Project: Lighting a Ring

I generally don't use overly complex lighting in the studio, generally 1 studio strobe, a softbox, and a selection of bounce cards. White, silver, and black depending on the amount of light I need or want to remove.  White and black cards also give shiny objects something to reflect other than the studio. Of course sometimes the situation calls for more so I also keep 4-5 speed lights, some continuous lighting, gels, umbrellas, assorted  small scrims, booms and light stands around for use as needed. The stage and backdrops can be any number of materials from black acrylic to canvas depending on the product and client's requirements.
For this 1st post I thought I'd show the simplest set up I start with for small shiny items like jewelry.

The "starting" point.

A simple light tent lit evenly with a 24" softbox from above is a great starting point for strait forward catalog style shots the double softening of the softbox and light tent makes for a super creamy key light leaving a soft fall off of the light around the edges and gentle sculpting shadows that highlight shape and form. From here the light can be modified to suite.
Antique ring shot under the above basic lighting set up.

If you look closely at the above photo you will notice the lack-luster gems that have no depth or sparkle and odd reflections on the shiny areas of the ring. These problems will all be corrected in the next few posts as we add some modifiers and reflectors to add depth. Some additional directional light to give the gems some sparkle along with a few other tricks. I am not happy with the point of view as you really can't tell that this is a ring, we'll fix that too. See you soon.

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