focus while maintaining a flattering perspective and minimal distortion. Also, make sure your camera’s stabiliser is turned on to prevent any unwanted movement, as even the slightest shake can blur the delicate details of your jewellery pieces.


Choosing the Right Camera Settings

The magic of jewellery photography lies in the clarity and detail of the pieces, which can be highlighted through careful selection of camera settings. Here’s a breakdown of the settings I find most effective:

  1. Aperture (F-Number): Selecting the right aperture is crucial. If you want a softer background that makes the jewellery stand out, an aperture of f/5 will give you a beautifully blurred background. On the other hand, if your goal is to keep both the jewellery and its surroundings sharp and in focus, an aperture between f/11 and f/14 is ideal.

  2. ISO Setting: Always aim for the lowest ISO possible. A lower ISO minimises the noise in your photos, ensuring the fine details of the jewellery are crisp and clear. This is particularly important in natural lighting conditions where you want to capture the true brilliance and sparkle of the jewellery without graininess.

  3. Shutter Speed: A higher shutter speed is preferable to avoid any blurring that might occur from minor hand movements. This is essential when you’re working without a tripod, or in conditions where even a slight breeze could affect the sharpness of your images.

Balancing Light and Exposure

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Finding the perfect balance between ISO and shutter speed is key to achieving the best quality in jewellery photos. Adjust these settings based on the available natural light and the specific look you are aiming for in your photos. Experimenting with these settings will help you understand how they interact with the lighting conditions and jewellery materials to affect the final image.





Jewellery photography can be as rewarding as it is challenging. With these settings and tips, you’re well on your way to capturing breathtaking images that showcase the beauty and craftsmanship of each piece.

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