Novembr 16-18—COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA: Annual show; The Columbia, SC Gem and Mineral Society; Fri. 10-6, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-5
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 Post subject: taking pictures of crystals
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:10 pm 
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Hi, I am taking pictures of gemstones (semi-precious, precious, diamonds) that I have in stock, to sell them online. And I started to learn how to use a DSLR, like a month and a half ago. I am using two LED flashes that have a color temperture of 5500K and a Canon D60 camera. As a background, a white acrylic, a black acrylic, and different kinds of fabric. The first stones I am trying to take pictures of are yellow sapphire, diffferent colors of crystals, and a moissanite. I've tried all kinds of light positions, both hard and soft lights, diffusion boxes, diffusion materials. My problems are, 1. Cannot get clean reflections inside the stones. 2. cannot get close enough color+sparkle. Each crystal stone has at least 22 facets (I've counted). Is that why I cannot get rid of all that messy reflections? (so many facets?)


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 Post subject: Re: taking pictures of crystals
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:54 am 
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Please post some of your images and we might be able to analyse.

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 Post subject: Re: taking pictures of crystals
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:53 am 
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Here are some of the pictures of the crystals I took. Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: taking pictures of crystals
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:38 pm 
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ds1208 wrote:
My problems are, 1. Cannot get clean reflections inside the stones. 2. cannot get close enough color+sparkle. Each crystal stone has at least 22 facets (I've counted). Is that why I cannot get rid of all that messy reflections? (so many facets?)


No, it's not too many facets, it's too few and at poor angles. Your stones have what is called "Windowing" which is when the angles at the bottom of the stone are too shallow and the light entering from the front of the stone goes right on out the back. Better cut stones = better pictures.

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 Post subject: Re: taking pictures of crystals
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:47 am 
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I concur.


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 Post subject: Re: taking pictures of crystals
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:17 am 
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Your pictures are decent...it's your stones cutting that is not, as Michael said. When I first started photographing stones I ran into the same issue. None of my pictures looked anything like the ones I was seeing professionals and many GO members post. The reason being......I was using inferior, native/commercial faceted gemstones. When I first started getting custom cut material from folks early on, like Dave Gronki or George Ellis, I would find myself taking much better pics due to the simple fact the stones had proper angles/meets/etc.

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 Post subject: Re: taking pictures of crystals
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:14 am 
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Thank you all. Can anything be done to get rid of the "windowing" effect?


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 Post subject: Re: taking pictures of crystals
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:47 pm 
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Back in the day they would stick foil to the back of gems to make sure light reflected back through them, but today that's universally reserved for paste. The only real option today is to have them recut with better proportions--unfortunately, that means losing a lot of weight when a stone is cut too shallowly.


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