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The basic photography set-up
Focus and diffuse lighting
Setting the correct exposure
Creating sparkle ... Aurora Borealis
Hanging Swarovski earrings is easy
What's "Invisible thread"?
Floating earrings at different heights
New ways to hang earrings
Swarovski Crystal Photography Tools
Taking good quality pictures of Swarovski Crystal jewelry for most is an unsolved mystery.  However, there are some simple techniques used by the professional, which even amateur photographers can use to obtain dramatic results with minimal effort.   The following examples show the basic setup that should allow anyone to achieve results they can be proud of. For our example photos we used authentic Swarovski items, however the same principles would apply to similar type products.  Tabletopstudio4187

These images were all taken using a Canon Powershot S3 or Canon Digital Rebel digital camera.  The basic setup we used included the EZcube® to soften the shadows and eliminate glare, while providing a clean and clutter free background.  The EZcube® has built in features made to support small, suspended, jewelry pieces in the air. We used TableTop Studio's ShortEZ light set, equipped with daylight balanced compact fluorescent bulbs as the main light source.  We also used the EZcube EZstaging accessory kit to hang items within the light tent.

Three keys to good crystal jewelry photography... sharpness, lighting & exposure.

Good crystal jewelry photography needs sharp, crisp focus.
It is worth getting out your camera's manual  to find out how to put the camera in "spot focus" mode.  The normal focus mode of digital cameras is some sort of average focus mode.  That means that the camera will look at a wide area of a scene and base the focus on that area.  Since you want to control where the camera is focusing, it's better for jewelry photography to put the camera into spot focus mode, this will allow you to control more precisely what the camera will be focusing on.   However, even in spot focus mode many digital cameras can't really "lock-in" on a small shiny object like gemstone jewelry using auto focus.  So unfortunately, for close-up jewelry photography,  you need a camera with good manual focus capability. Another key to a sharp image is a tripod.  It is absolutely essential to use a tripod or similar camera support when shooting jewelry. A sturdy tripod is better than a flimsy one, but any tripod is many times better than no tripod. Use a tripod.

Another key to good Swarovski style crystal photography is the lighting.
  Normally diffuse (soft) lighting works best for jewelry. You have probably already discovered that an on-camera flash does not lead to good jewelry photos.  Not only is the camera's flash too bright at such a close distance, but it is probably in the wrong position to actually light up the jewelry properly.  On camera flash will also create harsh and distracting shadows. Rather than flash, we like to use continuous lighting for product photography. Using continuous lights makes it easier to visualize what the final image will be like. We prefer daylight balanced compact fluorescent bulbs for lighting . These bulbs provide nice, natural-colored light and they produce very little heat so they can be left on for long photo sessions without over heating the photographer. Even fluorescent light bulbs will need to be diffused and for that we use an EZcube light tent as the diffuser. A small light tent makes it easy to reduce glare and control shadows for jewelry photography.

 
Proper exposure is also key to good results.  (For more information on adjusting the exposure settings on your camera for jewelry images take a look at this page.)  Tabletopstudio4187

Now lets look at some specific crystal jewelry photography setups & situations in greater detail.

Creating the Sparkle

The wonderful thing about photographing Aurora Borealis Swarovski Crystals is that the "sparkle" is built in. These crystals actually have a colorful special reflective finish applied to the facted surface of half of each bead. This colorful finish is easily captured with our basic two light set. However if you were to photograph Swarovski jewelry that is combined with traditional faceted gemstones, you would need to use a third light known as the "Sparkler". Faceted crystals, glass and gemstones all reflect light differently. This will effect your choice of lighting as well as the light positioning. In our following example cases we used only two lights and a setup like the one shown here.  Tabletopstudio4187


Swarovski Crystal Chandelier earrings


Photographing Swarovski crystal chandelier earrings use to be a challenge to prop up or lay flat for a photo. Now, with the EZcubes built-in grommets this type of difficult subject can be easily suspended on invisible thread.

 
bullet Now, Swarovski chandelier earrings can just hang on invisible thread.
bullet A small black paper background is held in place behind the earrings by one EZclip, suspended from a clear rod.
bullet The earrings are hung on "invisible thread" strung from one side of the EZcube to the other, gripped tightly by two EZclips.
bullet The "Invisible thread" is easily removed from the final image using image editing software such as Photoshop Elements.
bullet Accessories used : 5 EZclips, 1 suspension rod & invisible thread all hung inside the 20" EZcube.
 


 


Styling a Swarovski crystal necklace in a coiled, rising, "snake-like" position. The possibilities are truly endless for ways to dangle your items.

 
bullet A Swarovski crystal necklace dangles magically, like a serpent, rising from invisible thread.
bullet The small strand of invisible thread is easily removed from the final image using Photoshop Elements.
bullet Accessories used : 1 EZclip, 1 suspension rod & invisible thread all hung inside the 20" EZcube.
 


Swarovski Aurora Borealis Crystal clip-on earrings


Swarovski crystal clip-on earrings can be easily suspended for shooting, saving hours of frustration and time.
  Just clip them onto the thin thread and shoot. Tabletopstudio4187
 
bullet Now, Swarovski clip-on earrings can just hang on invisible thread.
bullet A small black piece of paper is held by one EZarm, to reflect black into the lower beads for added definition.
bullet The invisible thread and background were easily removed for the final image.
bullet Accessories used : 2 EZclips, 1 EZarm & invisible thread all hung inside the 20" EZcube.


Swarovski bracelet with Aurora Borealis crystals


T
he EZrigging system makes it easy to photograph completely shadowless images of bracelets, earrings, and  many other small valuables. Jewelry can be easily suspended for shooting, saving hours of frustration and time.
 
bullet Now, bracelets can just hang on invisible thread.
bullet The invisible thread was easily removed for the final image.
bullet Accessories used : 1 EZclips, 1 suspension rod & invisible thread all hung inside the 20" EZcube.
 

Swarovski Photography Tools
 Great tools for shooting any type of crystal jewelry or beads


Built-in white grommet strips
holds support rods, clips, or invisible thread


EZcube® light tent
For soft, diffused lighting, softer shadows, and reflection control, new design for suspending small items.

Tabletopstudio ShortEZ light set

  • 10" Flood lights with stand mounts
  • Adjustable tabletop size light stands
  • "Daylight color" CFL bulbs

    *EZstaging Kit...

    White EZclips

  • Clip rotates 360 degrees
  • Slide onto the clear rods
  • Grips invisible thread

    EZarms

  • 10" flexible support arm
  • Clips at both ends
  • Grips small items firmly

    Invisible thread

  • Thin, clear monofilament
  • Suspends objects in air

    Clear support rods

  • For dangling subjects
  • Spans the EZcube

  • *EZstar effects CD
    225 various sizes, shapes and colors of STARS that are ready to drag and drop onto any image, using most software that supports "layers", such as Photoshop Elements.

    * Photoshop/Photoshop Elements
    * These items are sold separately
     


  • EZstar examples


    Clear acrylic Support rods


    "Invisible thread"

    Tabletopstudio Store

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