Bronagh’s quest for the perfect picture

Taking pictures of your jewellery can be one of the hardest parts of the making process, which is why we run a Jewellery Photography course. Recently LJS press officer, Bronagh, who also makes jewellery, went along to see if she could improve her skills:

I take pictures – a lot. I’ve even had some published in magazines but there is a big difference between being lucky with a landscape or an action shot, and taking the perfect product picture. I find jewellery photography really frustrating. Either the colour is wrong, or the focus is out, or there’s a really weird shadow. So I was really looking forward to attending the jewellery photography course with Matt Cheetham.

Matt’s pictures are stunning so we were all hoping a little sparkle would rub off on us.

In the morning Matt took us through photography basics – exposure, focal length, choosing ISO settings, lighting. A great introduction for novice photographers and real refresher for those of us who can be a bit lazy with the automatic settings on our cameras. We also took pictures using different settings to illustrate the various lessons.

Then, after lunch, we put the theory into practice setting up LJS’s light tent and using various backgrounds and lighting set-ups. This gave us a chance to experiment – comparing the results from different camera settings and lighting angles.

Playing with the lights and tents gave us all practical experience

The final section was about editing our pictures – tweaking the colours so that they really reflected the pieces, cutting out images and cleaning up backgrounds.

It was an exciting day and has certainly improved my camera work. This image may have some way to go to rival Matt’s but I’ve already come a long way.

My experiment with a black perspex background

Of course for the best results you can’t beat professional results which is why this month LJS is delighted to be running a competition to win a shoot of five pieces of jewellery by Matt himself. Click here to find out more.

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