Project: Lighting a Ring - Part 2

Last time I described the basic setup for getting smooth and creamy light on the subject. The basic setup provides an adequate amount of quality light but it tends to be rather flat and lacks the highlights and depth needed to make a really great product shot. Today lets see what we can do with some simple reflectors to fire a little extra emphasis where needed. We may need to add some additional lighting later but for now, lets just see what the reflectors can accomplish. Note:except for the watermark, text and crop, the following images are right out of the camera, warts and all.

I wasn't happy with the angle of the shot so I raised the camera until the back of the ring became visible.

105mm f/2.8 macro at f/22 and 1/160 sec

Next step is to add one silver reflector just off camera left to throw some light and highlights onto the gems. Silver will bring more hard light to the party and fire off the reflective points.

105mm f/2.8 macro at f/22 and 1/160 sec

I really like the highlight the silver creates, but the added highlight leaves the right side of the ring dull and uninteresting. Well, if one silver reflector is good, two should be great...or too much.

105mm f/2.8 macro at f/22 and 1/160 sec

Two is definitely brighter, but maybe too much. The added light took away the depth in the gems and softened the design detail. But some additional light is needed, lets try a white card in place of the silver. A white reflector will not throw as much light but still add some and give the ring something to reflect back to the camera.
105mm f/2.8 macro at f/22 and 1/160 sec

The white card opened up the shadows and added some light to the gems without taking away the depth and details. We could stop here and call it a day. The client would be OK with the results. The following image is after post processing.
Finished in Photoshop

Post processing included color and contrast correction, removing sensor spots and output sharpening. This is an old ring with lots of wear and damage. The photo shows the ring's imperfections without highlighting them. Here is the set sketch.

Next time we will add some accent lighting, gels, and maybe a set change.

No comments:

Post a Comment