Photographing Diamonds how to
Client Work, Photography


Photographing Diamonds

I’ve shot a lot of product over the years but when it come back to photographing jewelry, diamonds are always a tough one. Especially when there are 250 diamonds on on piece! Diamonds are NOT all the same color— meaning if your shooting a piece with 30 diamonds your going to see a difference in color. The more you blow it up the more you’ll see a color difference.

What are the variables? Well I’m NOT a gemologist, but I would assume the cut and the natural color of the stone along with how it’s placed in the setting will make a difference. And I’m not even referring to “colored stones” or the color treated diamonds. There you have to deal with all sorts of issues deep blues, light blues, reflections etc.

The Light Setup I use

I’ve tried all types of light setups from LED’s to Florescent, tungsten and strobes, I don’t lean to any one of them in particular. I suppose if I were looking for a warmer temperature maybe for gold or colored yellow diamonds I might shoot with Tungsten lamps, as that color temperature runs around 3000 — 3380 Kelvin.

Fluorescent Lights run anywhere from 3200 to 7000 but I shoot with 5000 Kelvin lamps in general. So it’s a little cooler. What I find more of an issue is keeping the glare off the diamonds, and trying to get a somewhat consistent color out of the piece. I find if you shoot straight into the piece you won’t get the surface glare that comes from shooting on a cross angle.  A light diffuser is a must however. I use the photo booth pictured.

Light meters, gray cards and custom white balance are all good things to have to lessen the variables. As you will have enough to deal with.

How to photograph diamonds STUDIO copyDiamond Facts

  • The Diamond is the hardest natural substance found on Earth
  • Diamonds are made of just one element – Carbon
  • Most diamonds were formed 1 to 3 billion years ago
  • If you picked up a diamond in the rough it would look just like a pebble
  • The largest diamond ever found was 3,106 carats
  • Diamonds come in a spectrum of colors, blue and pink are among the most rare
  • Diamonds sales have grown three-fold in the past 25 years
  • Arkansas is the world’s only diamond mine open to the public and is a dig-for-fee operation for tourists and rock enthusiasts. One out of 100 visitors find a diamond.

Colored Diamonds

Out of 10,000 carats of diamonds mined, only 1 carat will be a fancy color. Out of Australia’s mine 30 million carats a year, less than 1/10th of 1% are pink diamonds

Color treated Diamonds

Color treated diamonds are regular natural diamonds the were color enhanced. The main methodology is called High Pressure High Temperature or HPHT

Let me know if you have questions.

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