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Reflecting Over the Role of Reflections in Jewelry Photography

December 5, 2015

 

Shadows and reflections have long been known to add beauty and exquisiteness to images. In fact, most photographers believe that it is the smart and creative use of reflections that set ordinary-looking subjects a class apart in photographs. However, reflections and the use of reflectors is highly debatable when it comes to utilizing them in product photography.

 

Even though most photographers see shadows as an annoyance, using them creatively to your advantage can help yield astonishing results. Typically, there are a number of ways to add shadows and reflections in an image, but the main aim is to make sure they look as realistic as possible.

 

Here are the 2 kinds of shadows that you can use to your benefit for consistency and the finest results:

 

 Natural Shadow

Despite having a number of lighting techniques at hand, it becomes difficult to create natural shadows during the photo shoot. So, a better alternative is to incorporate shadows in the post-production work by following a few simple steps:

  1. Begin with the layer of your jewelry image and then layer a white-fill background behind the image. Now, select the white area to mask out the jewelry. Don’t forget to smooth the edges for a fine transition.

  2. Choose a small area near the bottom of the jewelry. This will be utilized as the darkest area of the shadow. Refine the edges while allowing for soft, curvy layers to take place. Now, darken out that adjustment at the bottom of the jewelry piece.

  3. Opt for a ‘talk bubble’ on the right side of the jewelry and softly refine the selection. Create a curved layer and darken it to match the small shadow.

  4. Brush out all the adjustments to create a smooth dark to black gradient. You can also modify the opaqueness to add a more realistic appeal.

 

Reflection shadow

If you want to add a natural visual appeal to your images, reflection shadows can do the trick. The use of reflective shadows will give a perception as if the image was taken over a reflective surface, like a mirror. Here’s how you can add this shadow:

  1. Begin with the layer of your jewelry image and then layer a white-fill background behind the image. Now, select the white area to mask out the jewelry. Don’t forget to smooth the edges for a fine transition.

  2. Replicate the jewelry layer and transform it vertically so that a mirrored image appears. Place this replication directly below the product so that both images match.

  3. Apply a faded gradient mask to the reflection so that it appears as if it’s fading down on the ground. Also, add a slight blur to the reflection layer to have a reduced sharpness than the actual product layer.

  4. To add the realistic appeal, add a small shadow underneath the bottom of the product and try to make it darker. This will give the jewelry a more grounded appeal.

Seeking professional assistance for your jewelry advertising needs? If yes, contact Viva Blue today to work with the finest jewelry photographers in NYC. Known for bringing out the shine and sparkle from your jewelry pieces, we have you covered for everything from lighting to setup and styling. Learn more about our services or give us a call at 212 840 0030 today!

 

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