Tuesday, 26 October 2010

I have been slack but busy too.... learning

How to hang jewellery for easy photographing

Hmmm not such an inspirational photo I know - but practical.
I have been trying to problem solve various methods for arranging pieces of jewellery  before photographing them. I need the process to be quick, repeatable and practical. 
So using a combination of trial and error and help I have gleamed from the wonderful WWW I have come up with a solution for hanging earrings (multiple pairs) and necklaces ready for photographing. 
And in the spirit of sharing I can now pass these tips on to anyone who has been trying to take successful photos.

What you need
 * a frame ( an old picture frame is perfect )
 * 2 shelf brackets (as in photo above), 2 screws, screwdriver
 * bulldog clips, string or fishing line, some invisible thread (or super fine fishing line), thumb tacks
 * strip of wood a bit longer than the frame

What you do
As in the photo above screw the 2 shelf brackets to the bottom of the frame - so that it has the support to stand on it's own and balance. Then tape the strip of wood to the top of brackets to add as a weight

Take a length of  your string - I have chosen coloured because I want it to be part of the shot - or fishing line and at the top, secure it to one side of the frame using thumb tacks or nails.

Now take a piece of the invisible thread or thin fishing line and depending on your earring lengths - secure it below the first row of string.

Take each of the ends of the string and invisible line and secure tightly to the other end using the bulldog clips.
The idea is that the earrings hang from the top thread and the invisible thread is used to 'anchor' the earrings so that they do not move and swing. You can hang a few pairs at decent spacings along the row - making it quicker when it comes to photographing them. You just move your tripod along to the next pair.

The frame can also be used for hanging necklaces to make them appear as if they are floating in mid air.
In the photo above you can see the bull dog clips are used as hanging devices to drape the necklace over. You can spread these clips out as far as you need to get the correct position for your piece. You can also see the shelf brackets at the bottom acting as feet.

Once you place the frame inside a light tent or light box and  position your camera to the angle you want (in this case front on) you can take your shot. Having the earrings anchored in this way means  you do not have to wait patiently for them to stop swinging. It also enables you to secure them exactly as you want. 
You can see the 'invisible' thread in this shot because I have not cleaned it up yet and also because I have used a thicker thread to highlight my point. Using photo editing you can rub out the lines in no time at all.

A front on shot of a choker

Further tips
 * You can angle the frame however you like taking photos side on or from the back.
 * You can use the invisible thread to anchor necklaces as well to stop them swinging.
 * The invisible thread needs to be taught so you need to have it low enough below your hanging thread to create tension.
 * You can line up several pairs of earrings making it quick to photograph multiple pairs.
make sure you have a continual background - ie: something that is not going to show edges or lines when you angle your camera to get various shots. A long piece of card or paper that can be taped to the top of your light box or tent and that curves down and along the floor is great.


mady dooijes said...

great tips krik, which program do you use for photo editing.

kriket said...

photoshop CS5 - but blimey you need a degree to use it to it's full capacity!