Photographing pearls
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Author:  johngemo [ Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Photographing pearls

I've begun learning to photograph some stones for the web site and have hit a snag
trying to photo a couple of pearls.

The uploads show the same 2 issues:
1. The burn out - not sure how to handle that yet -
2. The "inverted bowl" reflection on top of each pearl.

It's the reflection that has me stumped - I've tried all sorts of lighting
and exposures but can't seem to avoid this reflection. I've tried lighting below but the reflection just seems to move with it. Clearly it's a shiny sphere issue.

The kit in use:
with and without Amazon light box
Nikon D5200 (with and without flash)
Tamron 70-300mm 1:2 macro lens
Tried auto and various manual settings.

I have a macro slider and macro tubes on the way
but don't think those will help with this particular issue?

I don't seem to have issues with other stones
(I've tried white sapphire, rutilated quartz,snowflake obsidian etc for various types)
So far only the pearls are confusing me.
I'm probably doing something stupid being new to this.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

pearls-002.png [ 76.01 KiB | Viewed 3043 times ]
freshwater-cultured-pearls-120x120.png [ 76.8 KiB | Viewed 3043 times ]

Author:  johngemo [ Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Photographing pearls

Well it seems I'm not alone with this issue.
Looking around I see other sites posting images
like this - it looks like many of them simply darken
the shot to mask it
(my posted ones are deliberately bright to show it)
I guess I'll have to work it out myself.

Author:  Alan F. [ Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Photographing pearls

Your problem is caused by too intense a light source, I use a thin, white, translucent plastic hemisphere over the pearls with the light above it. This diffuses the light so the highlights are not so intense.

Author:  johngemo [ Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Photographing pearls

Thanks alan I'll give the bowl idea a go.

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